They say good things come to those who wait. Like most supplements, the health benefits of taking fish oil are no exception — usually not apparent overnight.
However, there are some factors that help to see the results of taking omega-3 supplements fairly quickly, such as choosing a high-quality brand of fish oil and taking the correct dosage for your body. By following these 5 simple tips, your body can maximise the major health benefits of taking fish oil supplements in just three months.
Three months for better heart, joint and eye health as well as a more diverse microbiome? What are you waiting for?!
Tip 1: Increasing your omega-3 intake is easier than you think
There is no set recommendation on how much fish oil you should take; however, there are some guidelines you can follow to help you find the right amount for your body.
For example, the recommended daily intake of omega-3 for healthy individuals is 1,100 mg for women and 1,600 mg for men. While we know that certain foods are a great source of omega-3, fish oil supplementation can be key to reaching these targets, since our body is incapable of producing these essential fatty acids naturally.
In regards to daily EPA and DHA intake, health organisations suggest a range between 250 to 500 milligrams of combined consumption, but we can actually safely consume up to 5,000 milligrams daily to stay healthy. This may sound a lot, but in reality, it can be as simple as adding two soft gel fish oil capsules to your daily routine. By making just a small adjustment to your dosage, you can significantly increase your intake of omega-3.
Tip 2: Find your correct dosage
The guidelines mentioned above apply to average, healthy individuals — but there’s a chance you may not fit that exactly. What if you have other health factors to consider? How will your current health influence the way omega-3 benefits you?
Pregnant women for example, can experience benefits from taking fish oil supplements that are unique to their condition. Research has shown that adding EPA and DHA to a pregnant woman’s diet has a positive effect on visual and cognitive development of the baby. Therefore, it is recommended that pregnant women add at least 650 milligrams of combined EPA / DHA (300 milligrams DHA) to their daily diet.
In addition, it has been proven that increasing one’s daily omega-3 intake can help fight weight loss and heart disease. In the UK, there is no specific recommended daily amount; but the American Heart Association recommends taking a daily omega-3 supplement such as fish oil if you have high levels of triglycerides (a fat that increases your chance of heart disease) in order to decrease these levels and improve heart health. The bottom line is, do your research and tailor your omega-3 consumption based on your unique health situation.
Tip 4: Be mindful of how you consume and store your fish oil supplements
We know it is a good idea to take our supplements twice daily with food, but how does the particular food we eat actually affect how our bodies react to fish oil? Research suggests that supplements are most effective when taken with foods rich in healthy fats such as avocado or nuts, as this will enable your body to absorb it more effectively.
What about the form of the supplement you’re taking? The benefit of choosing a capsule supplement over a liquid version is freshness. Capsules are not exposed to air, so the oil is not prone to oxidation as it is in liquids. Another tip is to store your capsules in the freezer, so that when the capsules release in the stomach, they do so farther down in the gastrointestinal tract, aiding digestion. These few factors can go a long way in maximising your supplements’ effectiveness.
Tip 5: Consistency is key
Finally, fish oil supplementation isn’t a one-hit wonder. To truly experience the wonderful health benefits offered, you need to be consistent with your intake. Consuming a fish oil capsule at least once daily on a consistent basis ensures that your intake of the essential fatty acids EPA, DHA and DPA are maximised, especially for those who struggle to integrate enough fish in their diet. In fact, studies have proven that long-term daily use of fish oil is actually safer than eating fish each day due to the higher amounts of mercury that are present in many types of fish.
Make fish oil supplementation a part of your daily routine and provide your body with all the essential health benefits of omega-3s - gains that can be achieved over a few short months with a little extra care and diligence.
Find out more going furthest in benefiting your complete health.