Do you eat enough fish?
If you’re like most Americans – or the millions of people around the world with an americanized diet – you probably don’t…
In fact, the average American only eats about 15 pounds of fish per year (compared to the 110 pounds of red meat).
Why does this even matter?
Well, fish contains a certain type of fatty acid called omega-3s – and it is very hard to get enough of these without consuming plentiful quantities of fish.
And omega 3 fatty acids offer so many potential health benefits that you really don’t want to be missing out on.
However, rather than suggesting that you start consuming 10x the amount of fish that you currently eat, I’ll make a far simpler recommendation.
Start taking a high-quality fish oil supplement, which will allow you to get plenty of these omega-3s every single day.
But just to make sure that you actually go out and get yourself a fish oil supplement (come on, I know it’s probably not your top priority), I’m going to go over 14 – yes, 14 – awesome benefits that you’ll get from taking it.
1) Fat Loss
Let’s start with one that I know you’ll appreciate…
Yes, fish oil has been documented to help you lose weight faster, in combination with regular exercise.
A study done by Australian researcher Professor Peter Howe demonstrated that participants taking fish oil had significantly more fat loss – especially around the abdominal region – compared with the control group.
The reason for this is thought to be because omega-3s have a property which increases the rate of fat oxidization in your cells, thereby speeding up your metabolism and causing you to lose more weight.
2) Muscle Building
Next up, let’s briefly examine how fish oil can help you put on more muscle.
There are actually 2 different reasons for this: increased protein synthesis and decreased muscle breakdown.
You see, there are 2 major types of omega-3s found in fish oil – docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
It is thought that when combined with sufficient protein consumption, EPA can increase protein synthesis by up to 30%!
This can mean substantial muscle gains as a direct result of your fish oil supplementation.
In addition, it also helps to protect the muscle mass you already have.
Again, EPA is to thank for this – since it plays a major role in limiting muscle breakdown.
I sure hate getting sick, and I’d imagine that you feel much the same way…
Well, fish oil can help with that too!
The DHA in fish oil gets the credit for this one, since it is shown to enhance B cell activity.
B cells are types of white blood cells, which are primarily involved in supporting your immune system and preventing you from getting sick.
4) Blood Circulation
Maintaining healthy blood circulation is incredibly important – especially as you get older.
This is largely determined by your triglyceride levels – if they are too high, then your blood circulation can be seriously reduced, leaving you more susceptible to a whole host of diseases.
Fish oil helps to keep your triglyceride levels low, and your blood moving steadily through your arteries.
5) Insulin Sensitivity
When you have too much body fat, or are consuming too many sugars, you can disrupt your body’s capacity to effectively manage blood sugar through insulin.
In essence, you become less insulin sensitive.
By adding fish oil into your diet, you should be able to improve your insulin sensitivity, thereby allowing your body to properly regulate your blood sugar levels, and keep potential diseases like diabetes at bay.
6) Nutrient Delivery
Just because you eat something doesn’t mean that your cells will be able to use it effectively.
The ability for nutrients to be utilized by your cells is somewhat determined by the structure of your cell membranes.
And by having a greater concentration of omega-3s in your cell membranes, you are better able to utilize the nutrients that you take in.
7) Heart Health
When your body senses that there is something wrong, one of the mechanisms that it uses to protect itself is inflammation.
Inflammation in itself isn’t a bad thing, and it can actually help you heal faster in certain cases.
However, your body has a tendency to go a little overboard with the inflammation sometimes, which definitely isn’t desirable.
In fact, inflammation is a key factor that influences heart disease, by reducing the flow of blood.
Fish oil helps to keep this under control, and can have a significant impact on your heart health as a result.
8) Joint Health
Keeping your joints healthy greatly increases your quality of life.
Diseases like arthritis and rheumatism can make even the most basic movements excruciatingly painful, and are definitely best avoided.
One way that these joint conditions are often treated is through the use of steroids; however, there are various unpleasant side-effects that are associated with that.
Fish oil, on the other hand, has none of these unpleasant side-effects, and has been shown to be very effective at treating arthritis, by reducing the quantity of the enzyme responsible for destroying cartilage.
9) Depression & Anxiety
Both depression and anxiety are complex, and can be caused by a wide variety of psychological and physiological factors.
And while fish oil certainly isn’t a cure all for these afflictions, numerous studies have been able to demonstrate that it acts as a mood stabilizer.
Also, it is interesting to note that countries with a higher consumption of fish generally have a lower incidence of depression in general.
Finally, another study from 2006 suggested that when prisoners were given higher concentrations of fish oil, there were fewer incidents of violence and homicide.
10) Brain Health
I’m sure you’ll agree that keeping your noggin in tip-top shape is a major priority.
Well, then you should know that DHA, one of the main types of omega-3s in fish oil, plays a significant role in brain health.
In fact, research has been able to show that regularly consuming fish oil can lower your risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease.
These days there are a lot of people that have concentration disorders.
Whether this is caused by the over-stimulation of our increasingly digital society, or something in the water, fish oil may be able to help.
A recent study from Austraila showed that fish oil supplementation was able to help children who had ADHD focus better.
It has also been demonstrated to help other concentration disorders – ranging from dyslexia to hyperactivity.
12) Eye Health
Ever since you were a kid, everyone has been telling you that eating carrots will help your eyesight.
Well, what you probably didn’t know is that fish oil also has the ability to improve vision, and assist with vision-related disorders.
There have been several studies that suggest the omega-3s in fish oil help protect against macular degeneration and dry eye syndrome.
In addition, there is also evidence that these EFAs can prevent glaucoma and help regulate eye fluid drainage.
13) Skin Health
Do you suffer from dry skin?
If so, fish oil may be able to help with that.
Yes, this potent omega-3 rich oil has proven effective at treating numerous skin conditions – including eczema, psoriasis, itching, skin redness, skin lesions, and various rashes.
Moreover, fish oil can help prevent and reduce acne, since EPA is also known to inhibit sebum build up in the hair follicles.
14) Hair Quality
Yes, fish oil can help maintain the quality of your hair too!
The fatty acids in fish oil nourish the hair follicles, increase hair production, and are even thought to help decrease the rate of hair loss.
So if you losing your hair, or are just worried about it happening, fish oil might be a good thing to consider taking.
Wow, fish oil really does have a ton of benefits, huh?
The bottom line is that if you’re not getting enough fish in your diet – or you’re not already taking a high-quality fish oil supplement – you need to get on that ASAP!
Wondering which brands of fish oil we think are the best and how much of it you should be taking?
Well, we cover all of that in our follow-up article, A Guide To The Best Fish Oil Supplements.
Are you currently taking fish oil? Did we miss any important benefits? Let us know in the comments below.