A couple of years ago, I overheard my father complaining about how often he needed to get a haircut and clip his fingernails. He was convinced it was because of the new pills he was taking. Of course, my beauty obsessessed ears perked up, “What is this magical pill? Is it prescription? How can I get it?” Turns out it was something you could pick up at CVS: Fish Oil.
Ok, at first I was kinda grossed out about the idea of both fish and oil. But I bought my own and started taking it diligently. I have to admit, I noticed that my nails were dramatically improving and my hair and skin had a bit more of a sheen. Another happy side effect– my knees seemed to be popping less! (Years of soccer and a serious knee injury have left my knees pretty worthless.) Little did I know that despite these delightful superficial effects, I was actually doing something great for my body!Fish Oil has been found to have incredible health effects. It has been found to aid in the treatment of heart diseases, high cholesterol, depression, anxiety, ADHD, cancer, diabetes, low immunity, inflammation, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, eye disorders, and the list goes on and on.
Fish oil (and other Omega 3 Fatty Acids) are part of those good fats I was mentioning to you before. These fats help with cholesterol and overall cardiovascular health. They also assist in weight loss (:)) and blood circulation. Fish oil also helps to maintain/lower triglyceride levels which is especially good news for those with diabetes (or insulin resistance- think PCOS).
Fish oil also has anti-inflammatory properties. This probably explains why my knees cracked a bit less, but also how it can be a great supplement for those struggling with arthritis, ulcerative colitis, etc as it helps to reduce inflammation and has even been found to reduce leukotriene in the colon (another reason it’s super helpful for those with Chrohn’s, ulcerative colitis, ulcers etc).
There has been incredibly exciting research indicating that fish oil pills, used in conjunction with prescription anti-depressants/anti-anxieties, can have remarkable mood stabilizing effects. Colloquially, it had always been found that people who lived in areas with a diet rich in fatty fish had lower incidences of depression, and prisoners who were fed meals rich in fish oil had lower homicide rates.
Fish oil definitely helps with skin care from the inside out, but can actually be applied topically for the treatment of psoriasis.
Now, of course with any supplement, it is important to discuss your usage with a doctor and to buy from a trusted source. Natural supplements (such as fish oil) are not monitored by the Food and Drug Administration, meaning that not all of them are created equal. When purchasing, I try to find ones that say “cold pressed” or from “cold water sources”, as well as ones advertising that they are “mercury free”. Also, take a look at the ingredients– make sure there aren’t any major fillers and that it’s pure. (Glycerin is okay, it’s what makes makes it a softgel. Bonus! Glycerin helps to strengthen hair and nails too)
Lately, I have been taking a combination supplement (Omega 3-6-9) that also contains flax seed oil and borage oil and I’ll report back. I may switch back to pure Fish oil (omega 3) if I don’t find a major difference, as I probably just fell for marketing (which I’ve been known to do). Oh! Minor side effect…sometimes, people complain about getting the burps once you take these. Bonus- the burps taste like fish- I know, disgusting. I experienced this a lot more when I first started taking them, but they have since abated. They do; however, offer lemon flavored ones and I have seen liquid forms that are lemon flavored that may prevent the dreaded fish taste.
Who knew that fish could make you so healthy and beautiful?!