Where does the hype about omega-3 oils come from? Are they really as healthy as claimed? Well, that depends on what oil you take. They are generally considered healthy because they contain unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids.
Three representatives of this group are particularly important to us:
- the alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
- the eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
- and the docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
Above all, we have to take the ALA out of our diet, because our body cannot produce this fatty acid itself. But you should not ignore the other two: your body can make them from the ALA, but not very efficiently.
Intake via nutrition is therefore the most effective way to get the valuable substances.
Our organism needs fatty acids to ensure healthy brain and heart function. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) also confirms a contribution to the maintenance of normal vision and a supporting role in the development of brain and eye in infants in the womb.
So there’s something about the hype: the omega-3 fatty acids from the corresponding oils are essential for the normal functioning of your body.
If you want to buy omega-3 oils, you are spoilt for choice, from classic fish oil to vegan versions. To help you make your purchase decision and so that you don’t lose sight of the Omega 3 forest in the face of oil trees, we have summarized the most important things about the products.
These omega-3 oils are available
When buying omega-3 oil, you first of all have the choice between conventional oilsthat you can use to cook or refine salads and higher-dose oil capsules.
For use in the kitchen, these oils have a particularly high content of omega-3 fatty acid ALA:
- Perilla oil (approx. 60)
- Chia oil (approx. 64)
- Linseed Oil (56-71)
However, if you want to specifically increase your omega-3 levels and make sure you take enough EPA and DHA, the handle to dietary supplements is the more effective choice. But which ones are there?
Fish oil capsules are the classic variant of omega-3 supplements. Taking the oil in capsules has a particular taste advantage.
Fish oil, which is generally considered to be very healthy and contains many valuable unsaturated fatty acids, unfortunately has a very strong own taste. Swallowing the oil like this is therefore not the most enjoyable experience. The tasteless capsules make it easier for you to take.
Vegan algae oil
But how can you meet your omega-3 needs if you live vegan? After all, the fatty acids are best absorbed by eating certain edible fish, right?
There is a modern alternative here: fish cannot produce the omega-3 fatty acids exclusively themselves and get them mostly from their food: microalgae from the sea.
If you eat vegan, you can buy omega-3 oil made from these algae.
The algae of the Schizochytrium speciesare particularly nutritious. They form particularly large amounts of the important EPA and DHA fatty acids.
However, make sure that the capsule shells are also made from vegan fabrics when you decide to buy an algae oil.
When is the best way to take omega-3 oil?
When taking dietary supplements, the question arises again and again: When exactly is the best time to take the capsules. Capsules with omega-3 oils are no exception.
If you are one of the people who swallow their supplements in the morning, you might want to reconsider.
Of course, you want to put the annoying intake behind you and best cover the daily needs of the valuable ingredients immediately. Taking the capsules is ticked off and you don’t have to think about it later.
However, there are now several studies that give a relatively poor testimony to an intake in the morning. The main reason for this is that your body can absorb nutrients from dietary supplements much better if you take them with a greasy meal. And yes, omega-3 oils, which are naturally already fatty, come into your organism better with a fatty meal.
Many people who forgo their breakfast and instead take their nutrient capsules all in the morning often see only a small increase in the corresponding levels in the blood, despite high-dose supplements.
So what meal does the omega-3 oils make the best one?
A study from the UK gives us an interesting tip here: Children who got omega-3 oils before bed had a better and more restful sleep.
Other studies also suggest that the administration of omega-3 helps us to rest properly in the evening and that we can get out of bed better in the morning.
For example, a study from France suggests that the fatty acids could reduce morning arthritis and joint pain.
Taking dietary supplements with omega-3 oil for dinner could have several benefits for you.
Basically, however, the most important thing is the regular intake of the capsules.
So try to find a time that suits you and stick to it. Only by taking it regularly can you make the most of the potential of the supplements.
There are no limits to your creativity when taking it: Try this simple recipe
A healthy portion of omega-3 for in between provides this delicious paprika spread with linseed oil. And it couldn’t be easier. You need:
- 250g quark
- 4 tbsp linseed oil
- 1 pepper
- 1 tbsp paprika powder
- Pepper / Salt
Cut the peppers into fine pieces and mix them well with the other ingredients. Then taste everything with pepper and salt. Secret tip: Refine the spread with fresh herbs.
It’s not just us humans who need omega-3 fatty acids: omega-3 oil for dogs
If you are also interested in finding the optimal food for your four-legged best friend, you have probably also been confronted with the topic of dietary supplements for dogs.
And yes, even dogs can benefit from the targeted administration of omega-3 oils.
Similar to humans, dogs also need a certain ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. Dogs often absorb large amounts of omega-6 fatty acids from pet food.
This can lead to long-term health problems if this value is not compensated with an increased intake of omega-3.
There are special omega-3 preparations for dogs. When buying these omega-3 oils, however, you should pay close attention to the quality of the means. This is often worse for animal preparations than for humans. Especially with omega-3 oil capsules (for example, in plastic containers) there is a risk that the oil contained oxidizes. This oxidized oil can harm your dog’s health in the long run.
Far less problematic for the beloved four-legged friends are therefore preparations made of algae. They also provide the valuable omega-3 fatty acids, but have less problematic side effects.
Finally, the same applies to dogs for all means of supplementation: First clear the administration of the preparations with your veterinarian. This way your dog stays fit and healthy for a long time.