Fats are one of the three macronutrients, with carbohydrates and protein as the other two. Fats benefit the body by serving as insulation, energy provider, and catalyst for vitamin absorption. In line with this, some forms of fats are fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids, and cod liver oil and below are details on their benefits and sources.
Fish oil is obtained from the tissues of the oily fish and contains omega-3 fatty acids. In terms of benefits, fish oil acts on the body’s cardiovascular, skeletal, and nervous health. According to Body Building, fish oil maintains healthy cholesterol levels and including three to six grams of fish oil per day can help raise healthy levels of high density lipoproteins or good cholesterol and triacylglycerol.
Fish oil also benefits men and women, as it increases bone health. To add, fish oil consumption helps women who are approaching menopause, as it can promote density and calcium balance, which decline secondary to the reduction of the body’s natural production of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone.
When it comes to mental health, fish oil also promotes the production of serotonin, the fell-good hormone. As per the publication, people can maximize the hormone’s actions following a heavy meal. Thus, fish oil intake helps people manage stress without overeating.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
While it also benefits the other body systems, omega- 3 fatty acids promote mental health. According to Web MD, studies found that people who eat omega-3 food sources had reduced levels of depression; this suggests that omega-3 acts as an antidepressant and it can be used in the management of the depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Along with bipolar disorder, omega-3 is also beneficial to people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. As per the publication, the fatty acids are known to promote the person’s mental skills, which cover cognition, remembering, and learning. However, more efforts are yet to be done in this field of research.
Cod Liver Oil
As a fish oil variant, cod liver oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, as well as eicosapentaneoic acid and docosahexanoic acid. The liver oil also has vitamin A and vitamin D, which are responsible for the promotion of visual and skin health, respectively.
Just like fish oil, cod liver oil also has various benefits. According to Medical News Today, a German study involving 43 patients with rheumatoid arthritis found that intake of one gram of cod liver oil per day for three months resulted to pain reduction of their stiff joints. Another study found that the oil reduced pain and cartilage damage secondary to osteoarthritis, along with the decreased necessity for joint replacement.
Aside from the cod fish, other great sources of fish oil include tuna, salmon, sardines, anchovies, mackerel, and herring. It is known that oils from these species contain seven fold as much omega-3 oils as omega-6 oils. Omega-3 fatty acids can also be obtained in plant sources, such as edible seeds, walnut, flaxseed, and clary sage seed, among others.
Overall, fish oil has multiple benefits to the body. Their inclusion to various food choices or as supplements promotes the health and well being of a person and his family.