Squid or Calamari, as it is commonly called in Italian, is a distinct fish (sea creature) that is used to cook a number of delicacies. While in the Unites States Calamari is closely linked to fried dishes, the fact is somewhat different. If you happen to visit any of the restaurants in Europe and North America and wish to taste a squid dish, you will spot it on the menu as “calamari”. No matter how squid is cooked Americans and Europeans call it calamari. Though the oil has been in vogue for years, recent discoveries have proven its benefits as a supplement and as a utility oil.
Chief Ingredients of Squid Oil
One of the ingredients used in enhancing the taste of sea food is squid oil or calamari oil. It is enriched with EPA, unsaturated omega-3 fats and DHA. Compared to any other fish oil, squid oil consists of high levels of Vitamin A and E, which are essential for growth, vitality and the overall development of human beings. These ingredients build immunity and keep various diseases and infections at bay. Squid oil also improves the overall body functions encouraging food intake. Due to its strong smell and attractive aroma, it is also used in shrimp farming.
Features of Calamari Oil
Calamari oil is a free flowing, thin oil, which neither freezes nor turns thick in cold temperatures. It is dark brown in colour and has the typical aroma of squid. It tastes sweet and easily blends with any sea food cooked using the oil.
Though Squid are not endangered species, they have a very short life span. Fortunately, they can reproduce fast, which makes them one of the most widely available sea creatures. The oil is extracted from calamari, which are either bred or farmed artificially. They consist of Omega-3, an essential fatty acid that offers various benefits to the human body. Calamari Omega-3 acts as a perfect supplement to stabilise the metabolism. The oil is suitable for daily consumption and addresses every single requirement of the human body. Branded calamari oils pass several tests before being sold for consumption.
Countries that Consume the Most Calamari Oil
Italy and Spain rank at the top of the list of countries that consume Calamari oil. Japan follows them on the list. This is one of the reasons why the people of these countries are heart-healthy. Compared to the American population, these countries consume the maximum amount of Omega-3 foods, which help keep you active and in good spirits. Many, countries across the globe use it, but in limited quantities. China, Korea, India and a few more countries export Calamari oil to other countries.
Benefits of Calamari Oil
Though many other types of oil stand in competition with squid oil, they do not match the health benefits of Calamari oil. It consists of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA, EPA and ALA) which contribute to a healthy heart. People who include a high amount of Omega-3 food in their diet have a lower chance of experiencing cardiovascular diseases. Though Omega-3 is found in other fishes too, other unhealthy fats are found in them as ell.
Squid contain a more healthy form of cholesterol compared to other types of fish. When we say healthy cholesterol, we refer to the calories that have health benefits and not those, which add fat and flab.
UPDATE: There are also findings that indicate calamari oil can help with slowing down the aging process.
How is Omega – 3 Beneficial?
Fatty acids are classified into Omega-3, Omega-4 and Omega 6. Not all of these are very healthy. Supplementing your diet with Omega 3 helps in reducing cardiovascular risks, cancer and nerve related issues. It, in other words, balances and supplements a modern lifestyle. Omega-3 is an essential fat that improves one’s mental ability and contributes to brain growth. It also has strong anti-inflammatory properties that act as a cure for chronic arthritis and joint problems. Omega-3 offers symptomatic relief to patients with problems leading to immobility.
Calamari Omega- 3
Now that we are aware of the properties of the magical fatty acid, let us take a look at Calamari Omega-3, the newest supplement in the market. This fatty acid is acquired from flaxseed, algae oil, krill oil, fish oil and fish liver oil. Recent discoveries have made the extraction of Omega-3 oil from Squid or Calamari a common practice. Squid are a close relative of octopus and are widely savoured in various Asian and Mediterranean countries.
Advantages of Squid Oil (Calamari Oil)
Calamari oil has many advantages over other forms of oil. Besides being the thickest form of DHA, it is enriched with other forms of fatty acids, such as ALA and EPA, which contribute to preventing various health issues in human beings. Other food sources like flaxseed are abundant with ALA alone, whereas, marine sources consist of all three fatty acids with the maximum being Calamari. Fish oil consists of more EPA and ALA, whereas Calamari oil specifically consists of high amounts of DHA and EPA, which are healthy fatty acids.
Calamari has a very short life. So toxins are not accumulated in them like many other marine creatures. Many fishes that have a long life cycle are prone to contain harmful metals and toxic deposits such as mercury and PCB.
Calamari is more ecofriendly compared to many other types of fish. They have been certified by the Friend of The Sea organisation based on sustainability and ecological availability. Also, they do not harm or destroy the ocean floors in any manner.
Research and Developments Pertaining to Calamari Oil
Why should your diet include Calamari oil, above all Omega-3 fat? Modern diets that are designed to suit a stressful lifestyle do not consist of the required nutritional values. This leads to many health issues in people of all ages. To acquire the necessary elements of nutrition, one must either consider anything and everything that completes a diet or use supplements to support the diet. Researches have proven that Omega-3 is more than an essential fat; in fact, it is a life-saving nutrient, which could keep the body in a healthy condition for a longer period. Other than preventing neurodegenerative conditions and organ dysfunction, Omega-3 keeps the body in good condition.
How is Calamari oil produced?
Calamari oil, also known as Calamarine, is extracted from food-grade calamari fish that are caught using hooks. While other types of fish are caught using nets and trawlers, squid are lured to hook lines. This ensures safety to the fish caught and other species nearby as no harm in anyway is caused to them which could have a negative impact on the environment. Also, the way squid are caught is constantly monitored by Friend of the Sea, which is an organization that conserves marine creatures. It ensures that fishing of any type does not impact the safety of the marine creatures. They are the sole source that offers certification of Omega-3 supplements derived from sea animals.
Best Calamari oil brands
Though Calamari oil is manufactured by various countries, there are certain brands that are popular among seafood lovers. You can find the brands online and in any nearby retail outlets. Popular companies that produce squid oil take the utmost care in filtering and processing the oil to make it palatable. Before reaching the hands of the consumers, the oil also passes several tests and trials. Calamari oil, among all of these brands, is also enriched with Omega-3 (DHA) fats, which are essential for overall development of our body. Listed below are a few leading brands that sell squid oil:
- Doctor’s Best Best DHA 500
- Nordic Calamari Higher Potency Omega-3
- NutraSea DHA
- Swanson Super DHA
- Jarrow Formula
- Standard Process
- Dr. Sinatra
- Health From The Sun
- Azuma Foods
- Lane Labs
Countries That Produce and Use Calamari Oil
Calamari oil originated in South America where the natives use the oil of these fishes for cooking and other purposes. South American squids are harvested under eco-friendly conditions. They contain DHA, which constitutes more than 40% of the essential fats present in the brain. The Italians and the Spanish use Calamari oil in most of the sea food delicacies they prepare.
The best thing about squid oil compared to oil from other animals is that it does not leave an unpleasant taste or smell, which is common with most of the fish oils. In addition to this, it helps in reducing hypertension and nourishes the body with DHA. The good cholesterol present in Calamari oil controls heart diseases while other fish oils increase cholesterol and danger of heart problems. The presence of EPA supports brain growth and benefits eyes. Also, this species reproduces really fast so harvesting does not pose threat to the species. Squid oil is fresh and one of the best supplements you can take.
Despite the rate of fishing across the globe, the species of calamari remains balanced. While other fishes whose by products are used for consumption such as Krills are trawled or caught using nets, Calamari is caught using hooks. This is one of the main reasons why consumption of these fishes and their by-products are considered safe and healthy. Also, this is one of the reasons why organization such as Friend of the Sea have certified Calamari products as ecofriendly.
Squid is one of the most popular types of seafood. Though it is eaten world-wide, there are a few countries where this fish and its by-products are a primary food. People prepare various dishes out of Calamari, including fried Calamari, calamari rings, battered calamari and so on. Usually, these dishes are served as appetisers in restaurants and hotels. They are prepared in calamari oil which lends its exclusive health benefits. Though these dishes are believed to have originated in the Mediterranean part of Europe, many parts of the world serve the dishes as a starter. A major part of the North American population religiously savours Calamari dishes.
To add taste and flavour to squid dishes, chefs around the globe have come up with different ideas and combinations. Battered squid with tender coconut shreds, fried calamari rings with chilli and pepper flavour sauce, fried calamari with a topping of Parmesan cheese to name just a few among the long list of squid dishes. Cheese toppings on squid dishes are famous in Italy where people love spicy cheese toppings and pesto sauce dipping with their sea food.
Squid Oil Vs Fish Oil
Though fish oil has its own advantages and disadvantages, calamari oil supersedes the side effects and problems associated with ordinary fish oil.
The DHA present in calamari is 85% richer than other fish extracts.
Squid are not just a healthy food but are also healthy for the oceans because no parts of ocean floors or beds are engaged in harvesting squid.
Squid do not contain any toxins or toxic deposits in them, which make them healthy creatures.
While industrial and large-scale influence are used in catching other fishes, calamari is caught by small scale fishermen.
The oil is extracted from the trimmings of the calamari which is clean and offers a pure source of Omega-3.
Calamari oil does not let off a stinking, putrid smell while cooking other fish oil does.
All these points definitely make calamari oil a greener and purer source of Omega-3.
Calamari belongs to a family of sea creatures called cephalopod. Though they look like octopus and shellfish, they are quite different from them in many aspects. Despite the fact that it is full of healthy nutrient values, people who are intolerant to shellfish, scallops and shrimps are very much likely to be allergic to calamari too. It is due to the chemical constituent of the animal which is similar to the other allergic fishes. The allergic symptoms might be as little as skin rashes and vomiting to extreme nausea and difficulty in breathing. Those allergic to sea food and related supplements must take medical advice before consuming the calamari oil and supplements. At even a slightest sign of discomfort after eating calamari dish one must consult a doctor to stay away from side effects.
Calamari Oil Supplements
Calamari oil can be used directly to your food or taken in the form of supplements to derive its benefits. Norway is one of the leading producer and supplier of fish oil and calamari oil. The supplements certified by NSF and GMP are safe to consume. The state of art oil plants located in Norway are usually authorised by Norwegian health authorities as per their highest standards.
You can shop for calamari supplements of various brands on websites. Alternatively you can also visit the nearest super market or retailer to check out for the most popular brands of squid oil.
Celebrities Who Recommend Calamari Oil
Listed below are a few television celebrities and famous chefs who recommend calamari oil
- James Beard Award-nominated Refinery chef, Greg Baker
- Anne Burrell (Host of Secrets of a Restaurant Chef)
- Spike Mendelsohn and Michael Bao
- Chef Ainsley Harriott
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