As more and more people are beginning to realize the importance of fat in their diet, the consumption of food supplements such as fish oil and flax seed oil have shown an increase. You will come across people taking either fish oil or flax seed oil or even both. However, which one of these is better. Is it enough to take either one of these or one must take both to complete our requirements? It seems the debate over fish oil or flax seed oil is going to continue for some more time.
It is true that the pro’s and on the subject can be debated as well, but one must take his health into consideration before deciding over fish oil or flax seed oil. Let us first try to understand the composition of each of these pills before going over their pros and cons.
Flaxseed oil contains a fat known as omega 3 while the fish oil too contains the fatty acids of omega 3, but both are different. Fish oils consist of DHA and EPA, which are known for improving the health of the heart, lower cholesterol and help improve brain functioning. Flax seed oil is made up of ALA, which needs to be changed to DHA and EPA by your body. People with less optimal health are not able to make this conversion easily. This is why you have to take a good look at your health and check with your physician if you can really take flax seed oil to reap its complete benefits. This is the reason why the older people are not recommended to take the flax seed oil and are given the fish oil capsules instead.
Benefits of fish oil
Eating fish, especially the fatty fish, which are a good source of omega 3 acids has shown several health benefits, which range from lowering the bad cholesterol in our body, while keeping the blood pressure stable, thus reducing the overall risk of heart disease. It also helps control chronic inflammation at the cellular levels which are known to be the cause of diabetes and cancer as well as strokes. Some doctors would also like to include osteoarthritis and Alzheimer’s disease to that list.
Advantages of flax oil
Flax seed oil consists of omega 3 or ALA, which our body requires and cannot create it by itself. Besides flax seed, some other sources of this oil are the walnuts and hemp seed. A sufficient supply of these oils ensures that cell membranes stay supple and flexible so that the cells can get their nutrients with ease. If your body is getting sufficient ALA, there is no need for taking any other supplements for omega 3. Another advantage of taking in flax oil is that the body does not create more EPA and DHA than it needs from the ALA in flax oil.
Keeping the right balance
Our body needs not just EPA and DHA but a variety of omega 3. Therefore, to make for complete benefits, one must consume some ALA, even if he is taking in fish or fish oil in plenty in his diet. Plus it is also very essential to see that your diet has the correct balance of both the omega 3 as well as omega 6 fatty acids. A healthy diet usually consists of omega 6 fatty acids which should be two to four times more than the omega 3 fatty acids.
Along with including fish and fish oil in your diet, you should also include foods high in ALA such as flaxseed oil or walnuts. Basically, flax seed oil is a better choice for the vegetarians who need a supplement in their diet of some type of omega 3.