18 Mar What Really Makes Spirulina a Superfood?
This blue-green algae is a freshwater plant that is an exciting superfood that you will see in green superfood smoothies, energy bars, and supplements. Did you know that Spirulina’s common name is pond scum? Spirulina is grown around the world from Mexico to Africa to even Hawaii. Referred to as “Tecuitlatl,” spirulina was a primary source of protein for the Aztecs for several hundred years! Remember a superfood is defined as a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being. In other words, superfoods are foods that have health benefits.
This nutrient rich substance is actually a cyanobacteria and it boasts its fair share of health promoting properties. It is rich in Chlorophyll, and like plants, gets its energy from the sun. Spirulina’s benefits are so amazing that taken on a daily basis they could restore and revitalize your health! To date, there are nearly 1,200 peer-reviewed scientific articles evaluating its health benefits.
1 tablespoon of spirulina has 20 calories, 4 grams of protein, 11% RDA of Vitamin B1, 15% of Vitamin B2, 4% of Vitamin B3, 21% copper, and 11% of Iron.
Spirulina’s health benefits
- Eliminates Candida- acts as a microbial agent and has been shown to promote the growth of healthy bacterial flora in the intestines, which in turn inhibits Candida from thriving.
- Lowers blood pressure- Phycocyanin is a pigment found in the spirulina that scientists have discovered possesses antihypertensive effects (it lowers blood pressure). Phycocyanin is also a powerful antioxidant (4 times more powerful than blueberries).
- Helps balance blood sugar- studies show that it not only lowers blood sugar, but it also lowers HbA1c, a long term marker of blood sugar levels.
- Reduces cholesterol- spirulina benefits have also been shown to prevent atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of arteries) and reduce elevated blood cholesterol levels.
- Help those with allergies by lowering inflammation that leads to nasal congestion and other issues.
- Boosts energy- combining spirulina and lime and then freezing them, you can enhance energy performance because they unlock sugar from our cells and, when frozen, the cold from the ice boosts metabolic energy while giving our bodies a wake-up call.
- Speeds up weight loss- spirulina is high in protein which takes up more energy to metabolize, which helps maintain lean protein and contributes to fat burning.
Spirulina is super nutrient rich
- Protein: It is considered a complete source of high-quality protein and is often compared to eggs for the amount of protein per gram. The protein in Spirulina is highly usable and has a net protein utilization rate of between 50-61%
- Vitamin B1: Also called Thiamine, this vitamin is necessary for the digestion of fats and proteins. It is often taken for increased energy, eye health, brain function and for improving nerve functioning.
- Iron: Spirulina is a favorite food for vegetarians and vegans because it is one of the best plant sources of iron. Even for those who consume meat, it has a highly absorbable form of iron that is gentle on the digestive system.
- Calcium: Spirulina is also incredibly high in calcium with over 26 times the calcium in milk.
- It also contains B-2 (riboflavin), B-3(nicotinamide), B-6 (pyridoxine), B-9 (folic acid), vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin A and vitamin E.
- It is also a source of potassium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, sodium, and zinc.
Try this tasty smoothie to get some spirulina in your day!
- 3 TBSP raw cashews
- 2 TBSP hemp seeds
- 2 large Medjool dates, pitted
- 2 TBSP cacao nibs
- 1 TBSP chia seeds
- 2 TSP maca powder
- 1/4 TSP Spirulina powder
- 1 TSP cinnamon powder
- 1 TSP ginger powder
- 1/4 TSP cardamom powder
- 2 cups coconut water
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 1/2 cups ice
- Sweetener to taste (optional)
Blend together all the ingredients, except the frozen banana and ice, until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and blend again until frosty. Taste, and sweeten as desired.
This blog was written by Amber Beye of Plant Food and Gratitude , LLC.
At Plant Food and Gratitude , we offer individualized coaching sessions to assist you in managing your health concerns and making healthy changes to support you and the health of your family. We will support you as you transition to a more vibrant healthier you! Our coaches specialize in working with many areas of health including weight reduction, stress relief, thyroid disorders, heart disease, cancer support, and can help you find ways to make a transition to a more nutritious diet including more plant based eating.
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