April 6, 2012

Spiru-what? Spirulina!

Spiru-what? Spirulina! There are so many dietary and food supplements and “add-ins” out there it can be tough to navigate which ones are best and which ones you can leave behind.  Spirulina is often referred to as the “Superfood”.  The term “Superfood” is often bestowed upon certain “power” foods that have high phytonutrient content and offer an amazing array of health benefits (blueberries are an everyday superfood for example).

So what is spirulina and what makes it so super?

Spirulina is a blue-green micro-algae; those teeny tiny little micro-organisms at the very bottom of the food chain and actually one of the richest sources of dense protein of all foods.  It contains about 60-70 percent complete protein whereas meat on the other hand consists of only about 25 percent complete protein.  It contains all eight important amino acids and fourteen non-essential amino acids.  It is also loaded with an abundance of vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, folic acid, C, D,E, and often most importantly (especially for women) an abundance of B vitamins, such as B6, and B12 which can help balance mood and boost metabolism!  Wow!

Why do I need to think about complete protein and all these amino acids?

Because the right balance of protein can help control those seemingly uncontrollable sugar cravings.  Sweet cravings can often be a sign of too little or too much protein in our diet (especially from animal based sources).  Adding in a vegetarian source of protein like spirulina offers an easier to digest protein option and allows for maximum absorption of vitamins and minerals for our bodies.

How can I add spirulina to my diet?

Spirulina is especially beneficial during the warmer summer months as it can have a “cooling” effect on the body offering natural relief from heat and dehydration.  You can find this superfood in the following forms:

Dried powder – best for adding to smoothies and recipes (like the one below!)

Capsules – easiest when you don’t want another thing to think about!

Protein powder products and energy bars – just check for great ingredients

I recommend 5 grams daily and prefer to add a sprinkle to my morning smoothie.  You can also mix 1 teaspoon in a small amount of 100 percent juice first thing in the morning.

So who is running out to buy spirulina tonight?!  I wouldn’t blame you!  Adding spirulina to your everyday routine will certainly help to balance those intense cravings and add a new wonderful source of protein to your daily diet.


This article was originally written for and published by the on-line Magazine Bella Life.

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