We are always looking for ways to boost our intake of nutrients through food or supplements. What if there was a nutrient-packed food that would not only have value in that sense, but also improve health overall? Look no further!
Spirulina is referred to as a “blue-green algae” but it is not. It is, in technical terms, a “cyanobacteria”. Often when we hear “bacteria”, it has negatives associated with it, but this type of bacteria has a different genetic make-up than the “bad” bacterias that we are familiar with. This type has chlorophyll and uses the sun in the same way plants do. It is a deep, vibrant blue-green and grows naturally in fresh water mainly in Mexico and Africa. It is similar to dulse and other sea vegetables.
Spirulina can be ingested in pill or powdered form and is commonly called a supplement although many vegan and vegetarians use it as a prime protein source. Spirulina is one of the most nutrient-dense food sources in the world!
What makes spirulina so nutritious? Spirulina contains 50-70% protein that is absorbable. This means our bodies do not have to work hard to process and absorb the protein, especially compared to other higher protein foods like red mean which is 27% protein. Spirulina also contains ALL of the essential amino acids (18 to be exact!). In addition to these amazing contents, it also has many vitamins (especially high in Vitamins B & K and exceptionally high in B-12). It is rich in iodine and minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium, potassium, zinc and more. Spirulina contains essential fatty-acids, and is low in carbohydrates, and the list goes on!
This “super food” has been studied over the past decade by doctors and scientists around the world and continues to be researched. They have already found Spirulina to help Type 2 Diabetes, ARMD (age-related macular degeneration or vision loss), cardiovascular disease, liver health, stroke, neuro-degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, reduces allergy symptoms, protects from cancer, nutrient deficiencies, HIV and radiation! Spirulina aids bone marrow, arthritic symptoms, immune defense and more! It is also high in antioxidants, which we all know have many health benefits alone!
As you can see, the benefits are immense! The supplement form of spirulina can be found in many health food stores and comes in pill form. The more natural form of spirulina comes in a dried, ground powder which can be added to many foods we already consume. All we need to reap the amazing benefits is 1 Tbsp per day. I like to break that Tbsp up in smaller amounts (about 1/2 to 1 tsp) throughout my day. The reason for this is that It has a smoky, seaweed-like flavor. If you like the taste, use more! I like to add it to my shakes, salad dressings and guacamoli. Try it and let me know if you notice any benefits.
I have personally found that my overall energy levels have increased along with my ability to tone my muscles. If you would like to learn more about my experiences with spirulina or try a sample, please contact me!
Canfitpro PTS, FIS
Sources: S.Thomas, Dr. James Mercola, The University of Maryland Medical Journals