When it comes to your health, even the smallest positive changes can lead to significant benefits overall. Now we’re not saying an apple a day will help you avoid your next doctor’s visit, but improving your nutrition is a great way to start. And that’s where superfoods like spirulina and chlorella come into play. But, how effective are superfoods and are there better options? These are questions (and more) that will be covered in this post!
What are Superfoods?
But before we can dive into those questions, let’s go over the basics. Superfoods are often referred to as food items that are rich in nutrients like vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, phytonutrients, and more. The idea is that these foods are uniquely beneficial for our health and wellbeing because they are so nutrient-packed.
But here’s the thing, while there are a ton of foods available that can promote a healthier lifestyle when consumed regularly, no one food item is going to be able to do anything significant on its own. In fact, it’s more likely that eating a variety of healthy foods will be beneficial to our health, wellbeing, and taste palate than any one food. (1)
With that said, that doesn’t mean there aren’t foods out there with special and unique properties making them worthy of including in your diet. And if your diet consists mostly of processed foods, you may even feel significant changes from including these “superfoods” into your diet. Food-medicine is an old style of health care that led to a ton of discoveries with plants and development into modern medications. It just isn’t likely to replace a fully nutrient-dense diet. (2,3)
What is Spirulina?
Spirulina is an example of a superfood that is soaring in recent popularity and with good reason. It’s actually a type of algae classified as cyanobacteria. And like many superfoods it’s rich in various vitamins and minerals. But unlike other vegetables, spirulina contains about 60% of protein. Making it a great addition for individuals on plant-based, vegetarian, or vegan diets. It’s also a good source for beta-carotene, and essential fatty acids like gamma linolenic acid. (4,5)
What is Chlorella?
Likewise to spirulina, chlorella is another nutrient-dense algae making its way into the superfood category. But, unlike spirulina, chlorella can’t be digested by humans unless it’s in a form of supplement. Overall, nutrition-wise there’s a pretty even match up between these forms of algae. However, we would highlight that chlorella is a great source of fiber and omega-3s in addition the vitamins, minerals and protein content. (6,7)
So How Do They Compare?
When sparing these two forms of algae, you’ll see that both are a great source of antioxidants and host a ton of anti-inflammatory properties. And they may even aid in promoting healthy cholesterol levels, improving/controlling blood sugar levels, and improving endurance. Unfortunately, at this point there isn’t a ton of evidence for specific improvements of illnesses. However, there are tons of anecdotal claims indicating these superfoods could be beneficial for digestion and even relieving ailments like PMS. (8,9,10,11)
Now Let’s Go Over Some Common Questions!
What are the benefits of Spirulina and Chlorella?
As you can imagine these superfoods have a lot of potential for positive benefits for overall wellbeing.
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties (15,16)
- Improve Cholesterol (17, 18)
- Anti-Cancer Properties (19)
- Reduce Blood Pressure (20,21)
- Improve Allergic Rhinitis (22)
- Improve Endurance (23, 24)
- Aid Blood Sugar Control (25, 26)
Can I take Spirulina if I’m pregnant? What about Chlorella?
At this time there isn’t enough information available to know if it is safe to use spirulina or chlorella when pregnant or breast-feeding. So it may best to avoid both products. (27)
Are there any side effects from Spirulina or Chlorella?
Right off the bat spirulina and chlorella sound like great additions to your diet. But, there are some side effects you should consider before getting them. For starters, both spirulina and chlorella may improve your immune system, which is great for individuals with normal or weakened immune systems. However, if you have a pre-existing condition such as an autoimmune disease, it may make systems worse. Additionally, spirulina has anticoagulant effects. Meaning this superfood may slow blood-clotting in individuals with bleeding disorders. In addition, some individuals have experienced stomach discomfort from chlorella. (28, 27)
Is there anything better?
There are a ton of unique products and ingredients available that have extensive lists of benefits. But, we’d argue that some of the best for you will be the ingredients and products promoting gut health.
Why? The gut-brain-axis!
This simply refers to the bidirectional communication from your brain to gut. So for example, if you’re someone who experiences a lot anxiety you may also struggle with gut problems like IBS or acid reflux. Likewise if you struggle with digestion, you may also find it difficult to focus. So by taking steps to improve gut health, you’re also taking steps to improve overall wellbeing and cognition. This can be as simple as adding in probiotics or digestive enzyme to your supplement routine, such as Genone Gut Restore, or even changing your diet. (29, 30, 31)
Outside of this, it depends on what you need and what you’re looking for! You can try adding in Red Yeast Rice to you supplement regimen for additional cholesterol support†, InsuLean for aiding in blood sugar control†, or a general multivitamin to make sure you’re meeting your daily requirements for your micronutrients†.
This wraps up our post on Spirulina and Chlorella. Thank you for reading! And of course if you have any questions or have an idea for another post, you can send us an email here!
†The intention of the information provided is for reference only and we are in no way providing medical advice or instruction. The information provided in this post is based on anecdotal information and available studies/reviews. While it is our goal to maintain and display accurate information, we can’t guarantee it represents the latest formulation of the product or information. Therefore, if you have any concerns, please visit the manufacturer’s website. Also, the information above is not a representation of our views at Same Day Supplements. Rather, these are the views and information provided by manufacturers and users. Also, the Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these statements. Finally, the intention of these products is not to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.