If you haven’t signed up for our 20 Week Summer Ready Challenge that started this past week on February 2nd… don’t you fret because it is never too late to focus on getting to a healthier version of yourself. You can sign up here and get started on our detox month.
Spirulina is not something I’ve heard about ever ever ever so I figured it was my duty to bring it to the forefront of the superfood talk, especially during our 20 week summer ready challenge. I recently got wind of the superfood Spirulina when I started drinking Love Grace Foods “Green Protein Smoothie” . I’ve heard the term super food thrown around for quite some time, especially with the boom in health food stores located on almost every corner in New York. But I was intrigued by the weird sounding name, and what made this one of the top ten superfoods on most lists. I was surprised to find out exactly what I was drinking, interested in the many benefits that come with it, and now I’m pretty much incorporating it into my diet on a daily basis. But let’s start with the basics.
Spirulina is a natural algae (cyanobacteria) powder that is rich in chlorophyll, protein, and nutrients. Spirulina also is extremely high in iron, amino acids, essential fatty acids, and B12. It is an amazing supplement (not replacement) for vegans & vegetarians, as well as people who are simply looking for an immune system boost. Spirulina is a super food that is highly regarded for its benefits (though I warn you no supplement is an alternative or replacement for a well balanced and healthy diet/exercise). Lets get straight into the benefits of adding superfood spirulina into your life .
1. Chalk-Full Of Antioxidants: Antioxidants help fight off the cells and DNA that have the potential to transform into cancer cells, and other chronic diseases. The presence of the antioxidants also helps lower the amount of muscle fatigue which makes it a great boost in smoothies drunk before or after work out sessions. One 3 gram serving or Spirulina provides you the same amount of antioxidants found in five servings of fruits & vegetables. (though you should STILL be eating fruits and vegetables on a daily basis in the recommended serving levels) The purest form of Spirulina was found to have the same amount of antioxidant levels as blueberries.
2. Protein rich: Spirulina is a key supplement for vegetarians and vegans that are missing the appropriate levels of protein needed/recommended. Though again I must repeat it is not a replacement to a healthy balanced diet, the addition of spirulina’s protein content can be the key to unlocking muscle mass growth, and cell regeneration.
3. Amino Acids/ Essential Fatty Acids: Spirulina is made up of 65 percent protein and fatty acids/ amino acids. These essential fatty acids are key players in anti inflammatory properties. The most potent essential fatty acids present are Omega 3, 6 and GLA (Gamma-Linolenic Acid).
4. Detox Central: Spirulina is a major detoxifier which comes in handy during detox month of our 20 week summer ready challenge. Spirulina is high in chlorophyll which removes toxins from your blood. Spirulina is also able to bind to heavy metals in the body (especially mercury) and remove them.
5. Vitmain & Nutrient Rich: Spirulina is filled to the brim with vitamins and nutrients that will help you hit/meet and exceed your daily requirements. Especially the A, D, K and B complex vitamins which are necessary for healthy strong immune systems.
6. Iron Source: Spirluina is a major source of iron that also assists in building a strong immune system. With many of us in America suffering from iron deficiency especially those are anemic, spirulina would help to serve as a major and the best supplement/source of iron because it absorbs faster into the system then o there supplements. Ten grams of spirulina is claimed to provide 70 percent of the minimum requirements (though it is recommended only to take 3-5 grams daily of the spirulina supplement)
7. Calcium & B12 Heavy: You can get more calcium and b12 from smaller doses of spirulina then with drinking milk or taking b12 supplements. As someone with a B12 deficiency (and many vegetarians/ vegans suffer from this deficiency as well) I have had to take B12 injections so I was extremely interested to learn more about spirulina as a supplement for B12. However this benefit is not completely proven to be true or scientifically proven because B12 is only found in animals. Plants do not need/store it B12. The plant foods that do contain a form of B12 are said to block the intake of it into the system. Therefore though I really believe Spirulina is amazing for loads of nutritional value… I’m still going to be taking other forms of B12 to balance my deficiency instead of relying solely on spirulina to do so.
8. Allergy Relief: Spirulina has been used to help as a natural remedy for allergies, nasal discharge, and congestion. Spirulina works effectively without blocking the histamines that can also lower the strength of the immune system.
9. Weight balancing/ weight loss: Spirulina helps to increase stamina, and decrease hunger/cravings. This assists in weight management and in some instances weight loss (though this hasn’t been tested intensively enough to fully prove/claim 100 percent).
10. Boost to immune system: The daily use of the supplement spirulina can help in lowering cholesterol, lowering stroke & cancer risks, and balancing blood pressure. With the presence of all the of the good stuff (vitamins, nutrients…etc) you are getting a great boost to your immune system or a helping hand I like to say by adding this into your healthy balanced diet. You can’t eat trash and expect it to be helpful. .. it’s not a magic pill just a very strong super food supplement.
*warnings*: As with everything you decide to put into your body it is crucial to first speak to a doctor before you dive head first as it may interact with certain conditions or medicines you may currently be taking.
Also it is important to purchase Spirulina in a completely natural and organic format as it may be contaminated if not handled properly. I have started taking the Trader Joes Organic Spirulina, and have heard rave reviews for the Now Foods Spirulina
I chose to take the pill format of the supplement instead of the powder because I did not want to deal with the weird pond scummy taste (though the pills do have the scent which you get used to after a while). Read the directions as to the serving you should be taking for the day (3-5 grams)
ALWAYS drink loads of water (60-90oz) daily to help it move throughout out your system. There are also some great green smoothie recipes you can try with the powdered version of spirulina. The Love Grace Foods smoothie I’ve been drinking tastes delicious (no pond scum taste at all) and it gives me that extra bit of joy knowing that the green goodness I’m drinking possesses spirulina!