Chlorella Vs Spirulina: What’s the Difference?
When it comes to chlorella and spirulina, it’s really no surprise that they’re hailed as two of the richest nutrient sources of the earth. These two superfoods offer a tremendous nutritional profile and a significant amount of health benefits. However, both of these algaes look and taste very similar, which often causes some confusion amongst consumers. While these two fresh-water superfoods offer a lot of similar benefits, there are also a number of differentiators to be aware of before deciding which one would be the most beneficial for your health. That’s why we’re here to set the record straight!
Chlorella Benefits and Nutritional Facts
Chlorella is most popular for having the highest amount of chlorophyll of any known plant. Chlorophyll is what gives plants its green colour, and is a powerful antioxidant and cleansing agent as it promotes detoxification of the liver and digestive tract. Since chlorella is such a potent detoxification aid, this green algae is also known for its ability to act as a natural chelator to detox the body of heavy metals, such as lead, mercury and aluminum.
Another unique component of chlorella is that is contains a special Growth Factor that can help repair nerve tissue damage, boost your immune system and promote increased energy. Chlorella Growth Factor also contains DNA and RNA, which our body produces less of the older we get, causing signs of aging and making us more prone to illness. The DNA and RNA in chlorella cause cellular regeneration, making it the ultimate anti-aging supplement! This superfood is also abundant in protein, vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, iron, magnesium, beta carotene and so much more!
Spirulina Benefits and Nutritional Facts
Spirulina is most popular for being rich in complete protein and vitamin B12, offering all essential amino acids and containing up to 70% protein! Being one of the only plant food sources offering B12 and a perfect protein profile makes this blue-green algae a very unique and nutritionally dense supplement option for vegetarians and vegans. Similar to chlorella, spirulina also has an abundance of vitamins and minerals, including a rich source of antioxidant beta carotene, B vitamins, iron, calcium and essential fatty acids.
In fact, spirulina has one of the rarest forms of essential fatty acids, gamma linoleic acid (GLA), which is very difficult to find in foods and is known for its anti inflammatory benefits. Along with being a rare plant food source of B12 and GLA, spirulina also has a unique phytonutrient, phycocyanin, which is an antioxidant that helps with everything from improving brain function to protecting the body’s cells and boosting the immune system. Thanks to its perfectly digestible cell wall, the abundance of nutrients that spirulina offers are highly bioavailable, meaning its very easy for the body to absorb them.
Differences: Chlorella Vs Spirulina
As mentioned above, superfoods spirulina and chlorella do have many similarities. However, they also have a number of differences! Here are some key differentiators to note between the two:
1. Chlorella is higher in chlorophyll. Chlorella is a green algae, which means its very rich in chlorella and offers up to 10x more than spirulina
2. Spirulina is richer in protein. Spirulina contains anywhere from 50-70% protein
3. Spirulina is richer in essential fatty acids. Spirulina contains gamma linoleic acid, which is very rare to find in foods and offers benefits for the brain and heart
4. Chlorella offers a stronger detox. Due to its high chlorophyll content, chlorophyll is effective at cleansing the liver and digestive tract
5. Spirulina has a unique antioxidant. Phycocyanin, which is a phytonutrient that helps protect the cells and may help prevent cancer, is found in spirulina
6. Chlorella has a unique anti-aging component. Chlorella contains a unique Growth Factor that helps repair nerve tissue damage and boost your immune system
7. Their colours are different. One way to tell them apart is knowing that chlorella is green, and spirulina is blue
8. Both promote gut health. Chlorella and spirulina both support healthy digestion and good bacteria in the gut.
When it comes down to it, it’s clearly less of a question of ‘which algae superfood is healthier?’ and more about ‘which algae superfood is best for me?’ Both chlorella and spirulina are extremely nutrient dense foods, and either of them would make a beneficial addition to a healthy diet. The good news? You don’t have to choose between the two. Enjoy chlorella and spirulina in your smoothies, desserts, mixed in to your water or even in tablet form and enjoy their superpowers.