What is Marine Phytoplankton?
When visionary marine biologist Jacques Cousteau predicted that “the future of nutrition is found in the ocean” he wasn’t talking about what we typically think of as seafood. In his 50+ years studying all varieties of marine life, Cousteau discovered that most aquatic life forms, including mammals such as whales and seals, subside on a nutrient dense microalgae called marine phytoplankton, which has since been described as “the foundation of the food chain” and “the essence of food” because it provides sustenance for everything on earth.
Many people eating a plant-based diet are probably already familiar with the amazing health benefits of chlorella and spirulina, which are touted as being great sources of easily digestible plant-based protein. Marine phytoplankton is the latest alga making waves in the vegan community thanks to its extraordinary nutrient profile and the fact that it is a complete protein. It offers many of the same health benefits as its freshwater counterparts but with added nutritional oomph.
Read on to discover its amazing health benefits and why it is considered the future of plant-based eating…
Why Eat Marine Phytoplankton?
Myriad Health Benefits and an Impressive Array of Essential Nutrients
A protein-rich microalgae that makes up 25% of the vegetation on the planet, marine phytoplankton has been a prime food source for marine life for over 3 billion years and provides 90% of the oxygen we breathe according to NASA. It is crammed full of essential trace minerals, carotenoids, nucleic acids, phospholipids, omega-6, omega-3 (DHA and EPAs), chlorophyll, electrolytes, iodine, vitamins and all 9 amino acids. Its many health benefits include, but are not limited to cellular regeneration, optimizing liver function, improving eyesight, building tissues, slowing down the aging process and increasing energy. In fact, marine phytoplankton makes a great pick-me-up because it supplies energy directly to the cell without having to be broken down by the body first. This makes it a great choice for people with digestive problems. It has also been touted as a breakthrough in the treatment of eczema and also treats Alzheimer’s, chronic fatigue syndrome and diabetes amongst other things.
It is estimated that most humans are deficient in at least one or two trace elements, which has been linked to premature aging. Cellular degeneration occurs when the body does not have all the minerals it needs to be functioning optimally, which makes mineral deficiencies a key factor in premature aging. Marine phytoplankton oxygenates cells and enhances circulation, which increases our overall health and longevity. It has been called “mother nature’s milk” by scientists because the chemical composition of human plasma is very similar to that of seawater and it is the trace minerals in the ocean that are responsible for giving marine phytoplankton its impressive spectrum of nutrients. Since chlorella and spirulina come from fresh water sources, they do not contain the same essential trace elements found in marine phytoplankton.
Easily Digestible, Removes Toxins, Complete Food Source
Marine phytoplankton is one of the only substances on earth that can create and support new life because it contains everything that a human being needs to exist, making it one of the most important foods for growing children. Its high EPA content supports healthy neurological development and its easily digestible protein content (one of the purest, most accessible forms in the world) is great for growing tissues. It is also a great choice for people wanting to build muscle on a vegan diet as it has the power to create new cells while simultaneously sustaining existing cells. Because marine phytoplankton is not a shelled organism like chlorella it can dissolve instantly into the bloodstream making it an excellent source of bioavailable protein. Its phospholipid and cofactor content make the EPAs more easily available to the body, and, along with other sea vegetables, is one of the most effective foods at removing toxins, radiation and other environmental pollutants from the body. It also prevents new toxins from being absorbed by the liver thus helping to maintain long-term liver function, which is vital for our overall health.
What to Look for when Buying Marine Phytoplankton
Marine phytoplankton has been getting a lot more press coverage recently as new discoveries are continuing to come out about its amazing health benefits. The good news is that an increase in exposure has led many health food brands into branching out and making marine phytoplankton. This means that it is finally starting to become more affordable (though still considerably pricier than chlorella and spirulina).
Marine phytoplankton is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet and you only need a tiny amount (about quarter of a teaspoon a day) to reap its remarkable health benefits. A 100g bag should last you approximately 4 months and 10 days so don’t be put off by the hefty price tag –a little goes a long way! Due to its increasing popularity, there is now a lot of “filler” rich, low-quality marine phytoplankton on the market, which is easily avoided if you know what to look for.
So how do you choose marine phytoplankton that “does what it says on the tin,” so to speak?
If you are thinking about introducing marine phytoplankton to your diet, it’s important to know what features to look for before parting with your hard-earned cash. Marine phytoplankton comes in two forms: liquid and powder. Ideally, you should choose its powder form because the water added to liquid marine phytoplankton makes it more diluted. This makes it a lot less potent and you’ll need a lot more of it to get the same benefits as only a quarter of a teaspoon of powder marine phytoplankton.
You should also make sure that you get marine phytoplankton that is raw, unprocessed and about 65% protein by dry weight. It is extremely important that it hasn’t been grown in ocean water as any marine phytoplankton grown in the ocean will contain heavy metals and environmental toxins, negating its potential health benefits. You should look for marine phytoplankton that has been grown under controlled conditions in a photobioreactor, which will ensure that it is free of chemicals and toxins. If you don’t like the taste of sea vegetables, your best bet is to buy your own capsules or buy marine phytoplankton that is sold in capsule form. The pure powder can be added to your usual workout or breakfast smoothies for added nutrition.
Whether you’re a body builder, health nut, eczema sufferer, or health conscious mom wanting optimum nutrition to support your growing child, marine phytoplankton may be just what you’re looking for and more!