A favorite among health food junkies for decades, spirulina has more than earned its current status as a “superfood.” Technically, it is a resilient, easily grown form of blue-green algae that is both nutrient-dense and low in calories.
Spriulina’s long history as a food source dates back as early as the ninth century; and it is recorded that in the 1600s, the Aztecs harvested and sold it as food in Mexico.
Due to its high nutritional content, spirulina has been touted as one possible panacea for eliminating world hunger. It is an excellent source of vitamins A, B, C, D and E as well as important minerals such as calcium and iron. It is also an easily digestible, sixty-five to seventy one percent complete protein, superior to beef, eggs, lentils or soy products. Two tablespoons of spirulina per meal is adequate as a protein substitute.
Adding to the list of health benefits, spirulina has been studied for its heart supporting properties. Research has shown that daily doses of this green food can help to maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels. A six week study conducted by the Department of Biochemistry in Mexico determined that four and one half grams of spirulina daily aided in regulating blood pressure among women and men ages eighteen to sixty-five, who made no other dietary changes.
Studies have also shown that this super food does much to enhance immune function. Its high chlorophyll content seems to detoxify the blood. Spirulina also may encourage the growth of healthy bacteria which boosts immunity and helps to manage candida overgrowth. In addition, research indicates that spirulina may reduce unpleasant symptoms associated with allergies.
This amazing food is readily available, sold in capsule form or powders that may be added to smoothies. Spirulina is often included in commercially prepared meal replacement products recommended for overall health and weight management.
Ignored Since the 1950’s: Is Spirulina Now a ‘Miracle’ High -Protein Super Food?; Mercola.com; accessed August 27, 2013
Katie; Herb Profile: Spirulina; Wellness Mama; accessed August 27, 2013