You know that eating fish is good for you, but you may find you struggle to include those omega-3 rich fish in your diet as much as you are supposed to. If this sounds like you, a fish oil supplement could help, and give you the edge you were looking for in your weight loss journey.
You may already know that fish oil helps reduce symptoms of rheumatic arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints- including joint pain and morning stiffness. It also lowers the levels of triglycerides (bad fats in the blood), and reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke, and abnormal heart rhythms in people who have already had a heart attack.
What you may not have heard, is that fish oil doesn’t just benefit the body, but also the brain. It improves concentration, mood, and other brain processes. The omega-3 fatty acids are in fact one of the building blocks for brain cells, and are a type of fat that our body cannot produce itself- that is, it need to come from your diet.
So how can fish oil help with weight loss? Find out the ways fish oil can help motivation levels below.
What are Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of fat that you want to consume plenty of in your diet. They help prevent and treat atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) by reducing the development of plaque and blood clots, which can clog arteries.
Not only are they found in fish oil, they occur naturally in vegetable oils, and leafy green vegetables. Dietary sources are generally much lower in concentration that supplements however.
For those who suffer from depression, fish oil could be a surprising treatment strategy you may not have considered before. Low levels of EPA and DHA (omega-3 fatty acids) are thought to be one of the reasons for low mood. A bit hard to get motivated to lose weight when you are feeling low.
Dietary supplementations with these fats have been found to not only improve symptoms of depression, but also enhance the effects of antidepressant medication. Further, fish oil has been beneficial in managing the depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Anxiety is often experienced simultaneously to depression, but can exist on its own. Stress and worry, especially in high levels such as with anxiety, can produce inflammation in the brain. Having inadequate omega-3 fats also results in inflammation. Pair these together and you have… a lot more inflammation than you want.
This inflammation has been linked to further anxiety/depression, so it’s quite a nasty little loop. Taking a fish oil supplement can help alleviate this inflammation, and as such help manage symptoms.
Reduces Brain Fog and Improves Memory
If you don’t get enough omega-3 fats, the result can be poor memory, concentration, and brain fog from time to time. You may have decided that you are just someone who can’t remember things, or always finds it hard to concentrate. Not so fast..
One study looked at healthy, happy people, and had them take a daily omega-3 DHA supplement. They found that the participants saw significant improvements in memory and reaction times. If you have a tendency to feel a little foggy, a fish oil supplement could be something for you to consider.
Many find that taking the recommended dose of fish oil from the get go can result in stomach discomfort or other symptoms. Instead start with a smaller dose initially ( 1 x 1000mg tablet), taken with a meal. In a month or two, you can increase to 2 or 3 tablets a day, because your stomach will get used to taking fish oil.
Higher amounts can provide further benefits, however over 4 pills per day can result in some unpleasant side effects. Fishy burps, bloating, indigestion, and unpleasant taste in mouth are some examples.
Don’t forget- fish oil can interact with some medications. Before adding a supplement to your diet, you should first consult a doctor.
Worried that taking fish oil could be adding extra calories to your diet, and stopping you losing that weight? Don’t be. Research has shown that taking a fish oil supplement can actually improve weight loss compared to not taking one, as long as you are on a calorie controlled diet.
So better weight loss, and you are happier, healthier, and less anxious while you are losing weight? Sounds like you could be on to a winner.