Spirulina is one of those “perfect” superfoods found in nature that promotes sound health by presenting the body with a number of different benefits. Not only is spirulina full of antioxidants, but it is a complete source of protein as well. Just 1-2 teaspoons of spirulina offers 16 grams of easily digestible protein, making it one of the most perfect supplements for vegetarians.
What is Spirulina?
Spirulina is a natural, blue-green microalgae that just so happens to be one of the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet. So full of life-giving benefits is this miraculous food source, that it is actually partly responsible for producing oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere millions of years ago. When life was evolving on Earth, it was spirulina that helped generate the oxygen for this brilliant evolution.
This spiral-shaped algae grows naturally in a variety of different water sources including natural springs, warm fresh-water lakes, and numerous bodies of salt water. When harvested, spirulina is most often made into a powder or supplemental form.
Benefits of Spirulina
Spirulina surpasses other supplements with its unique ability to provide a wide-range of health promoting benefits. Per serving, the assortment of valuable benefits of this well-revered food source includes:
- Plentiful amounts of protein (50-70% by weight or 16g per serving)
- All essential amino acids
- High amounts of chlorophyll
- Excellent source of iron
- 4x’s the antioxidants in blueberries
- High amounts of B12 and other B vitamins
- Balances pH levels in the body
- Ample amounts of Vitamins A and E
- Calcium (26 x’s the amount found in milk)
Spirulina has also been shown to greatly increase energy and reduce fatigue, and these effects can be felt almost immediately. It has also been documented as an excellent aid in helping to fight chronic disease. It is excellent for cardiovascular health, helps protect from HIV, has been shown to protect from cancer, helps to reduce allergies, and helps protect the liver.
5 Ways to Get More Spirulina in Your Diet
Truly one of nature’s most perfect foods, spirulina holds the potential to greatly improve your immune system and aids in boosting your overall health and well-being. Adding spirulina to your diet is one of the best decisions you can possibly make, but unfortunately tends to taste like the pond scum it actually is.
If you’re ready to take advantage of all spirulina has to offer without having to deal with the horrible taste, try any of the following ways to incorporate more of this superfood into your daily diet.
Below you can find how to incorporate more spirulina into your diet:
1. Take a Supplement
Taking a spirulina supplement is by far the easiest way to incorporate this powerful food into your diet. The standard amount that should be taken daily varies from person to person however for most adults, four to six 500 milligram capsules per day is recommended.
2. Put it in a Smoothie
Another popular method of getting the spirulina you need is to add a few teaspoons into your favorite smoothie. Although on its own spirulina truly tastes horrible, the other ingredients in your smoothie will cut out most of the icky taste. Be warned that your smoothie will take on the color of the spirulina and end up a deep, dark green.
3. Make it a Meal
If you’re feeling a bit adventurous you can try a number of different recipes that actually turn spirulina into part of a super healthy meal. Try this recipe for savory spinach and spirulina pancakes for an exploratory twist on common spirulina consumption.
- 3 Handfuls Organic Baby Spinach
- 2 eggs
- ½ Cup Flour
- 1 Teaspoon Spirulina Powder
Blend all ingredients together and cook on a hot griddle or pan for a few minutes on each side. These “super-green” pancakes can be served with hummus for a more savory flavor or if looking for something sweet that’s still healthy try topping with agave syrup or organic maple syrup.
4. Add it to Homemade Energy Bites
Making homemade energy bites are a great way to get the spirulina you need and have healthy snacking options wherever you may go. These simple, raw, homemade energy bites are packed with nutrition, low in calories, and absolutely amazing for your health.
- 1 Cup Almonds
- 1 Cup Soaked Dates (keep 3-4 Tbs. of the water you use to soak the dates in)
- ¼ Cup Dried Apricots
- ¼ Cup Pistachio Nuts
- ¼ Cup Almond Butter
- 2 Tablespoons Ground Flax
- 2 Tablespoons Cacao Powder
- 5 Tablespoons Organic Shredded Coconut (save 2 tablespoons for rolling)
- 1-2 Tablespoons Spirulina Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Combine almonds and pistachios in a food processor and pulse until ground. Put this in a large bowl, add ground flax, and set aside. Add apricots and soaked dates to food processor and blend well. Add almond/pistachio/flax mixture to blended apricots and dates and blend until you have a thick batter. Put this batter into a large mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients one at a time until well incorporated. Refrigerate this mixture for about 10 minutes or until cooled and roll into 1 inch balls. Roll in remaining coconut. These delicious energy bites will remain fresh in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
5. Spirulina and Avocado Salad Dressing
Another excellent way to get spirulina is by blending the following ingredients for a dressing that is as healthy as it is delicious. Toss with fresh greens and veggies to create yet another tasty way of getting some spirulina in your diet.
- 1 Avocado
- 1 Tablespoon Spirulina Powder
- 1 Small Chopped Zucchini
- ¼ Cup Hemp Seeds
- 1 Tablespoon Miso
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
- ½ Cup Water
Put all ingredients into a blender and blend on high until smooth. Add any extra salt or herbs to taste. Packed full of nutrients, this dressing is an easy way to step out of the supplement of smoothie habit that is common to most that take a daily dose of spirulina.