Imagine a plant that can nourish your body by providing most of the protein you need to live, help prevent the annoying sniffling and sneezing of allergies, reinforce your immune system, help you control high blood pressure and cholesterol, and help protect you from cancer. Does such a “super food” exist?
Yes! It’s called spirulina.
Grown around the world from Mexico to Africa to even Hawaii, spirulina is renowned for its intense flavor and even more powerful nutrition profile.
Spirulina has higher levels of key antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins and minerals than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables that could restore and revitalize your overall health. To date, there are nearly 1200 peer-reviewed scientific articles evaluating its health benefits.
What is spirulina?
Spirulina is a cyanobacterium or blue-green algae. It got its name after its bright color. Many of these pigments may be beneficial and bioavailable, including chlorophyll-a and beta-carotene. Algae produce oxygen through photosynthesis, which makes it pretty similar to land-dwelling plants. It’s also packed with many beneficial nutrients.
Benefits of spirulina
Spirulina is almost 60% protein, and it’s an excellent alternative to meat proteins sources. It is also said to be one of the only plant sources to contain B-12, a vital vitamin that most vegetarians lack in their diets.
It is also rich in healthy lipids including ALA, (omega-3), LA (omega-6), GLA (reduces inflammation), and DHA (the main component of the brain).
Gram-per-gram spirulina has:
- 3100% more beta-carotene (vitamin A) than carrots
- 5500% more iron than spinach
- 600% more protein than tofu
- 280% more antioxidants than blueberries
The blue-green algae contains vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (nicotinamide), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid), C, D, and E.
It’s an excellent source of potassium, calcium, chromium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, sodium, and zinc.
Other health benefits:
- Relieves allergies
- Boosts immune system
- Regulates blood pressure
- Normalizes cholesterol
- Prevents cancer
- Stimulates friendly bacteria in the intestines
- Decreases the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration
- Provides strong anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial potential
- Offers great antiviral activity against HIV, herpes, and hepatitis
- Strengthens insulin resistance
- Prevents liver damage caused by chemotherapy drugs
How to use spirulina:
The easiest, most simple way to use it is by either swallowing the pill form or by adding 1/4-1 tsp of the powder isolate into a smoothie. Start with small amounts, the flavor is a little sweet and not-so-delicious at first. Spirulina is also sold as a pre-flavored, packaged protein powder.