In the spirit of International Sustainability Day, October 10 2016, I had the pleasure of visiting ALGA SPRING, a marine phytoplankton production facility in The Netherlands.
HOT TOPIC: Is marine phytoplankton the new sustainable superfood for exceptional health, wellness and longevity? Can it fill the gap in the nutritional profiles of “plant-based” lifestyles? How can we use it in our daily lives?
It is a microscopic algae and a single-celled aquatic organism
that inhabits the upper sunlit layer of almost all oceans and bodies of fresh water on earth.
It is said to be the most fundamental nutrient on the entire planet and that 99% of all life forms on earth depend on its existence.
Marine phytoplankton relies almost entirely on vitamins and minerals (i.e. iron and Vit. B) from the ocean and also sunlight (Vit. D) to survive and produce their own food through photosynthesis. Photosynthesis releases O2 (oxygen) into the water. It is said that 50-85 % of the worlds oxygen supply is produced through the process of marine phytoplankton photosynthesis.
Unfortunately, our oceans, water supplies and atmosphere are becoming more polluted and depleted in minerals and nutrients for our phytoplankton to survive. This is creating deficiencies in the rest of the food chain.
Alga Spring, Oostvaardersplassen, The Netherlands Rene M. Jongbloed RA, Director
After spending many years as an economist and CPA, Rene Jongbloed started working for an algae company. It was here that he became interested in the diversity of marine algae / phytoplankton and identified that this could not only be a business idea but also a way to create a product with limitless potential to sustain life on the planet.
When asked about the motivation and vision of his company he told us about how he was deeply affected by the EARTH documentary. He contemplated the “Pareto Principle”, the 80/20 rule and furthermore how exactly is the environment calculated into a cost price. He philosophized about all aspects of the food chain and felt in his heart that it wasn’t as simple as a “FOOD PYRAMID” or De Schijf van Vijf, here in The Netherlands. He felt that marine phytoplankton / algae could address the needs of a much bigger market with its potential as a source of sustainable nutrition with a huge benefit for those who choose to eat a more plant-based lifestyle and struggle to get key nutrients like iodine, OMEGA 3 fatty acids, protein, etc. Also, it is currently being researched to see if the B12 is for human consumption or analog, so this could be an exciting game-changer! He felt that the product would “flow” well with the shift in our current day needs to be informed, conscious and responsible consumers who want to fuel and nourish our bodies. Rene followed his passion when in 2013 he started to build his own production facility.
He had his sights set on the Oostvaardersplassen region specifically because of the accessibility to the unpolluted and nutrient dense water from an ancient seabed. The results of drilling and inoculating the water with cultures of their algae confirmed a high quality product. Alga Spring is an exemplary model for sustainability. They do not heat their greenhouses or produce artificial lighting. In case of colder temperatures, they find other innovative solutions, including methods of insulation, to avoid killing their yields. The pure water source along with their system which mimics a natural setting for the algae, ensures that their product is superior in its nutrient density, including vitamins, Omega 3 fatty acids, trace minerals and iodine. These are all crucial to be healthy.
The Way of the Future? Marine phytoplankton has gained notoriety and is a current area of interest and research regarding its sustainability and “bioavailability” potential for nutrients and minerals crucial for human survival. It’s a microscopic “wholefood” that is nine times more efficient for the body to absorb and assimilate on a cellular level. It can bypass the digestion process altogether which subsequently creates a less toxic load on your organs and filters for detoxification, including the liver. This also means that marine phytoplankton is a 100% alkaline source of nutrition that is conducive to good gut health. All disease starts in your gut. Many foods that are hard to digest (red meat, dairy, etc.) create a lot of acid in the body. This, in turn, promotes inflammation which a precursor for all symptoms of disease. The nutrients in foods that are difficult to assimilate are also less bioavailable.
POWERFUL ANTIOXIDANTS and PHYTONUTRIENTS
Canthaxanthin, astaxanthin, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, violaxanthin, aantheraxanthin, vaucheriaxanthin are known as some of the most potent and beneficial antioxidants and phytonutrients on the planet!
OMEGA 3 Fatty Acids & B12 (B12 is Currently Being Researched)
Omega 3 fatty acids are healthy fats that include DHA’s, EPA’s and ALA’s and are crucial, along with Vitamin B12 for overall immunity, the musculoskeletal system and all neurological functions. **While there is B12 in marine phytoplankton, we would like to be careful enough to explain that it is currently being researched to see what kind of B12 it is and if it is bioavailable for humans or if it is just an analog** B12 deficiency is a serious issue so you have to be careful what type of B12 you are consuming.
The EPA’s in marine phytoplankton are unique because they are bound by phospholipids in the same way as in your body. Therefore, they may be more bioavailable for the body and this is also what makes krill a popular source of OMEGAS. This could mean that you need less to meet your daily requirements for fatty acids than from other sources. Daily requirements were originally based on fish oils. There are 165 mg EPA contained within 3 g of Marine Phytoplankton.
SOD (Superoxide Dismutase)
Enzymes can be found in marine phytoplankton. SOD or superoxide dismutase acts as an antioxidant to combat oxidative stress and free radicals within the body.
Marine phytoplankton is a source of complete protein and contains all of the 9 essential amino acids that cannot be produced by the body.
The photosynthesis process is what gives plants their green color. The molecular structure of chlorophyll is very similar to that of your blood plasma and very cleansing, detoxifying and works to oxygenate the blood. Which of course is essential for energy, vitality and performance. You are only as healthy as your blood. ☺
Marine phytoplankton produces more than half of the oxygen (O2) that sustains life on earth. This is also very important for our health, our energy levels and for people suffering from asthma and respiratory dysfunction.
It’s 3500 times more potent than vitamin C in its antioxidant values. It has also been shown that it promotes CD3 in the blood and that is an indicator of T-lymphocyte cells which are responsible for the elimination of viruses and bacteria from organic tissues.
BLOOD SUGAR & INSULIN REGULATION
It contains chromium which enhances insulin sensitivity and also converts glucose into energy. It also aids in the metabolism of your macronutrients, Fats, Carbs and Proteins.
High levels of antioxidant behavior, Omega 3’s and amino acids deem this a winning combination for heart health.
BRAIN & MENTAL HEALTH
Research has shown positive results with mental health and degenerative diseases including mood swings, nerves and reactions to stimuli, ADHD, Parkinson’s and dementia. Phenylalanine is an amino acid and a building block of protein that boosts mental alertness through the activity of nucleic acids which are shown to not only improve memory but contains the compound proline which also enhances learning. It shows promise with inflammatory diseases as well, such as arthritis.
Iodine (especially in Alga Spring marine phytoplankton) is especially important for the functioning of your thyroid gland which is a very important regulator for your metabolism, sleep cycles, energy, immunity, heart, your hair, nails and teeth. Iodine can also help to aid the detoxification processes of the body and flush out chemical toxins like fluoride, mercury and also many other biological toxins. There is 120 mcg of iodine within 3 g of marine phytoplankton.
Noteworthy levels of iron and magnesium are also provided by marine phytoplankton.
Moreover, the unique setting at Alga Spring and Rene’s passion for his job contribute to the quality of the products. This is a fine example of innovation and we will follow their endeavours and all exciting news regarding marine phytoplankton as the sustainable superfood of the future.
TIP: Caesar Niezen, our marine phytoplankton expert from has advised us that if you are looking to find a good source of the product you should always use an undiluted one and that powder is better. Also, check to see if your source is certified. For example, Caesar is a distributor of Alga Spring marine phytoplankton because they are ISO 22000 certified.
www.ecomundo.bio is your source for Alga Spring phytoplankton. Contact Caesar Niezen at email@example.com
Big thanks to my assistant Nieke Janssen-Oosterhout, Caesar Niezen and Rene Jongbloed for helping us FUEL THE FUTURE!!