Algae are a large and unbelievably diverse group of eukaryotic, photosynthetic life forms or organisms. Algae are found in a wide range of environments and each of those has different sets of characteristics and colors that help them adapt to different environments. They can be found in oceans, rivers, lakes, ponds, brackish water, and even snow. Among different types of Algae, there are two most important and healthy algae going to be discussed below. They are
- Chlorella And
Chlorella is a genius kind of algae that grows in freshwater. It is a single green celled alga belonging to the division Chlorophyta. Chlorella is spherical in shape and contains the green photosynthetic pigments chlorophyll-a and -b in its chloroplast.
Research shows that chlorella can help throw the toxins out of your body, improve cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. It is known to be full of nutrition, containing several types of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
A large portion of the chlorella available is made in Japan and Taiwan and then turned into liquid extract or tablets. Being a hard cell it is difficult for the human body to digest it, so it is generally taken in the form of supplements. Below we list you the amazing health benefits of consuming Chlorella.
- High in nutrition
It has even been referred to as a ‘superfood’ due to the impressive number of nutrients it contains. It contains high doses of protein, Vitamin B12, Iron, Vitamin C, Antioxidants, Omega 3, Fibre, and small amounts of calcium, potassium, zinc, and folic acid.
- Helps in Body Detox
Several animal studies prove that Chlorella is very helpful in removing heavy metals and other such harmful compounds in our bodies. These elements are important for the body in small quantities, however when ingested in large amounts – iron, cadmium, and lead can be severely toxic for the body.
Chlorella is also useful in lowering the number of harmful chemicals, which are found in food, sometimes like dioxin, a hormone disruptor.
- Enhances immune system
Several studies have shown that Chlorella can enhance the immune response in both humans and animals. It helps in producing more antibodies, which are the core requirement for good virus defense.
- Improves Cholesterol and Blood sugar levels
Proper intake of Chlorella supplements is good for reducing cholesterol levels and also helps improve blood lipid levels. The Niacin, Fibre, Carotenoids, and Antioxidants present in Chlorella help in this.
- Keeps Blood Pressure in check
Consumption of Chlorella helps in promoting kidney and heart health, which in turn regulates your Blood Pressure, The arteries become less stiff and nutrients like arginine, potassium, calcium, and omega 3 prevent their hardening.
Spirulina is a biomass of cyanobacteria that can be eaten by humans and animals. These blue – green algae grow worldwide in both fresh water and sea water. It has three species,
- Arthrospira platensis
- A. fusiformis
- A. maxima
Spirulina was used as food for a very long time, due to its health benefits. Nowadays it also comes in capsules, tablets, powders and has also begun to be used in beverages like energy bars, popcorns, etc. Spirulina has some exceptional components that are good for providing high energy levels. We bring to you some of its most important health benefits.
- Very high in nutrients
It contains some nutrients, beginning with vitamins such as A, C, E, and B. It also has calcium, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. Spirulina is also a good source of iron for those on a vegan diet. It is also high in protein, just one tbsp. (7 gm) providing almost 4 gm protein per serving.
- Anti-atherogenic effects
A study on rabbits showed that Spirulina helps in reducing the build-up of plaque in the arterial walls, even when they are fed a high cholesterol diet. It is also not calorie-heavy at all.
- Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
Inflammation and oxidation can be harmful to DNA and cellular structure and functions. This can further lead to serious diseases like cancer. Spirulina is high in antioxidants, which prevent any oxidative damage. It can also free radicals and produce inflammatory signaling molecules.
- Improves symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis
Allergic rhinitis is a kind of nose inflammation that occurs when the immune system overreacts to allergens in the air. It causes a runny nose, red, itchy, and watery eyes. Consumption of Spirulina is a popular treatment for this as it helps in reducing the various symptoms.
- Protects bad cholesterol from oxidation
All the fatty structures in your body can be prone to oxidative damage. It is commonly known as lipid peroxidation and can be a serious disease. However, there are many antioxidants in Spirulina, which can help in overcoming this oxidation and also increase the levels of antioxidant enzymes in your blood.
Difference between Spirulina and Chlorella
Spirulina and Chlorella are both single-celled algae that contain various kinds of polyunsaturated fats. The main visible difference between them would be their color. Chlorella is green in color whereas Spirulina has more of a bluish tinge. Their major differences are
- Difference in nutrient levels
They both have different amounts of calories, vitamins, and mineral contents. Chlorella is high in calories, omega 3 fatty acids, provitamin A, riboflavin, magnesium, iron, and zinc. Spirulina contains high amounts of thiamine, copper, and riboflavin.
- Different Vitamin sources
Chlorella is a source of
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin D
Spirulina is a source of
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B6
- They both have a very distinct taste
Spirulina tastes like the sea or lake water. It is green and earthy with a sulfuric edge to it. Most people do not like the taste initially, but it can start tasting pleasant as it is slowly acquired. Whereas Chlorella has a green flavor to it, that is easier to chew and much less bitter than Spirulina.
- Colour difference
Spirulina is more of blue-green algae and Chlorella has a distinct lime, yellow hue to it, which makes it different from one another.