Let’s talk about algae. I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Catharine Arnston, founder of ENERGYbits algae company, on CHTV. What makes Catherine’s story exciting to me is that it sounds similar to mine:
Catharine started ENERGYbits seven years ago, after her younger sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was advised by her oncologist that an alkaline, plant-based diet would help her heal. In the process of helping her sister, Catharine learned about the amazing health benefits of a plant-based diet. She found a new passion in life and felt others could benefit from this priceless information. Even though she has an MBA, she gave up her 25-year corporate career with no hesitation to return to school. Catherine went on to study nutrition and is now a certified health counselor and Reiki master.
I discovered my passion for health after I became sick myself, so I totally understand why she does what she does. We often take our health for granted until we become sick. At that point, nothing else matters and we are determined to get better. Once you find something that works, you want to share it with the world.
After graduating, Catharine taught nutrition for a year, gave free workshops, and started what she called Green Revolutions, where she encouraged her students and workshop attendees to eat more greens.
Catherine soon discovered a few things about greens: many people didn’t want to clean them, didn’t want to cook them, and simply didn’t like them. The MBA inside her understood she couldn’t force this product onto people. Instead, she had to “find something that gives them all the green nutrition they need that doesn’t taste green and doesn’t take any work.” This is when she discovered algae in tablet form.
To her pleasant surprise, she soon learned that algae is the most nutrient-dense food in the world and the most alkaline. Coming in at 64% protein and only one calorie (per tablet), algae is endorsed by NASA and the United Nations as the most nutritionally dense food on the planet. There’s only one problem: algae is virtually unknown outside of Asia. Nobody knew about it. Even though it’s been sold here for 50 years, the packaging has never explained what it does, its health benefits, or who should consume it.
Once again, Catherine’s business background came in handy: “I spent the first two years going through the science and basically rewriting everything into sound bites that people could understand. Then I had to try to find a customer group that would want to get these benefits. It took many, many years. Eventually, it turns out that the running community loved the product because it gave them energy and focus.” This revelation prompted Catharine to evolve into a sports nutrition company.
The Health Benefits of Algae
Algae is a bonafide superfood. It has 40 vitamins and minerals, is 64% protein, and a good source of omega-3’s and iron. Here are a few benefits of algae:
High iron content. Iron is one of the most common forms of nutritional deficiencies. According to the World Health Organization, over 30% of the world’s population is anemic, affecting more people than any other condition.1
A person can be iron deficient and not realize it. Commons signs of iron deficiency include the following:
- Pale skin
- Urges to eat non-food items like dirt, ice or clay
- Tingling in the legs
- Swollen or sore tongue
Algae offers the highest concentration of iron. This is important for athletes because iron is what carries oxygen in the blood, and if a person doesn’t have sufficient iron, they can become fatigued. Young women who are easily fatigued may have low iron levels, and running on cement can dissipate iron in the blood, which can increase the risk of fatigue as well. Having enough iron is essential for good health, and algae is an excellent source for athletes and sedentary individuals alike.
Fatty acids. Algae is rich in the fatty acids omega-3 and GLA. This is important because our brains are composed primarily of fat, so we need healthy fats to be able to think and function properly.
Symptoms of omega 3 deficiency include the following:
- Dry skin
- Brittle nails
- Concentration problems
Heart disease and cerebrovascular disease were ranked the first and fourth leading causes of death respectively in the United States. An increase in the consumption of fatty acids is believed to help decrease these numbers.2
B vitamins. B vitamins convert glucose into energy, allowing us to stay energized. Algae is composed of all the B vitamins, making it an ideal energy source.
Vitamin A. Algae contains vitamin A, which helps fight free radicals and anti-aging.
Nitric oxide. Nitric oxide opens the blood vessels, allowing blood, oxygen and other nutrients to travel freely throughout the body, thus minimizing fatigue.
Protein. The protein in algae is among the highest in the world. Protein is a great source for energy because it’s slow to digest. It enters the blood stream at a very even pace, eliminating the rush and crashes many experience when consuming carbs or sugar.
With algae, there is nothing for the body to break down in order for the protein, GLA, B vitamins and other nutrients to be absorbed into the blood stream.
The Creation of ENERGYbits
Catherine started her sports nutrition company ENERGYbits after realizing her products were extremely popular with athletes, providing them energy and focus. They also noticed many athletes were starting to prefer protein over carbs: it doesn’t upset their stomach like the sugary gels and bars do. When exercising, all the enzymes that would normally be in your stomach to digest food are busy doing other things like delivering oxygen to exercising limbs.
This product did not upset their stomachs like other sports products that contain caffeine, artificial chemicals or sugar. Many elite athletes are realizing that the carb-based (or carb loading) diets are not the most efficient way to achieve top performance. Instead, there’s a new emphasis on ketogenic training, which is fat and protein-based.
Many elite athletes are discovering this, but Catherine knew the average person may not know about algae or understand what it does. She knew the success of the product relied on making algae as simple and understandable as possible.
For example, the name ENERGYbits is referring to the algae spirulina because it gives you energy. RECOVERYbits received its name because the algae chlorella is an immune builder that helps athletes (or anyone) recover from anything, including physical stress.
Over the years, people have assumed I do not like products like algae but that’s not true. I think algae is an amazing superfood. However, much of the algae on the market today is contaminated with environmental pollutants. In the world of detoxification, I also had some concerns, but Catherine’s product ENERGYbits passed because it pulls a lot of the different toxins that harm the body.
NOTE: To be clear, I do not believe algae is a TRUE binder, like CytoDetox™ which has been shown to attach to cellular toxins and clear them from the body. I do believe pure and uncontaminated algae products like ENERGYbits are an excellent detox support, and can also be very helpful to take while fasting, if one is struggling to get through a fast.
Learn more about Cyto here.
What makes ENERGYbits and RECOVERYbits products so exciting is they are the only ketogenic sports nutrition product on the current market. Everything else is primarily carb-based.
Catherine is especially fond of spirulina: “I was stunned to discover that both the overall nutrient profile of spirulina and the amino acid profile, in particular, is virtually identical to mother’s milk. Everyone in the world knows that mother’s milk is the perfect food. Guess what? Spirulina is almost identical. That explains why it’s so good for people.
“Mother’s milk and spirulina algae are the only two foods that you could live on forever. It’s such a complex mix of not just vitamins, but also the minerals. Spirulina was the first plant life on earth almost three billion years ago, and they have fossils to prove that. It releases oxygen when it’s growing. After millions and billions of years, there was enough oxygen on earth that other life forms could occur. It then led to chlorella, which is the next on the food chain.”
Catherine is fond of chlorella as well:
“Chlorella came later, probably billions of years after spirulina, and it is truly a plant. It does have a cellulose wall on the outside of it. While it also has 40 vitamins and minerals, they’re in different proportions, and they do a different thing in your body. Chlorella will not give you energy, satisfy your hunger, or give you focus. Instead it builds your immune system.
“The spirulina has the highest concentration of protein in the world, but chlorella has the highest concentration of chlorophyll. Now chlorophyll is well known to be a blood builder. The chemical composition of chlorophyll is absolutely identical to the chemical composition of hemoglobin, with the exception of one atom.”
When we eat foods high in chlorophyll, we are nurturing our blood. As we all know, blood is critical to life, and RECOVERYbits help build and strengthen the immune system. It was originally thought that sardines had the highest concentration of RNA DNA in the world, but chlorella actually holds that distinct title.
RNA and DNA are important because our cells are constantly dying off either through being attacked by antioxidants or just from aging. If you don’t have healthy RNA and DNA, they will grow back damaged, and that leads to illness. If we’re constantly getting fresh RNA and DNA that help your cells grow back healthier, it actually helps us stay healthy. In Asia, it’s known as the Fountain of Youth because it helps reduce aging properties.
Even with all the amazing benefits described, a person may still wonder what makes algae the perfect food? Out of all the foods on the planet, how was this chosen as such? When we think about life, it’s important that we start with water, and how that feeds fish. Then we consider how fish feed and how this is the start of the food chain.
When looking at it from an ecological perspective, it doesn’t surprise me that everything starts with algae. This may prompt some to grow their own algae like vegetables from a garden, but it’s important to note that not all algae is safe for human consumption. There are 15,000 strains of algae, and spirulina and chlorella are two of only a handful that are not poisonous. A person may be tempted to get algae from their swimming pool or local swamp but that algae is not edible. Algae must be grown in a clean environment so no contaminants can be absorbed.
Algae and Supplements
Many today are taking nutritional supplements. The National Institute of Health reports that sales of all dietary supplements totaled $36.7 billion in 2014. The vitamin and mineral segment saw sales of $14.3 billion.3 As more people are encouraged to consume supplements for good health, the question that should be asked is “are they effective?”
It’s important to note that many companies add artificial ingredients and colors to their supplements. For example, vitamins and pills come in an assortment of colors, but those artificial dyes can be hazardous to a person’s health. Studies indicate the consumption of synthetic food colors and their ability to bind with body proteins can have significant immunological consequences.4
Another concern consumers must deal with is deceptive labeling practices. In the past ten years, the Federal Trade Commission has filed over 120 claims against companies of falsely using natural ingredients in their supplements.5
A person may think the supplements are helping when they are doing more harm than good. Catharine suggests we skip the supplements and eat the algae instead:
“There are so many vitamins and minerals in algae that when you take the algae every day, you do not need any other supplements. Again, it saves you money because you’re not having to buy all those fish oils, multi-vitamins, calcium, or magnesium. It’s all in the algae.”
See the best magnesium supplements here. Another reason vitamins and supplements should be avoided is because algae is a food. It comes from nature, your body can recognize everything that’s in it and you’ll absorb 99.9% of the nutrients.
This is not the case when taking supplements. Using vitamin C as an example, there’s 282 pieces to vitamin C, of which ascorbic acid is one of them. When you just have ascorbic acid in your vitamin, your body’s going, “Hey, where are the co-factors and the factors? I don’t know what to do with this stuff. It’s all by itself?”
An example is our clothing: we don’t just wear shoes to work, we wear an ensemble. The same philosophy applies to vitamins and nutrition. When you isolate things from vitamins like ascorbic acid and don’t include the other complementary nutrients, it’s like going to work without shoes. You’re missing something.
I believe this approach to eating and health is the best way unless we’re pushing something in a specific direction. I’m critical of the green foods, but this algae is one of the most perfect foods. We’ve tested many of the green foods and the red foods, and I find oftentimes they are not what they’re cracked up to be. With that said, this is just the opposite. ENERGYbits are is the real thing. Powdered, dehydrated and pricey vegetable drinks simply don’t compare.
For those who want to try algae but are leery of eating actual algae, it can be swallowed in a tiny tablet form. Unlike traditional supplements, this is pure algae – a food – with no additives or added ingredients.
An Effective Detox Support
Algae is an ideal food for many reasons. Not only does chlorella strengthen the immune system, it pulls toxins including lactic acid, making it great for athletes. Many times, a person will be sore the day after a workout due to a buildup of lactic acid. Or, a person can inadvertently eat fish that has mercury contamination. Chlorella can detect each and help to remove both, along with using a true binder like CytoDetox™. While spirulina gets into your blood stream almost instantly, Chlorella takes approximately ninety minutes to fully be absorbed.
Again, it’s important to note that chlorella is a detoxifier, not a true binder. This is a good thing because if it were a true binder, it would not provide the nutrition benefits and wouldn’t work the way it does.
In a few instances, a person will experience a “healing crisis” when they take chlorella and the body starts to detoxify and toxins circulate. This doesn’t happen to everyone, but a small percentage of people may experience temporary bouts of nausea. Catharine reminds: “It’s much better to get those toxins out where they’re damaging your cells and you don’t know about it until it’s too late.”
It’s also important to look at the big picture. There are many drugs in our society, and while they do tests on their effects, few tests are conducted on what may happen if those drugs interact with other drugs or harmful toxins in the environment. Much of the illness we see in our society could be due to the dangerous, synergistic mix of toxins in our environment that accumulate in our cells. If the chlorella can help pull some of these toxins out on a gradual basis, it can help people live longer, healthier lives.
Use and Dosages
To reap the benefits of these amazing products, Catherine suggests the following dosages per day for the average person:
- 30 ENERGYbits
- 30 RECOVERYbits
The bits can be compared to eating nuts, seeds, or berries: a person wouldn’t eat one, they’d eat a handful or two. They can be eaten with nuts or berries as well, making them a nice snack or light meal for adults and children alike.
Another great benefit: if a person takes algae daily, they may not need many other supplements like minerals or fish oil. Taking 30 ENERGYbits before a workout or to start your day can provide a steady stream of energy, without the crash some feel after eating too many carbs. They can also be taken anytime a person needs an energy boost or while intermittent or block fasting to maintain energy.
Catharine suggests taking RECOVERYbits in the evening because the body’s cleansing, detox cycle is at night. RECOVERYbits are a great detox support, and can help the body detoxify more efficiently.
Unlike some products that offer specific instructions on when to consume them, these can be taken either on an empty stomach or with food. ENERGYbits are the perfect food for intermittent fasting, or those in ketosis or on a Cellular Healing diet. They won’t interrupt your fast or cause a glucose spike. If anything, The algae could lower glucose!
The only suggestion is to consume with a full glass of water to prevent feelings of queasiness. Depending on preference, the bits can be either chewed or swallowed.
As noted, algae is at the beginning if the food chain, meaning fish have been eating it since the beginning of time. Our pets can eat it as well. Since giving them to my pups, their coats shine, eyes are clearer, and they have fresher breath.
Algae is a best kept secret. It is the ultimate superfood that has many amazing benefits for everyone, whether a person is a high-performance athlete or more sedentary. Personally, I love chewing them (just watch out for the green teeth effect!), and I like taking a handful of ENERGYbits before I work out.
We firmly believe the body can heal itself, provided it has what it needs to do the work. No product does the healing, but when cells get the right support tools, magic starts to happen.
Try algae today. Your body will thank you!
How to get ENERGYbits:
ENERGYbits can be purchased as a single serving or a month-long supply. The individual servings come with a small tin, making them easy to carry in a briefcase, purse, or lunchbox.
Catherine’s website is energybits.com. If you enter in our promo code ‘CHTV’ (short for Cellular Healing TV) checkout, and you’ll get 20% off your purchase. Thanks, Catharine!
- CHTV Episode 130: Nature’s Most Potent Superfood
- Cancer as a Metabolic Disease – An Interview with Dr. Thomas Seyfried
- Why Your Brain Quits Working
- Dr. Pompa’s Top Sleep and Anxiety Strategies
- R4: Reducing Cellular Inflammation and Oxidative Stress
- Your Brain on Diet Soda: Aspartame Effects on the Brain
- CHTV Episode 105: Ketogenic Diet and Athletes with Guest Ben Greenfield
- CHTV Episode 126: The Science Behind CytoDetox™
- Intermittent Fasting – A Top 5 Strategy to Create Your Best Health Ever
- The Ketogenic Diet and Athletes: An Interview with Ben Greenfield
- Cellular Healing Diet: 1-Week Menu Plan
- Revelation Health
- B-Brain (capsules)
- CXB-Brain (liquid)
- ENERGYbits – Use promo code ‘CHTV‘ at checkout for 20% off!
- “Micronutrient deficiencies.” WHO – World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/ida/en/.
- Papanikolaou, Yanni, James Brooks, Carroll Reider, and Victor L. Fulgoni. “U.S. adults are not meeting recommended levels for fish and omega-3 fatty acid intake: results of an analysis using observational data from NHANES 2003–2008.” Nutrition Journal. April 2, 2014. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3992162/.
- “Office of Dietary Supplements – Multivitamin/mineral Supplements.” National Institutes of Health. July 8, 2015. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Mvms-HealthProfessional/.
- Vojdani, A., and C. Vojdani. “Immune reactivity to food coloring.” Alternative therapies in health and medicine. 2015. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25599186.
- “Health Claims.” Health Claims | Federal Trade Commission. https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/media-resources/truth-advertising/health-claims.
What about Klamath Blue Green algae? Do you recommend it?
We have not yet researched this product, as our algae reccommendations must proven VERY clean–will look into it! 🙂