Fishy Friday

Friday, February 11, 2011

This little guy has been featured in the past, but he is my all time favorite
so he gets a second post! [source]

How ya doing today! Wahoo for Friday and for the sun being out! It is finally starting to warm up a bit here in Dallas, and I really really hope it stays that way! Do you have any big plans for the weekend?

Today's workout: Five miles on the treadmill plus teaching a strength training class. I was so excited because my hip flexor really didn't bother me too bad during my run today. I am hoping to be able to run outside tomorrow and Sunday. Please weather man help me out here!

So on to the topic of the day. One of my friends and reader, Jennifer, asked me to do a post on fish oils, so that is precisely what we are going to talk about today!


Fish oil, just as the name implies, is taken directly from this tissues of oily fish. It contains many important vitamins for the body, the most commonly known one being Omega 3 which is an essential fatty acid that contains eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The benefits of fish oil have been constantly researched over the past few years.

Benefits of Fish Oil:
  • Reduces Pain and Inflammation: Fish oils regulate your body's inflammation cycle, which prevents and relieves painful conditions like arthritis, prostatitis, cystitis and anything else ending in "itis."
  • Improves Cardiovascular Health: Fish oil does wonders for your cardiovascular system by lowering cholesterol, triglycerides, LDLs and blood pressure while increasing HDL's (or good cholesterol).
  • Protection from Stroke and Heart Attack: Omega 3 has been shown to break up blood clots which can cause strokes and heart attacks.
  • Improved Brain Function: According to a study at UCLA, the omega 3 fatty acids in fish oil can  help the brain produce plaque-fighting proteins which is useful in preventing Alzheimer’s. Studies have also linked low levels of omega 3 to depression and anxiety. Psychiatry department researchers at the University of Sheffield, along with numerous other research studies, found that omega 3 fish oil supplements "alleviate" the symptoms of depression, bipolar and psychosis. Researchers have also found that countries with the highest intake of fatty fish have lower depression rates.
  • Lower Incidence of Childhood Disorders: Studies have shown that children (and adults) with ADD and ADHD experience a greatly improved quality of life with adequate omega 3 intake. It has also shown to help with dyslexia, dyspraxia, and compulsive disorders.
  • Reduces Risk of Breast, Colon and Prostate Cancer: Omgea 3 fish oil has been proven to help prevent 3 of the most common forms of cancer: breast, colon and prostate cancer. They do this by stopping the transformation of a healthy cell to a cancerous mass, inhibiting unwanted cellular growth and causing apoptosis (or cellular death) of cancer cells 
So should we all go out and buy fish oil supplements right now? If you have had a heart attack, have high triglycerides, or suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, you would probably benefit greatly from fish oil supplements. They are also great if you are a vegetarian or simply don't like fish. Additionally, vegetarians often intake more omega 6 fatty acids since they eat a lot of vegetables and might have a higher intake of corn oil.  While omega 6 is needed for proper bodily function, if it is taken at high levels without a similar intake of omega 3 (ideally 1 : 1)  it will  lead to a reverse of all the benefits of omega 3 which we definitely do not want. People with any kind of bleeding disorder or who are on anticoagulants and people with immune disorders should avoid taking fish oil supplements unless otherwise prescribed by a doctor.

If you decided to add fish oil supplements into your daily vitamin regimen, make sure you following the dosage directions on the bottle, you don't want to over do it. You should also take fish oil supplement with food to avoid upsetting your stomach.

If you want the benefits of Omega 3s, but aren't a huge fan of supplements, try to incorporate fish such as salmon, trout, sardines and mackerel into your diet at least twice a week. You can also get omega 3 from flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, soybeans, shrimp, tofu, and soy and canola oil.

I think fish oil is a great supplement, and I take it often. Everyone is different, so make sure you do what is right for you and check with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. I have also attached quite a few articles to the bottom of this post, if you want to research deeper into the subject.

I hope I answered your question Jennifer! Have a great weekend everyone, and I will talk to you on Monday!

Q's and A's:
Do you currently take a fish oil supplement?
Any advice for people who are considering adding one to their diet?
What are your plans for the weekend?

In health,

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