Bestcare - Frequently Asked Questions about green foods
Below we have provided answers to some of your most common enquiries.
What is the difference between chlorella and spirulina?
In many areas, these two popular microalgae are similar, although there are a number of important scientific differences, as they belong to different microalgae classes. Chlorella is a spherical single-celled plant micro-organism with a nucleus, whereas spirulina is spiral multi-celled cyanobacteria, one-hundred times bigger than the chlorella cell but with no true nucleus. Chlorella grows in fresh waters and needs more sophisticated equipment to harvest and process because of its size; spirulina grows mainly in highly alkaline waters where few other organisms can flourish and is easier to harvest and process.
The nutritional profiles are very similar. In general, spirulina tends to have a slightly higher percentage of protein and iron, plus a number of essential fatty acids, potassium, zinc and calcium; it also contains many vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6 and B-12) vitamins C, D and E and phycocyanin. Chlorella likewise, includes many of these nutrients and a more balance protein quantity, but the difference is that chlorella also contains many antioxidants and its vitamin B12 is bio-available, which means that it can be absorbed and utilized by the body properly. It is also very high in vitamin K and contains phosphorus, tryptophan and pantothenic acid, components not found in spirulina. Spirulina has the highest volume of beta carotene and chlorella features one of the highest forms of chlorophyll (4-5 times more than spirulina). Chlorella is a good source of lutein, one of the most important carotenoids, whilst spirulina has none.
When people decide to add one of these two to their list of daily supplements, they often try to decide which is better. However, the best way is to take them together. However, in as much as one does not eat the same meal every day, it is advisable to mix the takings of these two foods, take them together, take them alternately or vary the periods of consumption. Taking either chlorella or spirulina will benefit you, but taking the two together will really help to increase your overall well-being and energy levels.
What is the difference between chlorella/spirulina and wheatgrass/barley grass?
Whilst these two groups of products are different, they exhibit remarkable similarities in composition and usage benefits. The first major distinction between the two groups is the most obvious one: the first group is freshwater microalgae; the second group is cereal grasses. A common characteristic inherent of all these green plants is chlorophyll: these supercharged greens flood the blood supply with oxygen which detoxifies it and neutralizes free radicals. Whilst there is very little nutritional difference between wheat grass and barley grass, these two super greens deliver concentrated nutrition that has very similar effects to the ones offered by chlorella and spirulina. In other words, their compositional analyses may be slightly different, but their benefits are very similar. Another difference is that chlorella and spirulina come in powder, tablet and capsule form, whereas wheatgrass and barley grass only in powder form. Also the certified-organic grasses originate from New Zealand; the certified-organic microalgae are sourced from South East Asia.
Tell me more about BioAstin Natural Astaxanthin
BioAstin is a human dietary supplement classified as food and it comes in vegetarian softgel capsules (500mg). The main ingredient of BioAstin is Natural Astaxanthin enhanced with Vitamin E. Astaxanthin is derived from microalgae grown in clean water and natural conditions in Hawaii; it is a carotenoid which is much more potent as an antioxidant and has many more specific benefits for human nutrition than beta carotene, lutein and lycopene. In fact, Natural Astaxanthin is the strongest natural antioxidant that science has found yet.
Natural Astaxanthin can:
Help reduce aches and pains from arthritis, joint soreness and tendonitis
- Control deadly “silent inflammation”, a cause of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and many other life-threatening diseases
- Give energy, increase strength and improve endurance
Work as an “internal sunscreen” and improve skin condition
Strengthen the body’s immune system
Protect the eyes and brain from damaging free radicals and oxidation
Support cardiovascular health and normalise cholesterol levels
BioAstin Astaxanthin is a nutritional supplement and not a drug; preclinical studies demonstrate that it is safe with no known side effects. The normal recommended dosage is 1-2 softgel capsules a day with meals or 1 hour before exercising.
Which products are certified organic?
When we decided to offer organically-certified microalgae, we looked around the world for the best possible products and we did not compromise during our selection process. Our organic chlorella and spirulina (powder and tablets) are organically grown on Hainan Island off the southern-most coast of China in carefully monitored conditions in accordance with current strict quality standards of EU and USA organic certification bodies (CERES, Naturland and USDA) - see this page for the organic certification standards. Vegetarian capsules are filled with the same organic chlorella and spirulina powder. Barley grass and wheatgrass originate from New Zealand and they additionally certified organic by AsureQuality NZ. All our organic products contain no artificial colourings, additives, fillers, binders flavourings or preservatives and are suitable for vegans and vegetarians. We are certified organic product handlers by the OF&G Organisation with Certificate of Compliance GB-ORG-2.
Our "conventional" Yaeyama Chlorella and Hawaiian Spirulina are 100% pure and natural microalgae products with no synthetic artificial additives whatsoever. In that sense, they are as “organic” as they can be, but they are not certified as such. The organic certification is a very expensive process and our growers (who have both been cultivating, harvesting and processing chlorella and spirulina of the highest quality for over 30 years) believe that it is a somewhat unnecessary process, especially considering that there are no internationally agreed standards for green microalgae grown on water. They also feel that any restrictions or processes imposed upon them may have an adverse impact on the quality of the finished product and they are not willing to jeopardise either the quality of the product or their reputation as worldwide leaders in their respective fields.
How much should I take and when?
Whole green foods are basically functional plant-based nutritional foods; therefore recommendations about "dosage" are inappropriate. Each person's constitution, general health, deficiencies, gender, imbalances and lifestyle are different; hence the appropriate amount will vary from person to person. Whilst the maintenance intake is 3-4 grams daily for a healthy individual, for more energy this can increase to 10-20 grams per day; athletes can take as much as 40g. It is important that you consume your green food supplements with plenty of water.
Algae may often have a strong cleansing action when they are first taken, therefore, it is generally recommended to introduce these whole foods gradually into your diet and build the amount up to the normal "comfort" level - the body will adapt over a period of 2-4 weeks allowing you to take more. Tablets can be chewed or swallowed with cold water or non-acidic juices; powder can be mixed with fruit, vegetables, yoghurt, etc. into a smoothie, stirred into food (soups, dressings, dips, sauces and casserole dishes) after cooking or sprinkled onto cereals, muesli, yoghurt, etc. Avoid heat as this may reduce the nutritional value. One level teaspoon contains approximately 2-3 grams. Do not swallow powder on its own. Note that the benefits of tablets and powder are the same: just whatever is more convenient. Some people may find the powder taste a little unpleasant; in this instance, capsules or tablets may be a better option.
If one takes the full daily amount in one go, we recommend that this should be taken at breakfast. Alternatively, it can be taken at several intervals throughout the day, but best times are around meal times and preferably half hour to one hour prior to any food. Always make sure that you drink plenty of water when taking your green food supplements. Light sleepers may avoid taking them too late in the evening due to their energising effects. Some nutritionists suggest that their clients skip one day a week of taking all supplements.
We have also put together some ideas for delicious and nutritious recipes and smoothies with chlorella.
Please refer to instructions for more detailed information on daily taking directions. We recommend that you consult your GP or health professional for further advice.
How long before I see any results?
Keep in mind that all our products are whole foods and not drugs. Some people may experience a remarkable upsurge in their health and energy levels within days of starting to take supplements. Certain conditions also respond rapidly (constipation and bad breath can often improve within 1 or 2 days). However, many of the benefits of chlorella and spirulina are subtle and vary from person to person, as each one of us has different homeostasis, imbalances, deficiencies and lifestyle; usually you will experience a noticeable improvement after 2-3 months of regular use.
Are your products good for children?
Our products are safe and beneficial for children of all ages, in conjunction with a balanced diet. These super green whole foods supplement the nutrients and vitamins the children need, they stimulate cell growth, they strengthen their immune system and they have a high omega oil content which is valuable for the concentration and brain power of children, Normally children will be given 1/4 or ½ of the adult daily allowance. Another rule of thumb is 250mg per year of their age: a 4-year old will take 1gr per day while a 10-year old 2-3 grams daily. Please check instructions or refer to each individual product in our product information section for recommended allowances. We suggest that you consult with a paediatrician before making significant changes to your child's diet.
What about pets, fish and animals?
Every pet owner is concerned about things like health and nutrition. Pets react to stressors the same as humans and if their diet is insufficient, their health may be at risk. One thing every pet owner can do is supplement their pet's diet with a protein rich source of vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids. Remember also that what is good for you is also good for your pets. Our products given to your pets will strengthen their immunity, increase their vitality, improve the absorption of nutrients from other foods, correct nutritional imbalances and mineral deficiencies, improve their temperament and give them a shinier, silkier, softer coat.
Many people also feed our products to koi carp, goldfish and to their exotic birds for natural colouration of their feathers. Chlorella and spirulina are also used for feeding animals by farmers, livestock breeders, trainers, kennels, stables, studs, zoos, animal welfare homes, centres and shelters. Racehorse owners report improved performance and more rapid recovery of their horses, the same results human athletes report. The regular use of chlorella and spirulina also has a positive effect on animal fertility.
Please note we are supplying human grade natural green whole foods, not 'B' or 'C' grade - they contain no fillers, binders, artificial flavours, colours or preservatives. Pets and animals love their wholesome flavour and you will love their good health and visible appearance!
Dosages vary depending on the species. Large dogs: 3gr a day, cats: 2gr a day, hamsters: 500mg a day. For best results, tablets or powder should be given daily before the pet's meal (when stomach is empty). Tablets may be crushed and added to milk or feed for puppies. In most cases, your pet will love the taste of chlorella and spirulina so you can use it as a treat - just hold a few tablets in the palm of your hand and let it smell them and have them. Birds: sprinkle some powder or tablet crumbs on the dampened bird seed (1-3% of the quantity of seed). Aquarium fish: sprinkle some tablet crumbs in the water or mix them through their food. Horses: approx. 3 to 6 tablets (or 1 to 2 grams of powder) per 100 kg in body weight.
Are your products suitable for vegans and vegetarians?
Yes, all our products are 100% vegan. Vegetarians commonly lack Vitamin B-12 (animal derived), iron (from red meat or spinach) and amino acids. Our natural whole food products have a high protein and B-12 content, Omega-3 fatty acids and a wide range of amino acids, including all 9 essentials - taken daily, they will fill these gaps.
Can I take green foods when pregnant or nursing?
Our products can be included in the daily diet before, during and after pregnancy. While women are pregnant, the baby in their body will rapidly absorb nutrients. Our natural whole foods are an ideal foundational food providing a complete and balanced nutrient profile including the micronutrients, like folic acid and selenium and essential free fatty acids, like Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), which are often taken as synthetic or formulated supplements. Whole green foods are safe for a lactating mother who passes the unique nutritional benefits of chlorella, spirulina, barley grass, wheatgrass and Supreme Greens to her baby through her breast milk. However, it is always advisable to check with your GP and your healthcare professional before beginning any new supplementation or dietary programme.
Can I take green foods with other medication?
Our products are all 100% natural whole foods and should not affect any medicines taken. They all are nutritionally complete - genuine ‘whole foods' capable of supporting human life - not only do they provide a rich nutritional foundation in themselves, but also ensure the presence of a vast array of trace elements which aid the assimilation of nutrients in other foods we eat. If medication is taken for the following two conditions, green foods may interact with their effectiveness:
Green algae may increase the function the immune system. By increasing the immune system, these algae might decrease the effectiveness of medications that are used to decrease the immune system (immunosuppressants) or to control other autoimmune diseases.
Green algae are rich in Vitamin K. Vitamin K is used by the body to help blood clot. Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. By helping the blood clot, the algae might reduce the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin).
We strongly advise to consult your doctor before taking any supplements.
Are there any possible reactions?
No toxic or negative side-effects have been found in taking natural whole foods, but some of the following initial reactions have been reported by individuals:
- Intestinal gases (flatulence) may be released due to the rejuvenation of the peristaltic action of the intestines. This should subside in a few days once intestines cleanse up.
Irregularity of bowel movement, bloatiness, constipation or diarrhoea. Bowel movements may also become greenish in colour. Again, this is an indication that the green superfoods are actively working and the symptoms should disappear in a few days.
- Slight fever, nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness or thirst. This signifies that the body is trying to absorb the extra nutrients. Drink plenty of fluids.
Allergy sufferers may sometimes break out in pimples, rashes, boil or eczema, in some cases accompanied by itching. This means that the body is actively working to expel toxins.
If any of the above occasional symptoms are severe, either lower the dose, increase the amount of fluids taken or stop altogether and consult a qualified professional. These reactions should not be taken as side-effects but merely as an indication that the whole green foods are working on the body.
Any problems after the tsunami of March 2011 and Fukushima accident in Japan?
We are pleased to confirm that no effects or radioactivity whatsoever have ever been noticed at the Ishigaki Island and the production facilities of Yaeyama Chlorella ever since the Fukushima nuclear plant accident. Okinawa is located some 2,200 km south from the troubled regions! Additional precautionary tests for possible radiation contamination have been established and are now carried out routinely with every production of chlorella by Japan Food Laboratories, an independent lab recognised as a competent authority by the EU, and by the Yaeyama company themselves. In addition to these tests, the UK Port Authorities also conduct random tests to the imported chlorella from Japan, as well as thoroughly checking all documentation, before releasing the cargo. See all test results and declarations information or the full radiation report.
What guarantees does Chlorella Europe offer?
We endeavour to source the best possible products from reputable suppliers worldwide and to offer a fair and trustworthy description of these on our website. If you are not happy with your purchase, we will replace or refund any products. If you also wish to cancel your order, we will refund your payment.
What happens if products are out of stock?
Although we hold stock of all our products, occasionally we may not be able to fulfil your order within our preferred same-day policy. In this rare occasion, we will always contact you to let you know that there will be a short delay. If there are other items in your order, we will ask you whether you prefer these to be dispatched as normal or wait for the complete order.
Do not hesitate to contact us with any further queries or questions.
DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this site is for educational purposes only and is intended for your general knowledge. It is not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any specific health or medical conditions nor is a substitute for professional medical advice. Our products are generally used as food and sold to you as food; as a consumer, you accept full responsibility for their use. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. If you are unwell or pregnant or breastfeeding or taking any medications, always seek the advice of a physician, GP, doctor or other qualified health care provider or practitioner. Every reasonable care has been taken to compile the contents of this site but no warranty or guarantee is given as to the accuracy of this information and, therefore, no liability for any errors or omissions or product misuse can be accepted.