Spirulina | the little-known Superfood and its Amazing Properties

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spirulina

Have you heard of spirulina? It is truly an amazing superfood with some pretty spectacular benefits. This organism grows in both fresh and salt water and is a blue-green algae that is classified as a cyanobacteria. Like other plants, it gets its energy from the sun through the process of photosynthesis.

Spirulina was originally eaten by the Aztecs, and then became more mainstream in the 20thcentury when NASA proposed growing it in space to feed the astronauts. It is currently cultivated in many parts of the world.

What makes Spirulina so good for us?

Well, a little goes a long way – this algae packs a strong punch and is full of nutrients.

One tablespoon (7 grams) of spirulina powder contains:

  • 4 grams of *complete protein
  • 11% of RDA for Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
  • 15% of RDA for Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
  • 21% of RDA for Copper
  • 11% of RDA for Iron

It also contains decent amounts of Vitamin B3, manganese, potassium, and magnesium.

At only 20 calories, 1 gram of fat, and 1.7 grams of digestible carbohydrates, this food really is super!

*To be considered a complete protein, the food in question must contain all 9 essential amino acids

FUN FACT: Spirulina contains 10 times the amount of beta-carotene found in carrots!

What are its Benefits?

Get ready, because this is quite the list!

  1. Spirulina is a fantastic source of antioxidants, which can prevent against oxidative damage to cells and DNA. The result of oxidative damage can be chronic inflammation and even the production of cancer cells.

 

  1. It can positively affect cholesterol levels by lowering the “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and raising the “good” HDL cholesterol.

 

  1. Has been known to reduce the onset of cancer– particularly in cancer of the mouth – and can reduce the size of tumors elsewhere in the body.

 

  1. May lower blood pressure through the production of nitric oxide, a molecule that helps blood vessels to dilate and relax.

 

  1. Is thought to improve the symptoms of allergic rhinitis (inflammation of the nasal passages caused by pollen, animal hair, and wheat dust).

 

  1. May help regulate blood sugar levels.

 

  1. Is thought to increase muscle strength and endurance. The antioxidant properties of spirulina appear to reduce muscle fatigue in athletes.

 

  1. May be effective in treating anemia, although more research is needed on this topic. It is thought to increase the hemoglobin content of red blood cells, leading to reduced levels of fatigue and improved immune function.

 

  1. May reduce inflammation in the digestive tract.

 

  1. Because spirulina is 50%-60% protein and very low in calories, it can be used as part of a weight-loss program to suppress the appetite.

Are there any Side Effects?

As with any supplement, you should always discuss the pros and cons with your health care practitioner before you start taking it.

Because it is mostly protein, spirulina may cause any of the following side effects:

  • Constipation
  • Thirst
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Dizziness
  • Skin itch or red spots on the skin
  • Stomach ache or nausea
  • Green or black stool

What to look for when choosing a spirulina supplement:

As always, an organic source of any food or supplement is preferable. Ask your trusted health care provider or guru at the health food store for their recommendations in terms of brand and dosage.

“Kiran, it looks kind of gross, what does it taste like?”

 While the very intense colour can be a bit surprising at first glance, spirulina has a milder flavour than say, wheat grass. It tastes slightly savoury, a bit like the sea, but the flavour is quite easily masked when combined with fruit like banana, pineapple, or mango. Our suggestion is to add a teaspoon of spirulina powder to your smoothie, along with plenty of fresh greens, some coconut milk, and ¼- ½ cup of cubed, frozen fruit.

Give spirulina a try – your body will thank you.


Lastly, thank you so much for visiting! I hope you have found some valuable information, if so, I’d love to hear about it!

Please feel free to share this post with anyone who might benefit, and comments are always welcome!

I look forward to connecting with you next time!

And be sure to check out why you should order your family’s next meal courtesy of Ki’s Kitchen  
spirulina

From our kitchen to yours,

Love + Peace

Kiran 

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