Spirulina is a very ancient microscopic single cell blue green algae that grows in fresh water all over the world, though it is mostly harvested for consumer usage in Australia, India, China, Africa and North America. Spirulina is one of the simplest life forms on earth and forms the basis of our complex food chain. Whilst spirulina is recently enjoying great popularity as a wonder health supplement, Africans in the Lake Chad region have been consuming spirulina since humans first inhabited the area thousands of years ago.
Ideal Protein Source
There is no question that we need more sustainable, eco-friendly protein sources in our diet. We cannot allow the industrial meat complex and its destructive effects to continue. Plant-based protein options will only continue to become more mainstream. Spirulina is the undeniable queen of plant-based protein sources, offering 62 grams per 100 gram serving as compared to cooked red meat at 18 to 40 grams per 100 gram serving. Another important consideration? Spirulina provides the best source of bio-available protein. The term bio-availability refers to how easily your body absorbs a substance, so intravenously administered foods are 100% bio-available, whereas something like red meat, which requires a great deal of digestive activity, would get a low score on the bio-availability gauge. You want to make things easy for your body and that’s why spirulina is perfect.
Super Blood Strengthener
Its bright green color is the results of its high chlorophyll content. A quick review of high school biology will remind you that chlorophyll is the substance that allows plants to absorb sunlight and convert it into usable energy. In fact, spirulina has more chlorophyll than any other plant on the planet. Why does that matter to you? Because chlorophyll purifies and strengthens the blood, helping with increasing hemoglobin content, improving blood quality and increasing red blood cell formation.
Great Source Of Iron
Spirulina is also an incredible source of iron: it has more iron than beef liver and spinach. Consuming spirulina helps alleviate anemia, and provides a natural source for one of the most important dietary minerals. Iron supplements have many undesirable side effects like constipation. There is also research suggesting that some people can’t absorb synthetic iron supplements. It is always preferable to supplement with whole food sources that your body can easily ingest.
On top of chlorophyll, spirulina provides a whole host of antioxidants in an easily absorbable format including beta-carotene that boosts your immune system (spirulina has more beta carotene than carrots), phycocyanin that stimulates stem-cell production, vitamin A for improving eyesight and superoxide dismutase (SOD), an important metabolic enzyme. Spirulina’s antioxidants, like other antioxidants, also offer protection from ultraviolet radiation on a cellular level, helping to decrease the free radical damage our cells are constantly exposed to thanks to pervasive environmental toxins and radiation.
Just Like Mother’s Milk?
Spirulina is an incredible source of gamma linoleic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid. GLA, vital for growth and development, is most richly available in breast milk. The next richest source? Spirulina. GLA makes your skin soft, your hair shiny and crucially, helps inhibit inflammation. It has been shown to be useful for those suffering from joint issues like arthritis. There is also some limited evidence that the GLA in spirulina can work to reduce allergy conditions.
More Reasons To Love Spirulina
In addition to all the above, Spirulina is also great for reducing food cravings, boosting fertility, promoting mental clarity, minimizing body odor, increasing energy, curbing hunger, decreasing fatigue, improving fitness performance, lowering stress and building lean muscle.
Did you know that spirulina is the only natural blue food coloring in the world thanks to its bright-blue phycocyanin content? In fact, many certain large multinational companies are waking up to this fact. Mars, the parent company of M&Ms, recently successfully petitioned the FDA to approve spirulina as a blue food coloring agent, in a bid to move away from artificial colors for its famous candies.
Where To Find It
Leafdrops, a Hong Kong-based spirulina brand, harvests its spirulina drops in pristine Australia, where it is grown without pesticides or GMOs in unpolluted fresh water lakes. Get your spirulina fix with Leafdrops‘s easy-to-imbibe 100% vegan spirulina tablets that are made from pressed spirulina powder and absolutely nothing else (other brands can include synthetic fillers or are made from capsules). If you are not a fan of spirulina’s fishy taste, then the best thing to do is throw your spirulina drops into your daily smoothie. We also love it in green soups, the spirulina adds a wonderful umami richness: simply blend a few tablets with steamed broccoli, watercress or spinach and veggie broth.