Krill oil is an omega 3 fatty acid that is extracted from a particular species of antarctic krill. Containing DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), the omega 3’s in oily fish such as krill oil benefits many functions of the body and are absolutely crucial to good health.
There are lots of reasons why you need omega 3’s in your diet. For a start your body cannot manufacture its own and so it must be taken in through either your diet, or a good quality supplement. Low quality omega 3 supplements can be less environmentally friendly, contain too much mercury or other toxins, and may be poorly absorbed by the body. In fact, you can sometimes lose up to 90% of the benefits through this alone; so bottom line, always buy the best quality you can afford.
Bio-availability is actually one of the main reasons why krill oil specifically can be a great substitute over other fish oils. Now I know that krill oil isn’t plant based and I know this is a plant based eating promoting website, but I have my reasons for using this supplement of which I will go into more detail further on in the post.
Top 9 Krill Oil Benefits
1. ANTI AGING
Exactly how omega 3 fatty acids affect the skin is not yet known, but we do know that EFA’S (essential fatty acids, like those found in krill oil) work like magic when it comes to attaining a healthy youthful glow and smooth skin.
Boosting your levels of these particular fatty acids gives your skin the ability to hold moisture more effectively, which in turn plumps out and smooths wrinkles and fine lines. A diet low in EFA’s can lead to premature wrinkles and dried out skin – and none of us want that! So for this reason alone I always take omega 3 supplements and my skin is lovely and peachy for it.
2. REDUCED PMS SYMPTOMS
Although it’s still unclear how or why omega 3’s have a positive effect on PMS, studies show that improvements are made with supplementation over the long term. I don’t know how, but I have tested this for myself and I definitely feel better with the use of these fatty acids in my diet.
It is thought to be due to the effect of omega 3 on the brain (the brain needs fats to function properly), therefore helping to ease the depression, anxiety and mood the swings associated with that time of the month.
Inflammation and PMS:-
Inflammation affects how the brain works, which can in turn lead to hormone imbalance. Omega 3′ can reduce overall inflammation in the body, and therefore may help to reduce the nasty symptoms of PMS, but again, these effects would be amplified with a general healthy, and antioxidant rich diet alongside any supplements.
3. CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH
Studies show that krill oil omega 3’s can help improve cardiovascular health by lowering LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and increasing HDL levels. They also act as an anticoagulant which can help prevent blood clotting – a factor that can cause heart attacks and strokes.
4. EFFECTIVE ANTI INFLAMMATORY
The omega 3’s in krill oil can have a huge effect in the reduction of inflammation. Chronic inflammation in the body is thought to be a a factor behind certain diseases. so for this reason alone it is worth supplementing your diet with a good quality supplement to help act as a preventative measure. You should also be sure you diet consists of lots of an high antioxidant foods which will also help keep chronic inflammation to a minimum.
Good quality omega 3’s can positively affect the neurological development of your unborn baby. A baby heavily relies on omega 3 fatty acids for the strong development of its brain, eyes, and central nervous system. Omega 3 supplementation can also help stop allergies in children.
These EFA’s have a good effect on the mother also, helping to keep mood and hormones stable during pregnancy. This supplementation should carry on whilst breastfeeding to ensure the baby and mother are both receiving an adequate supply.
6. BIO AVAILABILITY
As mentioned above, one of the main added benefits of krill oil is its bio availability, which is actually quite different to regular fish oil. Instead of attaching to triglycerides the krill’s omega 3 fatty acids attach themselves to phospholipids, which allows for much easier absorption.
7. MAY HELP DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY
The area of depression and anxiety is a big subject in itself and requires more than just one approach. To really help ease these conditions you will also need to consume a healthy low GI diet, which will help keep blood sugar stable (crucial in anxiety), keep stress to a minimum, get plenty of fresh air and sunlight, plus good quality exercise. ALL OF THESE combined with omega 3 fish oils may help ease depression and anxiety.
It’s the anti inflammatory effect of fish oils that can have the effect of reducing depression and anxiety. This is a subject close to my own heart, and I know from personal experience that using a combination of all of the above helped relieved my symptoms of depression by about 90%. I cannot say with certainty how well it will work for everyone, but it can’t do any harm to try. This is also the reason why I still use fish oil even though I am predominantly a plant based eater as the plant based omega 3’s just don’t have the same effect unfortunately.
If you suffer depression or anxiety there ARE ways you can help yourself that really work well. Omega 3 supplements is just a part of that story and you will need to take them combined with other lifestyle changes if you want to see results. Please read my top tips for easing depression naturally, and always consult your doctor first if you are displaying any symptoms of mental illness.
8. OMEGA 3’S AND EXERCISE
Omega 3’s are simply a must for anybody in any form or training or regular exercise. Due to their anti inflammatory effects, omega 3’s will help fasten recovery time, relieve joint tenderness, and heal the tiny tears that muscles are left riddled with after a hard workout. Also, your body burns up omega 3’s like there’s no tomorrow in the repair process after intense training, and so more is needed to keep up with demand.
Omega 3 fatty acids increase protein synthesis therefore helping you build stronger muscles in less time, and stronger bones that are less likely to break; plus EFA’s will also help give relief from the associated days of muscle aches and pains.
Omega’s will also help you to lose those excess pounds, as during intense training they encourage the body to burn fat for fuel instead of burning lean muscle mass. The more muscle mass you have on your body in general, the more calories you will burn even at rest, which is why it’s SO important to build muscle mass up as much as possible.
Better muscle function:-
The DHA and EPA in these oils make your muscles work better due to the omega 3 in muscle membranes, neurons and nerve endings that direct your body’s neuromuscular function. In turn, this can help the muscles to function up to 20% better, and because of the added heart benefits of EFA’s you will also decrease the amount of oxygen you need, giving you that competitive edge.
Krill oil contains a powerful antioxidant called astaxanthin, which helps to keep the compound stable and stopping it from spoiling (a problem that many other oils have) in both your stomach, and on the shelf.
Also, you have the added benefits of the antioxidant itself, which our bodies need for protection and the neutralisation of free radicals from the environment and the food we eat.
If you are thinking about a good quality krill oil supplement with all the benefits mentioned in this article then check out this High quality Krill Oil. As you know, it’s all about the quality if you want a high absorption rate otherwise you may as well be throwing your money down the drain!
How much to take:-
The dose of omega 3 is usually between 1-3000mg daily, though this can be upped to 5000mg for shorter periods or under certain circumstances (such as the monthly cycle, or episodes of depression). Do not exceed 5000mg as it can thin your blood too much and potentially be dangerous. Consult your doctor before exceeding dosage on instruction labels.
If you have used, or are going to try krill oil for any of the reasons stated in this post then I would really love to know how you get on with them, especially if they have given you the same benefits they have me. Please go ahead and comment below. Thanks for reading!