Could I love green plants any more? I think not! I absolutely love greens! Spinach, kale, chard, broccoli…I love it all! But have you heard of the green wonder that is spirulina? Perhaps you’ve heard the term, but have no idea what it is exactly. Spirulina is a form of blue-green algae. Algae?! Yes, I said algae. And it just so happens to be one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet! I’ve been incorporating it in my smoothies for years and highly recommend it to anyone wanting to increase their wellness routine.
Spirulina is the cousin to cholerella, but actually has an even more powerful nutritional profile. It’s also thousands of years older. Spirulina was a common food source of the Aztecs and other Mesoamericans. Conquistadors recorded spirulina being made into “cakes” as far back as the 16th century.
Spirulina is an excellent food source for the whole world because it requires less land, water, and energy than all other protein sources, particularly livestock, which requires extremely large amounts of resources. The bright green algae grows well in fresh water lakes, ponds, and rivers, thriving in warm alkaline water environments.
Top 10 Reasons Spirulina is so Amazing:
1. Extremely high in many important nutrients.
Spirulina is a great source of protein, iron, magnesium, B vitamins, vitamin A, chlorophyll, phytonutrients, antioxidants, essential amino acids, and much more! It’s touted as being the most nutritious food in existence!
2. Detoxes heavy metals
Studies have shown spirulina being an effective tool for detoxing heavy metals, especially arsenic, which globally is a real problem according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
3. Powerful antioxidant
These antioxidants help fight free radicals and oxidative damage which harm our DNA and cells.
4. Decreases inflammation
Because of the powerful antioxidants, spirulina produces anti-inflammatory effects. This protects the body against cancer and other diseases.
5. Helps lower bad LDL and triglyceride levels.
Multiple recent studies have shown spirulina significantly lowers total cholesterol, lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol while increasing HDL (“good) cholesterol. Incorporating just 1 gram of spirulina powder into the daily routine of participants for 3 months resulted in reduced total cholesterol in a 2013 study.
6. Can help reduce blood pressure
Spirulina helps increases the production and release of nitric oxide, a vital molecule important in relaxing the blood vessels.
7. Can help type 2 diabetes
In recent studies the supplementation of spirulina in type 2 diabetes showed significant reduction in blood-fat levels.
8. Can help with weight loss
Spirulina is low in calories, but high in nutrition making it the perfect addition for maintaining a proper weight.
9. Can help improve mood
Spirulina is a great source of tryptophan, an amino acids that supports the production of serotonin. Studies have shown that people with mood disorders (depression and anxiety) often have reduced levels of serotonin.
10. Improves gut health
Spirulina is easily digested and helps balance bacteria levels in the gut microbiome. Studies have shown spirulina helps promote healthy bacterial growth.
Where to Buy Spirulina
Spirulina can be found at your health food store, Amazon, or other web based sites (Thrive Market I think sells it too). Make sure that the product is organic. It is also sold in different forms, capsules, tablets, juices, and powders.
How to Use Spirulina
Probably the most common use for spirulina (and my personal favorite) is to add the powder into a smoothie, creating the perfect super green, nutrient dense meal to start your day or afternoon snack.
Have you tried spirulina? What’s your favorite way to incorporate it into you daily routine?