Chlorella vs. Spirulina: Right here's Every thing You Must Know


Blue-green algae is a reasonably area of interest ingredient. So you might be stunned to study that the 2 most important varieties of blue-green algae we eat, chlorella and spirulina, which look and style interchangeable, are, in actual fact, 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 details for you. 

The Historical past 

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 The oldest examples of it are 3,500 million years outdated. 

Spirulina has been used as a meals supply in Mexico and Africa since roughly 1300 AD. Based on Gaia Herbs, a number one natural complement model, “the Aztecs harvested Arthrospira from Lake Texcoco and used it to make a kind of dry cake referred to as tecuitlatl.” The model notes that it’s seemingly the usage of 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 essential a part of the native economic system. On the Gaia Herbs web site, it states: “It’s nonetheless harvested and processed by hand into truffles recognized domestically as dihe, to be used in a sauce for meat and fish referred to as la souce. It is a vital a part of their native economic system, permitting the ladies of the village who harvest and course of the dihe a specific amount of independence.”

Chlorella, however, was found rather more 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 tough scenario with its cell partitions, impacting its means to achieve the identical mainstream reputation as spirulina. To course of spirulina for consumption, algae is cultivated in ponds, harvested by 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 fantastic functions like capsules, it’s floor right into a fantastic powder.

The method to reap and bundle chlorella is usually comparable, nevertheless it 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. You could 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 performed. Because it was initially offered with out together with that a part of manufacturing, that impeded its means 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 threat that the chlorophyll within the physique will react with daylight and trigger blisters.”

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

The Dietary Profiles

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

Per one-ounce serving, chlorella has practically 300% of the really helpful 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 every day zinc to 4% of it; and 25% of the RDA for phosphorus versus 3%.

Spirulina does comprise 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. Meaning they will bind to and take away heavy metals that get trapped in our our bodies, significantly 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. One research notes: “Spirulina and chlorella can be utilized in very excessive doses for heavy metallic detox. As a result of they’re so efficient at binding toxins and purging them from the physique, they will scale back a number of the frequent negative effects of cleansing. A typical dosage of spirulina or chlorella for heavy metallic detox is about 20 to 30 grams per day. They can be utilized collectively if desired.”

Blue Spirulina: Algae Made Fairly

The wonderful well being advantages of spirulina and chlorella can’t be overstated, however there is no such thing as 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 presents a number of the advantages of blue-green spirulina, nevertheless it’s nowhere close to as nutritionally strong. 

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 great quantity of varied nutritional vitamins and minerals.

Outdoors of the visible enchantment of blue spirulina extract, although, chlorella has a particular edge over spirulina in terms of 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 might advocate choosing chlorella. It presents a greater bang in your buck, particularly as a result of the 2 are equally priced. Spirulina is extra commercially obtainable, although, and I haven’t heard about anybody whipping up any chlorella gummies but. So, if that’s the one type of algae you think about to be palatable, by all means, go that route. Any amount we eat of blue-green algae is best than none, and with how nutrient-dense they each are, they’re each value consuming recurrently. 

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