040: Is Microalgae a Superfood?

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Is Microalgae a superfood
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040: Is Microalgae a Superfood?

Did you know that there are single-celled organisms that produce up to 90% of the Earth’s oxygen, help purify the ocean, are the food source for some of the longest-living species on the planet and can reproduce multiple times per day? I’m referring to microalgae like Spirulina, Chlorella, and Phytoplankton.

These microscopic but mighty organisms may be a part of the puzzle for the future of natural health care and sustainable nutrient sources.

What is Microalgae?

Microalgae are tiny, single-celled organisms. There are hundreds of types and they come in many forms, but certain specifics strains of microalgae may be extremely beneficial for human health.

They are extremely effective energy producers and most can reproduce at least once a day (sometimes much more). Organisms like Spirulina and phytoplankton are examples of microalgae. Phytoplankton grows in the ocean and makes up 1/4 of plant life on the planet. Spirulina can grow in fresh water.

Though most common in the ocean and in fresh water sources, microalgae exist in various forms on virtually every part of the planet.

They are vital for ecological health, but increasing research is finding that they also contain many compounds necessary for human health.

Microalgae, though extremely beneficial, is technically a food, rather than a supplement and is generally considered safe. I’d absolutely still recommend checking with a doc or healthcare provider before taking these or anything else though.

Resources Mentioned

Thanks for Listening!

Thank you so much for joining me this week. Please leave any comments or feedback in the comments section below.

[toggle title=”Read Transcript”]
Hi and welcome to the “Wellness Mama” podcast. I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com

Did you know that there is a single-celled organism, a substance that is responsible for creating over 90% of the world’s oxygen, that is an extremely fast growing food source, and that many of us have never even heard about? And I’m talking about microalgae and that’s what this podcast is gonna be about. In fact, you’re stuck with just me today. I’m not even interviewing anyone. It’s just something that I have been researching so much lately and I’m so fascinated by right now that I wanted to share with you.

Before we jump in though, I wanna give a huge thank you to our sponsor for this podcast and also the sponsor for the last web podcast, Vital Proteins. They have amazing grass-fed gelatin and collagen powder and it is truly one thing I make sure I consume in some form every single day, whether I’m mixing it into a soup or a smoothie or even coffee or tea. I use gelatin and collagen all the time. And gelatin is the form that will gel. So, if you wanna make homemade Jell-O or gravies or sauces or Panna cotta, that’s what you want gelatin for. Collagen is unique because it’s almost tasteless and you can mix it into anything. And I use those, like I said, every day in some form.

And even though I have five kids, I often get people like at least once a week say, “You look too young to have five kids,” and I think that gelatin has been a large part of that because it’s vital for helping the body keep collagen levels at their peak and keeping skin healthy and young. So, if you have never tried it I would encourage you to go to wellnessmama.com/go/gelatin and just read about Vital Proteins and their amazingly sourced products and just all the benefits that they can offer.

So, now to jump in about microalgae. So, microalgae are single cell organisms that have a myriad of benefits, and they can absolutely be harmful single cell organisms. But today I’m gonna talk specifically about three forms of microalgae. You’ve probably heard of at least a couple of them and the many benefits that they have.

So, the first one is Spirulina. And, this is actually…I think I probably mispronounced it for the good first three years that I took it. But, it is a form microalgae. A lot of people call it a superfood which is an appropriate name considering all the amazing properties that it has. But it’s not technically an herb or a remedy. It’s a cyanobacteria and it has a lot of health-promoting properties. So, Spirulina is considered an algae and it’s a powder form, in most cases. You can also get is a tablet. But it’s very high in protein and is also high in antioxidants, B vitamins and all kinds of nutrients. And if it’s harvested correctly from a non-contaminated source like a natural farm where they can grow where the waters tested, is one of the most potent plant nutrient sources available.

So, it’s made up largely of protein and essential amino acids and a lot of vegetarians consume Spirulina for its natural iron content. It’s also said to be high in B12 although there’s some debate about this and about if it’s absorbable or not. So, I don’t take it specifically for its B12 content, but it does have some B12 as well. So, the high concentration of protein and iron also makes it something that I took during pregnancy to help keep my iron levels up. I’ll warn you, if you’ve never had it, Spirulina tastes a little bit like pond scum which is why most people stick to the tablet version but it has some great properties.

So, Spirulina is 65% protein and amino acids. So, one of the amino acids it contains is called Gamma-linolenic acid or GLA, which has got a lot of news attention lately. If maybe you’ve seen an article for its anti-inflammatory properties, especially if you take it with other omega-3 supplements or omega-3 containing foods like fish. And so, perhaps part of the benefit of the GLA in Spirulina, even more, the ones that studies have found is that a lot of foods that we consume use vegetable oils as their source, and GLA and omega-3 together are a more natural fuel source for the body. So, that’s perhaps why the body responds so well.

And so, Spirulina is one of the few foods with a natural source of GLA. It also contains omega 3, 6 and 9 in small amounts and its highest concentration is in omega-3. Due to its green color, Spirulina is also really high in chlorophyll which is something I would always take at the end of pregnancy to help increase my clotting factors and help reduce the risk of hemorrhage. But a lot of people use it to help remove toxins from the body and boost the immune system and it’s supposed to be very cleansing and flushing in the body.

As I mentioned, Spirulina has a great concentration of bioavailable iron. And so, a lot of doctors and midwives will recommend it during pregnancy or you will see it in some pregnancy supplements. It’s a good source of other nutrients like the B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, A, and E, and to smaller degree, selenium and zinc. And, it contains many pigments which we’re still trying to completely understand. It’s got a very high ORAC score which, if you’ve followed the news lately, they don’t really put much stock in ORAC, which stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. And this was a big deal a while back. Chocolate was supposed to be high in ORAC value and high in antioxidants, so were a lot of berries and superfoods. With recent knowledge, they’ve kind of moved away from the score because they said it doesn’t actually measure how well the body can utilize its antioxidants. But Spirulina is very high in this. It has an ORAC worth 24,000 which is four times as much as blueberries. So, it’s very high in natural antioxidants and it is supposed to be a very absorbable form. Spirulina also has 26 times the calcium in milk. So, if you don’t do dairy, it can be a way to get a natural source of calcium, and if you’ve read my blog much you know I would always say, “Balance that with magnesium as well.”

There’s some research that suggested Spirulina may be helpful for some people with allergic reactions, but some people will also react to Spirulina. So, you wanna make sure if you have any allergies to be careful with adding any supplements, that including Spirulina. There is some emerging evidence, and I haven’t seen anything double-blind or control of this but that Spirulina might help bind with radioactive isotopes. And so, there may be a use for it in a post-radiation therapy, although that they haven’t again studied this in-depth yet. Some experts estimate that as much as 51% to 61% of Spirulina’s components are highly usable in the body which if that’s true, that means it’s an extremely usable food because we aren’t actually able to use all of…the entire percentage of most of the foods that we consume.

So, Spirulina might…Spirulina is a great addition to a diet for a lot of people. I always say it’s actually a food, it’s not a supplement. But you still should actually…definitely check with a doctor or health professional especially if you have a medical condition. You also wanna make sure that if you do try Spirulina, that you pick one that’s organic. Because some Spirulina can come from a contaminated source or have other additives to it.

It does taste terrible. So, while the powder is the most economical option, they do make capsules and tablets that are a little bit easier to take. I also always like to mention that anybody with PKU should talk to the doctor first or any medical condition because it does contain other amino acids. So, it’s definitely not for everybody but it can be extremely beneficial for some people.

Now, the second microalgae that I love to talk about is called Chlorella, and it is also referred to as a superfood. It’s kind of in a sense, a cousin of Spirulina and it’s a freshwater algae with a host of benefits. It is also a single-celled organism, and it’s considered one of the oldest known species on the planet that we’ve been able to identify. It… Chlorella, in particular, has the unique ability to reproduce eight times a day, making it not only a sustainable nutrient source but one of the quickest reproducing food sources on the planet. It has a very hard outer shell. So, this is an important thing to know. It’s almost incompletely indigestible to humans unless the outer shell is broken because it’s made to be consumed by other organisms in the ocean where most of these naturally are grown or in water sources. So, supplemental forms have a special process that cracks the shell so that it’s actually usable by the body. And typically, it’s produced in Japan, where most of the world’s Chlorella is produced.

It’s like Spirulina. It’s a source of chlorophyll you can…it’s got a lot of protein. Also, a good source of iron. It’s slightly higher in magnesium than Spirulina, but it’s also contains a lot of other amino acids. And, like, Spirulina, it’s usually used as a detoxifying supplement and in cleansing programs. It’s got a tiny size and…but it’s very unique properties make it able…especially it’s often used in cleansing programs for heavy metals and chemicals in the body because it’s said to be able to bind to heavy metals and safely remove them from the body. Of course, if you have any heavy metal poisoning that would absolutely be an issue to see a health expert about, but a lot of them will recommend using this as part of the treatment.

I’ve seen it used by people who are actually undergoing chemotherapy or radiation to help reduce the body’s chemical load because of its ability to bind. Of course, again, a medical condition you’d wanna check with a doctor but it’s supposed to do this by supporting the body’s liver in detoxification pathways and again also by binding with those chemicals. Even WebMD, the website, list it as having the ability to boost the immune system to help digestive problems and to increase good bacteria in the digestive system. Because of that ability to bind only to certain substances, it wouldn’t necessarily kill beneficial good gut bacteria like some supplements would. For instance, oregano oil can be very powerful, but it can also strip out beneficial good gut bacteria. So you have to be careful with certain supplements that can do more harm than good over a long-term.

I’ve read some interesting studies lately that shows some anecdotal evidence that Chlorella may help reduce hypertension and cholesterol and increase energy. So, for the growing segment of the population struggling with those problems, it might be something to look into. And, so, even if they’re both greenish blue and they both taste like pond scum, I feel like it’s important to know that there are some differences as well between Spirulina and Chlorella and the structure is part of this.

So, they are both types of algae. Chlorella is a true single-cell algae and Spirulina is more of a multicelled plant that doesn’t have a distinctive nucleus. So, Spirulina is actually much larger than Chlorella and that’s why also Chlorella you have to crack the shell in order to use what’s inside of it. Spirulina is more of a blue-green. Chlorella is more of a green. Both are good sources of nucleic acids, although Spirulina only has about half as much. And if you don’t know what nucleic acids are, they are important factors for DNA and RNA growth and replication in the body so, for cellular and genetic health.

Spirulina can be consumed directly after harvesting, while, again, Chlorella has to go through a process to help break it down. Both contain chlorophyll although Spirulina only has about half the amount that as well. Spirulina is higher in iron, protein and the GLA that I mentioned, and Chlorella is known to be better at removing the heavy metals. Spirulina is not typically considered for that.

So, again, both are generally considered safe, but Chlorella comes with some cautions and warnings. It does have moderate levels of iodine. So, anybody with an iodine sensitive thyroid condition like me, for instance, would wanna talk to a doctor first and be really careful about using that. So, iodine is usually beneficial for the thyroids. Some people, me included, find that it actually can do more harm than good, especially with autoimmune thyroid-related diseases.

Sources are really divided on the safety of either of those during pregnancy. So, of course, if you’re pregnant or nursing, check with the doctor before you take anything. Every label says that. Also, since both can have a detoxifying effect, they can have…they can create a diode effect in the beginning. So, you wanna be careful about starting either one of these especially starting quickly. And, again, find a quality source if you’re gonna take either one of them.

And lastly, I am gonna talk about probably my most….the microalgae that I’m the most excited about right now mainly because it’s one that I found the most recently, but also I’ve been reading a lot of research about it lately, and it’s called marine phytoplankton. And this one is often called the “King of superfoods” which again, I’m cautious of that name. I don’t usually call things superfoods. But phytoplankton is definitely unique. So, microalgae that we’ve talked about are already well-known for their health and detoxification benefits, but phytoplankton is a specific ancient microalgae and certain strains can be hundreds of times more potent than other microalgae like Spirulina. And I warn you again, like any microalgae, it seems to be a theme. It’s extremely foul tasting but yet it’s a supplement I take every single day an here is why.

So, marine phytoplankton is a microalgae. It’s a single-cell organism. It’s a great source of trace minerals, chlorophyll, amino acids, DHA, EPA, carotenoids, antioxidants, nucleic acids and necessary vitamins. And as you might have guessed by the name with the “marine” part, it’s originally derived from the ocean where…this is the part that I mentioned in the beginning. So, marine phytoplankton is responsible for creating 90% of the Earth’s oxygen supply. And it does this extremely quickly and effectively. So, it’s many, many, many more times effective at creating oxygen than even the biggest mature trees.

In fact, NASA called marine phytoplankton, “The most important plant in the world” and truly without it, if it were to disappear, our planet would cease to exist because we would not have enough oxygen. It also serves as the food supply for a lot of marine life and it contains a wide variety of human…necessary nutrients for humans as well. In fact, a lot of research is looking into, if it could be a sustainable food source for us going forward considering how quickly it reproduces. And while it’s under the oceans, so we don’t really think about it, phytoplankton makes up about 25% of all vegetation on the planet.

But it’s unique because, like I said, it can reproduce itself very quickly. A tree, for instance, to get to mature size, some trees need hundreds of years, and phytoplankton literally needs one day. It has some of the same oxygenating and detoxifying effects on the body as it does in the ocean and that in the ocean it creates oxygen, it’s able to take harmful substances and neutralize them, it will create beneficial things out of them and there are hundreds of elements in phytoplankton. We don’t even understand all of them yet. But there are hundreds, and for that reason, a lot of researchers are calling it the future natural medicine.

And it’s said to have more combined power, antioxidant power, than all of the superfoods combined including Spirulina, Chlorella, Astaxanthin and other antioxidants. So, it’s extremely potent. And as I started reading the literature on this, I was just blown away by how we’re still barely understanding this and how much we already know how beneficial it is. So, like Spirulina, it’s antioxidant and nutrient-rich, but lab testing showed that there were hundreds of nutritional chemicals in phytoplankton including every known nutritional molecule and including others that we haven’t even identified yet. And now, researchers are studying those specific molecules to find out what purpose they serve both in the ocean and in the body.

So, then the unique composition of it and the fact that it’s extremely small makes it able to nourish the body in a very unique way. So, marine phytoplankton, the cells are actually about five times smaller than our red blood cells. So, it’s extremely tiny which I’ll talk about more in a minute, but this makes it very bioavailable. And so, this reason that…So many nutrients, if you have impaired digestive function, if you have leaky gut, if you have any kind of digestive issue, you’re gonna have trouble absorbing nutrients through your digestive system. A common example of that is that many people have trouble absorbing magnesium through the digestive system because even just a little bit too much and it causes loose stool diarrhea and it makes it very difficult to absorb.

So, some things that the body just doesn’t handle well once it hits the digestive system, but because phytoplankton is so small, it doesn’t actually depend on the digestive system or the liver for processing. It can absorb sublingually and the body uptakes it so quickly that most of the time it doesn’t make it to the stomach or small intestine where it can be neutralized. So, it’s a very unique and interesting nutrient source. Like I said, we’re still trying to fully understand it.

But one really cool thing about phytoplankton, and yes, I’ll warn you, I’m a total nerd because I’m about to say that something called Superoxide Dismutase is super cool and it is and here’s why. Scientists have identified a substance in living things that it tends to correlate with how long something lives. So, in other words, the more of this they found in a creature, the longer it typically it was gonna live. And mice have a very small amount. They have a very short life. Certain sea creatures like Galapagos turtles and most whale species have an extremely…sharks as well, have an extremely high concentration of this Superoxide Dismutase or SOD. In fact, Galapagos tortoises have some of the highest recorded levels and they typically and routinely live to 180 years or more.

And what’s interesting is humans, if you test them, they test across the board. We’re kind of in mid-range. We have much more than mice and small animals, but much less than whales and tortoises. But the amount that we all have varies. And so, that’s something researchers speculate that that’s part of what contributes to how long we’re gonna live. Our levels of SOD. And it’s also extremely difficult to get from diet and supplements because it has to be bound in a living form in a certain way, and it has to be very bioavailable. So, phytoplankton is a really good source of this Superoxide Dismutase or SOD. And, we ought…Every human creates it internally. But even if any of us has an impaired function in our body for some reason or a genetically predisposed not to create very much of it, that could potentially be a reason why certain people live longer than others.

We’re still, again, trying to understand that but SOD is really unique and important because it helps protect the cells and it controls the cells’ ability to get rid of toxins. So, in other words, those with high levels of this would be able to remove more harmful substances from the body more quickly and repair cells quickly. So, perhaps that’s the reason it correlates with longevity. As we know, like, certain levels of certain harmful substances do increase the odds of cancer and other diseases that can lead to death. So that’s a potential puzzle piece there.

But Superoxide Dismutase also deactivates a free radical called superoxide with the process of this dismutation, thus, Superoxide Dismutase, turning this free radical basically into hydrogen peroxide, which the body breaks down into oxygen and water. So, it has a very, very unique role in the body and, statistically, most of us have declining levels of this, especially after a certain point.

So, SOD is said to be about 3,500 times more potent than vitamin C for its antioxidant ability and traceability to remove things in the body. And it’s so important that an unborn baby will actually begin producing SOD in the womb before birth because it’s so vital in that cellular protection process. So, we’ve known for years that free radicals can contribute to disease, increased risk of cancer etc., etc., but we’re starting to really understand how antioxidants, especially SOD can help slow the process down and I feel like this will become increasingly important as we see higher levels of environmental toxins in our environment.

Now, phytoplankton is also unique in that it contains a lot of essential minerals. And you might’ve heard of trace minerals if you been in natural health for a while. The base of the reasoning is that, as our food supply has declined and soil doesn’t have as much nutrient levels as it once did, because of overgrowing processes, etc., we’re deficient in certain trace amounts of minerals that we only need very small amounts of. And there are…they estimate that about 80% of us are deficient in some or more of these. And there are supplements called like trace mineral drops and things that you can take specifically for trace minerals but phytoplankton is an excellent source of all of these trace minerals that the body needs. So, it’s kind of an all-in-one thing. You wouldn’t have take an additional trace mineral.

Now, some of those factors I already mentioned about how the body can absorb it quickly and how it has trace minerals also make phytoplankton really good for the liver. And if you’ve ever taken a biology class you know that the liver is the organ in the body that is responsible for detoxification, energy production, the liver does a lot. And it’s also vital for absorption of nutrients. So, as we age, or if we experience health problems, the liver’s ability to accomplish those jobs can become reduce making it even more difficult to absorb vital nutrients, and this is kind of is a vicious cycle. Our ability gets reduced, we can’t get the nutrients we need to support our body and absorbing it, etc., etc. So, since phytoplankton is absorbed in the cellular level, the body doesn’t have to rely on the digestive system or the liver for processing.

So, not only can the body then obtain these nutrients it needs, but it can help restore liver health by removing these things in the body that aren’t necessary without taxing the detoxification pathways that the liver uses. And one study I saw showed that consumption of high-quality phytoplankton you know, from a noncontaminated source, can trigger the body to create and regenerate billions of healthy cells. So, it’s an extremely unique compound. I wouldn’t call it a supplement at all because it’s truly a food and it’s actually a complete food source for many organisms on the planet.

It’s also really unique in its way that can help protect cell membranes and regenerate cells. So, this is maybe one of the biggest benefits and, again, one that we’re just trying to understand. But doctors and natural doctors who have used phytoplankton with patients, a lot of them in there…if you read their case studies, which is fascinating, a lot of them will talk about seeing improvement in patients with chronic diseases within a few days. And that is almost unheard of in the natural health community. There’s a lot of things that our body needs and a lot of food and supplements and lifestyle changes we can make that support the body, but almost none of them create drastic changes within days without any big side effects.

And the explanation for this is probably partially what…because phytoplankton can proliferate so rapidly and it’s also because they trigger that cell regeneration in the body. And if we live in the modern world, pretty much all of us have weakened cells somewhere for various reasons. And I’ve talked about this in my post about why I don’t ever consume vegetable oils or margarine. But one of the dangers of this is that the body needs certain essential fats and proteins to build cell walls and cell structures. And when we don’t consume enough of these specific essential oils…or essential proteins and oils that the body needs, the body will have to use whatever it has available. And certain processed rancid plasticized fats, when they’re incorporated into cells kind of lead to a higher chance of cell mutations because they’re not the original building blocks that the body needs to grow their cells. But there is a more imminent problem here.

So, a healthy cell, going back to freshman biology again, a healthy cell should have a good number of extra electrons because extra electrons correlate and mean extra oxygen available for the cells. And because electrons are able to hold there. So, the more electrons the more oxygen the cells have the healthier the cell and the easier for the body to regenerate. But when the cell walls have been built by artificial fats because that’s all the body has available, the cell isn’t as strong and it isn’t able to hold onto these extra electrons. So, health is compromised on a cellular level and this is a really big deal.

So, marine phytoplankton can improve cellular health in two ways. It can help provide those electrons that the cells need but it also provides those necessary amino acid and fatty acids that the body needs to build healthy cell walls so that it can regenerate correctly. So, that’s a huge piece of the puzzle and I hope that we gonna see a lot more about this in medical research because that could be extremely important for the future health of many of us.

Another little bit nerdy topic that I’m gonna delve into for a minute is dealing with methylation and the role of phytoplankton has in methylation. So, from the time of conception, the body has this process going on all the time called methylation. And this is basically a metabolic process that happens all the time in the body, billions of times per second. And, I’ve written about this before when I interviewed Dr. Ben Lynch and also in the post about what’s called MTHFR defects. And, basically, this is a defect that happens in a cell and it impairs the body’s ability to methylate or to transfer these nutrients when they need to.

If I can remember off the top of my head, I think MTHFR stands for methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. And so that’s specifically related to folate. But this methylation happens with many nutrients and substances in the body. And methylation basically is when…so you have one molecule that passes a methyl group to another molecule. And this process is vital for us to assimilate things like folate, B12, B vitamins, a lot of nutrients in the body. So, if you have an impaired methylation, this will definitely have a negative effect on your body and you won’t be able to absorb or properly use certain nutrients. And this is something we can all suffer with without ever knowing it because unlike a headache or something, it’s not gonna show up really well on a practical level because of that transfer. Methylation is needed to help repair DNA and remove harmful substances from the body.

So, then, the reverse of this is a process called demethylation. And this is associated with cellular breakdown like cancer, cell mutations, etc. And methylation happens especially early childhood in utero, etc., and then eventually, somewhere in like early 20s, it tends to decline and more demethylation happens and I think that this may be a big piece of the aging puzzle. But phytoplankton supports the body’s natural methylation process and helps with this proper cell division and growth. So, this may be one of the reasons we’re not sure yet, but why phytoplankton may help with chronic disease and in increased longevity.

And then just on a practical level, I take phytoplankton because it gives me a lot more energy and boosts my immune system. And, I think, there was even a study, I think it was the University of Utah, and it showed that those who took phytoplankton regularly had a higher measurement of CD3, which is an indicator of immune cells, and also that they score higher on mental health and happiness test. So, phytoplankton is a very interesting substance, a form of microalgae. And I really think we’re gonna see this a lot more in the health sphere as we start to learn more about it.

And I’ll just add an important caution here at the end. If you gonna take phytoplankton, you wanna make sure that it’s from a very pure and tested source because some phytoplankton can be contaminated or inactive. And since its natural source is in the ocean, you wanna make sure it’s growing in a place where you’re not gonna be dealing with radiation issues or heavy metals or plastic chemicals in the ocean. So, I personally take a form of it called the Nannochloropsis Gaditana which is a strain that is a reputable source and it’s grown in a specific sterile facility that uses only the exact elements needed and make sure that there’s no toxicity within the marine phytoplankton.

But whatever source you use just make sure to look for a very high-quality one that was produced carefully and that is bioavailable and active. And I will link to you the one that I use in the show notes for this as well. But if you’ve never heard of or tried any form of microalgae or phytoplankton, I would definitely encourage you to just do some research about it and read online. Like I said, they taste absolutely terrible in my opinion, but they potentially could be some of the most important nutrient food sources we have going forward. And I’m really excited to see the continued research on this as we go forward.

So, anyway, thanks for listening. I know it was just me today. We’ll get back to interview soon so you can hear from somebody else who’s probably more fun and smarter. But I really appreciate you joining me and I hope you’ll join me soon.

And thank you for listening to the “Wellness Mama” podcast. If you enjoyed this podcast or any of the past episodes, I would really appreciate it if you would take just a minute to go to iTunes and give it review and a rating and just…This is how other people are able to find the podcast and I would really appreciate your two minutes of time to do that. Also, if you would like to get my “Seven Simple Steps for a Healthier Family’s Guide” plus my quick start guide and a free week of meal plans, head on over to wellnessmama.com and you can enter your email and get it right away.

And also, now, another huge thank you to our generous sponsor, Vital Proteins gelatin and collagen powder. They offer pastured healthy grass-fed gelatin and collagen. And,basically, if you don’t understand the form, gelatin is the one that will gel in liquids. So, that’s great for making Jell-O and marshmallows and anything you need to thicken. And collagen will easily mix into any kind of food or drinks. So, if you don’t want something that thick then you just wanna be able sneak gelatin and the benefits of gelatin and collagen into your food and drinks, then collagen peptides are the way to go.

And gelatin is one of my favorite daily supplements in some form or another. I’m so amazed at all the benefits it has. It’s known to support skin, hair and nail growth and be good for joints and help in joint recovery. It can help tighten loose skin, like for me, the kind you get after having five babies. And, it can improve digestion because it’s great for the gut. Some people say it has helped their cellulite. It’s a great source of dietary collagen. It’s a decent source of protein and it’s composed of the amino acids glycine and proline which many people don’t get enough of in today’s diet. So if you wanna check it out, you can go to wellnessmama.com/go/gelatin and you can get a 10% off discount at that link.

And if you’ve never used gelatin, there’s some awesome ways you can use it. I use it in homemade marshmallows, in smoothies, teas, to make Jell-O. I even use it as a hair treatment to thicken my hair, to make homemade children’s vitamins that are chewable, in my shampoo to make my hair thicker and on then my face as a mask to help reduce wrinkles. And there are just so many great uses for it. So, if you’ve never checked it out, I would definitely encourage you to hop on over to wellnessmama.com/go/gelatin and check it out.

And, as always, thank you so much for listening and have a healthy week.

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Thanks to Vital Proteins for sponsoring this episode of the Wellness Mama podcast. I use gelatin and collagen powder daily in cooking, baking, smoothies, hot drinks and as a supplement. Collagen helps reduce wrinkles and improve skin health, so this may be the reason that I often hear “You look too young to have five kids!” If you’ve never tried gelatin or collagen, I definitely recommend checking our Vital Proteins! Use the code VPWM10 to get a 10% discount off your order!

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About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


5 responses to “040: Is Microalgae a Superfood?”

  1. Sandra Avatar

    That was really interesting Katie, I had heard and my hubby takes spirulina. Will have to look up phytoplankton and see if i can buy it.

  2. Julie Avatar

    Katie, thank you for such an informative podcast — this information was all new to me! You are consistently your most interesting interviewee! I am so grateful for all the research you do and your willingness to share what you learn. God bless you and your lovely family! Julie in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia

  3. Kari Schultz Avatar
    Kari Schultz

    Do you take all three Spirulina, Chlorella, and Phytoplankton or just one of these at a time?
    Thank You, Kari

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