Superfoods Focus: Spirulina vs. Chlorella

Love Food & Yoga Titbits: 25 February 2014: Superfoods Focus: Spirulina vs. Chlorella

David Wolfe, leading authority on superfoods and advocate of raw foods and nutritional healing for many years, calls superfoods the ‘Food and Medicine of the Future’, due to their nutrient dense qualities, compared even to high quality foods like organic fruit and vegetables. To optimize health and vitality, superfoods David suggests, give us the biggest bang for our buck by meeting and exceeding all our protein requirements, our vitamin and mineral requirements, glyconutrient requirements, essential fatty acid requirements, immune system requirements, and so much more. Personally I’m also a big advocate for adding in superfood nutrient rich goodness to one’s diet. But good of course to know what you’re adding in and why.

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Let’s start with comparing two of the most popular superfoods: the blue-green algae Spirulina vs. the green algae Chlorella. Both are fresh water micro-algae which have an amazing array of nutritional properties: vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, protein, nucleic acid (RNA and DNA), chlorophyll, and a vast spectrum of phytochemicals. Both are considered to have all the nutrients that are needed by the human body. Both are high in antioxidants and act as immune system strengtheners.

Why Spirulina:
  • Hands down one of the best sources of protein available (65-71%, highest in any type of food)
  • Contains all 8 essential amino acids and 18 in total
  • The best source of GLA, an anti-inflammatory essential fatty acid for a healthy nervous system, brain and heart function
  • High in phycocyanin, a phytochemical that can help prevent cancer
  • Easier on the digestive system than chlorella, which may cause diarrhea if prone
  • Rich in iron (on a par with red meat)
  • Rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, E and K
  • Cool and wet by nature: good for hot, dry body types or climates
Why Chlorella:
  • Highest chlorophyll containing plant in the world: highly effective as a blood cleansing agent and for removing heavy metals and pesticides from the body
  • Particularly good for those who need liver support from smoking or alcohol
  • Rich in minerals, especially iron (even higher than spirulina)
  • A complete protein source
  • Improves bowel function: stimulates growth of friendly bacteria, helps constipation and restores natural peristalsis
  • Rich in nucleic aids, key factors for RNA and DNA that protect cells and raise energy levels
  • High in beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that protects against free radicals and promotes eye and skin health.
  • Effective for repairing nerve tissue damage and tackling degenerative nerve and brain disorders

Clearly both these superfoods are great sources of nutrition for anyone who working towards improving their health. To add to your diet start with small doses and increase slowly, using a 2:1 ratio of spirulina to chlorella, if combining. Add to smoothies, juices, porridge, salads, dressings, home made energy balls or desserts, or simply take in tablet form. As with all supplements aim for organic, high quality sources.
Anthea
Author : Anthea Grimason is a yoga teacher and self professed foodie. Working independently and also for world renowned Samahita Yoga Retreat in Thailand, Anthea loves to shares her nutrition and wellness tips on everything from super foods, ayurvedic principles and raw food to simple water. She has her own magazine column here called Love Food & Yoga Titbits as well as posting longer articles.
Visit Anthea’s Website: www.goodnessyou.com & www.lovefoodandyoga.com
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