The sea is a source of a great variety of resources, as phytoplankton, mostly with a possitive impact, on health benefits.
Fish, shellfish, mollusks, algae, for example, are ingredients for countless delicious dishes. But, there are other less known ones such as phytoplankton, which has incredible health benefits.
That said, in this post, we will learn all about phytoplankton health benefits when ingested.
What is phytoplankton?
When we talk about phytoplankton, we refer to a variant of marine plankton that can be consumed by humans, which is composed of about 200 species of aquatic plant microorganisms that serve as food for fish.
They are also called microalgae, since their appearance is similar to that of plants, and they have chlorophyll.
Phytoplankton is present in the sea, lakes and rivers, although there are also some terrestrial species. These microalgae require sunlight and carbon dioxide for their growth, and feed on some inorganic nutrients such as phosphates and nitrates.
Marine phytoplankton functions
The microorganisms that compose it contribute to the maintenance of the marine ecosystem and the planet. In fact, they serve as food for several marine species, such as shrimp, whales, mollusks, etc.
Moreover, marine phytoplankton absorb carbon dioxide and transform it into proteins, carbohydrates and lipids. It also contributes to the generation of approximately 50% of the planet’s oxygen, thanks to the process of photosynthesis.
Phytoplankton health benefits for humans
Below, we will show the various phytoplankton health benefits.
1. Phytoplankton represents a very complete and nutritious food option, thanks to its components, such as fiber, essential fatty acids, proteins, minerals, vitamins, antioxidant pigments, among others.
With low doses of phytoplankton you can obtain the advantages of its nutritional contribution to the organism.
2. In the case of Chlorella, which is one of the phytoplankton species, in addition to its high nutritional value, it is used as a depurative for the organism, eliminating all kinds of toxins and waste substances.
3. According to studies, another of the benefits of phytoplankton for health is the increase of lymphocytes, which impacts the improvement of organic processes, therefore, a better state of physical and mental health is appreciated.
4. Chlorella is also useful in invigorating treatments, to recover strength and energy after an illness.
5. Another of the benefits of phytoplankton for health is the contribution of a great amount of proteins to the organism, as well as amino acids and minerals.
6. Phytoplankton contains a high level of antioxidants and chlorophyll, so it is used for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, because it contributes to the process of blood oxygenation.
7. Another species is spirulina, which is a freshwater photosynthetic microalgae or bacteria whose properties are related to the reduction of body weight and appetite control, among other phytoplankton health benefits.
8. Spirulina also has cholesterol-controlling properties, helping to lower cholesterol levels in the body.
9. Another of the phytoplankton health benefits is to strengthen the immune system, preventing the person from catching viruses and various infectious diseases.
10. According to several studies, one of the phytoplankton health benefits is to lower blood glycemic levels, which is very useful for diabetics.
11. Thanks to its high content of Omega 3 acids, it favors the immune system, in addition to important antioxidant pigments such as astaxanthin and beta-carotene.
12. Another significant phytoplankton health benefits is its contribution, thanks to its Omega 3 content. It helps the formation of cell membranes.
13. The fatty acids present in phytoplankton are transformed into prostaglandins, which are substances that play a fundamental role in the regulation of the digestive system.
14. It has anti-inflammatory properties.
15. It favors the reproductive system.
16. Furthermore, it represents a great nutritional option for vegans, who can efficiently acquire their Omega 3 intake.
17. Another of the phytoplankton health benefits for vegetarians is its important contribution of proteins, iron, zinc, essential amino acids, B complex vitamins, among others.
18. Its nutrients can be absorbed faster and efficiently in the organism, thanks to its cells which are coated with silica, like most vegetables.
19. There are undoubtedly numerous phytoplankton health benefits. Among them, we must highlight its electrolytic contribution, for a proper leveling of the PH of the organism.
20. And we cannot conclude this list without mentioning that it generates more than 50% of the oxygen we enjoy.
Note that all these benefits are not 100% proved, most of them came from several studies. If you have a specific health concern or condition, consult a physician or a qualified healthcare professional.
How can we incorporate phytoplankton into our food?
Since phytoplankton is an extremely complete and nutritious food, its portions should be controlled. It is advisable not to exceed a daily dose of 25 grams.
It can be used as a condiment in the making of various dishes, as salads, fish, sauces, soups, stews, etc.
Furthermore, it will be important to consider, that before incorporating it in the recipes. You must proceed to hydrate it and mixing it with a little water. Then proceed to stir it until obtaining a thick mixture, of green color that gives off aroma.
You should have in mind when adding it to any dish, that it will provide an intense flavor, use it with discretion.
Another possible way to include it in your diet is by taking phytoplankton supplements.
Definitely, nature is wise and offers us great nutritional wealth.
As is the case of phytoplankton and its health benefits, in order to take advantage of them and make them part of our daily routines.