As far as superfoods are concerned, you should already be familiar with turmeric, eggs, green tea, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic, ginger, kale, quinoa and avocados.
There is one however, that you probably never heard about, and it is called spirulina.
What is spirulina?
Spirulina is algae, that is blue-green in color, and grows naturally in warm alkaline bodies in the water. It is important to know that spirulina is not the gunk that can be formed around the sides of swimming pools that have been neglected. It is very popular in Mexico and Africa.
People in these areas have been using spirulina for centuries. Because algae do not have leaves or trunk, their cells retain and contain the nutrients that it makes through the process of photosynthesis.
The scientists deciphered a large amounts of the spirulina’s components, in order to understand what exactly algae can offer. They found out that spirulina is not really a plant, but it is classified as a bacterium instead, and a good kind of bacterium. There are also, several pigments in spirulina, and they give it the recognizable blue-green color. These pigments are very powerful antioxidants.
Spirulina also contains high amounts of protein (60-70%). Because it is so beneficial, some people formed an organization, that promotes spirulina as a primary survival food. That happened in the 70s. This organization aimed to combat and reduce starvation around the world. Even ESA and NASA include spirulina in the food that the astronauts eat in space!
The benefits of spirulina
It is a vegan source of B12 vitamin. This type of vitamin contributes to the synthesis of DNA and proteins and can be found in fish and meat, and this is very important because there are very few non-animal sources that contain this nutrient.
It also has some very powerful anti-inflammatory properties. The antioxidants reduce internal inflammation and oxidative stress. These are the primary causes of illness in the human body. They also work very hard to shut down the free radicals, and they are very effective in their work.
Benefits of Spirulina
- It can protect us from allergic reactions by blocking histamines.
- It can act as a probiotic which means that is very important for your overall health and digestion.
- It supports healthy vision. Spirulina contains a yellow antioxidant pigment, called carotenoid zeaxanthin. It can promote eye health, and can reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
- It can stop viruses from replicating. It can stop HIV, influenza, herpes simplex and hepatitis.
- By reducing the levels of blood glucose in people that are suffering from type 2 diabetes, it can effectively regulate blood sugar.
- It can also treat asthma, because it contains nutrients that can successfully combat this condition, and has no harmful side effects.
- It is a nutritional powerhouse. It contains vitamins A, B-complex and C, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, large amounts of protein and healthy fats.
- It can also stop the spread of cancer, and it can repair the side effects and the damage of the radiation and chemotherapy that have been previously used in cancer treatments.
How to use spirulina?
Most of the spirulina that is currently being sold in North America, is being cultured in laboratories. It can come in pill and powder form. One of the advantages of the spirulina is that it is very easy to grow, because it does not need synthetic chemicals in order to do so.
Please make sure that the spirulina that you use comes from a reputable source, so you can avoid contaminants.
If you are not sure where to start, you can incorporate your spirulina in your diets, by using it as a snack topping.
- Prepare popcorn and pour it on a large glass surface.
- While it is warm, put one tablespoon of spirulina powder over the popcorn.
- You can also add some organic garlic powder if you want to enhance the taste.
- You can use spirulina for dried fruits and chips topping.
You can add spirulina powder to water, juices and smoothies as well.