Omega-3 is important to our body — but which source is the best?


The human diet has a wide range of fats and oils, such as animal fats and oils consumed separately as butter and cooking oil, or naturally available in many ingredients such as nuts, fish, and dairy products.

Fish oil has become the most commonly used supplement for non-vitamin nutrients worldwide. Despite its popularity, many myths are still lingering about it.

1. All sources of omega-3 are beneficial

Many websites and magazines claim that they can help you get the essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6. But, these sources might not as provide the same value.

When it comes to omega-3, the only sources that people commonly consume are fish and breast milk. Those animal-based sources contain the EPA and DHA molecules, full protein range of omega-3 plant sources, on the other hand, have only one type of omega-3 known as ALA.

It's also not clear that the benefits of consuming only ALA-based foods are as apparent as those of EPA and DHA. Scientists believed that people could easily convert ALA into EPA and DHA by consuming certain food groups. However, recent studies revealed that this process is not very useful for most people. So, consuming  EPA and DHA-based foods has its benefits.

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2. All fish is rich in omega-3

Getting enough omega-3s from fish is a great way to boost your overall health. Unfortunately, most people could and would not get access to fatty fish.

Some factors contributing to the low consumption of omega-3s are vegetarianism, non-organic food, and not caring for the taste or texture.

Even people who regularly eat seafood can sometimes struggle to get enough omega-3s from their diet. Most commonly, fish sources such as tilapia don't contain enough omega-3s.

For example, if you plan to eat wild-caught salmon for dinner, it might contain a few hundred omega-3s. On the other hand, if you buy farmed salmon, its nutritional value might vary significantly.

In other words, farmed fish may have fewer (as much as half) omega-3s than wild-caught salmon. If you are unsure about the amount of omega-3s in your diet, you should start taking omega-3 supplements.

3. Little omega-3 intake is better than none at all

Studies show that the effects of omega-3s on the body depend on the dose you take. For instance, a study conducted by researchers in 2018 found that taking a high amount of omega-3s for a long time led to significant improvements in patients with anxiety.

Further studies reveal that taking over 2,000 milligrams of EPA/DHA every day can have anti-inflammatory effects at the cellular level. This level is usually enough to demonstrate the results of the nutrients on various health conditions.

Since modern processed food has a high concentration of pro-inflammatory omega-6s, this substance can trigger chronic inflammation.
To properly utilize the benefits of omega-3s, most people need to consume a large amount of EPA/DHA. Taking a dose that's effective every day will help minimize the effects of the pro-inflammatory compounds.

4. Fish oil is supposed to taste like fresh fish

Since fish oil is very similar to fresh seafood, fresh fish oil shouldn't smell bad. Animal studies also suggest that consuming rancid and oxidized fish oil can lead to the development of various health conditions such as heart Alzheimer's disease.

Open the capsule and smell its contents to determine if your fish oil is rancid. You can also measure its rancidity value from its oxidation value. Pure fish oil should also taste and smell like fresh fish.

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5. Freeze your fish oil to prevent fishy burps

Although freezing fish oil capsules can help mask the unpleasant smell of fish oil, it won't solve the issue if the oil has already gone rancid.

You should always open up the fish oil capsule and smell it first to check if it's rancid. After making sure it's fresh, you can put it in the freezer to prevent fishy burps. Freezing fish oil can help to prevent future oxidation.





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