What Do Algae “Eat” & Why It Matters To You

What Do Algae “Eat” & Why It Matters To You


Ever given thought to what algae eat? Probably not. In the grand scheme of things, algae's dining habits might seem a bit, well, microscopic. But here's the twist — the dietary life of algae has a profound influence on human nutrition, wellness, and even our environment

As champions of sustainable nutrition, we at iwi life have made it our mission to harness the power of these humble aquatic organisms, focusing particularly on their omega-3 yield. Buckle up as we dive into the fascinating world of algae and explore why it matters to you.

What Exactly Is Algae? 

Contrary to common perception, algae aren't just the slimy green stuff that covers your favorite swimming spot in the lake. They’re a group of photosynthetic organisms found almost everywhere on the planet. Algae are incredibly diverse, ranging from tiny, single-celled microorganisms to giant kelp that can stretch up to 150 feet.

In the nutritional landscape, algae like Nannochloropsis, Spirulina, and Chlorella are real rockstars:

  • Nannochloropsis, the strain we at iwi life are particularly fond of, is a powerhouse of nutrition. With its high omega-3 content (especially EPA and DHA), it's an excellent choice for supplement production. 
  • Spirulina and Chlorella, on the other hand, are best known for their impressive protein content and range of antioxidants.

How Do Algae Obtain Their Nutrients? 

So, how do these micro marvels get their nutrients? Algae don't actually eat anything, they make their own energy! The primary method is through photosynthesis, just like plants. They absorb sunlight and carbon dioxide to produce glucose, a form of sugar they use for energy, and oxygen as a by-product. 

Algae's ability to photosynthesize is a big win for us land-dwellers, as they contribute to a significant portion (roughly 70%) of the world's oxygen supply! Besides sunlight, algae also require nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous, and other trace minerals to meet their needs. Since nitrogen and phosphorous are generally present in most water sources, algae can be found in diverse environments — from freshwater ponds to briny seawater. The unique nutritional capabilities of algae are nothing short of astounding. 

Why Is Algae’s Food Important for Human Health? 

They’re nutrient powerhouses, capable of taking these limited nutrient inputs and producing vital nutrients,  including proteins, vitamins, antioxidants, and, importantly for us at iwi life, omega-3 fatty acids. And not just any omega-3, but the highly beneficial EPA and DHA forms. These are typically found in fish, but guess who the fish get them from? That's right – algae.

When algae absorb nutrients from their environment, they don't just use them for their own growth and survival. They also incorporate these nutrients into compounds that we humans can benefit from

Take omega-3 fatty acids, for example. These essential nutrients play a crucial role in supporting heart health, brain function, and immune response. Algae like Nannochloropsis excel at producing omega-3s in the form of DHA and EPAthe same beneficial forms found in fish oil.

That's where we, at iwi life, enter the picture. We utilize the amazing nutrient-producing capabilities of algae to provide you with plant-based omega-3 supplements

Unlike most plant-based omega-3 sources that provide the less effective ALA form, our algae-derived omega-3 provides pre-formed DHA and EPA. That means your body can use them directly without having to convert them, which is a process where a lot of the benefits can be lost.

How Does Algae Impact the Environment? 

Algae aren't just nutritional superstars; they're environmental heroes, too. Algae primarily needs sunlight, carbon dioxide, and a few key nutrients from water to survive — meaning it can be grown and harvested sustainably with minimal impact on the environment. 

It's a win-win situation, contributing to human health while also championing environmental sustainability.

At iwi life, we're proud to employ sustainable farming practices to cultivate our algae. We farm our Nannochloropsis in the desert, using salty water drawn from underground aquifers. No fertile soil or fresh water is used – resources that are in high demand for traditional agriculture. 

But it's not just about resource conservation. Algae farming can also actively benefit the environment. Remember the photosynthesis process we talked about earlier? As part of this process, algae absorb carbon dioxide, a key greenhouse gas, helping to work against climate change.

Moreover, algae farming can reduce the need for animal farming, given its high nutrient content and production efficiency. This could greatly decrease greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and water pollution – all significant environmental issues associated with traditional animal agriculture.

How Can Algae Contribute to Your Personal Health and Wellness Goals? 

If you're a person who's keen on improving their health and wellness, algae should definitely be on your radar. Especially in the form of our iwi life products. The beauty of algae, as we've noted before, is their ability to deliver some pretty impressive nutrients. But what does that mean for you?

Our omega-3, heart health, and brain health supplements, all powered by algae, have something to offer everyone

  • For those aiming to support heart health, brain function, and cholesterol levels already within the normal range, the omega-3s found in our supplements, particularly DHA and EPA, are invaluable. 
  • Joint discomfort giving you trouble? The tension-soothing properties of these algae-derived nutrients can support joint health, easing discomfort and enhancing mobility. 
  • They're also terrific for eye health, helping to maintain overall healthy vision. 

Simply put, iwi life's algae-based supplements offer a natural and effective way to support your overall wellness. What's more, iwi life's products cater to diverse dietary needs. Whether you're vegan, vegetarian, or following a keto diet, our supplements can seamlessly fit into your regimen

For our vegan and vegetarian friends, we understand how challenging it can be to find plant-based sources of certain nutrients, especially omega-3s in the beneficial forms of DHA and EPA. That's where our algae-based supplements truly shine. They offer a plant-based, cruelty-free way to receive the vital nutrients your body needs without compromise.

What Does the Future Look Like With Algae? 

Now, let's take a quick leap into the future. Given everything we've discussed so far, it's clear that algae are teeming with potential – potential that's just beginning to be tapped.

In terms of nutrition, we envision a future where algae-based products become an integral part of our diets. As our understanding of the health benefits of algae continues to grow, we expect to see an array of innovative, algae-derived products on the market – everything from food additives to specialized dietary supplements. 

At iwi life, we're excited to be at the forefront of this movement, developing cutting-edge, algae-based solutions that cater to a wide range of health and wellness needs.

Beyond nutrition, algae have a significant role to play in sustainability and environmental conservation. As we face growing environmental challenges, sustainable practices become more critical than ever. Algae farming, with its low environmental impact and high nutrient output, offers a compelling solution.

At iwi life, we're deeply invested in harnessing the power of algae for the betterment of our planet. We see a future where our farming practices not only minimize the need for fertile land and fresh water, but also actively contribute to carbon capture and climate change mitigation.

The Bottom Line

In our journey today through the world of algae, we've uncovered some truly fascinating insights. From their nutrient-rich diet to their powerful role in sustainable farming, algae are much more than simple aquatic organisms. They're nutritional powerhouses that not only support human health but also contribute significantly to environmental sustainability.

By utilizing algae's nutrient-rich properties, iwi life's range of supplements provides an effective, plant-based solution for individuals seeking to enhance their joint, brain, eye, and overall wellness. Moreover, by catering to diverse dietary needs, our algae-based products are accessible to everyone, irrespective of their diet preferences.

Beyond the personal health benefits, choosing iwi life is also a vote for a more sustainable future. Our eco-friendly algae farming methods contribute to preserving our planet's precious resources, making each product not only a step toward better health but also a stride toward better environmental stewardship.

We invite you to experience the benefits of algae and embrace this natural, sustainable path to wellness. Try iwi life's algae-based supplements today and join us in the journey towards better health and a greener future. Because with algae, it's not just about a healthier you, it's about a healthier planet too!


Photosynthesis | National Geographic

Oxygen Levels - Understanding Global Change | University of California, Berkelely

Omega-3 Fatty Acids | NCBI Bookshelf

The Environmental Cost of Animal Agriculture | IAPWA

14 Biggest Environmental Problems of 2023 | Earth.Org

1 of 3

join the iwi life community at @myiwilife