If the gut is at the core of your overall health (which it is), then it stands to reason that we should all be doing everything in our power to keep it as healthy as possible. But the question is: how are you supposed to support your gut?
Beyond basic healthy lifestyle habits like eating a well-balanced diet and getting plenty of exercise, there are certain foods you can eat that will provide your gut with much of the nourishment and support it needs. And one of the best foods for gut support may just be one that you haven’t considered trying—algae.
What Is Algae?
While the term ‘algae’ may conjure images of pond scum or green slime on the side of a fish tank, those aren’t the only types of algae out there. In fact, algae is a term that encompasses many different organisms that all have a few things in common—they don’t have root systems, stems, or leaves, and they tend to live in aquatic habitats. Just like plants, algae contain a variety of phytopigments that give them their color and allow them to create their own energy through photosynthesis.
Algae are thought to be one of the first organisms on this planet, with scientists tracing certain types back up to 900 million years ago. Today, there are over 70,000 variations of algae that exist on Earth, which contributes to them being considered the top producer of oxygen for our planet. Many of these species of algae are not only edible but also some of the nutrient-dense foods available today, which is part of what makes it so great for gut health!
Algae and Gut Health
Edible species of algae contain many nutritional elements that can help nourish and support your gut. For starters, many types of algae are rich in amino acids. As the building blocks of proteins, amino acids are crucial for cell growth and regeneration, which means they are a vital nutrient when it comes to nourishing and strengthening your gut lining. Without amino acids, this lining can become weak and hyperpermeable, which makes it easier for harmful bacteria that should be excreted as waste to slide through this barrier and wreak havoc on your body.
Additionally, many species of edible algae are also known to be rich in essential fatty acids, particularly in omega-3 fatty acids. This is great news for your gut as research has found that omega-3 fatty acids can help to increase the diversity of beneficial gut bacteria. What’s more? Algae is also a great source of indigestible carbohydrates that act as prebiotics, feeding the beneficial bacteria in your gut so they can continue to grow and thrive.
Best Types of Algae for Gut Health
Even though there are thousands of different species of algae out there, only a small percentage of them are edible. Some of them are common kitchen staples in various cultures around the world, such as different types of seaweed and kelp, and some of them are only starting to gain popularity as their numerous health benefits continue to be uncovered.
Even though only a small percentage of algae are edible, that still leaves quite a few different options out there for you to choose from. So the question is: which type of algae should you choose for your health? In general, it’s best to opt for one of the three popular types of blue-green microalgae—chlorella, spirulina, or aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA). Let’s take a quick look at the nutritional breakdown of each so you are better equipped to choose which one will be best to add to your diet.
There are about 20 species of chlorella in existence, and they all boast impressive nutritional profiles. In general, chlorella is roughly 55% protein by weight and contains all eight essential amino acids. Chlorella also contains omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins C and E, most of the B vitamins, trace minerals like iron, calcium, and magnesium, and powerful antioxidant pigments like chlorophyll and beta-carotene. This combination of nutrients allows chlorella to work to support gut health as well as liver function and immune function.
Well known for its spiral, thready appearance, spirulina is just as nutritionally impressive as chlorella. It contains about 60% protein and 7% healthy fats by weight. It also contains many vitamins including vitamins A, C, D, E, and many B vitamins. This popular type of blue-green algae also contains a variety of trace minerals and antioxidant phytopigments like beta-carotene and phycocyanin. Research on spirulina has found it to be beneficial for gut, cardiovascular, and brain health.
Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA)
Unlike chlorella and spirulina, which are often farmed and harvested, AFA is 100% wild-crafted, which means it grows naturally in the wild without human intervention, is harvested using non-invasive techniques, and is processed naturally.
Plus, when compared to other types of microalgae, it becomes clear that AFA is a near-perfect superfood as it’s nutritional profile far outshines the others. Not only is AFA roughly 60% protein by weight, but it is the only one out of this list that contains all 20 standard amino acids. As if that isn’t impressive enough, AFA also has 13 different vitamins, over 60 trace minerals, and both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Plus, this near-perfect food also has an abundance of powerful antioxidants including chlorophyll, phycocyanin, beta-carotene, and all three of the components needed to form the powerful antioxidant known as glutathione. With so many important nutrients, AFA helps support nearly every aspect of your health, including your gut health.
Nourish and Support Your Gut with AFA
Nourishing and supporting your gut is the key to keeping your body and mind as healthy as possible, and there is no doubt that a powerful superfood like AFA can help you do just that! Here at New Earth, we know that AFA is one of the most profoundly nourishing foods on the planet, which is why we include it in all of our whole-food supplements.
Whether you are looking for a pure algae supplement or something specifically designed to support your gut, we have and AFA-infused supplement that can help. And the best part is you can put any of our products to the test risk-free with our 90-day money-back guarantee.
At New Earth we are on a mission to positively impact the health of every body and soul we come in contact with. We specialize in producing third-party certified, organic whole food supplements including a variety of probiotics, and digestive support. Our supplements feature a rare, yet highly nutritious superfood, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA). Also known as organic Wild Microalgae®, AFA is a unique type of microalgae that is available in many forms including tablets, capsules, and powders all designed to help you on your journey to holistic wellness. The best part? We offer a 90-day money-back risk-free guarantee on all of our products. Visit our website to learn more.