Fish oil is very powerful and the benefit of Omega 3 on your body, overall health, skin, hair, longevity and even fertility cannot be underrated.
There are three important types of Omega-3 fatty acids: ALA, EPA and DHA.
ALA is found in many plant products like flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds or walnuts. EPA and DHA are available in fish and krill and in lesser quantities in grass-fed meat (not in industrial raised cows that eat corn!) and fortified eggs.
Most persons eat enough ALA, but the major health benefits come from EPA and DHA, which are the two fatty acids you probably don't get enough with your food.
If you don't eat fish at least once a week, a dietary supplement with krill or fish oil is the most efficient way to get enough of those essential fatty acids.
But let's first have a look at the main benefit of omega 3 and the omega 3 deficiency symptoms:
1. Good for Your Heart
Enough EPA and DHA essential fatty acids prevent the clogging of blood and high blood pressure, which may lead to heart attacks and strokes.
It also improves glucose concentration in your blood and helps prevent insulin insensitivity, thus reducing your risk to suffer from diabetes and obesity.
2. Good for your Brain
Depression, ADHD (in kids), Schizophrenia and even Alzheimers have been linked to a lack of omega 3 fatty acids.
Enough omega 3 intake helps to improve concentration and memory. Eat enough of your fish and your brain will work better!
3. Good for Women's Problems
Especially Krill oil has been found to reduce PMS. Taking a supplement may reduce swelling and abdominal cramps, joint pain, bloating and irritability. Scientists believe this has a positive effect on fertility as well.
4. Good for your Joints
If you're suffering from arthritic symptoms, taking the best fish oil supplement may be the answer to your problem. This is due to the anti-inflammatory properties of omega 3.
5. Good for your Skin and Hair
Sufficient EPA and DHA improves keeps your nails strong and makes your hair shiny and healthy. It also has an anti-aging effect on your skin and your body cells. Overall you look younger and brighter.
The best foods to get your omega 3 in a natural way are almost the same as for Vitamin D3. Read my article on the importance of Vitamin D.
As said before, if you don't eat fish at least once a week, your best option is to take a dietary supplement.
By now you have seen that I mentioned Krill Oil a few times. So what are the benefits of krill versus fish oil?
The basic difference is that Krill Oil contains more antioxidants, (the powerful astaxanthin), while Fish Oil contains more omega 3 fatty acids.
In a nutshell: If you want the benefit of omega 3 you should take fish oil, if you want the benefit of antioxidants you should take Krill oil. Or even better, take a combination of both!
1. Fights inflammation
Does the fish oil supplement have the best possible anti-inflammatory properties?
This one is not easy to find out, you have to rely on the claims of the manufacturer.
2. Bio Availability
The fish oil supplement must be in its natural form TG (triglyceride) to give your body the full benefit of omega 3. Stay away from the ethyl ester form or synthetic TG.
3. Higher Content of DHA than EPA
Your Omega 3 supplement should contain more DHA than EPA, because the DHA has even more health benefits.
Be sure to check the level, because even many of the famous Carlson Fish Oil supplements contain more EPA than DHA.
Of course you don't want your supplement to contain any dangerous contaminants.
The main problems of fish oils are mercury, PCB and Dioxin. Pregnant and lactating women are advised to stay away of fish because mercury is known to damage the unborn and newborn child. If you substiute the potentially dangerous fish with even more contaminated fish oil, you're doing more harm than good to your child.
Other toxic chemicals like PCB, DDT, chlordane and other pesticides can be found in many omega 3 supplements. Even though they have been banned in most Western countries, they are still used in other parts of the world and persist in our environment from earlier usage.
Check the website of the manufacturers for the standards on purity they apply. Biotrust makes claims about purity backed up with testing results.
Old, rancid oils cause the dreaded "fish burbs". No rancidity = no burping.
If you want to learn more about benefit of omega 3 and ideal fish oil supplements read 10 Benefits of Fish Oil You're Not Getting. It is packed with everything you need to know and the links to the research behind the claims. There's much more information in there than I can cover here.
I have found a company that excels in the five criteria for the best supplements: Biotrust
Biotrust offers two fish oil supplements: Omega Dessert that is flavored with either Lemon Chiffon or Mango Peach for the best "dessert-like" taste. Omega Krill 5x includes a combination of fish oil and krill oil and thus provides the benefit of omega 3 as well as of the antioxidant astaxanthin.