Spirulina is a superfood that has become very popular and there’s no wonder why! There are many great health benefits of spirulina as it is rich in all kinds of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants so is a great way to help your immune system, detoxify the body, boost energy levels and improve your overall health and wellbeing. The only problem is that many people don’t know how they can incorporate this nutrient dense superfood into their diet. There are a few ways to increase your spirulina intake – by taking daily spirulina tablets or supplements, by drinking a skinny coffee that contains spirulina or by adding a spirulina powder to some delicious and healthy recipes.
Spirulina is one of those “perfect” superfoods found in nature that promotes sound health by presenting the body with a number of different benefits. Not only is spirulina full of antioxidants, but it is a natural source of protein as well. Just 1-2 teaspoons of spirulina offers 16 grams of easily digestible protein, making it one of the most ideal supplements for vegetarians.
What is Spirulina?
Spirulina is a natural “algae” (cyanbacteria) powder that is high in protein and a good source of antioxidants, B-vitamins and other nutrients. When harvested correctly from non-contaminated ponds and bodies of water, it is one of the most potent nutrient sources available. It is mostly made up of protein and essential amino acids, and is typically recommended to vegetarians due to its high natural iron content and protein.
Spirulina usually comes in both powdered or tablet form. Tablets and capsules filled with spirulina powder are a convenient alternative to fresh greens when you’re traveling whereas the powder form can be great for recipes and smoothies. The best ways to consume it are by:
- Adding a little to smoothies, acai bowls, juices and other drinks
- Mixing it into no-bake snack bites and chewy granola bars
- Stirring it into salad dressings, sauces and dips (guacamole, hummus, pesto, etc.)
The recommended daily intake of spirulina is 1-5 grams. If you add to much to your smoothies, you’ll be able to taste it (it’s a little bitter), so it is recommended you add ¼-1/2 tsp per drink making it a bit sweeter.
Here are three great recipes for you to try that incorporate spirulina and help you live a healthier and happier lifestyle:
This recipe is easy and simple to make and is full of vitamins and minerals. It can also be a great way to start your day and keep you going until lunch-time! This spirulina detox diet smoothie could change your life!
- 200ml milk (can be any kind of milk you like)
- A handful of fresh or frozen mixed berries
- 1 banana
- 2 teaspoon of spirulina powder
- Honey or stevia to sweeten to taste(optional)
To make this smoothie, simply add all of the ingredients into a blender and blend for around 40 seconds or until smooth.
This recipe is perfect to use with pasta or as a sauce or dip. It is a delicious recipe for a spirulina diet which not only tastes good but can help you feek great too.
- 200g lightly toasted pine nuts
- 100g nutritional yeast
- 3 handfuls fresh basil
- 1 chopped garlic clove
- Ground black pepper
- 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp spirulina powder
- Juice of 1 lemon
Blend the garlic and basil in a food processor
Add pine nuts and olive oil and blend
Stir in the lemon juice, yeast and spirulina powder
Season with salt and pepper
Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
I you don’t want to just sprinkle some spirulina powder over your salad, you can add it into a simple yet delicious salad dressing.
- 4 tbs olive oil
- 1 tbs mustard
- 1/2 tbs honey
- 1 tbs spirulina powder
To make this vinaigrette dressing simply mix all of the ingredients together and add to your favourite salad. Feel free to change the quantities of each ingredients for a larger or smaller salad.
By trying some of these simple recipes or using them to create your own, you can easily add spirulina into your diet. The recommended daily intake of spirulina is 3g, however it is recommended to take a reduced does for the first time to allow your body to get used to it.
Spirulina has some great nutritional health-boosting qualities!
Protein: Spirulina is classified as high-quality protein. The protein in Spirulina is highly usable and has a net protein utilization rate of between 50-61%.
Vitamin B1: Known to aid digestion of fats and proteins. Spirulina diet pills or spirulina raw powder contains Vitamin B1 which can help your nerve functioning.
Iron: Spirulina is a favorite food for vegetarians and vegans because it is one of the best plant sources of iron. In some cases Spirulina iron is gentler on the digestive system as it has a highly absorbable form of iron.
Calcium: Spirulina is also incredibly high in calcium with over 26 times the calcium in milk.
Spirulina as noted is a blue-green algae found in the ocean and fresh water. Because it contains no cellulose in its cell walls, it’s easily absorbed and integrated into the body when ingested. You typically buy it in powdered form after it’s been slow dried at a low heat to preserve the nutritional content. Here are some of the potential health benefits of spirulina:
- It’s the most concentrated known source of protein: Spirulina is 60% protein, and as with other protein-packed foods, this means it can help curb hunger and boost energy. It also means that consuming spirulina after a tough workout (or as a pre-workout snack) will help aid in muscle recovery. Among high-level athletes who are burning a ton of calories a day, spirulina is often a nutritional supplement of choice.
- Rich in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA): GLA is an essential fatty acid that helps balance hormones, dissolve fat deposits, reduce bad cholesterol and even promote good heart health.
- A great detoxifier: Spirulina helps clean mercury, heavy metals and other toxins out of the body. It’s been shown to help increase the rate of cellular regeneration, and even helps slow the growth of bad bacteria while promoting the growth of the good stuff needed for efficient digestion.
- Plant-based source of iron: Spirulina is rich in iron, making it a great addition to the diets of vegans and vegetarians who may not be getting enough from traditional meat sources. Keep in mind that iron (especially plant-based iron) is best absorbed by the body when consumed with Vitamin C (think of adding a little spirulina to a citrus smoothie, for example).
- Packed with other nutrients: In addition to protein, GLA and iron, spirulina is also rich in B vitamins, magnesium, Vitamins D and K, beta-carotenes (10x the amount found in carrots!), enzymes, chlorophyll, and a slew of antioxidants.
Top 5 Quick Ways to Get More Spirulina in Your Diet
- Take a Spirulina Supplement
- Put it in a Smoothie
- Make it a Meal
- Add it to Homemade Energy Bites
- Spirulina and Avocado Salad Dressing