We often hear how fish oil is great for heart and bone health with its rich omega-3 fatty acid content. Now, omega-3 fatty acid is required at every cellular functional level in the body and a lack of this essential nutrient can lead to several health issues including stroke, heart disease, and diabetes. The thing with omega-3 fatty acids is that these polyunsaturated fats are required to keep the vital organs such as heart, joints, eyes, and brain healthy and properly functioning. Since our body cannot make omega-3 fatty acids on its own, we have to rely on dietary sources such as fish, nuts, and seeds, eggs, and certain vegetables. While there are many sources of omega-3 fatty acids in vegetarian and vegan food sources, they may not supply all three types of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA, DHA, and ALA together). Most vegetarian sources have only alpha linoeic acid, which is not as beneficial, as fish oil. So, the question we are interested right now is, “can fish oil boost weight loss?” Let’s find out:
Benefits of Taking Fish Oil/Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids which are necessary for normal and smooth functioning of body functions and for metabolism. For healthy brain, heart, and other vital organs, a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids is necessary through our daily diet. Fish oil supplement is widely used for overall beauty and health benefits. Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which is excellent for many health and beauty issues. It imparts excellent cardiovascular health and even prevents some diseases. A lot of celebrities too swear by the goodness of this supplement. Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids do these things for our body:
1. Aids weight loss – helps reduce waist circumference and shed extra kilos.
2. Helps with anxiety and depression.
3. Treats arthritis.
4. Improves bone health.
5. Improves heart health.
6. Great for eyes and good vision.
7. Boosts physical and mental health.
8. Fights inflammation in the body, helps prevent heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
9. Great for smooth and clear skin.
10. Good for healthy hair.
Types of Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
There are three main types of omega-3 fatty acids – ALA (alpha linolenic acid), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). While most vegetarian sources such as nuts and seeds are good sources of ALA, they lack DHA and EPA. Fatty fish such as salmon, trout, tuna, herring, sardines are rich sources of DHA and EPA, and that’s why fish and fish oil are preferred by a majority of people. However, EPA and DHA play major role in preventing inflammation in the body, and they are the most sough-after forms of omega-3 fatty acids.
What are the Natural Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
Fatty fishes like tuna, sardines, and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and fish oil is mainly sourced from these fishes. Vegetarian sources are algae oil, flaxseeds, walnuts, chia seeds, etc.
Why Fish Oil is Preferred Over other Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
As mentioned above, though a lot of plant sources provide ALA omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil provides all three, EPA, DHA, and ALA. Also, vegetarian sources of omega-3 fatty acids such as nuts and seeds also supply the body with omega-6 fatty acids which raise the inflammation level in the body. Although ALA is definitely a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, it can’t quite touch the benefits of fish and that’s why, fish oil is a great option.
Recommended Dosage of Fish Oil:
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) says that a minimum intake of 250mg – 2g of EPA and DHA is required to reduce any heart related disease. A lower amount would not be much useful to the body. If you are picking any over-the-counter supplement, it should ideally contain minimum 250 mg of DHA to benefit heart, brain and eye health.
Is Fish Oil Better in Capsule or Liquid Form?
Most over-the-counter fish oil supplements that are available in capsule form do not have the recommended daily intake per capsule. So, taking just one or two capsules would not be much beneficial. Fish oil in liquid form is a much better option than capsules.
How To Boost Effectiveness of Fish Oil?
By balancing out omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid ratio. Studies have revealed that we need to maintain Omega-6 and Omega-3 acids 3:1 ratio. But nowadays, due to wrong dietary practices, we are getting omega 6 to omega 3 at 30:1 ratio, which is the major cause of inflammation. To get maximum benefit out of omega-3 fatty acids, one has to reduce the consumption of food that provide the body with omega-6 fatty acids. Refined oils, seed oils are the main reason why our body has high omega-6 fatty acid levels and make no mistake, increased levels of omega-6 fatty acids is an open invitation to inflammation and heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, stroke, etc. Replace seed oils, refined oils with coconut oil, ghee, or olive oil.
How Fish Oil Boosts Weight Loss?
Since fish oil with its high omega-3 fatty acid content boosts cellular activity at every level, it has amazing benefits on skin, hair, eyes, and heart health. Amazingly, it can also boost weight loss. It is also believed that the omega-3 fatty acids also promotes fat loss, especially belly fat. It also decreases production of stress hormones which are associated with fat storage. Fish is also rich in protein, which helps you feel full and increases metabolic rate significantly more than digesting fat or carbs. Also, fish and seafood are a source of iodine. This nutrient is necessary for proper thyroid function, which is important to keep your metabolism running optimally. But here’s the surprise, omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation and chronic inflammation is one reason why most people are unable to shed weight. Once the body gets adequate omega-3 fatty acids, inflammation lowers and so does extra fat.