Four Sigma Foods 101 – AFA
Globally, algae have been used as a source of food and in treatment of various physical ailments for thousands of years. In coastal regions of the Far East, historical records of the use of macroalgae (seaweeds) go back to about 6000 B.C. In the West, certain microalgae have been approved as food sources for about 30 years.
One of the most common food microalgae is spirulina (Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima). Another, similar alga is Apanizomenon flos-aquae, or AFA, adopted for uses similar to spirulina’s in the early 1980s. AFA is a wild microalga, harvested from Oregon’s Upper Klamath Lake. The largest freshwater system in Oregon, the lake is practically pristine – almost completely free of pollution and other negative effects of industrialization. Attempts have been made to cultivate AFA, but without success. At present, it is only wild-harvested.
AFA is one the most antioxidant-rich foods, containing various carotenoids, chlorophyll and phycocyanin.
Why to Use AFA
AFA is popular among health food enthusiasts, since it contains some 40 different minerals and trace minerals, omega-3 fatty acid (DHA), a wide range of phytochemicals, plus vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants and a full amino acid profile. It is one the most antioxidant-rich foods, containing various carotenoids (beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein), chlorophyll and phycocyanin. Some research indicates that higher levels of carotenoids promote a longer lifespan in humans.
Beta-carotene activates the thymus gland as well as the immune system, and blocks healthy cells from transforming into cancer cells. Beta-carotene is a completely safe substance, even in huge doses. Phycocyanin is a blue-green pigment of AFA, which boosts the immune system by stimulating production of stem cells.
AFA has been found effective in treatment of viral diseases, chronic fatigue, concentration disturbances, inflammatory diseases and osteoarthritis.
Credit: USFWS Headquarters
How to Use AFA
The most common and convenient form for taking AFA is in capsules, though it is less expensive in its powdered form. The powder can be mixed with water, smoothies, juices or other beverages. Many of AFA’s nutrients are quite vulnerable to high temperatures, so it is recommended that it not be used in hot food or drinks.
Where to Buy AFA
Since AFA is a rather rare food product, it is sometimes rather difficult to find. We recommend the following product.
Oceans Alive Marine Phytoplankton | Whole food at its finest
Amazon US (Affiliate*): Oceans Alive Marine Phytoplankton
Amazon US: Oceans Alive Marine Phytoplankton
*Affiliate program link: Product costs the same to you but FSF gets a percentage of the sales to bring more healthy products to you