What is Spirulina?
Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae which is incredibly good for you. It mostly grows in many freshwater environments, including ponds, lakes, and rivers. It is rich in Chlorophyll, and just like plants, spirulina seeks energy from the sun. The potential health benefits of spirulina are outstanding! Not only that, it is loaded with nutrients that can have powerful effects on both your body and brain. And when harvested properly from the fresh water bodies, it is regarded as one of the most potent nutrient sources available. It is largely made up of protein and essential amino acids. So for a vegetarian’s delight, here is great option if you are looking for a high natural iron content food. Thanks to Spirulina algae health benefits and all the goodness, spirulina has gained commercial popularity and is most often sold as a deep green-colored powder or a tablet as a dietary supplement.
|Nutrient breakdown of SPIRULINA | *per 100g|
|Protein||57g||Vitamin A||11% DV|
|Omega-3 fatty acids | linolenic acid||0.8g/100g||Vitamin C||17% DV|
|Omega-6 fatty acids | linoleic acid||GLA 1.2g/100g||Vitamin K||32% DV|
|Iron||158%||Vitamin E||25% DV|
|Selenium||10% DV||Vitamin B6||18% DV|
|Magnesium||49% DV||Copper||305% DV|
|Zinc||13% DV||Sodium||44% DV|
|Potassium||39% DV||Calcium||12% DV|
|Manganese||95% DV||Phosphorus||12% DV|
So how does spirulina go from algae to powder? Microalgae from the surrounding farm is put into large contained pools that each contain 150,000 total gallons of liquid and nutrients to cultivate the spirulina until it's ready to harvest. Once mature, the spirulina gets pumped out of the pond into a harvesting facility where the algae gets strained out with stainless steel screens. Then the strained spirulina algae paste is laid out and triple-washed with potable water before it goes into a drying vessel that converts it into powder form. Below, we set out the current knowledge on potential health benefits of spirulina.
What are the Spirulina health benefits?
You might think Spirulina is the new miracle food in the market but it has been around since the 1950’s. These microalgae have been consumed for decades now due to its high nutritional value and health benefits.
- Spirulina contains a substance called xanthophyll which helps in keeping your eye healthy. It helps to cut down on cataracts and the macular degeneration that comes with age.
- The Gamma-Linolenic Acid or GLA content of Spirulina makes it a potent natural anti-inflammatory agent. Spirulina health benefits extend to C-phycocyanin (C-PC), a biliprotein found in blue green algae, such as Spirulina platensis, is often used as a dietary nutritional supplement due to its various therapeutic values and anti-inflammatory nature.
- The high level of chlorophyll which is one of nature's most powerful detoxifying agents helps Spirulina to remove toxins from your body.
- Starting to eat these blue-green algae can help to increase your good cholesterol while reducing the bad cholesterol at the same time. This means spirulina can help with atherosclerosis (a hardening of the arteries caused by high cholesterol levels) and aid in decreasing risk rates for cardiovascular diseases.
- Spirulina can improve your immune system by promoting cell regeneration. It therefore helps to quickly heal wounds and recover from illnesses. Interestingly, the antioxidants in spirulina appear to be particularly effective at helping to reduce lipid peroxidation.
- It is incredibly rich in protein and diets which are high in nutrient-dense protein-rich foods like spirulina assist in your weight loss targets. Due to the high amounts of protein that spirulina contains, eating this potent plant can help satisfy you and your hunger. It is also high in fiber, which is a prerequisite for a balanced appetite. The high concentration of protein and iron also makes it ideal when the immune system needs a boost.
- There are also researches which show that spirulina may be helpful for those with allergies and allergic reactions.
- Being high in calcium with over 26 times the calcium in milk, Spirulina is excellent for children, elderly and for women during pregnancy.
- Not to forget that it also contains Omega 3-, 6 and 9s with especially high Omega-3s.
How to eat Spirulina?
You can cherish the goodness of Spirulina by choosing any one or combination of its two most common forms- powder and tablets. It is also found as an active ingredient of some protein and energy-boosting powder mixes like Organic Super Spirulina. To add Spirulina to your diet, you can take a small teaspoon of this deep blue-green colored powder into a glass of water or juice and drink it right away. You can also add some to your smoothies for a delicious taste. This is also a reason why many prefer supplements like this high quality spirulina capsules.
While going for the smoothie route, balance out the overall flavor by combining the spirulina powder with sweet fruits like bananas, pineapple, and mango. And if you want it in your juice, stir it you’re your sweet orange or pineapple juice. Store your spirulina powder bottles and tablets bags in the cool places, provided in refrigerator. It doesn’t have any oils that could potentially vaporize over time but still consume it within a few months of opening.
Health benefits of chlorella and spirulina combined
Although there are certain differences between chlorella and spirulina, each algae also shares a variety of similar health benefits. Combined chlorella and spirulina can provide a full array of micro and macro nutrients including all the essential amino acids, vitamins B1, B2, B6, and B12, magnesium, iron, zinc, healthy fats and vitamin A (beta-carotene). The two algae complement each other, containing antioxidants (carotenoids) and anti-inflammatory compounds to help boost immunity, while simultaneously working to help detoxify and alkalize the body. This powerful green superfood nutrition aids the body in maintaining optimal health on the molecular level.
Consuming Spirulina and Chlorella daily is a highly recommended practice for helping to strengthen and elevate your body’s nutritional profile. The health benefits of spirulina supplements promote so much well-being and high energy. Many people often confuse chlorella with spirulina. Although both algae are waterborne organisms, there are important differences between them. Chlorella is a spherical-shaped single-celled micro-organism with a nucleus, while spirulina is a spiral-shaped, multi-celled plant which doesn’t have a true nucleus. Spirulina is also not considered a true algae, but rather a blue-green algae, or a cyanobacteria. It’s also related to other sea vegetables such as wakame, arame, kelp, nori, and dulse.Nutrition Facts
Chlorella and spirulina are among the most nutritious foods available today. However, based on nutrient content, spirulina is considered the healthier of the two algae. Spirulina is a better source of protein, essential amino acids, zinc, calcium, potassium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, and B vitamins including B1, B2, B3, B6, and B12. Spirulina is also considered to be the best source of gamma-linolenic acid compared to any other algae. Due to its dark green color, chlorella is considered the better source of chlorophyll.
Which freshwater algae wins the battle between chlorella vs. spirulina? It really comes down to preference. Spirulina arguably contains a greater amount of nutrients overall, but chlorella is also loaded with benefits and is a better source of chlorophyll. We recommend trying chlorella and spirulina on alternate days. Add chlorella to your smoothie one day, and then add spirulina to your water the next day. You definitely can’t go wrong choosing either superfood.
You can have too much of a good thing and that also holds true for spirulina! Be sure not to over do it, be sure to take the correct dosage which is 1-2 teaspoons per day. Particularly, like anything that comes from the sea, be certain to only purchase blue-green algae that is free from contamination. Go for the organic option to ensure you have the best quality. At WeightWorld all our spirulina products are of the highest quality and are organic to ensure you are getting the best.