Omega-3s & Fish Oil Supplements – The Quick Read We All Need

Jen Waterbury

Wherever you are on your wellness journey, it’s always a good time to learn about how our bodies work and how we can nourish them. This is a quick and simple guide to Omega-3s and fish oil supplements. Let ’s break it down…

What is fish oil?

Fish oil is a dietary supplement that contains Omega-3 fatty acids. There are three primary types of Omega-3s- ALA, EPA, and DHA. Omega-3s are essential fatty acids, meaning the human body cannot make them on its own, so we must get them from outside sources. Fish oil supplements contain EPA and DHA, which are found naturally in certain types of fish. ALA can be found in various plant foods.[1]

What do Omega-3s do?

I’m glad you asked! Our bodies use Omega-3s for lots of things. Every cell in our body is surrounded by membranes that contain Omega-3s. Our bodies also use calories from Omega-3s for energy and they contribute to functions in the heart, blood vessels, lungs, immune system, and endocrine system.[2]

Tell me the REAL benefits, please!

Don’t worry – I got you! These guys are found in high concentration in the brain and seem to play a part in cognitive and behavioral function. Omega-3s “reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.”[3] Inflammation is often buddy-buddy with pain, so reducing inflammation can be an important step in decreasing pain.

Where do we get Omega-3s?

  • Fish & shellfish – particularly salmon and tuna
  • Ground flaxseed/flaxseed oil
  • Soy products/soybean oil
  • Canola oil
  • Chia seeds
  • Walnuts

Is a fish oil supplement right for me?

As much as we wish we did, we don’t all eat an Omega-3 rich diet. I know I don’t regularly eat most of these foods, especially fish. Maybe you don’t either… and that’s okay! A fish oil supplement may be our best option to consistently get those Omega-3s in. Fish oil supplements come in two forms- a pill and a liquid. While the liquid form is slightly easier for the body to absorb, the pill form leaves less of a fishy aftertaste. It comes down to personal preference as both are great options!

Taking care of our bodies requires supporting them from multiple angles, and as we’ve learned, Omega-3s are essential. Whether we get them from food sources or a supplement, if we introduce them, they will do the good work.

*Prefer liquid fish oil but don’t enjoy the taste? Pro tip – keeping the bottle in the freezer will help limit the fishy taste!


[1] https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/omega3-supplements-in-depth

[2] https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-Consumer/

[3] https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/supplement/omega-3-fatty-acids

February 4, 2022

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