Fish oil, DHA and EPA specifically, benefits your health in many ways. Studies show it is beneficial for pain, depression, memory, blood thinning, RA, early brain development, triglycerides reduction, mental health issues, among others.
For health benefits the average person should be taking about 1 gram of fish oil per day. That’s 1000 mg. That’s because the average person is deficient in omega 3. For some health conditions it could be 2-5 grams, depending.
If you have a good omega 6 to omega 3 ratio you will require less. There really are no set standards yet. They are learning more everyday about the benefits of fish oil.
Remember, you don’t want to overdo it. Too much omega 3 in your blood and your body can’t launch an attack against the bad stuff. Most of us however, don’t have that problem.
For a better understanding of why you need omega 3 and the benefits to your health, check out When Good Turns Ugly.
The important oils in fish oil are EPA and DHA.
The Best Way to Get DHA/EPA
Ideally, you should be getting your omega 3 from food. Food comes with a host other vitamins and minerals that are important for good health. The best source of EPA and DHA is fatty fish.
To maintain good omega 3 levels you should have 2-3 6 oz serving of fatty fish per week. Now some fish is fattier than others, so a more fatty fish, like salmon, requires less servings than a less fatty fish. Herring and anchovies are high in omega 3. Sardines are also a good source of DHA and EPA. Don’t be afraid of sardines, they taste like tuna and have a many other nutrients as well.
If you’re using fish oil therapeutically, you may need more servings per week.
Here’s the issue… Many people hate to eat fish, or their family hates the smell of it in the house, or the good fish is too expensive to eat that often.
If you can’t come up with that many servings per week, you can supplement. However, you should still eat as much quality fish as possible, because of the other health benefits.
What to Take?
There are so many options!!
I won’t take just any fish oil. The problem you run into with fish oil is contamination and toxicity. Fish swim in highly polluted waters or they are farmed which can be worse.
Searching for the right fish oil can be overwhelming. What’s a girl to do?
Here’s what I look for in a fish oil supplement….
- EPA + DHA = At least 1000 mg (only use these two to add it up, even if it lists other omegas)
- Having to take the fewest amount of pills per day
- Third party testing for purity
- Using quality fish
- Molecular distillation to eliminate heavy metals and other contaminants or toxins
- No fishy burp
#1 Here is my favorite that I use the most. Wiley’s Finest Peak EPA
It meets all my standards listed above. It isn’t an inexpensive oil, but I often wait until they have a sale or coupon and then stock up. I keep it in the freezer until needed. I also keep the oil we’re using in the refrigerator to keep the oil as fresh as possible.
#2 Here is my runner up. Naturelo Omega 3
This is similar to Wiley’s, except it is tested in house instead of by a third party. It is also less expensive. It says it is lemon flavored. I’m not sure why that is necessary except to cover up any fishy burps. I didn’t have any trouble with burping though.
Note: Because they fit all the nutrients in one pill, they are quite large, but go down easily.
Also, take it with food for the best absorption.
Do you have a fish oil brand that you like? Tell us about it.