Louisa Shafia

Fish Oil for Heart, Health, and Happiness

A couple of months ago, following a check-up, my doctor told me that I was deficient in vitamin D. She said it was important for my overall health that I remedy the situation immediately, and that to increase my vitamin D levels I could take either vitamin D supplements or fish oil.

Strange person that I am, I chose the fish oil. I found it at a natural foods store and since then I’ve been taking 1 large spoonful a day, with food. I’ve tried a few different brands and they all taste pretty much the same. Yes, fish oil tastes pretty vile, but downing a spoonful of it takes only a second, so I don’t mind. I didn’t think much about the fish oil until I noticed that the annoyingly itchy eczema that has plagued my joints for the last ten summers was gone. My eczema breakouts began when I was in my 30′s, and for some reason came on with the hot weather, but not this year. I realized the only thing different in my diet is the fish oil.

To confirm my suspicions that the fish oil had cured me, I researched fish oil online and found that taking it by the spoonful or in capsules is a well recognized treatment for eczema and psoriasis, both of which are considered autoimmune skin disorders. Fish oil is believed to be so effective because it’s high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties.

To my surprise, I also learned that the omega-3′s in fish oil are essential for protecting your heart and preventing heart disease. According to the Mayo Clinic, inflammation can damage blood vessels and interfere with proper heart function, so fish oil helps there, too. What’s more, fish oil is considered a very effective treatment for depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and attention deficit disorder. It turns out that not getting enough fish oil can make you really disagreeable!

In order to increase the amount of fish oil in your diet, one option is to increase your intake of wild, oily fleshed, cold-water fish. These include salmon, herring, anchovies, sardines, mackerel, salmon, albacore tuna, and lake trout. You can also take good quality fish oil capsules. Personally, I’m going to try to eat more of the recommended kinds of fish, but I’m definitely going to keep taking fish oil. I’m grateful to have finally found a remedy for the eczema, and to have discovered this little secret for heart health and happiness!


3 Responses to “Fish Oil for Heart, Health, and Happiness”

  1. Kate says:

    For Louisa – just to let you know, I was also told that I had a VitD deficiency. It seems almost an epidemic I’ve since become aware among women over 50. I’ve been taking Omega Fish oil (in capsules) for years but STILL was told about the D deficiency. I have been taking 50,000 IU of Vit D3 (prescribed) for six weeks and feel 25 again!!
    Just a heads up for you…….

  2. aneta reska says:

    Including fish in your diet is a great alternative to meat. However, king mackerel has high levels of mercury. High levels of mercury are potentially dangerous for pregnant, nursing, and women who wish to become pregnant as well as children below 8 years of age.

  3. Louisa says:

    Kate:

    I didn’t know that about Vitamin D3. That’s fascinating. My doc also prescribed me vitamin D tabs, but for some reason she did not want me to take them long term. Some side effects, perhaps? Hearing how great you feel makes me want to know more!

    Aneta:

    Great point!

    Yes, the Mayo Clinic says that people in the categories you mentioned should stay away from “large, predatory fish such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish.” But, it’s REALLY important that pregnant women keep eating fish. To quote the medical journal Lancet: “women who had eaten more than 12 ounces of fish per week during pregnancy produced better developed, more intelligent children.” The point is, don’t eliminate fish altogether, rather, research how much fish is safe to eat, and what kinds of fish are best. Two safe, low-mercury choices are herring and sardines..

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