The benefits of fish oil were discovered in the 1970s by Danish fishermen who noticed heart disease among Eskimos is virtually unheard of. The staple of the Eskimo diet has always been fish, and the connection between a diet rich in fish and a lower risk of heart disease was confirmed through many studies. The active ingredient that responsible for the benefits of fish oil are Omega 3 fatty acids. Contrary to popular belief, not all fats should be avoided. Omega 3s are called “essential” because they are necessary for proper functioning of the body, especially the heart. The benefits of fish oil are due to these Omega 3 fatty acids which reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, sudden death from heart attacks and destructive blood clotting.
Not all fish deliver the benefits of fish oil, but mainly the fatty varieties such as salmon, mackerel and sardines. Other fish are low in fat and calories and high in protein and, in this sense, are also heart healthy, but only oily fish is rich in Omega 3s. Fatty fish also contains a substance known as eicosapentaenoic acid which prevents cholesterol buildup within the arteries or atherosclerosis.
Fish has been correctly called “brain food” for generations. Studies have shown that one of the benefits of fish oil is that it stimulates the brain. Low DHA (substance in fish oil) levels lead to depression, decreased brain activity and violent behavior. The benefits of fish oil will not necessarily produce Einsteins or kids who never misbehave, but the effect on a young brain is certainly salubrious.
Fish oil benefits a developing fetus and the pregnant mother who can help her baby aid her baby’s development by consuming oily fish. It has been shown that children who consume oily fish on a regular basis have a 75% lower risk of developing asthma.