Chlorella vs. Spirulina: Here is All the things You Must Know



Blue-green algae is a fairly area of interest ingredient. So you could be shocked to study that the 2 fundamental varieties of blue-green algae we devour, chlorella and spirulina, which look and style interchangeable, are, in truth, completely completely different meals. They’re each stuffed with antioxidants, are extremely nutrient-dense, and are offered in each type, from inexperienced drink mixes to gummies. However the similarities between chlorella and spirulina finish there, as the 2 algae provide completely different nutrient profiles. So, which is best? We’ll lay out the information for you.


The Historical past 

Cyanobacteria, which is blue-green algae’s extra technical identify, is an youth type of Earth. The oldest examples of it are 3,500 million years previous.

Spirulina has been used as a meals supply in Mexico and Africa since roughly 1300 AD. In response to Gaia Herbs, a number one natural complement model, “the Aztecs harvested Arthrospira from Lake Texcoco and used it to make a form of dry cake known as tecuitlatl.” The model notes that it’s seemingly using spirulina as meals in Chad dates again to the identical interval and even earlier, to the Kanem Empire (ninth century AD). In Chad, spirulina stays an necessary a part of the native financial system. On the Gaia Herbs web site, it states: “It’s nonetheless harvested and processed by hand into truffles recognized regionally as dihe, to be used in a sauce for meat and fish known as la souce.

It is a crucial a part of their native financial system, permitting the ladies of the village who harvest and course of the dihe a certain quantity of independence.”

Chlorella, however, was found rather more just lately. Although it’s believed to have existed on the planet for billions of years, sources point out “it was not till the microscope was invented after the nineteenth century that chlorella was first found.” Dutch microbiologist Dr. Beijerinck is credited with discovering it in 1890, and it was then named chlorella.

The Processing

Chlorella has a difficult state of affairs with its cell partitions, impacting its capacity to achieve the identical mainstream recognition as spirulina. To course of spirulina for consumption, algae is cultivated in ponds, harvested via filters, pressed, and dried. The drying course of happens each within the solar and indoors. From there, it’s able to eat. For utilization in superb functions like capsules, it’s floor right into a superb powder.

The course of to reap and package deal chlorella is usually comparable, but it surely has one main step that adjustments issues. The place spirulina is bioavailable and protected, as is in its pure dried type, chlorella requires its cell partitions to be cracked and pulverized. It’s possible you’ll discover that any chlorella merchandise you’ve bought state “open-cell” or “cracked cell” clearly on the label. That’s as a result of chlorella isn’t fit for human consumption with out that being executed. Because it was initially offered with out together with that a part of manufacturing, that impeded its capacity to hit the mainstream.

With out cracking its cell partitions, consuming chlorella makes you overly delicate to daylight. “Within the Nineteen Seventies, chlorella was an enormous hit in Japan, however the increase ended due to photosensitivity incidents attributable to chlorella,” retailer Yaeyama Chlorella notes on its web site. “The photosensitivity incidents seek advice from occurrences of blisters attributable to publicity to direct daylight after ingestion of chlorella. As a result of chlorella has a tricky cell wall indigestible by abdomen acids, chlorophyll stays intact within the physique. Due to this fact, there’s a danger that the chlorophyll within the physique will react with daylight and trigger blisters.”

Now that each one chlorella has its cell partitions damaged down in processing, this can be a non-issue. But it surely does clarify why spirulina has steadily grown in recognition whereas chlorella lags behind.

The Dietary Profiles

Whereas each chlorella and spirulina are stuffed with protein and quite a few antioxidants akin to carotenoids and phenolic compounds, their dietary profile similarities finish there. Chlorella outperforms spirulina in a wide range of methods.

Per one-ounce serving, chlorella has practically 300% of the really useful dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin A; spirulina has 3%. As well as, chlorella has 202% of the RDA for iron to spirulina’s 44%; 133% of your each day zinc to 4% of it; and 25% of the RDA for phosphorus versus 3%.

Spirulina does include copper, which chlorella doesn’t, weighing in at 85% of the RDA for that mineral, and it additionally has barely extra vitamin B1. The 2 are equal (or practically so) in protein, vitamin B2, folate, carbs, and magnesium. Every accommodates all 9 important amino acids, a rarity for a vegetarian meals supply. Chlorella additionally accommodates extra omega-3.

The Detoxifying Talents

Due to their antioxidants, each chlorella and spirulina can help with chelating. Which means they’ll bind to and take away heavy metals that get trapped in our our bodies, notably in our blood. Each algae have been confirmed efficient at detoxifying every little thing from aluminum to cadmium.

There’s no want for an both/or tackle the subject. Each Spirulina and chlorella can be utilized in very excessive doses for heavy metallic detox, binding toxins and purging them from the physique, usually with out the frequent negative effects of cleansing.

Blue Spirulina: Algae Made Fairly

The wonderful well being advantages of spirulina and chlorella can’t be overstated, however there isn’t a contesting the truth that they’re visually unappealing. Its inexperienced hue isn’t vibrant like matcha, and even deep and wealthy like kale or spinach.

Enter blue spirulina, an antioxidant extractive of spirulina. It’s “unicorn meals” incarnate, and it’s what has enabled pure meals producers to paint meals blue for the primary time. That stated, it’s an extractive, which means that it affords a few of the advantages of blue-green spirulina, but it surely’s nowhere close to as nutritionally sturdy.

Which Is Higher?

Each chlorella and spirulina are stuffed with protein, amino acids, and antioxidants, and each are efficient chelators. As well as, they every provide a superb quantity of various nutritional vitamins and minerals.

Exterior of the visible attraction of blue spirulina extract, although, chlorella has a particular edge over spirulina in relation to blue-green algae and the well being advantages of this meals group. The issues it accommodates extra of, like iron, omega-3, and zinc, are very important vitamins all of us want in our diets. The one factor spirulina has a lift of over chlorella is copper, which is uncommon to be poor in.

As a nutritionist, I would advocate choosing chlorella. It affords a greater bang to your buck, particularly as a result of the 2 are equally priced. Spirulina is extra commercially accessible, although, and I haven’t heard about anybody whipping up any chlorella gummies but. So, if that’s the one type of algae you contemplate to be palatable, by all means, go that route. Any amount we devour of blue-green algae is best than none, and with how nutrient-dense they each are, they’re each value consuming repeatedly.


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