Superfoods are foods that have a dozen or more unique properties. Superfoods comprise a specific set of edible, incredibly nutritious plants that are not entirely classifiable as foods or medicines. Some common superfoods are:
- Berries- Acai berries, Blueberries, Goji berries
- Leafy greens
- Green tea
- Nuts and seeds
- Olive oil
- Dark chocolate
In this article, we will be looking at algae, specifically, microalgae.
Microalgae are microscopic aquatic organisms which use the solar energy and carbon dioxide for photosynthesis and produce a wide variety of complex substances and biologically active compounds. The aquatic microalgae are one of the oldest terrestrial organisms and can adapt to survive in adverse environmental conditions. They are characterized by the ability to grow and multiply rapidly within a short life cycle and are also easy to manipulate. Efficiency of microalgae in fixing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is 10 to 50 times higher than that of terrestrial plants. The cultivation of microalgae reduces the level of pollutants in the air and in the aquatic environment. Microalgae is “20 times more productive than conventional crops,” with little needed in the way of input to keep them alive.
The edible types of algae are: Blue-green algae, Brown algae, Red algae and Green algae. Chlorella (a green algae) and Spirulina (a blue-green algae) are two extremely popular algae used as superfood. Spirulina is a potent source of phycocyanobilin. Nutrient-dense, like chlorella, and contains 10 percent more protein than chlorella, as well as more copper and thiamine, or vitamin B1. Chlorella is higher than spirulina in zinc, iron, magnesium, vitamin B2, calories, fat, and omega-3 fatty acids.
The large-scale microalgae cultivation started in the 1960s in Japan, in which Chlorella microalgae were used as a food additive. In the 1970s and 1980s, the industrial production of microalgae expanded to USA, China, Taiwan, Australia, India, Israel and Germany. In the last few years, the production of Spirulina and Chlorella microalgae has increased, and currently it is practiced by most countries. The annual production is about 7,500 tons of dry biomass (5,000 and 2,500 tons of Spirulina and Chlorella microalgae, respectively).
Health Benefits of Algae:
- Algae contain Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Algae deliver essential amino acids
- Algae help in the prevention of diseases
- Algae help in the development and maintenance of healthy kin
dietary supplement is a manufactured product intended to supplement one’s diet by taking a pill, capsule, tablet, powder or liquid. Eating a variety of healthy foods is the best way to get the nutrients you need. However, some people do not get enough vitamins and minerals from their daily diet, and their doctors may recommend a supplement. Dietary supplements may provide nutrients that might be missing from your daily diet.
Supplement can provide nutrients either extracted from food sources or that are synthetic in order to increase the quantity of their consumption. The various compounds for which dietary supplements are available are- vitamins, minerals, proteins, fibers, fatty acids, and amino acids. Dietary supplements are also available to enhance and support fertility, prenatal care, and for body-building.