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Lately, we’ve been seeing a lot of “marine” ingredients popping up in everything from beauty products to wellness powders to pet food, and one of the most popular ingredients is marine phytoplankton. But we’ve got some questions. Like, what’s behind the claims that these trendy products do the human body good? And, perhaps most simply, is phytoplankton vegan or not? Here’s what you need to know.
Is Phytoplankton Vegan?
Marine plankton is a whole category of microscopic organisms floating around in water and if it the last time you thought about plankton you were looking at a model of a humpback whale, you’re on the right track. The larger category is divided into zooplankton and phytoplankton; zooplankton are animals where phytoplankton are plants. So while whales might eat both, plant-based people probably wouldn’t want to consume zooplankton. Phytoplankton is vegan, however.
What Are the Benefits of Phytoplankton?
These tiny plants have a lot of nutrition, including Omega 3s, amino acids, and more than 50 vitamins and minerals. For plant-based eaters, the Omega 3s are considered particularly important; growers claim that consuming phytoplankton essentially gives you the benefits of consuming fish oil, without the fishy middleman. “By eating phytoplankton, humans can essentially mimic the method by which fish so successfully gain a robust immune system,” reads a post on Plankton for Health. Other phytoplankton health claims include that it can support balanced blood sugar, reduce fatigue, and even give your dog a shinier coat.
How Can You Try It?
One way to integrate marine phytoplankton into your routine is with the Phyto Cleanse and Digestive Restart from Real Coconut Kitchen. Creator Daniella Hunter is such a big fan of the ingredient that she made it the core of her program. “This tiny but mighty single-cell organism provides 50 to 80 percent of our world’s oxygen and could be considered the future of nutrition,” Hunter says. “Packing in a wide array of bioavailable vitamins and minerals, amino acids, and the only natural source of vegan EPA, Phytovive marine phytoplankton is my family’s favorite daily dose.” If you don’t feel up to a whole cleanse program, you can also buy Phytovive’s powders to add to your daily smoothie, juice, or water.