Discover Spirulina: Your New Favorite Green Superfood
Over the past couple years there has been an upsurge in popularity of superfoods and for good reason. One of the most important parts of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is making smart choices about how you fuel your machine.
One superfood that has been on the rise is a green powder that many would wrinkle their noses at on first glance. Little do they know, incorporating this mysterious supplement, spirulina, into their diet could give them a protein boost as well as help fill daily vitamin needs and even aid in the prevention of certain diseases.
Spirulina 101: What is this Blue-Green Algae?
Arthrospira platensis is the scientific name for this blue-green algae generally found in freshwater. It's packed with nutrients, protein and antioxidants that pack a punch when it comes to fighting disease and even maintaining a healthy weight. One tablespoon of spirulina contains about 20 calories, 7g carbs, .5 g fat and an impressive 4g of protein.
Beta Carotene in Every Bite
Of all foods, spirulina is the richest in beta carotene, providing the full spectrum of carotenoids. This is what makes the algae's antioxidant content so high, which aids in cancer prevention and even treatment.
The antioxidants in spirulina help to maintain healthy vision. It is also rich in iron, which is a common deficiency among humans. Spirulinian iron (did I just make up a new term?) is especially easy to absorb. Spirulina is also a great source of vitamin B-12, which is vital in maintaining nerve and tissue health. If you're vegetarian, vitamin B is harder to find, making spirulina an ideal food to consume.
Diet-friendly and Cleansing
Spirulina has a very high protein content and 10 grams of the algae provides the daily minimum requirements for iron and vitamins A, B, D, and K. It is also very easily digested, stimulating the production of healthy flora in the digestive tract. The special combination of phytonutrients present allows the body to more easily rid itself of potentially harmful toxins.
Reap the Benefits
You can read everything you want to about spirulina, but the knowledge is useless until you learn how to actually incorporate the superfood into your diet. Try blending the powder into your favorite smoothie, incorporating it into homemade bread and bars, or simply consuming it as a supplement. If you don't mind the vivid hue, spirulina can also be mixed into sauces and dressings to give your meals an extra boost. Some sites even suggest creating puddings with this green powder. Don't be afraid to get creative!