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Green Superfoods: AFA, Spirulina & Chlorella
That makes them all green superfoods!
All three of these amazingly green foods provide superb nutrition and all three have different, but demonstrated health benefits for those who consume them.
What are they?
AFA and Spirulina are both cyanobacteria, while Chlorella is a eukaryotic. That makes them all species of algae. Cyanobacteria are among the oldest life forms on the planet, estimated to have been around for over 3.5 billion years and they were the first organism to achieve photosynthesis. They are all classed as algae because they grow under water and need sunlight to survive.
There are probably more species of microalgae than we might imagine and the role they play in maintaining life on earth is truly astounding. It’s amazing to discover that there are literally thousands of species of algae on the planet; over forty thousand species are known, and some of those have been consumed by humans for thousands of years.
Algae are nutritious and good for you!
These blue-green algae or cyanobacteria (AFA and Spirulina) as well as Chlorella (the eukaryotic) are some of the most nutritional foods available on the planet; each of them containing large amounts of chlorophyll, which has proven benefits to human health. Some of these benefits probably exist because chlorophyll is only one atom away from hemoglobin – our oxygen carrying red blood cells.
Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA) is probably the least well known of these three superfoods, but potentially the most beneficial.
This microalgae grows in fresh water in Lake Klamuth and contains between 60% and 75% protein as well as high amounts of B vitamins. It has also been shown in studies to be a reliable source of vitamin B12; good news for vegetarians and vegans.
Spirulina is as chock full of protein as AFA, containing between 55% and 77% protein and is considered to be a complete protein. It is also high in B vitamins including vitamin B12, as well as the minerals that so much of our food today lacks such as calcium, magnesium and selenium.
Chlorella provides slightly less protein, containing around 45%, but once again it is high in B vitamins, including B12, high in minerals and other nutrients that are vital for good health. Chlorella is also one of the most widely used supplements in Japan with an estimated 10 million Japanese taking it regularly.
All three of these amazing green algae are foods in their own right, containing valuable nutrition and providing support and healing to the body. Each of them will help to remove toxins from the body while also helping to keep the body more alkaline and the chlorophyll they contain makes them a powerful cancer preventative. They also each have their own specific benefits that can make combining them a smart choice:
- AFA provides great nutrition and studies show it has beneficial effects on stem cell numbers in the blood, potentially assisting with slowing the aging process and keeping the aging body younger and healthier.
- Chlorella has been shown to remove heavy metals from the body including mercury. Important in a contaminated world.
- Spirulina has been shown to increase fat burning during exercise and to help to boost the immune system in older adults.
For those who are new to these green superfoods, it is recommended to start off slowly as they may begin to detoxify and heal the body and may cause digestive upset or other symptoms initially if too much is taken. Begin with a quarter (or less if necessary) of the recommended dose and work up to the full daily amount as your body allows.
My personal favourite of all of these green algaes is Chlorella. I often add it to smoothies because I know I feel good when I take it. I also tend to buy Spirulina off and on and use it also, however chlorella is my personal favourite as I do notice a difference from it, and I’m mindful of the capacity of Chlorella to bind heavy metals (particularly important for those of us with Pyroluria AND amalgam fillings….