From kale juice to daily wheatgrass shots, the craze for everything green is definitely here to stay. Powerful algae like spirulina and chlorella are quickly becoming popular as super greens because of their amazing health benefits, from protecting your heart to balancing your blood sugar and even helping you to get rid of cravings.
Spirulina, a kind of blue – green algae, grows naturally in warm, salty waters in Africa and South America, while chlorella, a species of green algae is found in fresh water. Although both of these types of algae offer plenty of wellness rewards, spirulina and chlorella boost your health in different ways.
Let’s see how they stack up against each other:
1. Pigment Properties
Chlorella contains the pigment chlorophyll, which is found in all green plants and can improve hemoglobin quality, while spirulina is the only source of phycocyanin, a rare blue pigment that gives spirulina its color and has important anti-cancerous and organ healing benefits.
2. Cholesterol Control
Spirulina helps to lower dangerous LDL cholesterol by helping enzymes to digest fat and research shows that it can also increase “good” HDL cholesterol. Chlorella has also shown limited benefits to cholesterol levels.
3. Vitamin Values
Both spirulina and chlorella are full of essential vitamins. Chlorella gives you plenty of vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin (B2) and niacin (B3). Spirulina is also rich in thiamin, riboflavin and niacin along with vitamin K and pantothenic acid (B5).
4. Complete Cleansers
Spirulina and chlorella are both great detoxifiers. Chlorella uses its large amounts of chlorophyll to attach to heavy metals and chemicals and cleanse them from your body. Spirulina can actually pull toxins like mercury and radioactive materials from your cells, helping you to completely flush them out.
5. Antioxidant Abilities
Both spirulina and chlorella give your body a helping of free radical fighting antioxidant vitamins, preventing damage to your DNA. But only spirulina can provide an antioxidant boost from phycocyanorubin, a powerful tissue protector that is created when mammals take spirulina.
6. Calorie Content
Spirulina and chlorella are both extremely low in calories. One tablespoon (7 grams) of spirulina has just 20 calories and chlorella offers only 29 calories per tablespoon. Compare this to the huge nutritional boost in each tablespoon and you’ll see why both types of algae are quickly becoming favorites in weight loss meal plans.
7. Recommendations to Remember
While spirulina and chlorella are natural and usually very safe to consume, there are some important factors to remember. Chlorella has a tough cell wall and can be hard to digest and although spirulina is usually easier on the stomach, it’s a good idea to start taking spirulina and chlorella at low doses. Both may also not go well with certain kinds of medications so always talk to your doctor before using either.
When it comes to choosing between spirulina and chlorella, keep in mind that they each have unique and valuable benefits to offer you. Whether you’re looking for lowered cholesterol, more nutrients or an overall antioxidant and anti-aging effect, adding these low-calorie, high-vitamin and mineral rich wonders to your diet is a simple and natural way to improve your health.