I have often written about various superfoods, and although I believe the term ‘superfoods’ is a somewhat overused, there are several superfoods which I believe should be more highly rated.
Spirulina is one of those fantastic superfoods which was originally found in the natural alkaline lakes of South America and Africa, becoming a major part of the diet of many of these communities. This extremely nutritious micro saltwater plant contains a huge amount of vegetable protein – in fact more than 65% protein being 3 to 4 times higher than beef, pork or fish. At a time when most people don’t consume sufficient protein, including Spirulina in your diet is a fantastic way of increasing your protein intake without having to increase animal protein which unfortunately is often deposited in our bodies as fat.
Interestingly Spirulina has often been touted as a great weight loss aid. Because Spirulina is a highly nutrient rich food it can help to suppress your appetite giving a feeling of fullness especially when consumed an hour before eating a meal. It is also believed the high protein content helps balance blood sugar, avoiding food cravings and overeating.
Spirulina contains all the essential amino acids as well as the highly publicised essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA) which is well known for its anti- inflammatory properties. Taking Spirulina in conjunction with an Omega 3 Fish Oil supplement is a great way to help with inflammation, including inflammation from arthritis. High amounts of GLA are believed to help reduction of cholesterol and prevent heart disease.
Because Spirulina contains a high amount of Chlorophyll it assists in eradicating toxins from the blood and boosting the immune system. By binding with heavy metals in the body it can also help to eliminate those toxins.
This superfood is a great source of minerals containing a very high concentration of bio-available iron, not causing constipation (always a bonus!) and perfect for those suffering from anaemia. It also contains an incredibly high amount of calcium, in fact 26 times that of milk. It is a great supplement for pregnancy.
The Beta Carotene contained in Spirulina is 5 times more than carrots and Vitamin B12 is 4 times more than that in animal liver. It is the ultimate multivitamin containing all the B Vitamins plus Vitamin D, A and E.
Are you getting the picture here? With over 100 nutrients, Spirulina definitely deserves the claim – yes this is a superfood!! In fact the American National Aeronautical and Space Agency uses Spirulina to supplement the diet of their astronauts whilst in space.
Spirulina obviously isn’t just for astronauts. This is a great all round supplement for everybody – it contains all the nutrients we need to remain healthy. From young children to the elderly – this is a perfect addition to the diet. It is obviously a great way for vegetarians to obtain sufficient protein and iron in their diet. For busy, ‘on the go’ people it’s fantastic to add to a superfood smoothie – see my recipe below. Spirulina is available in tablets, capsules and powder.
For more information on spirulina or any other health question call to see us at Go Vita your health shop at 5 North St , Batemans Bay or phone on 44729737. Don’t forget to tune into Bev and Marianne on 2EC every Wednesday at 12.15pm.
SUPERFOOD ENERGY SMOOTHIE
1 cup almond, rice or soy milk
1 tbsp Australian chia seeds
1 tbsp raw cacao powder
½ tbsp. spirulina powder
1 tbsp virgin coconut oil
2 tbsp protein powder of your choice
1 tsp coconut syrup
1 ripe banana
Blend all ingredients and enjoy!
1 ripe avocado
1 tbsp Tilba real yoghurt
1 tsp spirulina powder
1 clove crushed garlic
lemon juice and Himalayan salt to taste
Mash all ingredients and use as dip or spread.
1 cup fresh basil leaves
5 tbsp virgin olive oil
2 tbsp grated parmesan or vegan parmesan
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp spirulina
pinch Himalayan salt
70g pine nuts or macadamia nuts
Blend all ingredients.