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Supplements of the Sea: A Deep Dive into the Benefits of Spirulina, Blue Algae, Chlorella & More!


At CYF, we are huge proponents of protecting our oceans against single-use plastic & waste. The ocean provides us with so much beauty, produces over half of our oxygen, absorbs carbon dioxide, regulates our climates, grants passage for our ships, and bestows a bevy of delicious food and minerals. Below is a list of sea vegetables & minerals we love!


 

Have you ever heard the saying, “it’s not what you take, it’s what you absorb.?” There are millions of supplements on the market. Not all of them are created equal in quality, sourcing, or absorbability by our systems. For example: how many times in 2020 & every cold/flu season for that matter, did you hear ‘take your Vitamin C!?’ Most likely a lot! However, what is unfortunate is a lot of the C’s on the market are made with ascorbic acid. Well, we cannot break that down into anything our bodies can actually use! It is so important when spending money on these supplements to get the quality your body, and bank acct. deserves.

In all “Products We Love’’ posts, we help take the guesswork out of the best supplements from Brands we trust & know quite a bit about.

Of course, whenever taking new supplements, please do your own research! If you are on any medications protect yourself from the off-chance possibility of a negative reaction and consult your physician. Alright, on to the list!

 

Chlorella


Is a single cell, freshwater green algae. Chlorella is one of the “Superfoods” as it contains several health benefits including a high amount of (complete) protein, B12, Iron, C, antioxidants, and minerals. The best way to reap the benefits of Chlorella is in supplement form. Why? Because of its hard cell wall our bodies can’t absorb the benefits. That’s why we love the Sunfood brand for Chlorella. This local San Diego company’s Broken Wall Chlorella Tablets are premium quality, and you will know that your body can properly access the incredible benefits! Chlorella is great for heavy metal detox, as it binds itself to the metals (like mercury and lead) and flushes them out. Heavy metals and environmental toxins can influence our hormones and can also produce that sensation of “brain fog.” Start out with the lowest recommended dose and see if you notice some positive changes! Chlorella also has a high Omega-3 count and contains a small amount of fiber.




Spirulina

Grows in both fresh water and saltwater. It’s a cyanobacteria and is classified as a blue-green algae. It contains several of the benefits that Chlorella possesses, although not B12 (it is not the kind humans can absorb.) Spirulina can help protect your heart by lowering the “bad cholesterol” LDL and supporting your “good cholesterol” HDL.

There are several other benefits such as protecting against oral cancer, lowering blood sugar, combating anemia, and has been known to help muscle strength and endurance. Our favorite Spirulina Manna is by HealthForce SuperFoods. Spirulina is a nutritional powerhouse & one of the oldest life forms on Earth. Its protein count is similar to that of an egg (6 grams.) If you purchase any one of these 8 products, this is probably the one to get!



Have you seen those insanely blue smoothie bowls on Instagram? They are most likely made with Blue Majik by E3 Live. Blue Majik contains phycocyanin (blue pigment in algae) it is immune boosting, a powerful antioxidant & anti-inflammatory. Most everything from the sea is going contain several minerals like Iron Boron and Manganese, enzymes, amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and even vitamin K. We like both E3 Live and another HealthForce SuperFoods product, Elixir of the Lake.


Nori Seaweed Snacks

Crunchy, briny, melt in your mouth little slices of goodness! Iodine-rich snacks that might be an acquired taste, but once you get used to them, they are pretty addicting. Nori is a red algae or seaweed. It will look red in the ocean, and once its dried the red color fades, but the nutrients remain.

You don’t need too many, a pack 2 times a week is a great start. Iodine was added to our table salt for in the 1920’s to curb the number of goiters Americans were getting in their necks (iodine is needed by the body to produce thyroid hormone) goiters on the thyroid are pretty rare now. Iodine is an essential mineral, and more so if you are vegetarian, pregnant or breast feeding.

If you have hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s, or any auto-immune disease please consult your physician on how much iodine you should be getting daily, or if you are hyperthyroid, if you need any supplementation at all. You may add 3 Brazil Nuts per day, or even a selenium supplement if you are new to taking iodine because the selenium balances out and compliments the iodine. Adults should not exceed 1100 mcg (micrograms) of iodine a day. Note: 1 pack of seaweed snacks in 25mcg, well in the safe zone.

My favorite seaweed snack is from GimMe and I prefer the organic made with olive oil or avocado oil versions!



I know some of this may sound confusing, but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t mention all of this! I linked some medical studies below if you are interested in learning more. This brings us to kelp…





Kelp (Kombu) & Dulse


Get selenium and iodine in one! Kelp is a brown algae and may be up to 23 million years old. Kelp grows in underwater forests and has been known to support energy levels (due to the iodine) regulate metabolism, support breast health, combat free-radicals and oxidative stress, contains heart healthy benefits, and contains essential trace minerals. For these 2 kinds of seaweed, I like to go with Oceans Balance packs and put 2 in my soups and stews. Let them hang out and they will release all their minerals into your broth. You can eat them or if you’re just not a fan, discard them.

I also like Maine Coast Sea Seasonings retail bags and their Kelp Granules. You can easily sprinkle this in lieu of salt on your roasted veggies, salads, and soups.



All in all, adding some sea vegetables is a great way to get wonderful deep sea minerals into your body! If all of this is super new to you, start out slow, maybe by just sprinkling some kelp granules onto your food. If you are raring to go, the companies I have listed are top notch and I think you’ll love the benefits! So go ahead, and munch as the turtles do!





In Health,


Amanda




Han JH, Qiu L. [Application of iodine metabolism analysis methods in thyroid diseases]. Zhongguo Yi Xue Ke Xue Yuan Xue Bao. 2013 Aug;35(4):369-72. Chinese. doi: 10.3881/j.issn.1000-503X.2013.04.002. PMID: 23987480.


Chittimoju SB, Pearce EN. Iodine Deficiency and Supplementation in Pregnancy. Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2019 Jun;62(2):330-338. doi: 10.1097/GRF.0000000000000428. PMID: 30829881.


Triggiani V, Tafaro E, Giagulli VA, Sabbà C, Resta F, Licchelli B, Guastamacchia E. Role of iodine, selenium and other micronutrients in thyroid function and disorders. Endocr Metab Immune Disord Drug Targets. 2009 Sep;9(3):277-94. doi: 10.2174/187153009789044392. Epub 2009 Sep 1. PMID: 19594417.

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