A tale about Chlorella and Spirulina: Superfood Superheroes
What is a superfood? Is algae even edible? Why don't I just eat kale?
When you hear the word algae, superfood may not be the first thing you think of. Though there are types of algae that settles at the bottom of pools, or floats on top of ponds, edible algae has been used as a human food source for thousands of years. Edible algae is broken into 4 types.
- Blue-green algae: chlorella and spirulina
- Brown algae: kelp, arame, wakame and kombu
- Green algae: seaweed, sea grapes and sea lettuce
- Red algae: nori, dulse and irish moss
Though all edible algae contain lots of nutrients, vitamins and minerals, the most popular and nutrient-dense of the bunch is the blue-green family of chlorella and spirulina. If you're thinking of adding a nutritional supplement to your diet, chlorella and spirulina should be on the top of your list.
Chlorella and Spirulina have increased in popularity since the 1970s, and are now some of the most researched superfoods. Chlorella is extremely popular in Asia, especially in Japan, where it is the #1 nutritional supplement sold, even surpassing consumption of vitamin C. Spirulina has increased in popularity after NASA suggested growing it in space to cover the nutritional needs of astronauts.
Why eat superfoods?
While there is no exact definition of a superfood, they are considered to be nutrient-dense and provide large quantities of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. The average American is consuming more processed, less nutritious food, and studies show 90% of the American population don't eat enough fruit and vegetables. Even if you eat a well-balanced diet, you may still fall short of needed nutrients, as the body's ability to absorb nutrients decreases with age. Superfoods help keep you healthy, ward off diseases and optimize your body to promote heart health, improve energy levels, reduce inflammation/anti-cancer and more depending on the type of food.
Enter chlorella & spirulina: the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet
Chlorella and spirulina offers a balanced nutrition profile and provides every essential nutrient a human body needs, including protein (contains more protein by weight than steak and eggs), amino acids, essential fatty acids (Omega-3), along with vitamins, such as A, B, D and E, and minerals, such as iron, iodine, calcium, potassium and magnesium.
They are considered an exceptional nutrition source for vegans and vegetarians, offering protein, vitamin B12, amino acids and other nutrients typically only found in meat/eggs/beans. Their high amount of fatty acids are also the same properties found in fish oils (Fish get omega-3s from the algae and seaweed they eat). This makes chlorella and spirulina a superior superfood compared to other vegetables, such as kale and spinach. It is also keto-friendly and gluten-free, making it suitable for any kind of lifestyle.
There are many health benefits of incorporating chlorella and spirulina into your diet, including:
- Strong antioxidant properties. It has a compound named “phycocyanin” that contributes to anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-aging properties
- Lowers bad fat (LDL/triglycerides) and elevates good fat level in the body, managing cholesterol levels and reduce blood pressure
- Reduces the risk of several diseases that occur due to high-fat content in the body such as diabetes,
- Improves glycemic status, stabilizing blood glucose and insulin levels
- Boosts the immune system which helps in reducing allergic conditions such as allergic rhinitis or hay fever.
- Reduces fatigue and strengthens muscles and endurance.
- Promotes brain activity, giving you more energy and focus
- Increases healthy gut bacteria, improves digestion and bowel movements
Chlorella and spirulina also have fantastic bioavailability (the body's ability to absorb nutrients). Many vitamin and mineral supplements have low bioavailability, especially because they are synthetically produced. Chlorella and spirulina are cultivated naturally in sunshine and water, and offer the same nutritional benefits and absorption as whole foods.
Good for you, and the planet
In addition to its plentiful health benefits, algae is one of the solutions being put forward to solve the challenge of how we feed a growing world population, without adding to the climate crisis. Cultivating microalgae is extremely efficient doesn't require any pesticides, doesn’t require a lot of resources to produce and doesn't produce any waste to contaminate the environment. Most importantly, it can help to improve water quality and even absorb the greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide.
How to incorporate into your diet
Chlorella and spirulina come in tablets or powder. Tablets can be consumed on the go for those who do not want to taste it in foods or drinks.
In the powder form, it can be easily added to smoothies, juices, baking (energy balls), recipes (pesto, guacamole) and more. The taste is extremely mild and could be described as similar to broccoli, kale or brussels, with a little bit of salty ocean mixed in. Most people report getting used to the scent and taste quickly and say they feel naturally energized, light, and revitalized when they consume it at the beginning of the day.
Now might just be the time to try algae superfood supplements.
If you live in Canada, Soleil Superfoods offers the highest quality chlorella and spirulina supplements in tablet & powder forms, that are 100% pure, organic and grown in natural sunshine. Check out our products here.