You may have heard the term 'superfoods' so much lately that it has lost it's lustre. From Acai to Gogi to Hemp, it seems almost everything is labeled a super food these days. But when it comes to Algae, these two power house sea greens speak for themselves. Let's take a look!
"This tiny alga is packed with nutrients. A single tablespoon (7 grams) of dried spirulina powder contains (2Trusted Source):
Protein: 4 grams
Vitamin B1 (thiamine): 11% of the RDA
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): 15% of the RDA
Vitamin B3 (niacin): 4% of the RDA
Copper: 21% of the RDA
Iron: 11% of the RDA
It also contains decent amounts of magnesium, potassium and manganese and small amounts of almost every other nutrient that you need.
In addition, the same amount holds only 20 calories and 1.7 grams of digestible carbs.
Gram for gram, spirulina may be the single most nutritious food on the planet.
A tablespoon (7 grams) of spirulina provides a small amount of fat — around 1 gram — including both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in an approximately 1.5–1.0 ratio.
The quality of the protein in spirulina is considered excellent — comparable to eggs. It gives all the essential amino acids that you need." -Healthline .com
In case you are not yet convinced, Spirulina has excellent anti-inflammatory and as well as anti-oxidant properties and has been used to help with weight loss, diabetes, high cholesterol, pre-menstrual symptoms, anxiety and so much more!
"While its exact nutrient content depends on growing conditions, the species used and how supplements are processed, it's clear it packs several beneficial nutrients.
They include: Protein: Chlorella is 50–60% protein. What's more, it's a complete protein source, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids (3, 5Trusted Source).
Vitamin B12: Some chlorella varieties may also contain vitamin B12, but more studies are needed (6Trusted Source).
Iron and vitamin C: Chlorella can be a good source of iron. Depending on the supplement, it may provide anywhere from 6–40% of your daily need. It's also an excellent source of vitamin C, which helps you absorb iron (1Trusted Source, 3, 7).
Other antioxidants: These tiny green cells provide a wide range of antioxidants (1Trusted Source, 3). Other vitamins and minerals: Chlorella provides small amounts of magnesium, zinc, copper, potassium, calcium, folic acid and other B vitamins (1Trusted Source, 3, 8).
Omega-3s: As with other algae, chlorella contains some omega-3s. Just 3 grams of chlorella delivers 100 mg of omega-3s (8).
Fiber: In large quantities, chlorella can be a good source of fiber. However, most supplements don't provide even 1 gram of fiber per dose (1Trusted Source, 8)." - Healthline .com
In Summary: Both Spirulina and Chlorella have major benefits for humans-but pair them up and you truly have the dynamic duo of the superfood world!
Want an easy way to eat your daily algae? There are 8 servings of fruits and veggies, plus Spirulina, Chlorella and 50 other superfoods in the ItWorks Greens! Delicious alone or kicked up in these sea faring Smoothies! Both recipes have even more antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties with the addition of the blueberries, basil and/or turmeric and cinnamon so you can't go wrong whichever you choose! ENJOY!
Blueberry Bay Superfood Smoothie
1/2c low carb vanilla yogurt
1/2 c frozen blueberries
1-2 fresh basil leaves
6 oz unsweetened coconut milk
Blend and enjoy!
Chocolate Breeze Superfood Smoothie
1 frozen banana
1 c almond or coconut milk
1/4 t cinnamon
1/2 t turmeric
Blend and enjoy!