One of our fundamental goals at Robust Life Center is to educate clients not only on traditional foods labeled as “good” or “bad”, but on the lesser known “silent heroes” of nutrition as well. Spirulina is one such pint-sized powerhouse.
Ounce for ounce, the superfood Spirulina is one of the most potent, most concentrated and most nutrient-rich foods available. And like most superfoods, it fills the role of both food and medicine.
According to health experts, spirulina has the power to give us maximum nutrition, health and energy, as well as minimum calories and no trans-fatty acids. Spirulina has the power to dramatically help us achieve our ideal weight, diet and food habits.
Yet, despite its lengthy list of nutritional benefits, there are relatively few who know much more about this microorganism than its beautiful bright green color it. Although new scientific research and talk of spirulina have been flourishing these days, certain facts about the superfood still manage to pass under the radar. Here are some facts regarding Spirulina that you may not know, and some reasons to try incorporating this superfood into your daily habits:
1. Spirulina belongs to the bacteria kingdom, not the plant kingdom.
Although widely called blue-green algae, it’s actually cyanobacteria (meaning blue bacteria).
2. 35 varieties of spirulina exist, each with varying nutritional profiles.
For example, Spirulina platensis differs from Spirulina maxima in terms of lipid content; S. platensis has much less palmitic acid (saturated) and more gamma-linolenic acid (essential), making one more beneficial than the other for those suffering from excess inflammation. Similar contrasting relationships exist between the other varieties as well.
3. The people of Mexico City in Central America and the people of Lake Chad in Africa have long enjoyed spirulina.
Called tecuitlatl, the Aztecs have used it for an estimated 5,000 years. Called dihe, the Kanembu people have used it for over 1,000 years. The longstanding presence of spirulina in both societies is a testament to its nutritional merit.
4. Spirulina can survive in even the harshest temperatures.
Whether you freeze it, refrigerate it, let it sit on the counter, or hard-core process it, you’ll still get all of its nutrients.
5. Spirulina has the highest concentration of protein (by dry weight) found in any food.
Depending on the variety, it consists of 65-71% protein.
6. Spirulina is also a complete protein source.
It contains all eight essential amino acids and eighteen amino acids in total. While not a permanent substitute for traditional animal protein, Spirulina can provide an above-average alternative protein source.
7. Spirulina has a high digestibility of its proteins, comparable to casein in milk.
Its cells don’t have cellulose walls, which makes its protein 83-90% digestible in ordinary dried spirulina, as opposed to 95.1% for pure casein.
8. The iron content of spirulina beats raw spinach and whole cereals and is equivalent to red meat.
Depending on the variety, it’s 25-50 times richer than raw spinach and twice as rich as the highest iron-rich food — whole cereals.
9. Spirulina is the highest source of B-12.
Topping its nearest rival, raw beef liver, spirulina is two to six times richer in B12.
10. Athletes discover more endurance and strength when eating spirulina.
(Super-athlete recommended dose: 30+ grams/day).
11. The beta-carotene in spirulina is considerably higher than that of carrots.
You get ten times the benefit of this eyesight-improving nutrient by consuming spirulina versus carrots.
12. Spirulina is the richest source of the essential acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) after both human milk and some little-used vegetable oils (evening primrose, borage, blackcurrant seed and hemp oil).
GLA is responsible for reducing inflammation.
13. Spirulina applied on the skin protects against ultraviolet radiation.
Thanks to its blue pigment, you can create homemade sunscreen by adding spirulina to a simple 50/50 mixture of organic coconut oil if you have sensitive skin.
14. Spirulina production only uses two percent of the water required for beef protein production.
If you compared the two to your showering habits: if you use two gallons per minute to take your showers, you’d have to stop showering for a whole year to make up for the water used to produce beef protein. Spirulina, on the other hand, only uses an astonishing one-minute of water. It’s a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly food. Based on these figures, it could prove beneficial to forgo beef a few days per week and increase your intake of this little green wonder.
15. Spirulina is a powerful tonic and immune-system booster, killing cancer cells and protecting against HIV infections, among other immune system challenges.
It increases the production of T-fighter cells, macrophages, B-cells, and the anti-cancer natural killer (NK) cells. It has also been shown to help prevent preeclampsia in pregnant women.
Are You Ready to Supercharge Your Health?
Spirulina has the power to improve your health, boost your immune system, cleanse and alkalize your body, and enhance skin, hair and nails.
Spirulina has the power to meet and exceed all your macronutrient, essential fatty acid and immune system requirements — and it does so much more, nourishing you at the deepest level possible.
So go ahead and include it in your daily diet. Add one tablespoon to smoothies, sprinkle it on salads, or add it to homemade protein bars. And make it the true superhero of your new and improved you.