Is Algae Really Good For Health? Find Out!!
The wellness world is focusing on algae a lot lately. Did you ever think that something that existed only in lakes and ponds will find a place on your plate? Algae is being praised as a powerful superfood and that is why it is being added to smoothies, snacks and even to beauty products.
Wondering if algae really deserve this fame or not? Are they having healing benefits that are way more than other superfoods? Let us find out!
Algae – What is it? And why is there a craze?
Algae are present in all sizes, colours and shapes in saltwater bodies as well as freshwater bodies. The popular ones are the blue-green algae like spirulina, chlorella and AFA.
Also, algae are not plants but are cyanobacteria. However, algae are better photosynthesizers than plants.
Is Algae Really Good For Health?
People have started consuming algae as they are superfoods. They are a great source of vitamins, minerals, proteins and antioxidants. Algae has chlorophyll in it and chlorophyll is immensely healthy as it the molecule that carries out the process of photosynthesis. It has been in use for healing purposes.
Research and algae
What does science have to say about algae? Keep reading!
Algae (AFA) display strong anti-inflammatory properties and there does exist research that says chlorella is helpful for those who suffer from fibromyalgia (a condition with intense pain and fatigue).
Studies suggest that consumption of blue-green algae has a positive effect on heart health (blood lipids levels and arteriosclerosis).
Cancer and immune system
Lab experiments reveal that spirulina can help slow down HIV, herpes simplex, and influenza virus. However, this has not been confirmed in humans.
In a few studies it has been found that blue green algae can inhibit the growth of tumour and spreading of many cancers. They are also effective in killing brain and breast cancer cells.
Heavy metals and toxins
Algae is praised for its ability to pull out heavy metals and toxins from the body and assist with detoxification.
Whenever a superfood is evaluated, the first question that is asked is what it can do for gut health? Studies are not that many in this regard but algae do help boost friendly bacteria according to test tube studies. So, they can support a healthy gut and gut flora.
Research is promising in every direction. However, the health benefits of consuming algae are yet to be proved in human studies.
Is it safe to use algae? And how should you use it?
Algae are either dried or freeze dried in the form of capsules or powder form that can be added to any drink or smoothie recipe. Spirulina, a popular alga is easily available. But is it safe and effective? Experts say that as it is a supplement it is not regulated by any federal body for presence of toxic chemicals, it can be contaminated by toxins such as microcystins.
Also, if algae can seize heavy metal in the body, can’t it do the same in the water that it is grown in? So, it can be contaminated with toxins when we consume it! The hard hitting fact is that due to pollution, anything from the oceans, right from fish to sea veggies, can contain toxins.
However, don’t dampen your spirits as of yet. Just make sure that you buy the algae from a trusted brand. The algae present in supplements are generally safe for humans.
Ready to take the plunge into the algae world?
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