The Healthy Scoop: Chlorella & Spirulina, The Ultimate Supergreens

Fri, 23 November 2012 8:41AM

On the road of exploration you often stumble across gold, Primpers. So, nearly a month into my Health Coach studies (yep, I’ll be a certified Health Coach in around 12 months, but more on that much later) it’s no surprise that I’m learning and discovering an entire mine of goodness about health and wellbeing. Case in point: the importance of supergreens like spirulina and chlorella in your diet.

Both spirulina and chlorella are microscopic plants that grow in water – AKA micro-algae. In fact, they’re one of the oldest lifeforms on earth dating back 3.5 million years and share an impressive lineup of attributes including a rich source of protein; high levels of chlorophyll and lashings of essential fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. In short, these micro-alage benefit your entire body in more ways than I have time to explain in one blog, but some from the highlight reel include boosting your metabolism, balancing your moods, improving your immune function and detoxifying your liver.

Victoria Beckham is said to be a huge fan of chlorella

Let’s take a closer look at each one…

CHLORELLA

  • A wholefood that is made up of 60 per cent protein, making it a great alternative to meat protein.
  • Contains ‘Chlorella Growth Factor’ – a range of amino and nucleic acids – that boost your immune system and help repair damage, heal wounds and encourage healthy cells.
  • Incredibly high levels of chlorophyll (in fact the HIGHEST of any plant), which gives it its green colour and believed to help alkalise the body and assist in the detoxification process. Note to drinkers: If your liver needs a little helping hand, chlorella will help cleanse and purify your insides. It’s also known to be an ideal heavy-metal detoxifier, binding with mercury and lead to eliminate them from your system. Great for canned fish lovers and anyone with mercury fillings.
  • Rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants to protect against free radical damage, and ultimately, ageing.
  • High in dietary fibre helping anyone who suffers from constipation or, ahem, dry poos. It’s also packed with beta-carotene, all your B Vitamins, iron, zinc… the list is endless.

SPIRULINA

  • The best vegan protein source available, boasting 12 times the protein of beef.
  • Rich in good fats and essential fatty acids, which promote a healthy brain, heart and body and are known to reduce the risk of heart disease, depression and other common ailments.
  • Easier to digest than chlorella, making it a better option for anyone with stomach sensitivities.
  • Highest known source of beta-carotene to improve the health of your skin, teeth, eyes and tissues.
  • Packed with Vitamin B12 (in fact, it’s also the highest known source of this, too) to help with every cell in your entire body.

While the snapshot may suggest having to choose between these two great foods, the fact is that they complement each other perfectly. The general belief is that you should take twice as much spirulina as you do chlorella and look at what algae suits your needs the most. If detoxification is your primary concern, chlorella is the one for you. If, however, you are a vegan and really need a hit of protein, opt for more spirulina instead.

How do you take it? I take my chlorella in tablet form (3×3 a day) but it does come in a powder as well. When searching for your options make sure your chlorella’s cell wall has been broken down to assist in digestion. I take NOW Certified Organic Chlorella and when it comes to your spirulina, your can choose between tablet or powder form, where you can add it to smoothies, soups, cereals and salads. YUM! My pick: Hawaiian Pacifica Spirulina.

A little word of advice before I sign off. If you suffer from any serious illnesses or autoimmune disorders, it’s worth speaking to your naturopath, doctor or healthcare physician before taking any new supplements, just in case.

If you want to learn more about these amazing little foods, I’ve found a great resource: Superfoods for Optimum Health: Chlorella and Spirulina by Mike Adams.

Tell me Primpers…

Do you take one or both of these supergreens?
Do you want to now?

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27 Comments

  • Posted by: caitie // Fri, 23 November 2012 09:35am

    I definitely want to try these, I am all for eating for health and well being!

  • Posted by: Jensta Master Fan // Fri, 23 November 2012 09:37am

    Well there you go, another couple of facts that I was unaware of. I do suffer from a poor immune system and these two supergreens sound like just the fix I need. Thanks for the article Yasemin.

  • Posted by: Gemma // Fri, 23 November 2012 09:38am

    Who are you doing your health coaching course through? I’ve been looking at the Integrative Institute of Nutrition but they’re quite expensive so I’m looking for somewhere else local if possible (they’re in New York). It’s such an interesting field and I’d love to get into it as well.

  • Posted by: Yasemin Trollope Enthusiast // Fri, 23 November 2012 01:02pm

    Hi Gemma, I’m doing mine through IIN and so far really enjoying it. Yx

  • Posted by: blondie2010 Enthusiast // Fri, 23 November 2012 01:46pm

    Hi Yaz,
    I’ve recently started taking Hawaiian Pacifica Spirulina and I love it! Now to get started on my Chlorella habit!

  • Posted by: Julieow Master Fan // Fri, 23 November 2012 07:29pm

    Yaz – good on you for doing your health coaching. I almost studied Nutrition in Edinburgh years ago but made the decision to travel to Australia instead – something ill never regret but do wish I had been able to study nutrition all the same. Looking forward to learning from you !

    I take Supergreen tablets (2/day) and always have either a green juice or green smoothie daily . Do you think it’s more beneficial to take each Supergreen separately in higher doses? Are the mix tablets too little of each?

  • Posted by: beautiful87 Master Fan // Fri, 23 November 2012 07:41pm

    I’ve never heard of chlorella before, but i’ve heard so many good things about spirulina.

  • Posted by: misschris Master Fan // Sat, 24 November 2012 11:08am

    They sound great, but I know I won’t be able to take them.. Damn thyroid..

  • Posted by: daylight dancer Master Fan // Mon, 26 November 2012 09:44am

    I was just talking to my partners mum about spirulina the other day. She used to give it to her kids 20 years ago when they were sick to make them feel better quicker. She swears by it. But i can never find it.

  • Posted by: Knyholm Master Fan // Mon, 26 November 2012 10:52am

    I have never heard of chlorella before, but sure does sounds like an interesting supergreen!

  • Posted by: p3charmed Master Fan // Mon, 26 November 2012 11:54am

    yeah, i do want to now but probably won’t get around to it lol :)

  • Posted by: Alishes Devotee // Mon, 26 November 2012 04:24pm

    I actually take liquid chlorophyll every day. A tablesppon or so in my water, and it tastes fine. I might look into whether it’s worth taking spirulina and/or chlorella as well. And good on you for studing health. It’s something I’ve vaguely considered for years but never taken the plunge.

  • Posted by: leemurr Enthusiast // Tue, 27 November 2012 10:29am

    I’ve tried both of these in high doses and my skin looked amazing, if you are using chlorella it have to be broken cell or you will not absorb it.

  • Posted by: Chlorella // Wed, 28 November 2012 05:37pm

    Chlorella – a single-celled fresh water algae – is often referred to as a near-perfect food, as its range of health benefits is truly astounding. It’s no wonder Dr. Bank refers to chlorella as a “phenomenal nutrient.

  • Posted by: diva89 Master Fan // Wed, 28 November 2012 06:33pm

    i used to take spirulina (i also used it as a face mask!

  • Posted by: DebstarDesigns Master Fan // Thu, 29 November 2012 04:20pm

    I’ve tried powdered Spirulina before, might have to get some in a tablet form!

  • Posted by: strawbsundae Master Fan // Thu, 29 November 2012 07:45pm

    I haven’t used any of these supergreens before, though thank you for the information about them!

  • Posted by: meedee Master Fan // Mon, 3 December 2012 05:34pm

    Well…althought Ive had a lot of health issues over the past year the Doc has told me many times that all my tests come back to say that as far as Iron and all those sorts of things im spot on. The Doc is always telling me that my diet is working for me so im not going to change a thing.

  • Posted by: loopylexy Master Fan // Sun, 9 December 2012 09:21pm

    12 times the protein of beef… I’m so skeptical about that. Is it as readily incoporated into the body as protein from meat?

  • Posted by: Britty1 Master Fan // Wed, 12 December 2012 07:53pm

    ive just started taking Spirulina! literally just! i bought the Swisse Vitamins tablet form last night at the handy local chemist warehouse, and popped one down last night and this morning. hoping it will work miracles! (obviously im not that naive, i dont expect it to work wonders, but i do hope my body finds some benefit in it)

  • Posted by: GorgeousEmeralds Master Fan // Sat, 15 December 2012 03:59pm

    I have never tried either of these, I guess that there are heaps of foods out there that are really good for you which you will never get around to trying :)

  • Posted by: Caz // Fri, 18 January 2013 12:35am

    I vouch for the benefits of Spirulina. As an allround health boost and metabolism energiser it works for me. The powder dissolved in water or juice can take a bit of getting used to …found the tablets far easier to take.

  • Posted by: Ruby // Tue, 12 February 2013 10:48am

    I drink Spirulina everyday and its defintiely made my skin look amazing.

  • Posted by: talkalot Master Fan // Tue, 8 October 2013 08:20pm

    I have to be perfectly honest and say I have never heard of these before.

  • Posted by: Miss Makeup Master Fan // Mon, 28 October 2013 02:08pm

    I definitely want to give these a go! My immune system is terrible!

  • Posted by: talkalot Master Fan // Fri, 24 January 2014 03:09pm

    I have to be honest and say I’ve never heard of these before. Sounds wonderful and healthy.

  • Posted by: beautiful87 Master Fan // Sun, 6 April 2014 04:09pm

    Wow very interesting.

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