What is Spirulina?

Spirulina Benefits: 10 Proven Reasons to Use This Superfood
December 19, 2016
Benefit of Spirulina
September 12, 2017

small bowl of Hawaiian spirulina powder against a ceramic tile background

Spirulina is a blue-green algae that nutritionists are calling the superfood of the future. Before you buy your own spirulina powder, let us explain why we love it, how you should try it, and why it’s here to stay in the new year. We are even going to predict that spirulina will replace your cup of coffee.

You probably never thought you would be adding algae powder from tropical lakes to your smoothies, but spirulina is becoming quite the popular addition for many health-focused eaters. Even though this superfood is in the spotlight right now because of its nutrients, bright green color, and bounty of healthy benefits, spirulina has been a superfood long before 21st-century nutritionists began adding it to their smoothie bowls.

Spirulina is quite possibly one of the oldest life forms on Earth. The first people to ever use this algae as a food source is unclear, but Aztecs and African natives may have consumed the algae in their daily diet many centuries ago.

Photo: Randy Mayor

Fast forward to today, we understand why spirulina is here to stay. Our assistant nutrition editor, Jamie Vespa, MS, RD, breaks down why this superfood clearly has staying power and is gaining momentum in superfood circles:

Dried spirulina contains about 60 to 70 percent protein. It’s actually considered one of the few plant-based sources of “complete protein,” meaning it contains all essential amino acids your body needs but can’t produce on its own. It’s also a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium, and vitamins A, E, and K. Spirulina may be more beneficial for vegans or vegetarians that lack adequate iron in their diet. Touted as a “superfood,” health claims surrounding the blue-green algae include its ability to boost immunity, fight allergies, and reduce fatigue.

With its high nutrient density, the benefits of spirulina reach far and wide. We love it in our smoothies in the morning because research suggestions the powder may boost energy, reduce fatigue, and naturally suppress appetite. Great benefits, right? That’s why we say it’s time to say goodbye to coffee and hello to spirulina smoothies.

Like other superfoods, spirulina may strengthen the immune system, help with digestion, balance the body’s pH, and reduce inflammation. Small studies support these claims, but more research is needed to know if these claims are true. Credit : http://www.cookinglight.com/

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