You may view algae as ‘the green stuff’ floating on a still body of water or gathering on the sides of pool or fish tanks, but it is so much more. While it is somewhat unsightly, this single celled plant is packed with nutrition and other amazing properties. There are more than 30,000 different forms of algae, including those types that make-up chlorella and spirulina – both of which have gained a mighty reputation among superfoods.
Green algae is known for its ability to detoxify the body from heavy metal contamination and boost overall health and immunity, but it is also being recognized as a possible biofuel and a method for producing biodegradable plastic.
Amazing Health Benefits
Chlorella grows in the warm waters around Australia and Southeast Asia and is considered a nutritional powerhouse. This microscopic green algae contains more chlorophyll per gram than any other plant while being rich in oxygen. One of the best documented health benefits of chlorella is its ability to enhance healthy gut flora and also encourage the elimination of bowel waste, therefore, moving toxins out of the body.
Cancer patients, susceptible to opportunistic infections, have used chlorella with success to enhance their immune system. Patients suffering with hypertension, high cholesterol, fibromyalgia, diabetes and colitis have also found relief through chlorella supplementation.
Radiation Detoxification and Protection
Workers involved in the Chernobyl nuclear clean up tested the use of spirulina and chlorella to reduce the number of radioactive particles in their bodies with great success. International research has focused on spirulina and chlorella’s ability to remove radiation and protect from radiation damage. Both types of algae have been found effective in their ability to detoxify, however, chlorella appears to be the best at protecting against the ill effects of radiation.
While scientists continue to explore the many health benefits of algae, other researchers are considering algae as a new way to produce toxic-free biodegradable plastic. Those that are working on these eco friendly plastic projects state that the only drawback to production is the large amount of algae needed to produce plastic. However, with the creation of large algae farms, eco algae plastics may be a reality in the not-so-distant future.
Both American and European algae energy companies are investigating the possibility of using algae as an alternative fuel. Algae grows quickly and is self renewing, making it a viable option for biofuel.