Yes, fish oil is Paleo!
Fish Oil Overview
Fish oil is derived from the tissues of oily fish. It is a supplement that has been used long before the modern pharmacy period. It is widely accepted for its therapeutic use. Fish oil contains omega 3s DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) which are essential fatty acids that are beneficial for heart health.
Fish oils are widely sold in the market as dietary supplements but can also be used for external use such as ointment or emollient.
Fish oil includes cod liver oil and has been a significant source of Omega 3s DHA and EPA.
Benefits of Omega 3 Fish Oil
Since fish oil contains Omega 3 fatty acids, it has a lot of benefits to offer:
- Fish oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can improve blood circulation, cholesterol balance, lower triglycerides, decreased risk of heart diseases and atherosclerosis and reduce inflammation
- Fish oil helps restore the balanced ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6
- DHA and EPA present in fish oil play big roles brain function
- Supplementing with fish oil can help improve psychiatric disorders, cognition and memory and even protect from Alzheimer’s disease
- Fish oil can help lower the risk of depression, cancer and arthritis
- Fish oil is associated with lowered blood pressure
- DHA in fish oil can help protect from vision loss
Buying Factors for Fish Oil
Not all fish oils are created equal. There are factors to consider in choosing the best fish oil supplements.
- Purity– Choose the fish oil that is free of toxins and contaminants; No heavy metals, mercury and PCBs.
- Freshness– The fish oil should be fresh to avoid turning rancid easily. Check the peroxide value that measures the rancidity reactions in the oil.
- Potency– Both DHA and EPA should be present in fish oil and are in sufficient amounts.
- Nutrients– Select fish oil that is natural and has fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A and D. A good example of this is fermented cod liver oil.
- Bioavailability– Natural fish oil has a better molecular structure that improves the body’s ability to absorb it. The more natural the structure, the less chemically altered it is. The three forms of fish oil that offer the best bioavailability are natural triglyceride oil, ethyl ester oil, and synthetic triglyceride oil.
- Sustainability– The fish where the oil comes from should be harvested in a sustainable way. Fish oil that is derived from fishes that were threatened should be avoided. Choose fish oil that is made from fish certified by MSF or the likes.
- Cost– Choose that most affordable fish oil that has a good quality.
What Experts Say About Fish Oil… Is It Paleo?
“Try to include at least 0.5-1.8 grams of EPA + DHA per day in your diet, either by eating fish or fish oil supplements”. – Dr. Loren Cordain
“As stated before, the most important reason to supplement with fish oil is to restore the Omega-3/Omega-6 balance in your diet and promote good heart health. Not all of us have access to grass-fed or wild game, or wild-caught fish, and taking fish oil supplements can be an easy, healthy way to counteract the Omega-6 PUFAs in our lives.” – Mark Sisson
All you ever wanted to know about Fish oil and Paleo
The Paleo Diet. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Mark’s Daily Apple. The Definitive Guide to Fish Oils
Mark’s Daily Apple. Rapid Fire Q&A: Fish Oil Guide Follow-Up
Chris Kresser. The fish vs. fish oil smackdown
Chris Kresser. The definitive fish oil buyer’s guide
Ultimate Paleo Guide. The Ultimate Paleo Guide To Fish Oil: Omega-6 & Omega-3
Paleo Leap. Fish Oil and Paleo
Robb Wolf. Fish Oil
Whole 9. Whole9’s Official Fish Oil (Omega-3) FAQ
Crossfit Impulse. Why Fish Oil?
Paleo Movement. Fish Oil and Paleo: Do You Need to Supplement?
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