Why microalgae are some of the most POWERFUL superfoods in the world

There are thousands of different species of algae in the world. These algae range from the green things that sometimes bloom in garden ponds and swimming pools to edible seaweeds used in Japanese and Korean cuisine that make versatile culinary ingredients. [1][2] There are also some microscopic algae, like spirulina and chlorella, which are some of the most nutritious superfoods in the world. [3] These microorganisms are extensively studied and are known to produce an abundance of essential nutrients and potent phytonutrients that can help promote good overall health and well-being.

How microalgae can support optimal health

Algae are single-celled or multicellular organisms that grow in different bodies of water. Despite not having roots, stems or leaves, they are often described as plant-like because they contain chloroplasts and use photosynthesis to make food. [4] Algae can also tolerate a wide range of temperatures and other environmental conditions, so they can grow on their own or form symbiotic relationships with other organisms. [5]

Algae can be classified based on their color and size. Macroalgae, or seaweeds, are large, multicellular organisms that are visible to the naked eye. They usually occur in various shades of green (Chlorophyta) and brown (Phaeophyta). Microalgae, in contrast, are single-celled microorganisms that you can only detect in water if conditions allow them to bloom. Besides green and brown, microalgae also appear in other colors, such as red (Rhodophyta) and blue.

Like many plants with the same hue, green algae like chlorella owe their color to chlorophyll, a light-absorbing pigment that plays an important role in photosynthesis. [6] Red and blue algae, on the other hand, owe their striking hues to accessory pigments called phycobiliproteins. [7] Brown algae get their color from an abundance of fucoxanthin, one of the many antioxidant carotenoids present in algae. [8] Microalgae are said to produce large amounts of carotenoids to protect themselves from harmful free radicals. [9]

According to a study published in the journal Handbook of Marine Microalgae, microalgal pigments possess many properties that are beneficial to human health. [10] Chlorophyll, for instance, has been shown to protect healthy cells against oxidative stress by scavenging free radicals. Several studies have also found that chlorophyll can support your body’s natural ability to eliminate harmful elements by binding to them and supporting the activities of detoxification enzymes. [11]

The phycobiliproteins, phycoerythrin and phycocyanin, are responsible for the red and blue colors of certain microalgae, respectively. They are also extensively studied for their health benefits.

According to a South Korean study, phycoerythrin is a powerful antioxidant that can help prevent free radicals from damaging your cells and its components. [12] Meanwhile, another study reported that phycocyanin from microalgae like the blue-green spirulina also has antioxidant properties and can support a healthy immune system by promoting the functions of certain immune cells. [13]

Microalgae produce a variety of carotenoids and other high-value products in response to environmental stressors. [14] Some of the more well-known antioxidant carotenoids found in microalgae include fucoxanthin, lutein, astaxanthin, zeaxanthin, cryptoxanthin and alpha- and beta-carotene. Spirulina and chlorella, the two most popular microalgae used as supplements, are rich in these antioxidant carotenoids.

According to a study published in the journal Biotechnology, species from the genus Spirulina produce an abundance of carotenoids that support healthy eyes and skin and promote a healthy immune system. [15] These include the powerful antioxidant, beta-carotene, which can help you maintain good eyesight and healthy, glowing skin; lutein and zeaxanthin, which help protect your eyes from light-induced damage caused by harmful blue light; and beta-cryptoxanthin, which, like beta-carotene, is a vitamin A precursor. Vitamin A is not only important for proper growth and development, but it is also crucial for supporting a healthy immune response. [16][17][18]

Meanwhile, chemical analysis of the microalgae species Chlorella reveals that they are a rich source of lutein and zeaxanthin, as well as the vitamin A-forming carotenoids, alpha- and beta-carotene. According to a study published in Nutrition Journal, supplementing with chlorella is also a great way to support a healthy heart since the carotenoids in it can help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels that are already within the normal range. [19]

Why you can rely on chlorella and spirulina for optimal nutrition

Spirulina and chlorella are considered the greatest superfoods nutritionally for good reason. Besides offering an impressive array of health-supporting phytonutrients, these microalgae can also provide high amounts of essential nutrients and macronutrients.

Both spirulina and chlorella are complete proteins, meaning they contain all nine essential amino acids your body needs. According to one study, essential amino acids form 47% of spirulina’s total protein weight, while chlorella is reported to be made up of 50 to 60% protein. [20][21] Thanks to their abundance of high-quality protein, which has been shown to promote satiety, both spirulina and chlorella can support healthy weight management plans, especially when combined with a well-balanced diet and regular exercise. [22] Spirulina and chlorella are also the perfect alternative protein sources for vegans and vegetarians.

Another great thing about spirulina and chlorella is that they’re rich sources of healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Long-chain PUFAs like omega-3s and omega-6s are essential fats that fulfill many important roles inside your body. Aside from being integral components of cell membranes, omega-3s are also needed for supporting normal blood vessel function. [23] Omega-6s, meanwhile, help promote healthy skin and hair growth, as well as support bone health. [24] Because your body doesn’t produce these beneficial fats on its own, you need to get them from PUFA-rich foods like spirulina and chlorella.

According to a study published in the Journal of AOAC International, spirulina contains the omega-6 fatty acids linoleic acid, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and arachidonic acid. [25] Both linoleic acid and GLA help promote healthy heart and skin, while arachidonic acid supports healthy immune function. [26][27][28] The omega-3s present in spirulina are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These healthy fats are known for their ability to support brain and heart health. [29]

Like spirulina, chlorella is also rich in linoleic acid and ALA. But instead of GLA, chlorella contains high amounts of the omega-9 fatty acid, oleic acid. This healthy fat is the predominant fat found in olive oil and is known to support healthy cardiovascular function as well as promote the body’s natural ability to heal. [30][31] Chlorella also contains decent amounts of DHA and eicosadienoic acid, a rare omega-6 fatty acid that can be found in human milk. According to studies, eicosadienoic acid is crucial for maintaining healthy immune responses. [32][33]

The omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA, are essential fats that are commonly found in oily fish like mackerel, salmon and sardines. But if you’re a vegan or a vegetarian, you don’t have to worry about alternative omega-3 sources. You can get high amounts of DHA and EPA from spirulina and chlorella. [34]

Aside from these healthy fats, you can also get plenty of essential nutrients from these two microalgae. Spirulina is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, E and K, and minerals like iron, copper and manganese. A one-cup serving (112 grams, g) of dried spirulina can give you the following % Daily Value (DV) for essential nutrients: [35]

  • Vitamin A, 13%
  • Vitamin C, 19%
  • Vitamin E, 28%
  • Vitamin K, 36%
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamin), 178%
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), 242%
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin), 72%
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), 39%
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 20%
  • Vitamin B9 (folate), 26%
  • Calcium, 13%
  • Copper, 342%
  • Iron, 177%
  • Magnesium, 55%
  • Manganese, 106%
  • Phosphorus, 13%
  • Potassium, 44%
  • Selenium, 12%
  • Sodium, 49%
  • Zinc, 15%

You can also get the following nutrients from a 100g serving of dried chlorella: [36]

  • Vitamin A, 1026%
  • Vitamin C, 17%
  • Vitamin E, 8%
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamin), 113%
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), 253%
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin), 119%
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), 11%
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 70%
  • Vitamin B9 (folate), 24%
  • Calcium, 22%
  • Iron, 722%
  • Magnesium, 79%
  • Phosphorus, 90%
  • Zinc, 473%

To recap, here are the remarkable health and nutritional benefits offered by spirulina and chlorella:

  • Complete protein sources for vegetarians and vegans
  • Abundant sources of beneficial phytonutrients
  • Support healthy immune function
  • Support the body’s natural ability to detox
  • Support healthy cardiovascular function
  • Support healthy, glowing skin
  • Promote sensible weight management plans when combined with a healthy diet and exercise

Where to find clean, lab-verified spirulina and chlorella

Spirulina and chlorella are both incredible superfoods in their own right. As nutrient powerhouses, these microalgae pack an impressive nutritional punch and provide a wide range of health benefits, which is why they deserve to be a part of your daily diet.

To help you take advantage of all the good things these superfoods have to offer, we’ve combined our lab-verified spirulina and chlorella into one potent superfood blend powder.

Health Ranger Select Pure Microalgae Superfood Blend Powder is a convenient supplement that you can easily incorporate into your routine. Our premium powder blend is specially formulated to help you boost your intake of essential vitamins and minerals and health-supporting phytonutrients.

Thanks to the abundance of chlorophyll and antioxidant carotenoids in spirulina and chlorella, Health Ranger Select Pure Microalgae Superfood Blend Powder can help support the healthy functions of your heart, kidneys, liver and immune system. With regular consumption, our high-quality, pure microalgae powder can also help you maintain healthy, glowing skin and achieve sensible weight management goals when combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Both spirulina and chlorella are naturally rich in protein and essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, so you can use Health Ranger Select Pure Microalgae Superfood Blend Powder as an alternative source of protein and healthy fats if you’re on a vegan or vegetarian diet. Simply add our convenient powder blend to your favorite green shakes or smoothies, post-workout drinks and go-to recipes.

Health Ranger Select Pure Microalgae Superfood Blend Powder is made with lab-verified chlorella and spirulina powders, making it one of the cleanest and most potent superfood formulas on the market. It contains no fillers, excipients or flow agents and is vegan, non-GMO and non-China. It is also meticulously lab tested for glyphosate, heavy metals and microbiology.

Experience the combined benefits of ultra-clean spirulina and chlorella – two of the most powerful superfoods in the world!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any diseases.

References

[1] https://oceanservice.noaa.gov

[2] https://guide.michelin.com

[3] https://www.intechopen.com

[4]https://bio.libretexts.org

[5] https://microbialcellfactories.biomedcentral.com

[6] https://www.nationalgeographic.org

[7] https://www.sciencedirect.com

[8] https://www.seaweed.ie

[9] https://www.intechopen.com

[10] https://www.sciencedirect.com

[11] https://www.researchgate.net

[12]https://www.spandidos-publications.com

[13] https://www.jcancer.org

[14] https://www.frontiersin.org

[15] https://scialert.net

[16] https://www.healthline.com       

[17] https://www.allaboutvision.com

[18] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com

[19] https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com

[20] https://www.antenna.ch

[21] https://www.healthline.com

[22] https://academic.oup.com

[23] https://www.hsph.harvard.edu

[24] https://www.mountsinai.org

[25]https://www.semanticscholar.org

[26] https://www.hsph.harvard.edu

[27] https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp

[28] https://www.britannica.com

[29] https://my.clevelandclinic.org

[30] https://www.sciencedirect.com

[31] https://www.eurekaselect.net

[32] https://link.springer.com/article

[33] https://journals.plos.org/plosone

[34] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com

[35] https://nutritiondata.self.com

[36] https://nutritiondata.self.com
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