There’s a lot of talk about superfoods: those foods that have multiple disease-fighting benefits. Almonds, salmon, and olive oil make most lists of foods that will improve your health, but here’s one you may not have tried: spirulina.
Spirulina is actually a large group of different blue-green algae (singular alga). The algae are simple, plant-like organisms found in salt and fresh water.
According to University of Maryland Medical Center, spirulina is
“rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids, antioxidants that can help protect cells from damage. It contains nutrients, including B complex vitamins, beta-carotene, vitamin E, manganese, zinc, copper, iron, selenium, and gamma linolenic acid (an essential fatty acid).”
According to the independent encyclopedia of supplementation and nutrition, Examine.com, spirulina is a source of phycocyanobilin, an important anti-oxidant. After examining numerous scientific studies, they conclude that preliminary evidence, particularly with animals, suggests that spirulina is a promising immune booster in that it may offer significant protection against brain degeneration and liver disease.
As a supplement, spirulina is generally sold as a dry powder. People often blend it into smoothies. It could also be sprinkled into cooked foods where its earthy, herbal taste would be appropriate, such as in cooked beans flavored with other herbs. The color may be off-putting so consider using sparingly, but often, if it bothers you.
Unlike some supplements, spirulina maintains all nutrients in all temperatures including freezing and cooking.
- the highest concentration of usable protein found in any food.
- as much iron as red meat and more than spinach.
- more B-12 than liver.
- more beta-carotene than carrots.
- more gamma-linolenic acid than all other foods.
Since spirulina is an immune-booster, be cautious if you have serious auto-immune or allergy issues as spirulina could increase your symptoms.
Do you want to feel your best? This may be the most important health information you ever read.