There’s something fishy about the taste.
Are you getting enough PUFAs? If you take lýsi every day, you probably are. Lýsi is the Icelandic word for cod liver oil; and it’s extremely popular here in Iceland. PUFAs, on the other hand, are polyunsaturated fatty acids, and anything with a name that long and scientific-sounding just has to be good for you.
Unlike in most of the world, Icelanders have a choice between cod ‘cod liver oil’, coal fish ‘cod liver oil’ and even shark ‘cod liver oil’.
Anyway, the magic oil is such a local institution that many Icelanders react with genuine surprise to find out that theirs is not the only country in which the stuff is available — so maybe keep your mouth shut when you are proudly informed that lýsi is the reason Icelanders “live longer than anyone else in the world”. Keep your mouth shut even tighter when you realise that isn’t even true.
A concise guide to lýsi might look something like this:
- It tastes fishy and oily, but you soon get used to it and may even grow to like it.
- It is reputed to improve your health in almost every way, but is especially good for joints, hearts, skin, brains and nails.
- Purists maintain that the liquid version is much better for you than the capsules; but that might just be hyper-macho snobbery.
- Finally, and possibly most important of all, in the event of household accidents, lýsi is less dangerous than baby oil.