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Superfood of the Month: Algae

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At Nagi, nutrient-rich food that benefits our health and well-being always sparks a passion – we’re enticed to learn more about organic ingredients that can help us feel better, look stronger and live longer. Mere whispers of the word superfood and our hearts are racing with a curiosity to know more, and we don’t stop until we’re swimming in it, neck deep.

With algae, this is quite literally the case.

One of the earth’s oldest plants, algae grows exotically all over the world and has been used by humans since the early 1900s because of its ability to detox heavy metals, prevent and heal cancer, reduce cholesterol and boost energy. It was used after World War I and II to heal victims of radiation poisoning, and thanks to its incredibly high protein count, countries with post-war food shortages thrived off algae to avoid starvation.

You might be familiar with the names ‘spirulina’ or ‘chlorella’, two microalgae species that have blown scientific research out of the water in terms of dense nutritional profiles. Grown internationally, from Africa to Hawaii, both spirulina and chlorella do wonders blended into smoothies, taken by the tablet or incorporated into raw vegan delicacies. Although these two superfoods look very similar in texture and colour, the health benefits that they provide slightly differ:

Spirulina

Spirulina contains an incredibly high concentration of antioxidants. Not only does this mean that it can help you look younger, but it can make you feel younger too; it aids in mental clarity, lowers blood pressure and promotes cellular renewal, growth and repair. The colouring of spirulina is green-blue and it’s comprised of iron, amino acids and active enzymes that promote a healthy gut. Akin to chlorella, it’s one of the easiest forms of algae that you can get your hands on, but it’s arguably the healthier of the two.

Chlorella

Imagine a filtration system for heavy metals and toxins in your body – chlorella helps to remove pesticides, lead, mercury and other environmental pollutants. Chlorella contains the highest amount of chlorophyll found in nature – a molecule that helps carry oxygen in your body, promoting the growth of red blood cells. This means that chlorella can substantially help prevent illness and disease that is associated with the aging process and a weakened immune system.

Even a small amount of algae can offer more vitamins and minerals compared to a hearty dose of fruits and vegetables. However, spirulina and chlorella that have been exposed to heat drying likely contain enzymes that have been killed in the drying process, which prevents it from being entirely raw. Make sure to look for algae that is air dried, and pay attention to how the algae is preserved – any fillers in your spirulina or chlorella could upset your system.

So, what do you think? Ready to take the plunge with us?

 

 Written By: Sarah Amormino  

- journalist passionate about health www.sarahamormino.com  -


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