Chlorella and Spirulina are two edible microalgae and both are freshwater algae that can be consumed as food as well as nutritional supplements in the supplement world. They look, smell, and taste alike, and both have impressive nutrients and potential health benefits but they are not twins. However, ordinary consumers may not understand the difference between them and they often continue to argue about them. Here are the studies to fully look at and prove the pros and cons of Chlorella vs Spirulina edible algae.
Both Chlorella and Spirulina belong to the genus of green unicellular algae and the phylum Chlorophyta. However, some are similar in organoleptic characteristics and growing conditions, and many claim similar benefits, such as reducing heart disease risk factors, supporting detoxification, improving blood sugar management, and fighting free radicals. But if you just want to know Chlorella vs. Spirulina whether one is healthier or which one is better you will need to read forward.
What Is Chlorella And its Nutritional Profile?
Chlorella is a green single-celled freshwater algae with nutrient-dense properties that is native to Japan and Taiwan. This is a very strong concentration of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors. There are actually over 30 different types of this algae, but you’ll see Chlorella vulgaris and Chlorella pyrenoidosa in most research. These receptors are known to regulate human metabolism, strengthen the immune system, and promote overall health, however, the hard cell wall of algae is difficult for humans to digest. Although chlorella algae is also rich in chlorophyll, fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, amino and nucleic acids. Therefore, they are considered valuable functional foods and come in the form of powders, tablets, extracts or capsules.
Nutritional Profile of Chlorella –
It is a rich source of nutrients and contains a wide range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other beneficial compounds. Here are some of the key nutrients found in chlorella:
- Protein: it is a complete protein source, meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids that the body needs. It is particularly rich in lysine, an amino acid that is often lacking in plant-based diets.
- Vitamins: it is a good source of various vitamins, including vitamin C, vitamin B12, vitamin E, and vitamin K. It is also a rich source of beta-carotene, which the body can convert into vitamin A.
- Minerals: it contains high amounts of various minerals, including iron, magnesium, zinc, and calcium. It is also a rich source of chlorophyll, which has a similar chemical structure to hemoglobin and may help to increase oxygenation in the body.
- Antioxidants: it is a rich source of various antioxidants, including chlorophyll, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. These compounds help to protect the body against oxidative stress and may help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
- Fiber: Chlorella is a good source of dietary fiber, which can help to support healthy digestion and promote feelings of fullness.
What is Spirulina and its Nutritional Profile?
Spirulina is blue-green single-celled freshwater algae found in moist ground, fresh and salt water, the bark of trees, and green, brown, or some black layers on moist walls. Spirulina is also low in calories and protein, which essential Considered a complete source of minerals and vitamins, trace minerals, fiber, nucleic acids, and fatty acids, and represents a cyanobacteria (biomass) biomass. Known as a superfood, spirulina has been linked to significant weight loss in the human body.
Nutritional Profile of Spirulina –
it is a type of blue-green algae that is known for its nutritional density. Here are some of the key nutrients found in spirulina:
- Protein: it is a rich source of protein and contains all of the essential amino acids that the body needs. In fact, it is one of the most protein-dense foods on the planet, with up to 70% protein by weight.
- Vitamins: it is a good source of various vitamins, including vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin K, and vitamin E. It is also a rich source of beta-carotene, which the body can convert into vitamin A.
- Minerals: it contains high amounts of various minerals, including iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. It is also a good source of iodine, which is important for thyroid function.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Spirulina contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for brain and heart health.
- Antioxidants: it is a rich source of various antioxidants, including phycocyanin and beta-carotene. These compounds help to protect the body against oxidative stress and may help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
- Chlorophyll: Spirulina is rich in chlorophyll, which has a similar chemical structure to hemoglobin and may help to increase oxygenation in the body.
Chlorella vs. Spirulina: Key Differences
Spirulina is a spiral-shaped single-celled cell with no true nucleus. Spirulina is larger than Chlorella. It has a softer cell wall and a blue-green color. Chlorella is a spherical-shaped single-cell alga with a single nucleus. Chlorella is smaller than Spirulina. It has a tougher cell wall. Chlorella is a greenish color. here we Chlorella vs. Spirulina
Spirulina contains more protein than chlorella. Thus, spirulina is considered a good source of high-quality protein, and spirulina contains about 60% protein, but chlorella has 40% protein which is less than spirulina. Fortunately, both chlorella and spirulina are also recommended as affordable protein supplements to the human diet.
One of the major differences between Chlorella and Spirulina lies in their cell structures. Chlorella is a single-celled algae. In contrast, Spirulina consists of many cells.
Spirulina can be found in both fresh water and salt water. On the other hand, Chlorella is generally considered as freshwater algae. Most chlorella is grown in Asia, in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. The greatest concentrations of Spirulina can be found in Africa, Asia, South America, and Hawaii.
Spirulina completely lacks cellulose walls as a replacement for temporary cellulose from micro-polysaccharides. Therefore, it is easier to digest. Chlorella has an indigestible hard cellulose wall making it indigestible to humans.
Despite these differences, both these supplements really shine in the areas of highly nutritious and vitamins.
Which one is healthier?
Even though both forms of blue-green algae may provide benefits for overall health, chlorella is found in significantly higher amounts, and the difference in those amounts is staggering.
Even though both forms of blue-green algae show very similar benefits in terms of bioactive compounds, a two-tablespoon serving of chlorella provides 60% of our daily needs for vitamin A and 70% of iron, in comparison to spirulina. Can pack minimal amounts of vitamin A and iron. However, spirulina can contain up to 10 percent more protein than chlorella.
Fortunately, both chlorella and spirulina have very similar compositions of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, but Chlorella is higher in:
- omega-3 fatty acids
- provitamin A
On the other hand, Spirulina is lower in calories, omega-3 fatty acids, and iron and zinc but still contains a high amount of:
- thiamine (B1)
As we said, these algae superfoods have a lot in common—but a few minor differences between algae don’t help make your buying decision any easier. But don’t get caught up in decision paralysis; Both have amazing nutrients.
Both chlorella and spirulina are rich sources of nutrients, and both offer amazing health benefits. Spirulina is ancient, but chlorella is newly found, but both are two of the richest and most nutritious superfoods in the world. You can choose according to your body’s requirements and your nutritional needs. Chlorella vs. Spirulina which nutrients do you need most, and make your choices with precision.