What is spirulina?
Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae also called cyanobacteria. It grows naturally in oceans and salty lakes basically in South and Middle America, Africa and Australia. Due to its high amount of chlorophyll a, it is able to photosynthesize and give off oxygen, just like plants. Mostly, it is grown in open pond systems. After harvesting, it is dried, powdered or pressed into tablets.
You can use the pulver in your daily cereals or smoothies; it tastes a bit like Nori sheets known from sushi. As a recommendation, I wouldn’t use more than one tablespoon because it has a very intense flavour.
Some nutritional facts: 100 g dried spirulina contain:
– ca. 60-70 g protein (it contains all essential amino acids)
– ca. 20 g carbohydrate
– ca. 4 g fat
– ca. 5,5 g minerals
Furthermore, Spirulina contains significant amounts of calcium, niacin, potassium, magnesium, iron and b vitamins such as B12.
What is Spirulina really good for?
Several surveys show that eating spirulina may have a positive impact on our health:
– positive impact on hyperlipidaemia which is a very high concentration of cholesterol, triglycerides, and lipoproteins leading to diabetes.
– positive impact on malnutrition, obesity, diabetes, as well as on toxicity from heavy metals and on anaemias.
Besides, there is evidence that spirulina could promote the antioxidant enzyme activity which prevents us from premature ageing. Antioxidants such as spirulina help combat cell and DNA damage which may lead to cancer, heart disease and lipoperoxidation. Lipoperoxidation is a process in which free radicals develop and lead to oxidative stress. Antioxidants inhibit the development of new free radicals and bind already existing free radicals. Due to its antioxidative effect, spirulina protects us from neurotoxins, and inflammation of the colon.
Scientists expect a lot of this superfood: The blue-green algae could be used to treat cardiovascular diseases, chronic bronchitis, and harmed skeletal muscles due to oxidative stress. Plus, it may come to an increased application in fighting immunodeficiency and inflammation.
Things certainly remain exciting but it is already clear that the positive effect of spirulina on our health combined with a well-balanced, plant-based nutrition cannot be denied.
Did you ever try spirulina? Have you ever heard of it before? What is your personal experience?
EDIT: Many of you have asked me which ones I use – here are mine*.
Here is a link to my sources for this blogpost.
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