By Jamell Andrews
Research suggests that consuming enough omega-3 in our diets is an important component in maintaining overall good health. We can obtain these valuable nutrients primarily through the consumption of fish, but certain types of nuts (primarily English walnuts) and vegetable oils (canola, soybean, olive, and flaxseed) also contain some traces of omega-3 nutrients.
Getting Enough in Our Diets
If you do not consume enough fish to get the omega-3’s that your body needs, then you should strongly consider taking a fish oil supplement to provide your body with these essential nutrients. It is generally recommended that healthy adults consume two to three servings of fish per week, and of course it should not be fried or prepared in any other way that is going to strip the food of the majority of its nutrients. Baked or broiled is the best way to prepare your fish, and you can access a variety of different recipes to help spice up your meals and make them tastier.
If you do not like fish or you are allergic to it, then you will need to seek out alternative methods for obtaining your daily omega-3’s. If you have a fish allergy, it is particularly important that you consult your allergist for advice about omega-3’s, as he or she may have some specific advice for you regarding how to obtain these important nutrients.
Research studies have indicated that when people consume the recommended daily amount of fish oil, there is a significant impact on the following health issues:
- Slows the buildup of atherosclerotic plaques, or hardening of the arteries
- Reduces the risk of death
- Reduces the risk of heart attack
- Lowers triglycerides
- Lowers the risk of stroke
- Reduces the instance of abnormal heart rhythms
Supplements are an Alternative
It is important that you investigate any brands of omega-3 supplements that you are considering to make sure they are purified and do not contain any harmful chemicals, such as mercury. The best way to do this is to look for pharmaceutical grade omega-3 supplements, which are most easily found in health food stores or shops that specialize in selling vitamins and nutritional supplements.
In order to best determine the amount of omega-3’s that you should be taking every day, it is important that you obtain an evaluation from your physician or nutritionist. In some cases, there may be existing health conditions or other issues that might prevent someone from being able to take omega-3 supplements, so it is better to seek professional advice before you begin any type of supplement regimen.
If it is safe for you to take omega-3 supplements, you should make sure that you stay on the dosing program that your health care or nutrition specialist provides for you. Taking these supplements on a regular basis can go a long way towards ensuring your continued good health, but remember that you should also incorporate an overall diet of healthy foods into your life, as well as regular exercise.
Taking supplements is an excellent way to help protect your body from illness and disease, but they are not a stand-alone type of protection. If you eat right and exercise daily, or at least most days of the week, you should be able to feel confident that your omega-3 supplements are providing your body with the additional nutrients it needs to maintain good overall health.