Spirulina has been a long time friend of mine and it was common to find spirulina smoothies in cafes or supermarkets in New Zealand (thank goodness you still can). It was promoted as a healthy breakfast drink and is normally blended with kiwifruit, banana and apple juice. When I got to the UK no one had ever heard of the stuff and more often than not in the beginning my green drinks use to freak people out. A common reaction being ‘yuck what’s that stuff you’re drinking?’ and ‘no thanks I don’t think I’ll like it’, slowly the masses are waking up and it’s now I get ‘ok I’ll try a bit’ (persistence pays off eh!). Needless to say my friends aren’t surprised at what I find to juice, what colour my drinks are and most are willing to try a sip (normally surprised at how good it tastes). I’ll keep trying to open people’s mind to a different way of thinking, so they are healthier in the long-run (you’re already doing it by reading this blog!). So back to this blue-green microscopic plant ‘spirulina’, it has existed on our planet for 3.6 billion years and many civilisations have used it as a source of nourishment. A little bit of this stuff goes a long way and make sure your supplier grows it organically in clean, freshwater ponds, free of toxins, chemicals or pesticides, so you get all the benefits.
It has a full spectrum of nutrients that nourish the body and mind. Here’s how it can help you (info from Organic Burst, whose Spirulina I use)
- Healthy brain, memory and concentration. Spirulina powder is rich in Vitamin B6 and iron that are known to promote concentration, learning, memory and reasoning.
- Alkalising. With a high content of chlorophyll, spirulina powder is a powerful alkaliser that helps counteract the acidity of processed foods in our body.
- Weight management. Due to its rich protein content it helps balance your sugar levels. Studies show that Spirulina helps support the liver leaving it to metabolise fat by preventing the build-up of triglycerides, lipid peroxidation and cleansing from toxins.
- Boost exercise results. A recent study in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise reported that taking spirulina enhances exercise performance. Men taking spirulina had significantly longer time to fatigue and 11% increase in fat burning rate.
- Healthy heart. In multiple scientific studies Spirulina was shown to create better lipid profiles and increase blood vessel elasticity. Subjects taking spirulina showed reduced total cholesterol, better HDL, and reduced blood pressure.
- Rich, complete and digestible protein source. Spirulina powder is very rich in protein (60-70%), containing 18 amino acids including all essential amino acids. According to studies, spirulina has a very high protein efficiency ratio (PER), meaning your body can efficiently use these amino acids. Protein in spirulina is four times more absorbable than protein in beef.
Who can benefit from spirulina?
- Children who don’t eat vegetables and fruits. Add it to yummy smoothies and juices they drink.
- Students and busy working people. These people may lack certain nutrients as they often skip meals and opt for fast food that are high in calories but not necessarily high in important nutrients.
- The elderly. The elderly may not be able to obtain essential nutrients from the diet due to poor dentition and digestive health, diseases and medication that affect the digestion, absorption of nutrients.
- Anyone who cares about their health, as it’s an inexpensive way to get some more goodness in!
Have I convinced you it’s time to add some spirulina to your life? Why not try my Green Goddess Smoothie Recipe, to get your body vibing to the beat of good health and happiness!