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Hippocrates, the ancient Greek Physician, once mentioned that â€œHealth is the greatest of human blessings.â€ The statement stands true even in this age of medical advancement and improved technology. Human health is what keeps on such innovation and development possible in this world. Therefore, we need to take the utmost care of our health. Being a woman, our responsibilities simply double up since we not only need to take care of our profession but we are also responsible for our entire family. In order to take care of our health, there are certain naturally found elements that work like magic in our well being. Fish oil is one such element that is blessed with some magical properties. Let us find out the benefits of fish oil for women.
What Is Fish Oil?
As the word literally suggests, it is the oil extracted from the tissues of oily marine or seawater fishes such as cod liver, mackerel, tuna, anchovies, herring, salmon, and whale blubber among others. This particular oil extracted from fishes is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, especially eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), among others. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) standards, around 250â€“500 mg per day of combined EPA and DHA is required by normal human adults. Fish oil is an excellent source of both, though researchers need to ascertain this further. According to WHO, approximately thirty percent of the fish oil constitutes omega-3 fatty acids while the rest of the seventy percent constitutes other fats. Fish oil is also a good source of essential vitamins such as Vitamin A and Vitamin D.
Among all the other nutrients, omega 3 fatty acids are known to be highly beneficial for human health. Omega 3 fatty acids have been a subject of medical research for quite some time because of its important role in relieving various ailments such as hypertriglyceridemia, kidney ailments, clinical depression, macular degeneration, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and even stress. Fish oil can be consumed naturally while eating fish. Apart from that, there are various supplements available over the counter which can be taken easily.
Benefits Of Fish Oil
Some of the specific health benefits of consuming fish oil include;
1. Beneficial For Maintaining Proper Heart Functions
Fish oil helps in multiple ways to maintain the proper functions of the heart in the following ways through its role in preventing heart strokes that need further research.
2. Treating Various Mental Disorders
Almost sixty percent of the human brain is made up of fats, most of which are omega-3 fatty acids. Therefore, fish oil is essential for healthy brain functions. Fish oil has been found to be effective in preventing the onset of various psychotic disorders. Fish oil has also been found effective in reducing the symptoms of certain mental disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar diseases.
3. Increases Good Cholesterol Levels
Increasing levels of good cholesterol (HDL) though the effect on reduction of bad cholesterol (LDL) is not yet verified
- Lowers the levels of triglycerides by around 15-30 percent
- Help in reducing blood pressure for people suffering from high blood pressure
- Preventing plaques, thus keeping the arteries blockage free
- Reducing fatal arrhythmia events
4. Maintaining Eye Health
Fish oil has been found to be reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration, thus helping in maintaining eye health.
5. Reduces Inflammation
Help in reducing inflammation (such as inflammation associated with arthritis and joint pains) and helping in treating injuries easily. This is possible because of the anti-inflammatory property of fish oils.
6. To Maintain Good Skin
Beneficial in maintaining good skin and helpful in relieving from various skin disorders such as psoriasis and dermatitis
7. Helps In Reducing Weight
Fish oil helps in reducing the hunger and appetite and hence it helps in reducing your weight
8. Reduces Liver Fat
You can reduce liver fat by improving liver functions and reducing inflammations, thus helping in reducing the symptoms of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
9. Beneficial For Pregnant Ladies
Helpful in supporting pregnancy and early development in the child through breastfeeding by improving hand-eye coordination in children.
Helpful in lifting moods and relieve depression
Helpful in lowering levels of blood fat
There are some other benefits of fish oil such as improving symptoms of depression, improving attention and hyperactivity among children, improving the risk of allergy, improving symptoms of asthma, improving bone health, among other general benefits.
Benefits Of Fish Oil For Women
The benefits of consuming fish oil, as mentioned above, remain the same irrespective of the gender. While men and women would benefit equally from consuming fish oil in the requisite amount, there are certain specific benefits of fish oil, especially for women. These specific benefits include;
- Fish oil is a good source of EPA and DHA as mentioned above. These two essential elements are absolutely mandatory for the healthy development of the fetus in pregnant women. These two essential elements become even more important during the third trimester of pregnancy since DHA accumulates in the fetal brain during this time. This accumulated DHA improves problem-solving skills among children while reducing the risk of allergies from specific food and diseases such as asthma. Therefore, according to World Health Organization standards, pregnant women should consume 300 mg of EPA and DHA daily among which 200 mg should be DHA. However, a word of caution at this time would be while thinking of consuming cod liver oil since it contains high levels of vitamin A (which should be restricted to only 4 ml or 1 teaspoon during pregnancy) which can impair fetal growth and development.
- Fish oil proves to be helpful in easing menstrual pain or pain arising due to menstrual cramps in the abdominal region. This condition is also referred to as dysmenorrhea and fish oil has been found to be effective in relieving this health condition.
- Fish oil helps in controlling hormonal fluctuations during menstruation and therefore helps in stabilizing the mood of women during this time of the month.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis is a condition which affects the women more than their male counterpart and fish oil has been found to be effective in decreasing the joint pain along with reducing the stiffness in women.
- Omega-3 present in Fish oil further helps in protecting the women against the condition of osteoporosis which is nothing but a condition of lowering bone density with time and age.
- Various researchers have found fish oil to be effective in reducing the risk of rectal and breast cancer among women, though such studies need further clarifications and evidence.
Though fish oil has been found to have immense benefits for human health especially for the health of women, however, just like any other consumable product, there are some precautions to be followed while consuming fish oil too. The primary precaution would be carefully limiting the quantity of fish oil consumed depending upon the age, gender, health conditions, and medical requirements of the individual. According to WHO, normal human adults should consume at least one to two portions of fish per week or the same can be replicated by various fish oil supplements available in the market.
Another important word of caution is associated with the source of fish oil. While various predatory fishes such as Sharks, Sword fishes, and Albacore Tuna are high in omega 3 fatty acid contents, such fishes have a higher risk of accumulated toxins such as mercury in their body (including fish oil extracted from their fatty tissues) because of their position in the food chain. Therefore, it is advisable to limit the consumption of such predatory species of fishes especially for women who are in the process or age of childbearing.