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Top 5 Benefits of Spirulina and Chlorella: And How To Choose The Right Algae Supplement

By Ryan Munsey

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I’ll spare you the sensationalized, click-bait headline about how spirulina and chlorella are the missing nutrient in your diet that are 1000X more powerful than fruits and vegetables.

However, the truth is, one gram of algae – the amount in a single tablet – contains the nutritional equivalent of 1,000 grams of fruits and vegetables.

So make no mistake about it, these nutrient dense blue green algae, Spirulina (a bacteria) and Chlorella (a plant) are true superfoods.

Spirulina contains 2.5X more protein per ounce than steak and 2-5X more antioxidants per ounce than leading fruits and vegetables.

A mere 30 gram serving of chlorella has 5X the chlorophyll content of kale and contains more iron than liver.

They’re also the most potent source of plant-based omega-3’s and Vitamin B12 - making them a powerful supplement for non-meat eaters.

These nutrient powerhouses may be the most nutrient dense foods on the planet and Catharine Arnston of Energy Bits is on the OPP to share the details of how we can upgrade our diet with a 30-calorie snack that can:

  • support our mitochondria 
  • boost ATP
  • enhance antioxidant capacity
  • buffer and remove lactic acid
  • speed recovery
  • remove heavy metals (detoxify body)
  • and possibly help fight cancer*
*This is not medical advice

Meet Catharine Arnston: Algae Enthusiast and Energy Bits Founder

Catharine Arnston from EnergyBits holds an MBA from Western’s Ivey School of Business, and a BA in geography and economic development from Queen’s University. She is a Board Certified Health Counselor from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition and a REIKI Master. She is also an algae expert and the CEO and Chief Scientific Officer of ENERGYbits, a sports nutrition company that sells algae in tablet form to athletes and consumers

Some of the benefits of spirulina and chlorella that we discuss on this episode of the Optimal Performance Podcast include:

  1. 50-1000X the antioxidant capacity of fruits and vegetables
  2. Great source of plant-based Vitamin B12
  3. Great source of plant-based omega-3's (in DHA form)
  4. World's #1 source of Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) and antioxidant touted to be 3500X more powerful than Vitamin C
  5. Ounce for ounce, these may be the most nutrient foods on the planet

Incredible Nutrient Density

Ounce for ounce, spirulina and chlorella have more protein than steak, more iron than liver, more calcium than milk, more antioxidants than berries, more chlorophyll than kale.

A single serving of Energy Bits is 30 tablets, weighs in at just over 30 grams and packs a nearly negligible 30 calories.

In those 30 grams of green goodness, you'll get:

Almost 5 grams of protein in amino acid form - making it more bioavailable (easier to digest) than almost any other protein source on Earth.

Over 40 vitamins and minerals, including 100% or more of your daily dose of nearly all the B vitamins, Vitamin A, zinc, iron, manganese, and much more.  

Here's the nutrition information for a single serving of Energy Bits (100% Spirulina).

It is this massive load of nutrients that contributes to the inflammation-fighting, mitochondria supporting, ATP boosting, antioxidant and detoxification claims touted in in scientific literature linked here.

Choosing the right algae supplement can be trickier than you think. Catharine shares Natural Stacks's commitment to transparency and consumer education.

To that end, she urges algae users to ask the following questions when choosing their supplements. 

 7 Questions to ask before you buy an algae product:

  1. What is the country of source? (Catharine says China and Japan are questionable)
  2. What else does the company sell (Do they specialize in algae?)
  3. What strain of algae is it and what is the nutrient profile?
  4. What drying process do they use? (Avoid flash heat that destroys nutrients and enzymes.)
  5. Do they use any binders? (Source of allergies, toxins, etc)
  6. How was chlorella cracked? (Glass cracking leads to lead contamination.)
  7. How is it packaged? (Packaging in glass bottles allows light to pull chlorophyll out of your supplement.)

**One thing Catharine mentioned in the interview that I forgot to highlight/follow-up on..."nutrients do not equal roughage". It's fine to supplement your nutrient intake with algae, but do not mistake this dietary addition for adequate fiber intake from plant sources.**

Entire interview here:

Watch the video here

Links & Resources

Energy Bits Website

SAVE 20% on your order with code: OPP

Energy Bits on Social Media

21-page paper from Catherine with links to associated research 

Energy Bits Information Report

Energy Bits and the Keto Diet

Catharine on Ben Greenfield's Podcast 1

Catharine on Ben's Podcast 2 (How to Eat More Algae)

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