Why I Recommend Supplementing With Fish Oil
One supplement I take daily and I think everyone can benefit from is fish oil. When it comes to choosing a fish oil supplement quality is vital! If the product is oxidised, it can degrade and may not contain the EPA or DHA stated on the label.
The reason why I think everyone can benefit from taking a good quality fish oil supplement is because omega-3 is an essential nutrient that we must consume daily, it’s extremely important for good health. Omega-3 is needed for:
Helping to reduce depression
Helps reduce inflammation
Helps improve heart health
Helps with hormonal health
Improves triglycerides and helps lower LDL
Supports joints health, reduces arthritis symptoms
Can help promote brain health in early pregnancy
Supports cellular health
Supports skin health, helps with eczema, psoriasis, helps to give us a glow
But, I’m very particular about the brand when it comes to fish oil. It’s absolutely essential in my opinion that you supplement with a brand that undergo extensive third party testing, and a company who offer a certificate of analysis for their product, which details the fatty acid profile and oxidation levels in that batch.
I do not recommend any supplements from the supermarket, and only one brand found is chemists. Some research has shown those cheap fish oils often contain lower amounts of EPA/DHA than stated on the bottle. Often these products are also exposed to light and heat, which means the product oxidizes. Some studies have shown they contain high levels of heavy metals.
I personally take and recommend to my clients practitioner only brands that I know and trust. The only over the counter brand I trust and would recommend is Nordic Naturals.
When it comes to foods, yes, you can obtain omega-3 through food sources such as wild-caught salmon and sardines, however you’d need to eat these types of oily fish daily to achieve adequate levels of omega-3. Also, unfortunately our oceans aren’t as clean as they used to be, this can cause a higher risk of mercury contamination when consuming fish, especially when eating it at high levels to gain your daily omega-3 intake. That is just another reason why supplementing with a good quality fish oil can be beneficial.
If you’re following a vegan or vegetarian diet it’s even more important to ensure you’re getting adequate levels of omega-3 through supplementation as it’s very difficult for vegetarians but particularly vegans to get adequate omega-3 fatty acids from their diets. Vegetarian/vegan sources of omega-3s provide only ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), a precursor form that the body cannot convert efficiently to the DHA and EPA it needs. Clinical studies suggest that tissue levels of omega 3 fatty acids are low in vegetarian/vegans, which is why omega 3 requirements may be higher for vegetarians and vegans than for non-vegetarians, as vegetarians and vegans must rely on conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA. The only plant-based foods which contain vegetarian/vegan sources of ALA are flaxseeds, walnuts and flaxseed oil. Supplementing with a vegan fish oil could benefit your health, a good brand is Lifestream V-Omega-3.
It’s important to note, when supplementing with fish oil you want to ensure you take it with a meal, as the fats help your body absorb fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E and K. Also, when it comes to storing your fish oil, I personally keep my bottle in the fridge, in a cool dark place away from all light and heat to ensure the quality remains intact.
Hi I’m Natalie, a Registered Clinical Nutritionist, health influencer, blog writer & recipe creator. My own health complications prompted me to make positive diet & lifestyle changes, revitalize my health leading to a career change from the corporate world to nutritional medicine. I believe in a wholefoods approach to good health, focusing on simple strategies for modern, busy people.