Fish Oil: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Fish Oil: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Overview

Known as polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-3 fatty acids play an essential role in ensuring that some parts of our body function well (1).

Human body is incapable of producing these fatty acids; therefore, there is no other way but to import it from foods (2).

Omega-3 can come from a variety of sources, but one of the most popular ways to absorb it into the body is to consume seafood, especially some types of fish, such as salmon, tuna, or sardines.

Besides, fish oil is also a common way for people to add omega-3 fatty acids into their body.

In 2012, approximately 18.8 million adults in the United States were reported to use fish oil, increasing by 8 million compared to the year 2007.

Fish oil is also favored by children when 1.1 percent of American children consumed it in 2012 (3).

With these impressive numbers, it is undoubted that fish oil provides some amazing health benefits.

First, this article will help you understand the nutrition facts of fish oil.

Nutrition Facts

The main content of fish oil is omega-3, or “poly” fats, which constitutes most of fish oil benefits.

DHA and EPA are the two most common sorts of omega-3 fatty acids you can find in fish oil (4).

Though, there is difference in the quantity of these fatty acids, depending on each type of fish oil.

For example, regarding natural fish oil, which is extracted directly from oily fish’s tissues, DHA and EPA make up for around 30 percent.

Meanwhile, the percentage of DHA and EPA in processed fish oil might vary from 50 to 90 percent.

Besides, vitamins, such as A, D or K2, in fish oil should be considered as significant parts because they also give a lot of health benefits.

Health Benefits of Fish Oil

Below are top 10 benefits of fish oil that may attract your attention immediately.

1.  Less Menstrual Pain

One of the very first fish oil benefits for women is to help them escape from the severity of pain during menstrual cycle.

The painful feeling is commonly felt in the lower abdominal areas. In some cases, this pain might expand to thighs and back (5).

Nevertheless, you can put an end to menstrual pain quickly with the help of fish oil.

There has been scientific evidence that omega-3 fatty acids can actually make menstrual pain less severe (6) (7).

There are even studies which prove that fish oil can work more efficiently than ibuprofen to help women overcome menstrual pain (8).

Bottom Line: One of the best fish oil benefits is to deal with pain and discomfort during menstrual cycle.

2. Weight Loss

Fish Oil - Weight Loss

Among the best benefits of fish oil is to support weight loss.

This fish oil benefit is believed to attract more and more attention in this day and age, when obesity is becoming more and more popular.

According to the statistics recorded in 2014, over one-third of 20-and-over-year-old adults in the United States are obese (9).

The addition of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil will limit the amount of fat in the liver and prevent inflammation (10) (11).

While fish oil weight loss seems to be a great concern, it is interesting to know that fish oil is also crucial in the control of weight.

It means that when unwanted weight loss happens due to some diseases, fish oil can make a great intervention and generate positive outcomes (12).

Bottom Line: Benefits of fish oil on our weight is shown in not only speeding up the weight loss, but also controlling it if necessary.

3. Cope with Depression and Anxiety

The popularity of depression is increasing nowadays and it becomes one of the most common catalysts for health problems (13).

You can detect whether a person is depressed by examining how long his or her sadness lasts (14).

Meanwhile, people refer anxiety to the condition in which a person feels nervous (15).

Both of these problems lead to many negative effects on the personal and social level.

Notably, omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for the depression and anxiety treatment (16) (17).

Therefore, it is logical that fish oil is suitable to deal with these mental disorders.

However, those who show opposition to this statement are reasonable about lack of hard evidence (18).

Bottom Line: Although further examination is still needed, fish oil can still be considered as a promising cure for depression and anxiety.

4. Good for Pregnant Women

The next among many fish oil benefits for women is to help their baby develop well during the time they are pregnant.

Fish oil contributes a lot to the prevention of pregnancy-related problems, such as miscarriage or lower birth weight (19) (20).

On the other hand, DHA, which makes up for a substantial part of fish oil, plays a vital role in the development of the eye’s retina and brain (21).

This is very important to help the baby have a better eyesight more easily in the future.

Furthermore, the baby might also become more intelligent and less likely to suffer from behavioral problems (22) (23).

Bottom Line: The deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids in pregnant women’s diet might trigger intellectual and physical problems for the baby.

5. Prevent Asthma

Asthma is a lung disease with the emergence of some symptoms, such as coughing or wheezing (24).

Over 25 million people suffer from asthma in America alone, 7 million of which are children (25).

Annoying symptoms of this problem are likely to happen during the night.

As a consequence, it causes so much trouble, especially for children.

There is hard evidence that the increasing consumption of fish oil may lessen the risk of asthma (26) (27).

Both children and adults can experience the same results (28).

Asthma treatment is also a great feature in celery health benefits.

6. Foster Blood Circulation

Fish Oil - Foster Blood Circulation

The next benefits of fish oil are that it can foster the blood circulation, which brings many other advantages.

Nevertheless, this has been only tested for rats (29).

Besides, omega-3 fatty acids reduce the number of triglycerides in the blood by up to 30 percent and the level of serum cholesterol as well (30) (31).

7. Support Skin and Hair Care

This might be also one of favorite fish oil benefits for women when it has great impacts on your hair and skin.

The importance of DHA to the skin is undeniable, as it takes responsibility for the skin’s structure.

The addition of DHA from fish oil will help your skin become softer, moister and free from acnes (32).

In addition, fish oil slows down the aging process, with the appearance of wrinkles.

Regarding hair care, omega-3 can be beneficial for the prevention of hair loss.

Essential proteins in fish oil are also great to nurture your hair healthily.

8. Better Sleep

There is no denying that sleep is fundamental to good health.

In fact, many people have difficulty having good sleep at night.

Consequently, they suffer from a lot of health problems (33) (34).

There are many possible catalysts for the deprivation of sleep.

However, one of the most common is the insufficiency of omega-3 fatty acids (35) (36).

Therefore, one of the best benefits of fish oil is to help you sleep better and protect your health.

If you are facing sleep-related problems, you can think of some other foods, such as lavender or pumpkin seeds.

Bottom Line: Fish oil provides you with omega-3 to improve the quality of your sleep and your health in general.

9. Strengthen Bone and Joint

Fish Oil - Strengthen Bone and Joint

Thanks to its fullness of omega-3, many benefits of fish oil are shown in the strength of bone and joint.

According to a study from NASA, omega-3 is effective in reducing bone loss (37).

The participation of fish oil is also reported to be good in the treatment for arthritis and osteoporosis (38) (39) (40).

10. Lower Risk of Cancer

The last one in the list of top benefits of fish oil is as important as others.

Fish oil is capable of preventing one of the leading fatal problems in the world – cancer.

Specifically, those who absorb omega-3 frequently will be less likely to suffer from colon cancer by 55 percent (41).

Fish oil is also great for common types of cancer among men and women, namely, breast and prostate cancer (42).

Side Effects

Overall, fish oil is safe to use for most subjects, even the most vulnerable ones, such as infants or pregnant women.

However, omega-3 might trigger bleeding if over three grams are consumed on a daily basis.

The recommendation is that those who have bleeding disorders should avoid it.

On the other hand, some effects of omega-3 on the level of blood sugar can be foreseen.

As a result, people suffering from diabetes should follow the instructions from experts when using fish oil.

Allergic reactions can happen if you have allergies with fish.

Last but not least, you had better limit the consumption of fish oil under 3 grams per day to avoid problems, such as dizziness or acid reflux.

Disclaim: The effectiveness from using these foods on certain problems and diseases will be depended on the body condition of the applicant.

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