Spotlight on Spirulina

The proclaimed enemy of many a child, greens are one of the most important parts of any well-rounded and nutrient-rich diet. Unfortunately, it is difficult to ingest adequate amounts of these nutrient-rich greens for several reasons.

Salads are often not much more than a bit of cellulose (fiber) and some water, making them a pleasant vehicle for the delicious toppings. Vegetables, once canned, frozen, or cooked also lose a great percentage of their nutritional value.

WHAT IS SPIRULINA?

Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae (microscopic, spiral-shaped, cyanobacteria) that thrives in both fresh and saltwater environments. Spirulina is considered a superfood due to its dense nutritional profile and the dark green powder is easily absorbed and delicious when added to orange juice. Also see the smoothie recipe below.

Spirulina has been consumed for centuries and is believed to have originated in Africa and Mexico. It is rich in various nutrients, including protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and contains all essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source. It is also a good source of B vitamins, iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Additionally, spirulina contains phycocyanin, a pigment with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Some of the potential health benefits associated with spirulina consumption include improved immune function, increased energy levels, reduced inflammation, its protective effects on the liver and enhanced detoxification.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organisations concluded that spirulina is ‘The Most Ideal and Perfect Food of Tomorrow.' This is not surprising. Spirulina has six times more protein than eggs (it is 60% protein), it has ten times more betacarotene than carrots, and more iron than spinach. It has all the essential amino acids and is packed with enzymes and minerals. Spirulina contains numerous vitamins and essential fatty acids plus chlorophyll, iron and pigments. It is generally classified as a functional food and adaptogen.

Spotlight on Spirulina

CONCLUSION

Any food product can cause allergies, but incidence is remarkably low with spirulina. People with certain conditions such as phenylketonuria (PKU) or autoimmune disorders should consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating it into their diet. The quality of the product used is important as algae also mop up toxins from the environment in which it is grown. In other words take care in choosing a product and buy only from reputable companies. It’s worth checking the label, or asking the supplier for certification that the product is safe.

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