Be Cautious With Your Algae!
Can the green gunk that dirties up your fish tank be considered a superfood? Technically, there are thousands of different types of algae, however, the main three alleges that have the health world buzzing are spirulina, AFA, and chlorella. The big three are said to all have very high concentrations of nutrients and vitamins, including protein, iron, potassium, zinc, calcium, and B vitamins. All three also work as a magnet for toxins in the body, flushing them out as they pass through. They are also considered an alternative to fish oil. The reason being? Fish actually get their healthy omegas by consuming the plankton that eats the algae. This means that we can eat an extract made directly from the them and cut out the “middle fish”.
Clearly, there are beneficial health properties to these algae but keep in mind other factors involved in this retail that could be a health red flag, particularly speaking, with spirulina.
Make sure you aren’t ingesting shady spirulina!
A team at Global Healing Center conducted tests on spirulina from all over the world and found that the majority of them were contaminated with different types of metals such as arsenic, aluminum, mercury, or lead. Where does this contamination come from? Manufacturers are to blame. The algae itself does possess all of the health qualities mentioned above, however, the metals come into play once manufacturers incorporate fillers with the algae in, for example, capsules, powdered form, and so on. So it is not the culprit, it’s the things that it is potentially mixed with. GHC found that when you start mixing it with genetically modified maltodextrin, soy protein isolates, or other compounds, a lot of times that can cause contamination.
Despite the tests done on manufactured spirulina, Dr. Edward Group with GHC claims, “algae is one of the world’s most nutrient-dense food”. So, as you can see, algae itself are extremely great health wise, but consumers must be wary of where they are buying it and where it comes from.
How to choose wisely
With this information, you are most likely willing to look into ways to ensure your algae is safe. Experts advise sticking with companies that are organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free—which will limit cross-contamination a lot. You can also do research on websites to see if they provide information about where their algae comes from. This includes and if any testing has been done on their product to really ensure safety.
Also, when you are eating out make sure to ask questions. If your server cannot answer simple questions about where the algae is sourced then you should avoid their supply.
Enjoy this health-packed fish food as long as you are cautious and always asking questions before you consume. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to algae so don’t be shy!