Spirulina….what is it?

spirulina
Most people in this day and age love adding supplements to their diets as a way of gaining extra insurance in terms of nutrients. This also helps us out when we get lazy and don’t eat a well rounded diet like we should. (Is it on purpose that I’m writing this post during December, the worst fall-off-the-wagon diet month?….Maybe…hee hee). But, I want to stress the importance of not beating yourself up if you eat poorly during the holidays. Food is not the enemy, it is simply designed to be fuel for our bodies, so do the best you can with your choices this month.

What is Spirulina? It’s a blue-green algae found mostly in Africa, Asia and South America. It’s one of the original superfoods! Superfoods, in case you’re wondering, are whole, natural foods that are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and superpowers. They are usually found in the form of berries, nuts, plants and algae. Spirulina comes mostly in powder, pill and flake form. Does it taste green? Sure it does! That’s why you mix it with something, but more on that later.

What are the benefits? Once used by the Aztec people, this algae is HIGH in protein, making it an awesome choice for vegetarians and vegans. In its dried form, it contains roughly 60% protein (wow!), and being a complete protein that means it contains all of the essential amino acids (great for glowing skin). Again, superfood! Spirulina is actually a better protein source than other plant foods like legumes, but don’t worry peas, I haven’t dumped you.
It’s also a great source of highly absorbable iron and vitamin B12, another great nutrient for vegetarians and vegans. Its essential fatty acids take down inflammation levels to repair damaged tissue, skin and muscle, and make the skin more resilient to future damage.

How do I use it? You can either take it in its pill form or use the powder in smoothies or drink. I will note that in Chinese medicine it is known as a “damp” food so it’s mainly ideal for those who live in very dry, hot climates like California, Arizona, New Mexico and certain parts of Texas. It helps balance your inside bodily condition more living in climates like that BUT anyone can use it, just don’t use too much. Follow the daily recommendations on the bottle or canister and obviously discuss dosage changes with your family physician.

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