Have you ever had pet fish before? If so, there have probably been moments when you’ve neglected to clean their tank. As a result, you’ll see a green substance forming in certain parts, which is algae. It looks unappealing, and prolonged exposure can be harmful to your fish.
With the picture you now have in mind, we bet you didn’t know it was possible to take an algae supplement. Don’t worry; it won’t cause you any harm. In fact, it provides a few benefits that can assist your path to a healthy life. Read on for more information.
A Quick Breakdown of Algae
You know algae as the green substance that’s in the fish tank, but it’s been around for millions of years. It’s an umbrella term for plant-like organisms that live in fresh and salt water. A common example that comes to mind is seaweed.
And like most plants, they make their energy from sunlight. They’re on the bottom regarding food chain status; fish usually consume them because they contain essential nutrients.
What Is an Algae Supplement?
Now that you have an overview of algae, let’s talk about taking it in supplement form. Algae supplements are made from algae (who would’ve thought). The two that are most commonly found in these products are spirulina and chlorella.
Spirulina, also known as blue-green algae, is becoming increasingly popular among health enthusiasts. You may have seen it pop up on your Instagram feed in someone’s smoothie bowl, for a good reason too. It has a high protein content and a substantial amount of vitamins A, E, and K.
Chlorella is a green freshwater alga with high protein content, contains vitamins and minerals, and has Omega-3 fatty acids.
What Are the Benefits of Taking Algae Supplements?
Although you can find the components mentioned above in algae, you shouldn’t rush to lick it off of your fish tank (ew). It needs to go through specific manufacturing processes before it can help your body correctly.
Afterward, you can consume algae supplements and take advantage of certain benefits such as:
- High Omega-3 content
- Multiple vitamins and minerals
- Substantial proteins
There are two essential omega-3 fatty acids—eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). They’re commonly seen in fish oil supplements, although they originate from algae. Furthermore, they’re beneficial because they can help support certain functions of your heart, eyes, and brain.
Are There Any Risks With Taking an Algae Supplement?
When taking any supplement, it’s essential to know its source. But that’s especially important for algae because it can contain toxic chemicals and bacteria when not handled correctly.
So to ensure your algae supplement is coming from a reputable company, here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Dosage: Look at the dosage levels; if you’re unsure about what your body needs, talk to a doctor beforehand.
- Manufacturing practices: Try to find a source that uses sustainable manufacturing processes.
- Customer reviews: See what past customers are saying about the company. If reviews are positive, they’ll likely be an excellent source to get your algae supplement.
Wouldn’t Fish Oil Supplements Be Just as Effective?
Most people take fish oil supplements to get their omega-3 fatty acids. However, the problem with these supplements is their lack of sustainability.
To get fish oil, you’ll need to harvest fish, and according to the United Nations, two-thirds of the world’s fish are exploited or depleted. So, continuing this practice could wipe out fish, which would be devastating to the ecosystem.
Furthermore, algae supplements would be a better alternative for someone who doesn’t eat fish or is on a plant-based diet. Plus, they provide similar benefits.
An Algae Supplement May Be Right for You
As you can see, algae supplements can help you in many ways. They’re high in protein, vitamins, and minerals and can help maintain the efficiency of certain bodily functions.
Unless you have special dietary restrictions, follow the information listed on your product about how to take it. However, if you need more insight, you can talk to a doctor about recommended dosage levels and if an algae supplement is right for you.
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