As some of you may know, I had my first taste of spirulina just weeks ago during my reboot juice fast. I wanted to experiment while fasting, be brave, and try new things. Well, I was brave for sure and downed a glass of powdered spirulina in water = holy cow with the pasture in all! That’s what it was like too – a surprise taste of rich green farm pasture. I drank it all. Hey, I’ve downed much stronger tasting drinks actually, guzzled is more like it, so why be scared of the dark green super juice…right? Right…
So what’s the deal with spirulina, and why would I want to drink down the farm’s pasture? Superfood nutrition status is the answer to that question. Let me fill you in on a little bit of what I’ve been learning about spirulina:
Spirulina is a form of blue/green algae that is rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals, as well as carotenoids and antioxidants that can help protect our cells from damage. There’s a long, long list of beneficial nutrients found in spirulina, but to name a few include the B complex vitamins, beta-carotene, vitamin E, manganese, zinc, zeaxanthin, copper, chlorophyll, phycocyanin, iron, sulfur, selenium, and it’s the only green food containing gamma linolenic acid (GLA =an essential fatty acid).
I’ve found it most fascinating to learn that spirulina, a small yet rich in color algae, contains the highest found concentration of protein, according to weight, compared to all other foods in the world. Isn’t that just amazing? I thought so anyway… The two teaspoon sample you see in my glass above here have approximately 4 grams of protein in them. Now that may not seem like much, but when you consider how easy it is to digest, that’s pretty good.
David Wolfe, a leading expert on superfoods, writes in his book Superfoods that spirulina is made up of anywhere from “65 to 71 percent protein, depending on the variety.” Cool. We all know protein helps us build stronger bodies, but it goes so much further helping with “endurance, balanced blood sugar, balanced brain chemistry, neurological health, and rapid healing” Wolfe explains. That’s awesome! I’m thinking spirulina would make an excellent addition to an after work out smoothie. What about you?
What’s even cooler about spirulina’s complete form of protein is that it can be eaten without cooking it offering the most benefits without the extra fat or baggage that comes along with the animal protein coming from factory farms.
Protein is all the rage when it comes to spirulina. It’s the biggest benny if you ask me. But that’s not to say there are not significant others:
- Healthier Immune System
- Better, Stronger Blood
- Improved Detoxing – particularly in regards to the liver
- Possible Aid with Allergies and Arthritis
- Healthier, Better Vision
I’ve even read that regular consumption of spirulina may help those suffering from the disorder ADHD – a disorder that seems to be growing in numbers every year. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could treat ADHD with something like spirulina vs. the ever popular medications prescribed to folks, many of whom being our children? That would be something wouldn’t it? Hmmm….
Now if all this sounds good to you, but not quite enough to have you out shopping for this little power algae, allow me to appeal to your vanity… (I know, so shallow of me, but it got my attention, so maybe it will stir yours as well). Recall me mentioning that spirulina is the only green food that contains an essential fatty acid called GLA (gamma-linolenic acid)? Well it turns out that GLA not only improves the symptoms of arthritis with its anti-inflammatory properties, not only does it help those suffering with allergies, but it causes our skin and hair to soften and shine yet strengthen all at once = marvelous makeover improvement without the gunk of make up! Nice…
Plus, I must mention here that the only other superfood that even comes close to spirulina’s GLA concentration numbers is hempseed. HA! Yay for hemp! I love that stuff and am still so addicted to it. Happy “Hemp Day” this Wednesday by the way. Groovy
Okay, back on track… If you’re thinking you’d like to give spirulina a try, you can shop for it at many health food and nutrition stores. David Wolfe (I really like this guy) recommends looking for certified organic spirulina, but does admit that organically certified is not always “superior.” If you’ve found a non-organic brand that works for you, go with it. Smell spirulina for freshness. Bad spirulina will smell rancid or sour. And lastly, avoid brands that use “tableting agents.” Spirulina is already naturally sticky and does not require this added agent.
You can buy spirulina in a freeze dried powdered form like I did, in tablets, or look for it in energy bars. I’ve found spirulina chips believe it or not…oh my beloved chips. I’m going to give them up for good one day – seriously, I am. Lol…. Plus, chips don’t blend well into a smoothie = yuck! Lol…
OH! And do try powdered spirulina in juices and smoothies to start, I would recommend anyway. Drinking it in a glass of water for the first taste may turn you off forever…unless you’re a bit more use to drinking green stuff like me. Wow… I will never forget the unique taste of spirulina in water. Ahhhh…the farm, lol. I mix mine into juices now. It makes for a much less green pasture in my glass if you know what I mean. Hey, I know green pastures are appealing and all, just not in my belly. I’ll leave it for the cows.
Thanks again to my girl Simmy for recommending adding spirulina to my reboot. It’s been an interesting addition to say the least, and I’m learning lots of cool stuff. Speaking of which, if you’re interested in more information on spirulina, don’t forget about David Wolfe’s book Superfoods. He offers a wealth of information in it on all kinds of other superfoods too, how to incorporate them into your life, and even recipes to boot! Check it out and enjoy. I have.
Thanks for reading along with my learning adventure,
PS. I Love Hemp