Today, like most mornings these days, I started my day with this. It’s dark green and it tastes and smells like forest. Can you guess what it is?
Well, I’ll tell you. It’s spirulina, a form of algae that’s packed with protein, vitamins and other beneficial nutrients.
These days Pekka keeps fixing me a spirulina drink like this almost every morning (not too difficult to make: it’s just spirulina powder + water ).
He says he wants me to eat and drink only the best ingredients in the world, which is of course a sweet idea and I obediently drink it, because I know it’s good for me. Honestly, though, I must confess I’m not a big fan of how it tastes. At least yet. But I’m trying my best to get used to it.. The taste is hard to describe, as it doesn’t really remind me of anything I’m used to eating or drinking. For me it’s a bit what I imagine moss in a forest would taste like, although I do know that this one comes from the bottom of the sea!
The taste aside, what’s good about this blue-green algae then? I’ve collected here some of the known benefits of spirulina:
- Spirulina contains about 70% protein. It is a complete protein containing all essential amino acids.
- Spirulina is rich in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), linoleic acid (LA), stearidonic acid (SDA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA).
- Spirulina contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, C, D, and E.
- It is also a source of potassium, calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, sodium and zinc.
- Spirulina’s beta carotene is ten times more concentrated than carrots. Beta carotene helps support your body’s antioxidant defenses.
- Spirulina is a very good source of zeaxanthin, which is especially good for the eyes.
- Due to its ability to withstand high temperatures, it is able to retain its nutritional value during processing and shelf storage.
- Spirulina has been known to increase energy.
- It also has been used to help with weight loss, as it helps to control cravings.
Preliminary studies showing spirulina’s ability to fight numerous diseases (for example attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, hay fever, stress, anxiety, fatigue, depression, and premenstrual syndrome. It may also help with alcoholism, herpes, arthritis, and cancer) by boosting immune system function.
Sounds pretty convincing to me. Spirulina sure deserves to be called as a superfood.
However, I do recommend making a green smoothie and adding the powder there rather than drinking it straight up like me!
We got our spirulina powder from the local Weigh&Save store, but also Iherb has a good a selection of spirulina powders and tablets. Here’s one that looks good: Source Naturals Spirulina Powder. If you’re new to Iherb, you can get $5 off from your first order by using that link!