When it comes to subjects like superfoods, health supplements, and tools you can use to pursue your health and fitness goals, chances are something like Algae probably doesn’t come to mind. Maybe you think of kale, spinach, salmon, chia seeds, avocados, and about any other common type of super food – but not algae. That’s the green, slimy mucus-like substance that you clean out of pools, right?
While it’s true that algae are green, slimy, and tend to not be the most visually pleasing thing in the world, the truth is there is a whole lot of nutrition and benefit to these eukaryotic organisms. In fact, algae are packed full of incredible nutritional value and can be extremely useful to help improve your overall health. Not only that, but algae is a key player in the earth’s most important ecosystems.
So let’s take a closer look at what exactly algae is and how why it’s good for you.
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What is Algae?
Even though it looks like slimy grass, algae is a generalized term for eukaryotic organisms that populate many of the earth’s natural water resources. These green organisms are autotrophic, meaning they create their own food by simply using photosynthesis. Because there are so many algae in the world, these small organisms actually account for nearly half of the earth’s natural oxygen stores.
Not only that, but algae is a crucial part of all most any ecosystem that it’s a part of. That’s because algae is an intrinsic part of the food chain. Small krill specifically feed on algae almost exclusively and then krill become the common food of larger fish. Without algae, most marine life as we know it would not be sustained.
So when it comes down to it, these little eukaryotic organisms play a vital role in helping sustain life on the planet. From producing oxygen to helping feed and sustain natural ecosystems, these are a vital part of attaining the balance of life on earth. But how can this green slimy substance be good for you and your health journey?
How is Algae Good For You?
When it comes to algae, these small organisms aren’t just good for the planet and the various ecosystems they live in, they are actually packed full of helpful nutrients. One of the ways that algae are good for your health, is that they are high in omega-3 fatty acids. When you think of omega-3s, you probably think of the fish oil supplements that most people take in order to get this important superfood. One of the reasons that fish are so rich in omega-3s is because of the fact that algae are part of aquatic food chains.
Algae, which are rich in omega-3s are eaten by krill. These krill are then eaten by other fish, and this is an example of how algae have an impact on omega-3 production in fish products.
So Why Not Just Keep Getting Omega-3s From Fish Oil?
This is a great question and one that will make sense as to why algae are so good for not only your health but the earth itself. While there is always going to be the option of extracting this incredible fatty acid from fish in supplemental form, or just by adding fish to your diet, algae have some clear benefits.
One of them, and the most important one, is that the omega-3 fatty acids that are extracted from algae have been shown to have at least 50% more absorption than other forms of supplemental omega-3. This means that you can get more benefit from algae for the number of fatty acids you take in than any other form including plant and fish-based. What’s more, is that an algae-based supplemental form of omega-3 can still qualify as vegan which is great for anyone who doesn’t eat animal-derived products. Algae supplements are a great way to supplement your diet with the powerful fatty acids that you need.
Algae Farming Is Good for the Planet
Another positive to algae-based omega-3 supplements is that algae farming is good for the planet. Algae farming doesn’t require good soil or even fresh water. Being able to use land that might not be suitable for farming to create algae farms is a way of utilizing the land in a unique way that promotes the health of the planet.
Algae create an incredible amount of oxygen, so creating algae farms on land that may not be able to sustain typical agriculture creates massive amounts of fresh oxygen at no expense to the earth. Not only that, but the water quality to create algae doesn’t have to be fresh or drinkable. This means that you can recycle used water that otherwise might not have been used to create a farm that can help sustain the earth’s atmosphere.
Algae farming means that you can create more algae that are good for the earth, without having to tamper with the algae from ecosystems where it is already at work. Algae really is a resource that can not only greatly improve your own health, but is good for the whole planet.