Spiru-what-a?

Spirulina has been buzzing around the health world for years, and has recently broken into the mainstream market. Here, we’ll tackle some frequently asked questions…

What is Spirulina? What’s in it? How do I take it?

A blue-green algae.

One of the most notable features, aside from health benefits, is the strikingly rich color. In powder form, the superfood parades a likeness to the deeply toned pillars of dye I’ve seen used for Indian Holi Festivals. It is slightly darker, though, and unmistakably painted by Earth, herself. Perhaps the color speaks to the nutritional density this superfood offers.

Spirulina is a cyanobacteria, a blue-green algae which uses photosynthesis to generate energy. Under a microscope, the bacteria appear blue, although the algae is very green to the human eye.

 

Nutrient dense.

Spirulina touts an impressive array of benefits. Considered a complete protein, this plant-based food actually contains all nine essential amino acids. The essential AAs are unable to be synthesized by the body, and must be obtained through diet. This is super important for many vegans and vegetarians, as these AAs are more difficult to come by when not consuming animal products, and are required for proper organ and system function. That’s a big deal! But, that’s not all…

  • Seriously loaded with Potassium (K)   Necessary for several bodily functions, including, blood clotting.
  • High source of Iron (Fe)   Necessary for those with anemia, and recommended during pregnancy.
  • Magnesium (Mg)   Magnesium aids in proper digestion (specifically, evacuation!), sleep, and several other bodily functions! It is even necessary part of converting calcium to bone! Very underappreciated, in my humble opinion.
  • Great source of Vitamin A   Healthy vision! Fun fact: Polar bear liver contains enormous amounts of Vitamin A…enough to kill a human, if ingested.
  • B Vitamins   B vitamins give us energy and help to make new blood cells, among other benefits!

 

How to consume it.

Spirulina is a popular addition to shakes and smoothies, as a powder. Be warned, however. This stuff isn’t for the faint of heart nose. It smells, and tastes, like a fish tank. The good news? It can be EASILY masked, with a piece of fruit or other additive, and you only need a pinch per serving. The supplement also comes in pill form, which most say is easier to swallow. 😉


USDA Nutritional Database

Essential Amino Acids


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