Learn more about one of nature’s most nutritious superfoods below and read on for a simple and soothing recipe…
In the realm of wellness, few things are more revered as the power of green and blue-green algaes. What we may all take for granted as pond scum — yes, really — could have the power to detox, energize, and ultimately heal some of the most common ailments. And isn’t that always the case? What we as humans are quick to write off as undesirable — algae, fungi… — often turn out to be nature’s most powerful healers. Today I’m diving in, so to speak, to the powers of spirulina. While it may be a close cousin to chlorella, this beautiful, blue-green powder deserves a post all its own.
What is it? Another algae to love, “spirulina” describes two species of blue-green algae: Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima. Also known as a cyanobacteria, which describes spirulina’s beautiful color, spirulina is rich in chlorophyll and protein and could have a number of positive effects on the body. While it’s similar to chlorella in the sense that it’s also an algae, spirulina isn’t single-celled, making it more bio-available for the body, and it boasts higher levels of iron, thiamin and Gamma-Linolenic Acid.
What are the benefits? Naturally high in iron, spirulina could be beneficial for vegetarians, especially because of its high levels of protein and amino acids, and could work well for those deficient in these nutrients or when the immune system needs a boost. Though it should be noted that while spirulina’s protein level is equal to eggs gram-for-gram, it shouldn’t be used as a the sole protein source. Spirulina has also been found to assist the body in detoxing from heavy metals by binding to metals present in the body and flushing them out — chlorophyll has also been shown to help usher these metals from the system. If you feel your energy levels dropping, the thiamin (a.k.a. B vitamins) present in spirulina could help bring them back up. Thiamin has also been linked to improved nerve and brain function, as well as eye health. Spirulina could also be effective in treating candida overgrowth, boosting levels of beneficial bacteria and inhibiting growth of candida.
How to use spirulina: While the flavor isn’t much to write home about — it is algae, after all — the good news is that spirulina blends easily into smoothies, elixirs, salad dressings, tea and water. It’s also sold in convenient tablet form. Try the easy recipe below, which blends spirulina with nourishing matcha for a soothing coffee-replacement.
Green Galaxy Elixir
½ tsp spirulina
1 tsp matcha powder
1 tsp raw honey
½ tsp organic unrefined coconut oil
8 oz nut milk
Heat nut milk on the stovetop until hot but not boiling. Place heated nut milk in a blender, along with matcha powder, raw honey and coconut oil. With the cap held on securely (be careful) blend until frothy. Pour into a mug and swirl in spirulina. Enjoy!
+ Have you used spirulina? Any good recipes to pass along?
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This information is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease or issue. Please seek your doctor’s advice for any questions regarding a specific condition and before beginning any exercise, diet or health-related regimen.