I am not really an advocate for taking supplements. Most of the time they are promoted by people being sponsored to tell you to take them and often you are lied to about the benefits and reasons you should take them so that you are sold on buying them. If your diet is well balanced 99% of the general population do not need to waste their money and take anything. However, one supplement I personally take is fish oil and I am going to explain why this is something you should consider.
The majority of fatty acids we consume consist of Omega 3 and Omega 6. We need both in our diets and the optimal ratio is thought to be 1:1 or 2:1 in favour of Omega 6. Despite this, it is reported that the average diet nowadays consists of an 18:1 ratio. This massive imbalance can cause inflammation. Whereas the optimal ratio is likely to not only reduce inflammation but reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
The reason for most people having such an imbalance nowadays is 1) due to their diets and – Omega 6 is found in high amounts in cakes, sweets, biscuits, fried foods and in meat, eggs, and nuts. And 2) due to food companies placing emphasis on the production of quantity rather than quality – It has been found that grass fed meat has a much more ideal Omega6:Omega3 ratio profile than grain fed. It must be noted, Omega 6 is not bad, and we certainly should not have more Omega 3 than Omega 6.
So how much Omega 3 should we have?
The recommended daily quota for men is 1.6g (1600mg), and for women is 1.1g (1100mg).
As with protein and other food sources surely we can just get this in our diet?
Yes…BUT. As mentioned above, our food quality is diminishing meaning the Omega 3 content has reduced. Also consider the following, a can of tuna only provides 10% of our daily recommended intake, and a can of mackerel or sardines provides 50%. A cooked piece of salmon provides sufficient Omega 3 for women but not quite enough for men. A tbsp. of flaxseed oil or ounce of chia seeds does provide enough Omega 3.
Therefore, why you should consider supplementing your diet with Omega 3
- You do not eat a piece of fresh fish every day or a food source with the recommended daily requirements.
- Reduces inflammation – want to avoid that bloated look and feel?
- Supports bone, hair, and teeth health – helps with the transport of fat soluble vitamins such as calcium.
- Improves healthy cholesterol – increases HDL.
- Reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
- It has also been suggested that it promotes the release of serotonin and therefore improves mood.
If you increase your Omega 3 content without using supplements such as fish oil then please feel free to share your advice and helpful tips. Or if you know anyone that suffers skin or hair issues or issues with bloating and inflammation then please make sure you share this.