Fish as a superfood is no secret. From tuna sashimi to grilled branzino, healthy fats from fish are pillars of Japanese and Mediterranean meals. Fish oil in particular contains high concentrations of omega-3 DHA and EPA nutrients, giving it the power to reduce inflammation, boost brain function, combat depression, and promote muscle growth. And that’s not to mention its role in maintaining healthy skin and hair.
Today, a study from Kyoto University has found that fish oil transforms fat-storing “white” cells into “beige” cells that metabolize fat, essentially reducing weight gain. In the study, scientists fed two groups of mice fatty food, with one group consuming food containing fish oil additives. The non-fish oil group gained 5 to 10 percent more weight, and 15 to 25 percent more fat.
According to the report, “beige” and “brown” cells, which function similarly in metabolizing fat, start to decrease by middle age, allowing more fat to accumulate. (That could explain why by the time we reach our thirties, we often have a little more meat on our bones than we did as teens.) This study suggests fish oil supplements can combat this issue, and help prevent overweight and obesity in adults—just another reason to pop this potent pill.
Fish oil can be taken in liquid form as well. Cod liver oil is an especially great option since it contains moderate amounts of vitamin D along with omega-3s. Taking fish oil with a high-fat meal can dramatically increase its absorption, so don’t be afraid to wash it down with a heaping serving of parsnip fries.
Ready to give it a try? Shop some of our favorite fish oil supplements in the sidebar. (Note for newbies: Fish oil has been known to induce “fish burps”—nothing to worry about! The slightly unsavory side effect is worth the extra fat-burning boost and other health benefits.)
Photo credit: Paul Delmont