Calamari oil is fast becoming one of the more popular ways to boost omega-3 intake, and it's not hard to see why. It contains a much higher concentration of DHA than other typical marine fish sources, which means you may be able to consume less of the oil without compromising your omega-3 intake.
Omega-3 has gained more and more hype over recent years, as people look for new ways to manage and improve heart health. Oily fish such as salmon have long been touted as a great source of omega-3, alongside certain types of nuts and beans. However, a relatively new alternative could give you even more bang for your buck when it comes to these beneficial fatty acids. With a larger amount of omega-3 fatty acids per gram compared to standard fish and krill oils, calamari oil may be a valuable addition to your everyday diet.
What are the benefits of calamari oil?
- the major advantage is that calamari oil contains a much higher concentration of DHA than other typical marine fish sources, which means you may be able to consume less of the oil without compromising your omega-3 intake.
- it’s estimated that calamari oil contains almost 4x more DHA than the same amount of fish oil, and up to 6x more DHA than krill oil.
- another benefit is that the species tends to have a shorter lifespan compared to other marine fish. This means there is less chance of toxins accumulating in the calamari during its shortened life cycle.
Unfortunately, fish are one of the contributing factors to human exposure to heavy metal contamination. This includes toxins such as mercury, which can build up in fish species through pollution of their natural marine environment. Mercury can also accumulate in fish that consume large amounts of smaller contaminated fish, in a process that can pass the toxin onwards from prey to predator. In contrast, calamari grow fast but live for relatively short periods, typically reaching a maximum age of just one year and thus the chance of toxins is reduced.
Due to the quick lifespan and a higher ratio of DHA, calamari oil is fast becoming one of the most buzzed-about sources of omega-3.
DHA and Omega-3s
DHA stands for docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and it is a specific type of omega-3. It can be found in cold water fatty fish as well as calamari and even seaweed. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) is another type of omega-3 that is also found in marine sources.
What sets all omega-3s apart from other fats is their chemical structure, which contains at least two double bonds – these make them more flexible and interactive as fatty acids. DHA has six double bonds in its chemical structure, compared to the five in EPA. The simplest type of omega-3 in existence is alpha-linolenic acid or ALA. However, previous research has shown that both DHA and EPA have health benefits that can’t be gained from ALA alone.
The body naturally makes DHA on its own, but these amounts are typically too small to provide real benefits. That means we need to top up our intake from food or supplementary sources, and calamari oil may be the ideal solution for this.
The benefits of omega-3s and DHA
Omega-3s and DHA in particular have been shown to benefit the body in many ways.
- The fatty acids have been linked to lower triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood), lower blood pressure and better arterial health. It may also reduce the amount of arterial plaque that can build up, all of which can reduce the risk of heart disease.
- DHA is also vital for proper brain function. The acid is thought to make up between 15-20 per cent of all fat in the brain, and drops in the DHA levels in the brain have been linked to cognitive impairment and slower neurological development.
- Last but not least, omega-3s may also support joint health and mobility as well as the health of our eyes. For those wishing to boost their consumption of this beneficial fatty acid, calamari oil may be a great choice.
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