June 2009 Newsletter
June 1, 2009 By Billy
Nutrition of Algae
Superfoods are increasingly touted by nutritionists as being the most nourishing and health~forming food sources available. The term “superfood” . . . has a fairly broad definition depending upon whom you talk to or what you read. In essence, however, it generally refers to any food with a high concentration of phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are plant-derived compounds that are acclaimed for their health-promoting benefits by nutritionists and scientific researchers alike.
Commonly recognized superfoods include organic berries, dark leafy greens, sprouts, and broccoli. Other well-known and often-written-about superfoods include maca root, aloe vera, goji berries and flax seeds, to mention a few.
Notably, some of the superfoods that have garnered the most attention over the past few decades are green superfoods particularly algaes: spirulina, blue-green algae, and chlorella. Each of these foods is extremely high in protein, chlorophyll and other transformative nutrients.
Here are some details about what each of these algae can offer in terms of nutrition and health benefits:
- Spirulina. Spirulina contains an unusually high amount of protein – between 55% and 77% by dry weight, depending upon where it was grown and harvested. In fact, spirulina contains more protein per gram than any other food! Furthermore, spirulina contains a complete form of protein, meaning that it contains all of the essential amino acids. It is considered to offer protein that is superior to typical plant proteins, like that of legumes. Spirulina is also one of the richest sources of beta-carotene known. Beta carotene is an organic compound that is a precursor to Vitamin A, an essential nutrient important for vision and bone health. And it is the highest source of the B vitamin complex, B12 included, thus why this one is known as a real energizer.
- Blue-Green Algae. Blue-green algae is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, containing glycoproteins. Blue-green algae is harvested in pristine lakes such as Upper Klamath Lake in south-central Oregon. Blue-green algae also contains one of the most concentrated forms of phenylethylamine, which is an important component of neurotransmitters in the brain and contributes toward balancing and soothing the neurological system.
- Chlorella. Chlorella is a single-cell algae that can contain up to 50% protein, and is the richest source of chlorophyll of any food, that names chlorella as the ultimate detox food. Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in most plants and algae. It is known to have a number of health benefits, including growth and repair of tissues, neutralization of pollutants in the body, assisting the blood in carrying oxygen to cells and tissues, and neutralizing free radicals that do damage to healthy cells.
Together these three green superfoods: spirulina, blue-green algae, and chlorella represent a robust and powerful source of nutrients for the body. Together, they offer an abundance of protein for healthy muscles, phenylethylamine for a balanced neurological system, beta-carotene for eye and bone health, and chlorophyll for tissue repair and overall detoxification. When looking for a power-punch green food combination for your health, an algae-based formula is the most promising option for wonderfully effective nourishment.
We all know that what we consume is directly correlated with how we feel: to feel our best, we have to eat well. Many people often complain about feeling drained and sluggish half way through the day, which can be a direct result of having skipped a wholesome breakfast.
Neglecting breakfast has become the norm for most people. Most of us become extremely busy as we prepare for our day. As a crutch, we often go for the quick and simple solution in an effort to save time, making choices that favor convenience over health. Anything less than a super~nutritious breakfast can lead to overeating during snacking, lunch, and dinner – which if sustained is then of course reflected in our overall health.
Breakfast is our first meal after a long night’s rest, so taking the time to choose the best energy sources is a wise and prudent thing. By having a healthy breakfast, you will provide yourself with the fuel necessary to maintain a high-energy day. A good breakfast also means better concentration and mood.
This fall, for a healthy alternative, try a superfood smoothie to jumpstart your day. Superfood smoothies are easy to make and can be conveniently stored for later during work, school or play.