Spirulina Vs Wheatgrass
Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines including diagnosis, advice, and treatment.
Both spirulina and wheatgrass are super greens that provide a variety of health benefits. But they are different in taste and also in nutrients. Although both greens are purported as superfoods and worth adding to a regular diet for optimal health, each has its own range of advantages that set it unique and apart from the other one. This is the reason why people often compare the potential benefits of spirulina vs wheatgrass. Continue reading to learn more about these two super greens.
In this article, we’ll be comparing spirulina vs wheatgrass mainly from the nutritional standpoints and potential health benefits. But before we get into the difference between spirulina vs wheatgrass, it’s worth knowing the basics of these two super greens a little bit more. So, let’s get started.
Table of contents
- What is Spirulina?
- What is Wheatgrass?
- Spirulina vs wheatgrass: nutritional compounds
- Spirulina vs wheatgrass: properties and potential benefits
- Final words
What is Spirulina?
Spirulina refers to the edible blue-green microalga that belongs to a group of cyanobacteria scientifically called Arthospira. Typically, dietary supplements made from two species of this genus - Arthrospira maxima and Arthrospira platensis - are widely popular as spirulina supplements. The term “spirulina” came from its spiral-like shape. It grows in freshwater, typically alkaline water parts including lakes, rivers, and ponds.
Spirulina is considered one of the most complete food sources discovered to exist on the earth to date. Its exceptional nutritional properties have been recognized by several pioneer organizations, especially premier space research centers such as NASA and the European Space Centre. They have selected it to be cultivated in space during long-term space missions as a potential food source for astronauts to stay sustained in space. For use as a dietary supplement, it is available in powders, pills, and capsule forms as well.
What is Wheatgrass?
Unlike its aquatic competitor spirulina which grows in water, wheatgrass is grown in soil. It’s typically the young grass harvested from the wheat plant, botanically known as Triticum aestivum. The straw or hay-like grasses are harvested when they are very young, typically within 7 to 12 days from when they are sprouted and when they are bright green in color.
The young leaves are relatively much denser in nutrients, especially in chlorophyll which gives them a naturally bright green color, so provide more health benefits. This is the reason why the grasses of the plant are harvested earlier. It is available in various forms including powders, juices, tablets, and capsules.
Spirulina vs wheatgrass: nutritional compounds
Spirulina is densely packed with vital nutrients. It is obviously one of the best sources of protein available. It’s a complete protein that contains all essential amino acids along with other non-essential ones. Essential amino acids are those amino acids that are essential for the body to function but cannot be produced within the body and hence, must be needed to get through foods or dietary supplements. Spirulina contains 50% to 70% protein content of its dry weight.
In addition to high concentrations of protein, spirulina is also packed with vital antioxidants such as phycocyanin and zeaxanthin, fatty acids such as gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), vitamins such as pro-vitamin A (beta-carotene), B vitamins (B1, B2, niacin, folic acid, and B12), vitamin E, and vitamin K, and minerals such as calcium, potassium, zinc, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus, fiber, and healthy carbohydrates such as polysaccharides.
Wheatgrass, on the other hand, is one of the richest sources of chlorophyll, consisting of around 70% of it. Besides, it contains significant quantities of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals as well. It is especially rich in vitamins A, E, and C, as well as amino acids (building blocks of proteins), iron, calcium, and magnesium.
Spirulina vs wheatgrass: properties and potential benefits
The nutritional compounds present in spirulina have been shown to have several pharmacological properties. The natural pigment, phycocyanin, has been found to have tremendous antioxidant properties that can help protect human cells, tissues, and organs from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unpaired oxygen-bearing molecules that are highly unstable and cause large chain reactions and lead to damage to cells, tissues, and even organs.
Moreover, spirulina can act as a potent anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, anti-allergic, hepatoprotective, antimicrobial, and radio-protective agent in the body and thus can benefit human health in many different ways.
Potential benefits of spirulina
- Attracts free radicals such as pollutants, toxins, and heavy metals and removes them from the body
- Lowers bad cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke
- Helps alleviate symptoms of allergies such as rashes and swelling
- Helps prevent and manage infections
- Aids in natural weight loss
The rich chlorophyll content of wheatgrass, on the other hand, has been shown to mimic antioxidants. Wheatgrass has noticeable detoxifying, immuno-modulating, anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic, and energy-boosting activities.
Potential benefits of wheatgrass
- Purifies blood and stimulates blood production
- Helps maintain pH levels through alkaline effects
- Helps improve digestion and enhances nutrition absorption
- Helps reduce inflammation
- Boosts immune response
- Supports blood sugar regulation
- Lowers bad lipid levels in the blood
- May help reduce certain types of cancer
If we compare spirulina vs wheatgrass, spirulina is much richer in protein content than wheatgrass, whereas, wheatgrass has higher concentrations of chlorophyll than spirulina. Besides, spirulina has phycocyanin and GLA that are difficult to find in other plant food sources, while wheatgrass contains flavonoids that are lacking in spirulina.
Spirulina is generally used as a complete protein and to achieve optimal health and well-being, while wheatgrass is mostly used for blood-related issues and detoxification. It depends on one’s specific health conditions and fitness goals which one will work better.
Here you can see Vorst’s specially formulated Organic Spirulina fortified with Matcha and Chlorella