Spirulina and Chlorella are both superstars on their own.
Both are freshwater algae, rich in chlorophyll and are loaded with nutrients and numerous health benefits.
Let us have a closer look on what they exactly are, how they differ to each other, and how you can incorporate these superfoods into your diet starting today!
Spirulina grows naturally in the wild and thrives in warm, fresh water lakes, natural springs and saltwater.
It is a simple, one-celled, spiral-shaped microalgea.
Not only is it praised to be on the of the healthiest foods, it is also one of the oldest. History of it dates back to the 16th century, were he Aztecs has used Spirulina as a food source.
Spirulina is considered one of the most nutritionally complete of all food supplements.
It is one of the richest sources of beta-carotene, and has 10 times the beat-carotene of carrots.
As a complete protein, spirulina ranges from 55-77% protein and contains all essential amino acids.
Spirulina also offers an abundant source of fatty acids including one of the rarest forms, gamma linoleum acid.
It’s also rich in vitamins A, B, C, E, K, as well as minerals potassium, calcium, chromium, copper, iron and magnesium.
And, if you’re looking for another reason to supplement your diet with spirulina, this superfood is rich in phytonutrients including chlorophyll, polysaccharides, sulfolipids, and glycolipids.
Thanks to these nutrients Spirulina has been shown to help your body fight infection, inhibit allergic reactions, protect against cancer, lower cholesterol,
all while raising good cholesterol and aiding in weight loss.
Wow, that's a true health superstar!
Chlorella emerged over 2 billion years ago, and was the first form of plant with a well-defined nucleus.
The nucleus is a specialized organelle that serves at the information processing and administrative center of the cell.
This organelle has two major functions: it stores the cell's hereditary material, or DNA, and it coordinates the cell's activities, which include growth,
intermediary metabolism, protein synthesis, and reproduction (cell division).
Unlike Spirulina, Chlorella is spherical shaped and a single-celled microorganism.
Chlorella grows in freshwater and is extremely small, with each chlorella cell being a mere 2-8 microns wide.
But, much like Spirulina, this tiny superfood packs a nutritional punch.
Chlorella may not be as ancient as spirulina, but it boasts just as many nutritional accolades.
In fact, this green-algae contains the highest amount of chlorophyll of any known plant. Chlorella is rich in the cartenoids beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and lutein.
It also offers an abundant source of vitamins B, C, D, E, K and minerals including, phosphorous, calcium, zinc, magnesium and iron.
Like, spirulina, chlorella is rich in protein and contains more protein per ounce than a serving of steak.
This superfood also offers a rich source of healthy fats including oleic acid.
Chlorella also has vast nutritional benefits and has been shown to support healthy hormonal function, good cardiovascular health, negate the effects of chemotherapy and radiation, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, and excels in removing harmful toxins from your body.
Overview of the differences:
It first starts with the color: Chlorella is a green algae, whereas spirulina is blue-green in color.
It’s green hue demonstrates that chlorella is richer in chlorophyll than spirulina.
Because of this, chlorella is better at removing toxins from your body and is highly recommended for those on a detox diet.
Chlorella also contains a unique complex called chlorella growth factor. This growth factor is caused by its rapid reproduction rate.
With the ability to quadruple in numbers every 20-24 hours!
Chlorella has been shown to repair damage to nerve tissues and aid in cell production.
Spirulina is thousands of years older than chlorella and can be up to 100-times larger.
It is also richer in protein and healthy fats, including gamma-linoleic acid, which is essential for maintaining a sharp mind and healthy heart.
Spirulina also offers higher concentrations of phytochemicals that help prevent cancer. Just as chlorella is known for detoxifying, spirulina is especially effective at fighting symptoms of allergies and boosting the immune system.
How to add these two superstars to your diet
The most easiest way to add both or either of them to your diet is in tablet form.
Much more fun is it to incorporate into your actual food. That goes best when used the powder form. But please start with a little bit, so you can used to the taste and color.
– Mix it with nut butter (1/4 tsp to 1TBSP nut butter), cacao nibs, spread on apple slices and garnish with chopped dried fruit. Yum!
– Make a green hummus!
– Add it to your juice, smoothie and chia pudding.
– Spirulina Nice Cream, blend with frozen bananas.
– Add it to your pancake batter!!
– Mix into your guacamole
– Sprinkle over your salad
– Blend it with your salad dressing
– Mix with nutmilk and your favorite sweetener.
I could go on and on, there are so many cool ways to add these two powerfoods to your diet.
One of my favorite recipes and way to use spirulina is in energy balls.
Here is an easy recipe for you:
Spirulina Energy Balls
1 cup pitted dates
3/4 cup brazil nuts, plus extra for rolling in, if you wish
1/2 cup coconut shreds, plus extra for rolling in, if you wish
3 Tbsp cacao nibs
1 Tbsp coconut oil1/2 to 1Tbsp spirulina
2 Tbsp cacao powder, plus more for rolling, if you wish
- Simply put all ingredients, except the coconut oil in a food processor and pulse until well combined.
For a smooth and uniform texture, process longer. For more crunch and texture, process less.
- Only add the coconut oil if the mixture is too dry ; you might need to if you are going for a crunchy texture. I find that when I process the mixture long enough to get it fairly smooth, the fats (here the brazil nuts, coconut and cacao nibs) start to release some of their oils, helping to make everything stick together.
Alternatively, you could also add a tablespoon of water instead, but coconut oil has such great health benefits and is energizing, so it is nice to add it.
- To shape into energy balls, scoop out some mixture and roll it between your palms. Repeat until you run out of mixture.
If you wish, roll the energy bars into coarsely chopped brazil nuts, desiccated coconut or raw cacao powder.
Then, if you can wait, allow the energy balls to set in the fridge for at least 15 minutes before serving. Keep in the fridge for up to 1 week, and in the freezer for up to 3 months.