The magic powder- Spirulina is a great protein source for people who do not consume meat, it is the super food source of the Aztecs and is the secret of the sea. It is rich in minerals, vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants – even higher than 5 meals of vegetables and fruits combined. But what is Spirulina, where is it from, and how to use it?
What is Spirulina?
Spirulina is a green- blue algae, or cyanobacteria. They call it the green-blue algae due to its color. It has beneficial and bioavailable pigments like chlorophyll-a and beta carotene. Just as the other land-dwelling plants, algae are capable of photosynthesis which is the process to produce oxygen, and it is also abundant in a lot of healthy nutrients.
Where is Spirulina from?
Spirulina or the cyanobacteria grows on almost every aquatic and terrestrial habitat like bare rock and soil, temporarily moistened rocks in deserts, damp soil, fresh water, oceans and it even grows in Antarctic rocks. The most part of the American products of spirulina are from the Hawaii and South America shores. It can be found as products of a mixture, flakes, pills, isolated, and also powders.
The Benefits of Spirulina
Spirulina is very high in protein – and it is a great alternative source of protein for meat with its content of 60% protein. It also is the only plant that is rich in vitamin B-12 – a necessary vitamin that is deficient in the diets of the vegetarians. It is also abundant in DHA (primary component of the brain), GLA (helps with inflammation), ALA (omega 3), LA (omega 6).
One gram of Spirulina has :
- 5,500% more iron than spinach
- 280% more antioxidant potency than blueberries.
- 3,100% more beta-carotene (Vit. A) than carrots.
- 600% more protein than tofu
Spirulina is also full with vitamin E, vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin B9 (folic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), Vitamin B3 (nicotinamide), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B1(thiamine).
It is also rich in zinc, sodium, selenium, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, copper, chromium, calcium and potassium.
Other Benefits of Spirulina:
Boost the immune system
Promotes the growth of healthy bacterial flora in the gut
Has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties
Improves insulin resistance
Soothes symptoms of allergies
Lowers high blood pressure
Helps in the fight against cancer
Lowers the risk of cataracts and other macular degeneration due to age
Has antiviral properties against hepatitis, herpes, and HIV
Prevents damage in the liver due to chemotherapy
How to use Spirulina?
You can add ¼ -- 1 teaspoon of the spirulina powder isolate in your smoothie or just swallow a pill -- and this is probably the simplest and easiest way to use the spirulina product. At first it may not be very delicious and it has little sweet taste, so you can start with small amounts. You can also find to buy the packaged protein powder as a pre-flavored. Here is one recipe for using the Spirulina powder:
Spirulina Popcorn (great for a picnic)
You can prepare your popcorn and add 1 tablespoon of spirulina powder and garlic to improve its flavor.
You should be careful and do not pick algae on your own to consume, because there are some algae that are not edible and can cause damage to your health.