The Top Superfood You Never Knew You Needed
Written by: Tyler Linn
Spirulina – what an interesting word! But most people do not know what in the world it refers to. Fear not, my friends, I am here to shed a little light on this powerful superfood.
Spirulina is a microalgae; it is a type of blue-green algae that grows naturally in oceans and in pristine, highly concentrated salt lakes at a high pH.
Spirulina is rich in nutrients, some of which aren’t found in the average daily vitamin. According to the FDA, Spirulina contains significant amounts of calcium, niacin, potassium, magnesium, B vitamins and iron.
Spirulina is 65% protein and amino acids, including the essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which has gotten a lot of attention for its anti-inflammatory properties, especially when taken with other quality Omega-3 supplements like Fermented Cod Liver Oil. It contains all essential amino acids. GLA is difficult to find in a food source and normally has to be created by the body. Spirulina is one of the few foods with a natural GLA content.
Along with these, there are endless benefits to Spirulina – here are a few more:
- Spirulina contains Omega 3-,6 and 9s and is especially high in Omega-3s.
- Spirulina is extremely high in Chlorophyll, which helps remove toxins from the blood and boost the immune system.
- Spirulina has a very high concentration of bioavailable iron and is excellent during pregnancy and for those with anemia and will not cause constipation. The proteins and nutrients in Spirulina are very bioavailable and easy to absorb.
- Spirulina is a great source of other nutrients, including (according to Wikipedia): “vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (nicotinamide), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid), vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin A and vitamin E. It is also a source of potassium, calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, sodium and zinc. Spirulina contains many pigments which may be beneficial and bioavailable.”
- Spirulina (from Mountain Rose Herbs) was tested to be an independent laboratory and found to have an ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) of over 24,000, which is 4x the ORAC score of blueberries. The ORAC score is generally used to measure antioxidant ability and concentration in different foods.
- Spirulina is also incredibly high in calcium with over 26X the calcium in milk, making it excellent for children, the elderly and pregnant women.
- Some research has suggested that Spirulina may be helpful for those with allergies and allergic reactions.
- The phosphorus content of Spirulina makes it helpful as part of a tooth remineralization regimen.
- Emerging evidence suggests that Spirulina binds with radioactive isotopes and may be useful for radioactivity exposure or radiation therapy.
- The protein in Spirulina is highly usable and has a net protein utilization rate of between 50-61%
- Spirulina can bind with heavy metals in the body and help remove them.
- Spirulina can increase fat burning during exercise.
Spirulina is also said to be a great source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that help combat cell and DNA damage that lead to cancer, heart disease and other chronic diseases. The body makes some antioxidants and others are found in food. Despite the presumed benefits of taking extra antioxidants, extensive research has not shown that taking antioxidant supplements lowers cancer risk, according to the National Cancer Institute.
All of these factors make adding Spirulina to your daily juice a no-brainer. The health benefits can assist in achieving a healthier body and mind, leading to a longer life!
Originally from Sacramento, CA, Tyler Linn moved down to San Diego in 2006 to attend college at San Diego State University. Tyler enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, surfing, hiking, meeting new people and traveling all over the world.
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