Since its re-discovery in the 1960's spirulina has always been a favourite on the health market. And with no surprise, this 100% natural water plant is said to be one of nature's most nutritious foods. Yes. The MOST nutrient dense superfood on the planet!
Spirulina is a blue-green algae found along the shores of South Asia, Mexico and Africa. With it's abundance in minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, amino acids and high sources of protein and calcium there's not much this plant can't do for you. From preventing Anaemia to aiding your work-outs to strengthening your bones - the health benefits are literally endless.
Organic Burst Founder, Katya Igumentseva agrees. ”It is no surprise that spirulina is making a comeback as this microscopic plant has a wealth of benefits to help nourish your body and mind. It is also so easy to incorporate into your diet whatever your lifestyle."
This super green powder (or tablet if you prefer) is more than just a daily food supplement. Add it to your morning smoothie, cereal or use it to marinate chicken! It's really that simple.
Here are some quick-fire facts you need to know. Spirulina has...
- 6 times more protein than eggs
- 50 times more iron than spinach
- 7 times more calcium than milk
- 10 times more potassium than most fruit and veggies. (Yep, including bananas)
- 4-6 times richer in iron than raw beef liver
- A-Z antioxidants to fight free radicals
If you're not impressed yet wait until you see what other amazing benefits this ancient food has to offer. First up...
1. It's a near-perfect superfood
There’s no doubt this old age superfood is the mother of all healthy foods. But what’s all the fuss about these so called ‘superfoods’ anyway? And why spirulina?
Health expert Emma Wight-Boycott explains, “Superfoods are hot right now...for a reason. They combine maximum nutritional value within the smallest calorie and consumption volume necessary. In fact, just one teaspoon of spirulina provides 7 times more vitamins than mackerel.” Studies have even claimed it could potentially stop world hunger!
2. It can give you glowing skin
Spirulina contains all eight essential amino acids for fabulous skin meaning it can be used in more ways than just upping your nutrient count.
Performance Specialist at Bodyism, Rebecca Gentry says, “Spirulina helps your skin look good by acting as an antioxidant - this means it works to get rid of free radicals which are present all around us every day in the air and in products we use.
“By adding spirulina into your diet you can give your body a hand at eliminating toxins from the skin, and increase skin metabolism which means you can speed up your skin’s cell turnover and healing so it can look more even, healthy and glowing.”
In summary, it hydrates, detoxes, smoothes and heals skin all-in-one! Try Bodyism Beauty Food - it has super rich marine collagen peptides and protein which can help repair damaged skin and promote elasticity for a fresh gorgeous complexion.
3. It'll keep you fuller for longer
Nothing’s better than a satisfied tum! Fibre is a great source for helping us feel fuller for longer and helping us keep those sugary cravings at bay.
Emma says, “If you are finding it difficult to eat enough vegetables then you can try spirulina for a fibre packed health kick. It provides one fourteenth of your daily requirement of fibre.”
High fibre diets not only help keep the weight off - they can also help prevent heart disease, diabetes, cancer and improve your overall digestive health.
4. It’s a great source for vegetarians
This algae is a vegetarian’s dream! Since veggie eaters are prone to certain deficiencies spirulina makes up for any lost nutrients that are only available in animal products.
Rebecca says spirulina is, “a good source of plant-based protein for vegetarian or vegans as it is 60-70% complete protein meaning it has 8 essential amino acids and 10 non-essential amino acids.”
It's super easy to include in recipes too. Smoothies, popcorn, brownies - you name it. Who needs meat, fish and eggs when you've got spirulina, right?
5. It packs a punch of protein
If you find yourself consuming less meat nowadays, your chances of protein deficiency could be a lot higher. The solution? Spirulina.
Emma says, “You wouldn’t think that spirulina contains more protein than most foods! Of course we wouldn't gorge ourselves on spirulina steaks but its useful to know that we can get some of our daily protein requirements from it. While eggs contain 12 gm of protein per 100gm, spirulina contains a whopping 56gm.”
Try making spirulina protein balls combined with dates, walnuts, almonds and any other nutrient-rich goodies you fancy. They’re easy to make (15 minutes or less) and will last up to 4 weeks in the fridge. Alternatively, if you can't find the time, you can buy Spirulina and Ginseng Bounce Balls, which are just as delicious!
6. It prevents blemishes
Bacteria is one of the main culprits for a spotty face, but thanks to spirulina's deep cleansing powers you won’t have to deal with it for much longer.
Rebecca says, “Being anti-microbial Spirulina also helps prevent candida bacteria overgrowth that can cause acne breakouts. It can help prevent damage by getting rid of free radicals to help fight infection and bacteria build up everywhere, including on cuts and wounds.”
Superfood mask? Why not. For a super quick beauty fix combine 1/4 tsp of spirulina powder with a splash of filtered water and mix together. We love a good DIY facial.
7. It'll boost your energy
Spirulina is brimming with rich nutrients such as antioxidants, beta-carotene and essential fatty acids and omega 3 and 6, but what makes this simple algae so unique to other superfoods is its blue-green advantage.
“Spirulina is true green superfood. It contains a significant amount of phycocyanin and chlorophyll, which absorbs energy from the sun to manufacture carbohydrates which boost your energy," says Nutricentre nutritionist, Alex Shallat.
Hurrah - no more groggy days!
8. It helps strengthen bones
Spirulina puts “Got Milk?” to shame. A dash of spirulina in your morning’s porridge or smoothie can do wonders for your bone and teeth health.
Emma says, “Spirulina contains more calcium than milk. In fact, it contains twice the amount that milk does. 100gm of spirulina contains 220mg of calcium whereas 100gm/ml of milk contains 120mg of calcium.”
9. It prevents Anaemia
Anaemia is most commonly found in those with heavy periods, but it can happen to anyone. If you’re constantly worn out and not sure what’s wrong you could be anaemic (meaning you’re highly deficient in iron). This is where spirulina comes in...
Emma says, “Spirulina is higher than any other food in iron, packing a punch on the iron stakes. Another natural source of highly absorbable iron is Spatone iron supplements. Adding both of these to your diet will ensure you have enough minerals for high energy and metabolism.”
If you suspect an iron deficiency talk to your GP about testing.
10. It promotes healthy baby development
Spirulina is especially helpful to those who choose not to breast feed (or simply can't).
Alex says, “Spirulina contains a compound known as gamma linolenic acid; it is present in human breast milk and helps to enhance healthy baby development.”
Though breast milk is the most nutritious food you can feed your newborn, incorporating a spoonful of spirulina into your daily diet could make up for any lack of nutrients you're passing on to your baby.
P.S. Apparently it helps boost your baby's IQ and attention span too! Genius baby? Oh yes.
11. it lowers your cholesterol
Maintaining a healthy diet (which includes spirulina) and getting enough exercise each week are sure-fire ways to naturally reduce your cholesterol. So don't buy into statin drugs - studies have proved that spirulina is actually more effective!
Alex says, “Spirulina is a natural way to help lower your cholesterol. According to recent studies, elderly male and female patients that were given spirulina every day showed lower cholesterol levels than those who were given a placebo.”
No wonder astronauts on NASA space flights lived off the stuff!
12. It aids your work-outs
Workout laziness will be a thing of the past soon. Fitness buffs praise spirulina for it's ability to boost energy, enhance performance and promote recovery.
“For sports-people, spirulina will help to increase endurance and stamina by boosting energy levels. It also helps to oxygenate the muscles, delaying the production of lactic acid, which is responsible for fatigue and cramps,” says Alex. Ready for that run now?
Will you be introducing spirulina to your kitchen pantry soon? Tweet us @sofeminineUK