An Exception to the Rule…. (Why I take Fish Oil Daily)
Last week I wrote a pretty controversial blog post about supplements and what I believe in. I talked about our belief in a “whole-foods” and clean diet approach, and how I’m not a huge fan of meal replacement shakes or bars that are loaded with artificial and processed ingredients.
I take a Fish Oil Supplement DAILY to get my Omega 3′s in…
Omega 3′s are Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) and are CRITICAL to your body for a whole host of reasons.
Since Omega 3′s are “EFA’s,” that means that your body is NOT capable of producing them on its own, and you MUST consume your Omega 3′s from an outside dietary source.
What Omega 3′s Can Do for You:
- reduce your risk for developing heart disease
- decrease cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL’s (bad cholesterol)
- increase HDL’s (your good cholesterol)
- increase your ability to burn FAT
- decrease blood pressure and improves circulation
- strengthen your immune system
- helps to regulate inflammation and arthritis
- helps to break up clots before they produce damage
- improves memory, recall, reasoning, and focus
- helps to alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety
- helps in the protection against cancer, Alzheimer’s, IBS, & Acne
- improves eyesight, and reduces dryness
- helps to improve the condition of your skin and hair
Omega 3′s can be found in many types of fish, seaweed, and plankton…but it can ALSO be found in the grass and green leaves that are meant to be eaten by animals.
This is why eating grass-fed beef, and pasteurized eggs are also good sources of these Omega 3′s. (No, you can’t just go out and eat some grass to get your Omega’s…humans aren’t able to digest it )
BUT…..NOT ALL OMEGA 3′s ARE CREATED EQUAL.
Omegas that come from plant sources are in the form of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) and have to be CONVERTED to the powerful anti-inflamatory Omega’s in the form of DHA & EPA (docosahexaenoic acid & eicosapentaenoic acid) before our bodies can even use them. (ALA —> DHA & EPA)
This conversion process is VERY lengthy and inefficient and by the end of it, and only a VERY small fraction of DHA & EPA is derived- so small in fact, that it BARELY has any impact on your body, if at all!
Fish oil ALREADY has high concentrations of DHA & EPA in it, so there’s no conversion necessary to utilize all of the AMAZING benefits these Omega 3′s have.
Since our bodies are not capable of producing DHA & EPA on it’s own…
I take a DAILY fish oil supplement to make sure I’m feeding my body everything it needs to reduce inflammation, protect against damage from free radicals, and strengthen my immune system.
In fact, my entire family is now taking fish oil supplements. (***if you’re taking blood thinner medication, do not start taking fish oil without talking to your doc first.)
How MUCH DHA & EPA should we be taking?
Good question. There are different belief systems, but 2-4 grams (2000-4000mg) of EPA/DHA per day is a solid recommendation. I try to eat fish 2-3 times a week, and on those days, I don’t take as much (if any) of my fish oil supplement.
The reason use SFH is because it is the single most CONCENTRATED fish oil (without any additives or other crap) that I can find.
But, whatever fish oil you choose, make sure that it is free of other additives like SOY, WHEAT, processed ingredients, artificial junk (that’s the technical word), and any sweeteners.
Do I Need to Worry about Mercury or other Heavy Metal Poisoning?
Nope- The bigger the fish is, the longer it’s been in the ocean and the more exposure its had to toxic metals and other contaminants. Fish oil is almost always derived from smaller fish like anchovy, sardines, and herring.
In addition, the better brands use third party testing to ensure that their fish oil is a safe and free from harmful contaminants (like SFH).
But…I’m a Vegetarian!
If you still will not consider taking Fish Oil for your Omega 3′s, you may want to consider taking Algae Oil. It’s pricier, but it’s probably your best bet as it contains only DHA’s (which can also be converted into EPA’s pretty easily in the body). I’ve also hear of people getting good results with Arbonne’s Omega 3 Supplements (although I have not personally taken them).
As always, make sure you talk to your doctor before starting any type of supplementation.
***None of these links are affiliate links and I would not make any commission if you purchased from them.
I’d love to hear your comments below!