Super foods are the new buzz words in natural health, and for good reason. These are nutrient dense whole foods that are nature’s answer to the distortions of the modern Western diet.
Spirulina and chlorella are two different types of micro-algae that can each claim the title of super food. Their long list of benefits is impressive, and in this blog I’m focussing on just one of them – weight loss. In various clinical studies both chlorella and spirulina have produced good results in weight reduction trials, and there are two primary reasons for this.
Taking chlorella and spirulina for weight loss is effective firstly because of their very high nutrient content. Each contains all the essential nutrients we need for optimum health, and can help reverse many degenerative disease processes by correcting and balancing nutritional deficits to restore optimal cellular and tissue function. In cases of overweight and obese people, malnutrition is often a factor and supplying complete nutrition relieves the intense food cravings you can experience, which typically lead to over-consumption of refined foods.
The second reason taking chlorella and spirulina for weight loss is so effective is because of their high concentrations of a specific nutrient – gamma linolenic acid (GLA), the important fatty acid that is often deficient due to modern dietary imbalances. GLA has a specific effect on the endocrine system, helping restore hormone health and normalise insulin activity, so blood sugar levels stabilise and cravings reduce. For overweight people who may have other factors that predispose them to a higher risk of diabetes, normalising insulin metabolism is critical. Specific benefits from spirulina and chlorella supplementation have been reported in diabetes cases.
There may be other contributing factors too. Their high iodine content makes them valuable in treating thyroid imbalances, often an issue in weight problems. Both micro-algae contain the amino acid phenylalanine, a natural appetite suppressant active in the appetite control centre of the brain, which triggers the sensation of fullness.
There are some special qualities that differentiate these two super foods. Spirulina is a blue-green colour and is the best known source of GLA. With five times the amount of spirulina, chlorella is the richest known source of chlorophyll, the ‘blood of plants’ which gives it an emerald green colour as well as extra blood strengthening and detoxifying properties. It also contains Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF) which enhances repair of damaged genetic material in cells, rapidly restoring healthy function.
When taken as supplements to a balanced, whole food diet and regular physical activity, taking chlorella and spirulina for weight loss can give ongoing support for management of weight issues and enhanced vitality.
By Carolyn Simon ND, DipMedHerb
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