When it comes to vitamins and minerals which support a heart-healthy lifestyle, fish and fish oil are one of the top most used and recommended supplements to seek out. This is because fish are a rich source of two beneficial omega 3 fatty acids: DHA (or docosahexaenoic acid) and the lesser known EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid.) What you may not know is that fish are rich in these beneficial fats because of their consumption of algae in the water.
Researchers are looking into the potential benefits of BGA (or blue green algae, also known as Spirulina) in supporting both heart and liver function and coming up with convincing data in support of Algae supplements. According to a study from the National Health Institute,
Studies in cells, animals, and humans, have demonstrated that edible BGA can be an effective natural product for improving blood lipid profiles and for preventing inflammation and oxidative stress.
With this boost in algae research, we may be able to cut out the fish intake and still reap the potential benefits of DHA and EPA, a plus for those with a distaste for seafood. Read on to learn more about how you can support your healthy, natural lifestyle with algae supplements.
What is Algae?
If you’ve ever seen a green pond, dirty fish tank or untreated pool, the green stuff you’re seeing is algae. Blue green algae is one of the largest organisms on the planet and is the base diet for many fish and other non-predatory marine life. Algae contains a different set of benefits than the green stuff you may find growing on land and if gross fish tanks don’t sound appealing, note that algae supplements are generally grown in controlled farm tank settings.
Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
As we said above, DHA and EPA are powerful players in the fight against cardiovascular disease, the number one cause of death for Americans. These fatty acids can be found in natural algae and algae supplements may support healthy blood lipid and cholesterol levels in the normal range in heart patients. Some medications designed to potentially lower lipid levels may have harmful side effects, leading doctors and patients to seek out a plant-based, DHA-rich alternative to lipid-reduction. Enter algae supplements. Microalgae is also now a regular addition to infant formula in the efforts to replace the brain-building DHA found in breastmilk.
Helpful Vitamins and Minerals
Marine algae, both blue-green and red, are rich in the mineral iodine, a necessary part of the human diet. Additionally it contains calcium, iron, and vitamin B-12, powerful supplements to healthy eating and an active lifestyle. Each algae supplement is designed differently and may come with added vitamins or minerals.
Other Reasons to Try Algae Supplements
If you need more reasons to check out algae supplements, you should note that taking a dose of algae could lessen your eco footprint as growing algae requires less resources and energy than growing other sources of DHA. Additionally, algae supplements are the perfect way for those living the vegan or vegetarian lifestyle to get their recommended amount of both DHA and EPA. The algae industry is booming the United States and a congressional Algae Caucus was formed in 2013 to research how to boost beneficial algae production. The bottom line is, expect to see more algae supplements and spirulina in the food you pluck off the grocery store shelves.
Algae Supplements to Try
If you’re looking for a vegan and gluten-free algae supplement that’s loaded with goodness, check out Garden of Life’s Supercritical Algae Omega-3. This vegan supplement has a pleasant orange taste and supports brain and eye health.
Some prefer algae crystals over the soft-gels or capsules as the crystals can be mixed into juice and water rather than swallowed whole. Pure Synergy Organics Blue Green Algae Pure Klamath Crystals are a dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan option to support mental clarity and natural detoxification.
How are you using vitamin and mineral rich algae supplements in your path to a natural and healthy lifestyle? Please, take a minute to tell us your stories in the comments section below.