Omega-3 fatty acids have been implied in several stories as a kind of miracle cure. Two of these stories have been featured in CNN, both are cases of devastating accidents, traumatic brain injuries and coma. Grant Virgin and Bobby Ghassemi have both had a hastened recovery after the unconventional additional treatment of omega-3.
The balance between omega-3 and omega-6 in the body is related to better health. In fact, better omega-3 in the system is accountable for reduced risk of chronic conditions and illness. However, modern day diets seem to have created imbalance between these two important fatty acids. Thus supplements coming from natural sources are certainly a good thing.
Introduction to Calamari
photo: Hiné Mizushima
Calamari is a common food source among Asian countries and in the Mediterranean nations. It is also a popular yet expensive cuisine among Western Countries.
Calamari contains the famed EPA and DHA types of omega-3. The most potent, as pointed out by research, is the DHA. Another type of omega-3 is ALA but it can only be obtained from plant sources and needs to be converted to EPA then DHA for it to become usable by the body.
With the rising popularity of these fatty acids, more studies were being conducted in relation to its benefits. More and more marketing phases caught up and now include omega-3 in products. Now you can find it in cereals, oatmeal, drinks, smoothies, vitamin supplements, etc.
Unlike its fish and krill counterpart, Calamari sources were unconventional. It doesn’t require squid catching for the goal of extracting calamari oil alone. Rather, Calamari oil is refined from the unused parts of the squid. When squids are caught 10% of food grade parts were not included in the finished product. So out of the 2 million tons of squid caught yearly, 200, 000 tons were processed for the supplement.
Calamari are known to have a short life cycle at 450 days which makes it less likely for them to accumulate toxins in their bodies. This makes it less likely that humans will consume toxins passed down from the supplement or the direct consumption of the food. Common contaminants include toxins, mercury and PCB commonly ingested by fishes.
Benefits of Omega-3 from Calamari
photo: Jo Christian Oterhals
Nutritionist Suzie Sawyer said in a interview with DailyMail that, “DHA is the predominant omega-3 in many of our vital organs and is fundamental for our health.”
As stated, the benefits of Calamari oil stems from its high DHA component. Compared to Fish and Krill oil, calamari supplements may require less capsule intake but the same amount of omega-3 needed by the body.
DHA, as a research suggested, is a critical component needed for the body, the heart, brain, eyes and more. Calamari oil may contain 470mg of DHA per gram. Fish sources on the other hand is at 120mg per gram while its zero for flaxseed (a plant source of omega-3).
The benefits of Calamari’s DHA include, but are not limited to the following:
Helps prevent CVDs.
Cardiovascular diseases are one of the killer diseases around the world. But through the proper consummation of food that is high in omega-3, heart health may be strengthened. Omega-3 helps in reducing cholesterol which may tend to clog up arteries and may reduce triglycerides as well.
Strengthens eye health.
photo: Ahmed Sinan
High omega-3 and DHA content in diet helps protect the eyes from dry eye syndrome and from macular degeneration. It also helps decrease the chance of glaucoma and high eye pressure. Children who were born to mothers that have high or adequate intake of omega-3 were found to have normal vision development and were less likely to have low visual acuity compared to those who have low omega-3 supplementation.
Helps in body’s growth and development
Omega-3 is important in infant growth and development. It also plays a big role in the body’s metabolic process. It helps strengthen the body’s resolve against diseases and promotes healthy development.
Improves mental agility and ability
Adequate intake of Calamari oil will benefit the body mentally. The brain is known to be made up of fats and to be specific, it’s 40% DHA. It has been known to reduce the chances of acquiring dementia and Alzheimer’s diseases among older people.
It was also found to be beneficial among children who were diagnosed to have ADHD and those that have learning difficulties. This has been proven through the study of Durham Local Education Authority.
Helps in vital development of unborn fetus.
DHA for infants is significant in their brain and eye development. DHA is also more needed during a mother’s third trimester since it is that time when the brain growth is at its highest peak. Once a mother is well supplemented, the infant may later on acquire good hand-eye coordination, better motor skills and a longer attention span compared to their peers who were not well supplemented with omega-3 and DHA.
Calamari among infants is said to be a better choice since fish may contain mercury which can be passed to the fetus from the mother. It is known that high levels of mercury in diet among pregnant mothers may affect the nervous system of the developing child.
Other benefits of calamari may include:
- Improves joint health, relives inflammation due to anti-inflammatory components.
- Helps prevent osteoporosis.
- Improve mental health and reduces the chances of developing depression, bipolarity and other mental health problems.
- Prevents cancer; skin, prostate and breast.
- Lowers LDL and improves HDL.
- Lowers triglycerides.
- Improves skin health.
- Help in diabetes.
- Improve bowels.
- Good for digestion.
How does Calamari Compare to Fish and Krill Oil
photo: Taro Taylor
There are many reason why Calamari advocates are promoting it, some of which are already mentioned above. Compared to fish and krill oil in supplements, Calamari has the following advantages:
1. Ecologically Sustainable
We already mentioned the reasons above why we can say that calamari is sustainable and environmentally friendly:
- Calamari oil is obtained from the unutilised portion of the squid which ensures every part of the squid is usable.
- Another thing is it has a short lifespan and low reproductive age.
- Calamari/squid is known to be very resilient to fishing pressures.
- Even with current harvesting trend of calamari, the biomass of the squids continues to increase.
- Harvest methods includes hook lines which targets adult squid specimens, not the young ones. This leaves young squids to grow to full adult for it to reproduce again in time.
- Huge industrial vessels aren’t used for the harvesting, rather, small vessels utilised.
- Squid harvesting is also deemed to be very advantageous to the environment since it doesn’t impact other species.
- The harvesting process also doesn’t affect coral reefs and the ocean floor.
2. Highest DHA compared to fish and krill oil
Calamari compared to Fish and Krill oil hasthe highest DHA content. Of course we can’t deny the fact that Fish and Krill Oil have their own strengths, but calamari is much more viable when it comes to the mentioned kind of fatty acids. Last year, the TGD or the Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia added Calamari Oil product in the roster of Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods
3. No fishy aftertaste
Fish oil may be beneficial but it usually leaves a fishy aftertaste. Calamari on the other hand may help consumers avoid this. The oil from squids are also made sure to undergo refining and purifying process which may help eliminate any undesirable aftertastes if ever there are any.
4. Less supplement, same benefits
Since calamari contains much higher DHA compared to its counterpart, it may render consumers more benefits with less supplements.
Any side effects from calamari?
Calamari is a supplement that proves to be very beneficial to the human body. It can prevent diseases and even help reduce the effects of concurrent ones. These omega-3 supplements have become well tolerated by the population. Some people though may develop several side effects such as fishy breath and diarrhea when there is over-intake of the oil capsule.
Too much of the supplement too may thin out blood and may cause bleeding. This isn’t recommended to be taken with blood thinning meds like aspirin. Krill, Fish and Calamari oil supplements are also highly prohibited among those who have the history of seafood allergy.
And for safer measure, no matter how beneficial supplements are, experts always recommend that consumers should consult doctors first before taking any meds or supplements. This would prevent some unlikely effects from happening.