Many people are becoming nutritionally aware of the available nutrients in the foods they eat. Actually, they are becoming more aware that most of the foods we eat have had much of the nutrition processed out and have little nutritional value. Because of this, many companies offer nutritional supplements to help people meet their nutritional needs.
As science becomes more advanced and people become more aware of supplements that can help provide them with basic nutritional needs, it is interesting that many researchers go back to single-celled algae. There are actually two different species of algae, spirulina and chlorella, which seem to be vying for the top spot as the new super-food that supplies most of the nutritional needs of people. Let's look at some of the similarities and differences of these two microscopic wonders.
Spirulina is a blue-green coil shaped algae that can reside within both fresh and salt water. It is found in oceans throughout the world. On the other hand, Chlorella is a green algae which is spherical. It requires only carbon dioxide, water, sunlight and small amounts of minerals for reproduction. Because they are both single-celled organisms, mass production and harvesting have posed some problems, which are beginning to be solved because they have both been found to have many important nutrients available.
Chlorella has been determined to contain about 45% protein, 20% fat, 20% carbohydrates, 5% fiber, and 10% minerals and vitamins. Spirulina measures between 55% and 77% protein, but it is considered a total protein. This means that is includes all of the eight amino acids that are necessary as well as 14 other less-essential amino acids. Additionally, it includes fatty acids which are crucial to good nutrition and it includes many natural vitamins including the B vitamins, vitamin C, D, and E, as well as thiamin, riboflavin, and folic acid.
Chlorella has been used for treating cancer as it seems to assist in bringing oxygen to the cells, and seems to help remove certain toxins. Spirulina is a dietary supplement that can provide iron to young children and expectant mothers in addition to providing much-needed protein. It has also been researched in helping patients who suffer from chronic hepatitis. Liver damage has been repaired with the use of this supplement. It has great anti-viral properties that help protect against influenza, HIV-1 and herpes, as well as other various infections. It helps to support and improve the immune system. In addition to all of these things, Spirulina has also been used to help fight diseases such as cancer.