The blue-green algae known as spirulina has become popular in the last decades and for the right reason as it offers a wide range of nutrients.
It is a great source of proteins and because of that the ideal food product for vegans and vegetarians. In fact, it contains double the amount of nutrients than 5 servings of fresh fruits and veggies have. Moreover, it is loaded with valuable antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals.
Spirulina is a cyanobacteria having a bright color as a result of which it got its name. A large number of its pigments are bioavailable and as well as healthy, particularly chlorophyll-a and beta-carotene. It can be found in fresh water, oceans, damp soil, and moist rocks in deserts, bare rocks and soil, and even on the rocks in Antarctica. An alga produces oxygen via photosynthesis, so it is very similar to land-dwelling plants.
The spirulina that comes to our country is from the shores in Hawaii and South America. Once picked it is processed into powder form, pills, and flakes, and thus sold on the market. It can be pure or combined with other ingredients.
Health Benefits of Spirulina:
This algae contains nearly 60% protein, therefore it is a great replacement to meat proteins sources. Likewise, it is loaded with many beneficial nutrients.
According to numerous nutritionists spirulina is one of the very few plant sources of vitamin B-12.Vegetirians are commonly deficient from this vitamin as their diet rarely contains it. So, the intake of spirulina can help with this shortage.
Plus it is a great source of healthy lipids like ALA, (omega-3), LA (omega-6), GLA (lowers inflammation), and DHA (the key component of brain). Each one of these healthy lipids carries many crucial roles in the body.
Here it is what gram-per-gram spirulina contains:
5,500% more iron than spinach
3,100% more beta-carotene (vitamin A) than carrots
600% more protein than tofu
280% more antioxidants than blueberries
Plus it contains these valuable nutrients:
Vitamins: B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (nicotinamine), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid), C, D, and E.
Offers powerful anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effect
Enhances insulin resistance
Regulates blood pressure
Supports friendly bacteria in the intestines
Reduces the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration
Provides a substantial antiviral activity against HIV, hepatitis, and herpes
Prevents liver damage caused by chemo drugs
Protects from cancer
Best usage of spirulina:
You can include a quarter teaspoon of the powder isolate into your smoothie. However, nutritionists recommend the use of small amounts in the beginning as it tastes a little bit sweetish, and some people have issues with its taste. But, it can be found as a pre-flavored, packaged protein powder.
You can simply opt for the supplements and take a pill every day.
If you like popcorns you can add a tablespoon of spirulina powder into your bag of popcorn, and then toss it. You can even boost the taste by adding garlic powder, and toss it again.
Make sure not to use the random algae from your local pond as you may ingest non-edible species by chance and thus bring your health in danger.