If you thought that marine phytoplankton was something only eaten by whales, you’d be wrong. This humble single-celled plant is taking the health world by storm, with a growing fan base that report a legion of benefits from improved energy, to cognitive function and immunity from ingesting as little as a teaspoon per day.
As the primary photosynthesizing agent on the planet, responsible for absorbing more carbon dioxide even than the world’s forests, phytoplankton has been studied by scientists for years. But the focus now is not on what the plant does in the world’s oceans so much as what it can do to the human body. As new technologies allow humans to mimic the vast plankton blooms which occur in the deep ocean, our ability to select the most useful plankton strains for human health in bioreactors is making this the superfood which everyone’s talking about.
Here are some reasons why taking plankton for health ranks as one of the most sensible decisions you can take in your wellness journey.
Many expensive supplements just pass through our systems because we can’t absorb them. Here’s where phytoplankton differs from any other food stuff on the planet. With a nano particle size 5 times smaller than a red blood cell, it doesn’t require the digestive functionality of our stomachs to break it down, but passes straight into the blood stream. This means you can reap the full benefits within a matter of minutes.
2. The Highest Natural Source of Superoxide Dismutase
Much has been written about the power of SOD, the bodies master antioxidant, to protect against cancer and radiation. Not only is phytoplankton one of the highest known sources of SOD, but it’s tiny cell size allows it to be delivered to our systems without being killed by stomach acid. This alone makes it one of the most exciting supplement discoveries of all time, because the potential for SOD to protect against major diseases is massive.
3. Long Chain EPA from a Vegetarian Source
The benefits of long chain Omega 3 fatty acids and particularly EPA are well documented. But with our oceans growing increasingly toxic, eating fish is becoming a dangerous prospect. Phytoplankton, however, is the source where the fish get their fatty acids from in the first place and, since it’s grown in a bio-reactor, we can ingest the precious long chain EPA oil, so valuable in fish like salmon and mackerel, from a pure vegetarian source.
4. A Full Range of Amino Acids
Plankton contains all nine amino acid the body cannot make: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.
5. Rich in Carotenoids
Carotenoids such as Astaxanthin have the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and bring their extraordinary properties to the entire body. Part of the process of photosynthesis, these carotenoids are considered some of the world’s most potent antioxidants, and of these astaxanthin is the king! One study suggested it ranged from a minimum of 14 times stronger to over 60 times stronger than all the other antioxidants!
6. Cognitive Protection Thanks to DHA
It’s not just EPA which this humble plant produces, it’s also one of the primary sources of DHA or docosahexaenoic acid which is a fundamental nutrient for brain health, taken up by the brain in preference to all other fats. Studies of cognitive decline show close links with decreased DHA availability and impaired performance. So it stands to reason that taking a spoonful or two of natural marine phytoplankton each day will help to keep your grey cells happy!
7. Immediate Energy Thanks to ATP
The human ability to obtain ATP, the fundamental energy molecule, depends upon our ability to efficiently oxidise foods. When this system breaks down, symptoms like chronic fatigue syndrome can occur but, unlike other supplements, phytoplankton simply delivers ATP directly to the cells! As one of the immediate products of photosynthesis, phytoplankton has a remarkable ability to fuel the human body, even when digestive function is severely compromised. This makes it a huge asset for people with impaired digestion, and battling a lack of energy.
8. Vitamins, Minerals, Trace Nutrients
Phytoplankton is extremely concentrated in vitamins, minerals, trace-minerals, essential micro nutrients, and all major amino acids. Some scientists consider it the most nutrient dense food on earth and its easy absorbability make it eminently bioavailable.
Author Bio: Piers Ede is the author of Kaleidoscope City, a travel book about a year spent in the holy Indian city of Varanasi. He has contributed widely to publications such as The Guardian, National Geographic Traveller, and The Ecologist.