Algae Fights Toxin Assault

Tuesday, 07 September 2010 02:02 PM

Algae doesn’t sound like a very appealing meal but you might want to give it a try. First of all, the type found in nutritional supplement powders doesn’t taste as bad as it sounds, and second, it also comes in pills. Either way, your health can benefit.

It’s virtually impossible to avoid toxins. We breathe them in the air, eat them in food, and drink them in water and other beverages.

No need to panic — this has been going on for decades but in recent years, we’ve started to pay more attention. And we’re getting smarter about ways to reduce the damage.

Spirulina and chlorella are two different types of algae. They’re both concentrated sources of protein and a whole host of vitamins and minerals but each one reduces toxic damage in a different way. Consequently, they complement each other.

Chlorella: Targeted Eliminator

A particularly rich source of chlorophyll (the ingredient that gives plants their green color), chlorella binds with toxic metals such as mercury, and helps our bodies to eliminate them. It may also help us to get rid of pesticides, which otherwise have a habit of hanging around, especially in fat cells.

In addition, chlorella seems to have some built-in intelligence. It doesn’t bind with or in any other way induce elimination of beneficial nutrients. And it contains vitamins C, D, and E, calcium, and beta carotene.

Spirulina: Calming Inflammation

Spirulina doesn’t eliminate toxins but it reduces their negative effects. Research at the University of South Florida shows that toxins trigger internal inflammation, and spirulina calms it down.

Chronic inflammation is an underlying factor that leads to heart disease, diabetes, and other ills, so the algae does an important job. And, it contains beneficial fats and more antioxidants than top-ranked blueberries.

Ways to Use Algae

Both chlorella and spirulina are available in pills and powders. The powders easily mix with any liquid; in smoothies, you may not even notice them. Chlorella is also available in liquid supplements, skin creams, and dietary supplements for pets.

Some people like the taste of these green foods and use the powder forms in recipes. One option is to add one or both to creamy dips, especially those that are made with avocado, or salad dressings. What you do with them really depends on your taste preferences.

Both chlorella and spirulina are easy to find in health food stores and online. The key thing to look for is a manufacturer that takes care to cultivate nutritious algae under controlled conditions.

These are some brands that fit the bill: Earthrise Spirulina (www.spirulina.com), Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica (www.cyanotech.com/spirulina.html), and Sun Chlorella (www.sunchlorellausa.com). Both types of algae are also found in some multivitamin supplements.

© HealthDay

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Tuesday, 07 September 2010 02:02 PM
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