We hear so much these days about the vitamins and minerals we should be packing into our diets, that it can be very confusing over time. One which you should be paying attention to amongst all that noise, is omega 3.
Now, omega 3 has long been difficult for most people to get into their diets naturally, because it mostly comes from fish. Not everyone enjoys fish, and there are particular types of fish which are abundant in this vitamin, namely oily and fatty types, such as salmon, mackerel, and anchovies.
If you’re not a ‘fishy’ person, there is some good news coming your way, you can grab the major health benefits of omega 3 by taking a supplement. Omega 3 is vital for overall health and wellbeing, especially brain function. By not getting enough of this vital nutrient, you’re missing out in a big way. Choosing the right supplement can be difficult, thanks to the fact that the supplement world isn’t regulated, and therefore any company can sell you their product and tell you how wonderful it is.
With omega 3 supplements you really have two main choices – fish oil and krill oil.
Everyone has heard of fish oil, and it is known for one thing, aside from its health benefits – the fishy aftertaste that often comes after swallowing one of those rather large capsules! Many people also report that fish oil causes belching, which is rather fishy in aftertaste too. Not pleasant! Despite that, fish oil is extremely beneficial for health, but krill oil is hot on its heels.
What is Krill Oil, And Why is it Better?
We should point out that there is no 100% proof that krill oil is better than fish oil per se, but there are many differences which could lead you to make this choice over the traditional one. Firstly, krill oil capsules are usually smaller than fish oil, and that makes them far easier to swallow. The other good news is that there is no fishy aftertaste with choosing a krill oil supplement, because these are virtually tasteless – great news!
There are two other benefits which make krill oil stand out. The first is that krill oil is derived from krill, which is a crustaceous dwelling in the Antarctic, and that it naturally contains Astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant. This means you’re getting double the benefits by choosing krill oil over fish oil.
Astaxanthin gives krill oil capsules their distinctive red shade, but it is fantastic for boosting heart health, brain health, and also for anti-aging too. When you add that onto the benefits of omega 3, you’re getting serious advantages!
The other plus point is the biochemical makeup of krill oil. Fish oil is made of triglycerides, whereas krill oil is made of phospholipids. That might not mean anything right now, but some studies suggest that phospholipids are easier and quicker to absorb into the body than triglycerides, and therefore the omega 3 benefits are also absorbed quicker too.
The downside is that krill oil is relatively new on the supplement block and whilst it’s becoming more and more popular as time goes on, it isn’t yet quite as cost effective or available as regular fish oil. You only have to go down to the supermarket or your local health food store to find various types of fish oil capsules on the shelves, but krill oil is far more likely to be something you will have to find online and order to your door. The chances are it will be slightly more expensive too, which is down to the more complicated harvesting process of the krill oil, compared to regular fish oil. According to Authority Health, if you’re looking for a cost-effective krill oil supplement that packs a punch, go for 1MD Krill Oil Platinum.
The Overall Benefits of Omega 3
Now we know that both fish oil and krill oil are great ways to get your daily dose of omega 3s, what exactly is the fuss all about?
The main benefits of omega 3 are:
- Brain function
- May help to fight mental health issues, such as depression
- Visual improvement and eye health
- May help to boost brain health in an unborn child
- May help to reduce the risk of heart disease
- Fights inflammation
- May help to fight autoimmune conditions and diseases
- Helps to improve memory and fight age-related disorders, such as Alzheimer’s
- May help to prevent certain types of cancers
- Reduces the amount of fat in your liver
- Helps to boost bone health
- Good for skin health
- Helps to regulate sleeping patterns
As you can see, there are some major benefits there, and by not taking a regular omega 3 supplement, or getting enough content in your diet, you’re seriously missing out.
So, what if you want to try and get your omega 3s naturally? It is possible, but difficult if you’re not a fish fan! There are some nuts and seeds which have good levels of omega 3, such as chia seeds, walnuts, and flaxseed, but fish remains the best option. Go for fatty and oily types, such as mackerel, salmon, tuna, herring, and sardines, i.e. the cold water types. In terms of how much you should be eating, the general consensus is two servings per week, with one serving being around 3.5 ounces when cooked.
However you choose to get your omega 3 fill, make sure you do it one way or the other. Supplements certain give a quick fix for those who aren’t the world’s biggest fish lovers, and can easily be incorporated into a daily routine seamlessly. The only issue comes in finding the right supplement, amongst the huge range available! Shop around, read reviews, look at cost effectiveness, and don’t be afraid to buy small supplies until you have found the product which suits your personal needs best. Whether you choose regular fish oil, or you go for the popular krill oil option is a personal decision, but krill oil certainly has some major plus points.
Remember to always check with your doctor before you start taking any type of supplement, just to ensure you don’t have any contraindications which may cause problems.