Interestingly enough a lot has been written about the health benefits of omega 3 fats in recent years. Perhaps more importantly this information is backed by sound research and published in some of the most respected medical journals. But with all the research and positive findings somehow the good news about omega 3 fats has failed to make its way into mainstream of public awareness.
A diet high in omega 3 fats has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, moderate cholesterol levels, help with joint disorders such as rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, support brain function, help with depression, and improve energy levels. A pretty impressive list of benefits. Another very interesting fact is that the two populations with the lowest incidence of heart attack – the Japanese of Kohama Island and the inhabitants of Crete consume three times higher concentrations of omegas 3 fats in their diets than members of other European countries.
But the question still remains as to how a diet high in omega 3 fats can produce such a wide range of benefits. While researchers have yet to confirm the exact mechanism involved what is known is that omega 3 fats reduce overall body inflammation and this seems to be the key.
Inflammation is a word that that simply doesn’t garner the fear that words such as stroke and heart attack do. Perhaps the reason for this is that inflammation produces no symptoms all the while working behind the scenes to cause potentially series health conditions. By eating a diet high in omega 3 fats you can reduce the amount of inflammation in the body thus reducing you chance of serious illness in the future.
There are three major types of omega 3 fats: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Once ingested the body converts ALA to EPA and DHA. So really, when thinking about what foods or supplements to consume for reducing inflammation in body we are really taking about those high in EPA and DHA.
The foods highest in EPA and DHA are cold water fish (salmon, tuna, hoki, sardines), marine life such as algae and krill, and nut oils. The American Heart Association has chosen fish as their food of choice, suggesting two to three servings of cold water fish a week for optimum heart health.
But for many of us the cost of feeding our families cold water fish three times a week can prove to be a major expense and thus we are forced to look for more cost effective ideas.
One affordable solution is fish oil. There are couple of things to look for to make sure you and/or your family are getting the most benefit from your fish oil. First make sure it has gone through a molecular distillation process to remove impurities such as mercury, lead, arsenic, PCBs, Dioxins, an Furans. Secondarily make sure the pharmaceutical grade fish oil you choose contains high levels of DHA and EPA.
In summary, making smart diet choices can greatly improve your chances of achieving optimum health and pharmaceutical grade fish oil is one of many smart choices to consider in your quest for better health.
About the Author
R.D. Hawkins is an enthusiastic advocate for the use of natural health products and natural living
with over 10 years experience in the field of natural health and wellness.
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