The Healthy Scoop: Chlorella & Spirulina, The Ultimate Supergreens
Fri, 23 November 2012 8:41AM
On the road of exploration you often stumble across gold, Primpers. So, nearly a month into my Health Coach studies (yep, I’ll be a certified Health Coach in around 12 months, but more on that much later) it’s no surprise that I’m learning and discovering an entire mine of goodness about health and wellbeing. Case in point: the importance of supergreens like spirulina and chlorella in your diet.
Both spirulina and chlorella are microscopic plants that grow in water – AKA micro-algae. In fact, they’re one of the oldest lifeforms on earth dating back 3.5 million years and share an impressive lineup of attributes including a rich source of protein; high levels of chlorophyll and lashings of essential fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. In short, these micro-alage benefit your entire body in more ways than I have time to explain in one blog, but some from the highlight reel include boosting your metabolism, balancing your moods, improving your immune function and detoxifying your liver.
Victoria Beckham is said to be a huge fan of chlorella
Let’s take a closer look at each one…
- A wholefood that is made up of 60 per cent protein, making it a great alternative to meat protein.
- Contains ‘Chlorella Growth Factor’ – a range of amino and nucleic acids – that boost your immune system and help repair damage, heal wounds and encourage healthy cells.
- Incredibly high levels of chlorophyll (in fact the HIGHEST of any plant), which gives it its green colour and believed to help alkalise the body and assist in the detoxification process. Note to drinkers: If your liver needs a little helping hand, chlorella will help cleanse and purify your insides. It’s also known to be an ideal heavy-metal detoxifier, binding with mercury and lead to eliminate them from your system. Great for canned fish lovers and anyone with mercury fillings.
- Rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants to protect against free radical damage, and ultimately, ageing.
- High in dietary fibre helping anyone who suffers from constipation or, ahem, dry poos. It’s also packed with beta-carotene, all your B Vitamins, iron, zinc… the list is endless.
- The best vegan protein source available, boasting 12 times the protein of beef.
- Rich in good fats and essential fatty acids, which promote a healthy brain, heart and body and are known to reduce the risk of heart disease, depression and other common ailments.
- Easier to digest than chlorella, making it a better option for anyone with stomach sensitivities.
- Highest known source of beta-carotene to improve the health of your skin, teeth, eyes and tissues.
- Packed with Vitamin B12 (in fact, it’s also the highest known source of this, too) to help with every cell in your entire body.
While the snapshot may suggest having to choose between these two great foods, the fact is that they complement each other perfectly. The general belief is that you should take twice as much spirulina as you do chlorella and look at what algae suits your needs the most. If detoxification is your primary concern, chlorella is the one for you. If, however, you are a vegan and really need a hit of protein, opt for more spirulina instead.
How do you take it? I take my chlorella in tablet form (3×3 a day) but it does come in a powder as well. When searching for your options make sure your chlorella’s cell wall has been broken down to assist in digestion. I take NOW Certified Organic Chlorella and when it comes to your spirulina, your can choose between tablet or powder form, where you can add it to smoothies, soups, cereals and salads. YUM! My pick: Hawaiian Pacifica Spirulina.
A little word of advice before I sign off. If you suffer from any serious illnesses or autoimmune disorders, it’s worth speaking to your naturopath, doctor or healthcare physician before taking any new supplements, just in case.
If you want to learn more about these amazing little foods, I’ve found a great resource: Superfoods for Optimum Health: Chlorella and Spirulina by Mike Adams.
Tell me Primpers…
Do you take one or both of these supergreens?
Do you want to now?