Supergreens from lake to ocean

The diets of teenagers have a lot to answer for, but apparently almost 70 per cent of schoolgirls are so low in iodine that they are putting the health of future children they have at risk. Key to brain development in the womb iodine is found in sea fish and kelp, a form of seaweed. It is also available in meat, eggs and milk but only where they are eating off the land and the soil is mineral rich – which isn’t the case when the ground has been intensively farmed.
Much aquatic plant life such as Spirulina, Chlorella, Blue/Green Algae and Seaweed have considerable health benefits that have become more recognised in recent years.

But what’s to choose between them? They all sound great so how does anyone understand the difference. Most of them (except seaweed) are actually types of algae grown in freshwater lakes or in some cases cultivated specially for the marketplace.

Kelp – helpful for underactive thyroid

Kelp is a large seaweed or algae found in the sea which is rich in iodine. Iodine is a mineral required by the body to produce thyroid hormones and therefore people who have an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) often take kelp with good success.  It’s essential for the developmernt of hormones which are fundamental ot the formation of nerves and bone, and for healthy skin, nails and hair.

However, it is important that they are sure that they do not have an overactive thyroid because kelp would make the situation considerably worse. Some medical professionals are very anti the idea of kelp but it may be because if taken for the wrong thyroid problem it can be dangerous.

Kelp can be eaten as powder that you put in food and is prevalent in Japanese food. It is a good source of calcium and can be helpful in treating osteoporosis (brittle bones).

Spirulina – full of all nutrients

It’s widely recommended and is heralded by You Are What You Eat expert, Dr Gillian McKeith, while Sophie Anderton claims it keeps her slim, Zoe Ball puts it in her smoothies and Carol Vorderman raves about it – but what is it exactly?

Spirulina is a blue-green micro algae, a vegetable plankton, shaped like a coiled spring or spiral. It grows in mineral-rich alkaline lakes in warm climates and is believed to have the richest source of nutrients in any one food.

Spirulina aids detox by cleansing the digesting tract, keeping energy levels high and feeding the body with essential nutrients.

It’s so nutrient rich it also contains:

• Three times more chlorophyll than any other plants, giving it a dark green colour
• Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12 and E
• 14 minerals with magnesium and calcium correctly balanced and high levels of manganese, zinc
• All eight essential amino acids and ten non-essential amino acids
• Protein which is easily absorbed by the body of 40 per cent, 18 per cent carbohydrate, 5 per cent fat and only 36 calories per 10g
• Plenty of beta carotene, Gamma Lineolic Acid (GLA) (higher levels than Evening Primrose Oil)
• Antioxidants that fight free radicals which cause cell damage

What’s special about Spirulina?

Many of us eat healthily and take supplements but they are not taken up by the body. Spirulina is the only plant food to contain the antioxidant Phycocyanin that is a plant pigment that increases the ability of the body to absorb nutrients. The vitamins and minerals in Spirulina bond to the amino acids which enables the body to assimilate them much easier.

Other benefits include:

• Boosting energy levels
• Strengthens immune system
• Regulates blood sugar levels
• Promotes healthy skin, hair and nails

It is also particularly good for these conditions:

• Arthritis
• Acne
• Anaemia
• Depression
• Diabetes

As far back as the 16th Century in Mexico it is believed that the Aztecs ate Spirulina, while in Chad it is thought to have been used as a food source by the Kanem Empire. It is still popular there in cakes and broths and is harvested in lakes and ponds around Lake Chad. Now it has been proposed by NASA and the European Space Agency as an excellent food for space missions!

One of the easiest ways to take Spirulina is to dissolve the powder in a smoothie. Spirulina powder is dark green because of the abundance of chlorophyll so be careful not to splash your smoothie around the kitchen!

Klamath Lake Algae – the lake that time forgot!

Klamath Algae is a blue green algae found growing in the volcanic bed of Lake Klamath, in Oregon, USA. One of the main benefits of this superfood will probably make anyone over 40 rush for the product is that it contains peptide molecules which encourage the proliferation of brain foods (glycogen and neuropeptides) enhancing mental clarity!

What makes algae from Lake Klamath stand out is the fact that the area is so isolated that pollution isn’t an issue. Even the local town’s wastewater goes in the opposite direction! The climate encourages the growth of primordial microalgae which is rich in all the amino acids, vitamins, minerals and trace elements required for healthy function. It is also an extremely rich vegetable source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids, which are the building blocks of the brain!

Like all the supergreens it is high in antioxidants which combat free radicals and has a variety of other health benefits including:

• Boosts mental clarity
• Assists with cell regeneration
• Purifies blood and detoxifies body
• Strengthens the immune system particularly after illness
• Is easily absorbed by the body
• Encourages an alkaline system – acid systems are more prone to serious illness


Another algae which is a rich source of chlorophyll, Chlorella cleanses the body of heavy metals and pesticides. It is a natural single celled algae that grows in water and is one of the highest plant sources of chlorophyll, a powerful cleanser and detoxifier.
Heavy metals occur naturally but are widely used in agriculture and manufacturing – even in cosmetics, medicines, and children’s toys. They get into drinking water, food, air and soil and end up in our bodies. Mercury is put into teeth in amalgam fillings and lead is prevalent in contaminated soil, lead-glazed pottery, household dust and buildings which still have original lead paint.
Heavy metals displace essential minerals like zinc, calcium and magnesium, interfere with the function of organs including the nervous system, and can cause infertility. Chlorella is one of the richest wholefood sources of chlorophyll, which bio-chelates with heavy metals excreting them from the body.

Chlorella reproduces at the fastest rates of all living plants, but is difficult to harvest and has therefore been cultivated to cater for the growing market.

Chlorella contains:

• 19 amino acids including the eight essential ones
• 58 per cent per 100g of protein (higher than chicken or beef)
• Vitamins, beta carotene, minerals and carotenoids

Health Benefits:

• Increases the production of interferon, the chemical which is thought to protect cells from harmful viruses
• Strengthens immune system
• Detoxifies heavy metals and other pesticides from the body
• Cleanses the bowels
• Helps body to absorb iron
• Protects the liver
• Improves mental clarity and energy levels
• Normalises blood sugar levels
• Stabilises blood pressure
• Balances the body’s pH – ensuring that it is not too acid

Seaweed – more than a beachside decoration

Everyone’s familiar with seaweed simply from visits to the beach, but what are its health properties? The Chinese are keen on eating seaweed for its health benefits, although quite often if you buy seaweed at a supermarket it’s dark cabbage!

Like algae seaweed is ac complete food with an outstanding number of nutrients. Arctic Wrack Seaweed is the brown type found in remote islands off the coast of Norway. It is high in:

• Phytonutrients and polysaccharides
• Vitamin B complex, minerals, selenium and iodine
• Chlorophyll – like all the algae

Health benefits are outstanding:

• Helps to regulate metabolism and weight
• Helps to cleanse, detoxify and alkalise
• Eliminates heavy metals and restores mineral imbalances
• Aids regulation of thyroid
• Improves digestion
• Boosts immune system
• Improves skin, hair and circulation
• Restores the acid/alkaline balance

MicrOrganics’ Spirulina Smoothie Recipes!

Banana and apple

Blend one banana, one apple, and 150ml of mango or apricot juice, one tablespoon of honey, two tablespoons of plain or vanilla yogurt, 150ml of water. Vigorously shake in one teaspoon of spirulina. Drink immediately!

Veggie Smoothie

Shake one teaspoon of spirulina powder with 300ml of tomato or mixed vegetable juice. Add a generous handful of pureed/juiced vegetables to thicken the Smoothie: carrots, celery, broccoli and cauliflower are good choices. Add ½ teaspoon of mixed herbs or a few basil or rocket leaves and a pinch of salt to taste. Shake or stir thoroughly. If you like it, add a dash of Worcestershire sauce…

Featured Products
Hawaiian Spirulina MicrOrganics 110g £11.95
Hawaiian Spirulina MicrOrganics 110 tablets £8.95
Synergy Spirulina (Organic) Xynergy 100 tablets £9.25
Kids Spirulina powder (certified organic) Nature Complete 90g £15.95
Synergy Natural Organic Chlorella Xynergy 200 x 500mg capsules £15.95
Seagreens Food Capsules Xynergy 60 x 500mg capsules £13.95
Kelp & Greens Kelp Powder, Spirulina, Blue Green Algae, Chlorella and Green Leaf Extract Vega 30 veg caps £5.40
Kelp tablets A. Vogel 240 £6.10
Pure Synergy (60+ ingredients including Spirulina, Chlorella and Klamath Lake algae) Xynergy 142g powder £36.75
Pure Synergy (60+ ingredients including Spirulina, Chlorella and Klamath Lake algae) Xynergy 270 veg caps £50.95
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