I’ve heard lots of good things about Spirulina but haven’t had the time to research it yet. Thank goodness for our guest blogger today! Tom Hines tells us a bit about superfoods and a lot about Spirulina.
Modern day human beings have to live with stresses associated with jobs, finances, travelling and relationships. In addition, environmental and unhealthy foods contribute immensely to these stresses. The overall effects are metabolic disease like obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases being seen with ever increasing frequency.
One way to combat this is to live a healthy lifestyle: working out and eating healthy, nutritious food. However, it is not always practical to eat small portions throughout the day as recommended by fitness gurus. An effective way to overcome this is to consume green superfoods. These are vegetarian foods that are packed with nutrients which make your job easy. One serving can be equivalent to as many as 5 servings of normal food in terms of proteins, vitamins, micronutrients, etc. Thus, they can save you a lot of time and hassle. In addition, they have numerous health benefits.
What Superfoods are available in the market?
Superfoods are among the most researched foods on the planet. A wide range of superfoods have now become available. A feature common to all is that they have proven health benefits on account of the vitamins and minerals present in them.
Most important of these super-foods Spirulina and Chlorella which are derived from microscopic plants. However, even traditional foods like Wheat Grass, Barley Grass, Coconut Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, apples, cocoa, cranberries, garlic, ginger, etc. are considered superfoods.
A wide range of other products are also available to choose from:
Alfalfa, Stevia, Ginseng, etc. However, the availability of a plethora of these products can lead to confusion; always read the label and go in for the ingredients and products that you are in need of. A little bit of research on the Internet always helps. Also, read the label carefully for any contraindications and allergy information before you buy a green superfood.
What is Spirulina?
Spirulina is blue-green algae (a microscopic plant) which grows in fresh water lakes, salt water lakes and tropical rivers and springs. It derives its name from spirals of thin bands present in its structure. It utilizes energy from sunlight to manufacture the nutrients essential for its sustenance.
Spirulina is considered to be a “complete food” in itself, i.e. capable of sustaining human life without the need for other foods if taken in sufficient quantities. It is very rich in amino acids, carbohydrates, enzymes, vitamins like B complex, C, E and K and minerals like calcium, manganese, selenium and zinc. Protein content of Spirulina is the highest amongst all foods known to mankind. Also, the high quality protein is also pre-digested and therefore quite easily absorbable.
In terms of digestibility, Spirulina protein is considered second only to egg protein. Moreover, it also contains essential fatty acids, and phytochemicals like beta carotenoids and chlorophyll, which have a role in detoxification and cleansing of the products of oxidation (stresses).
What are the health benefits of Spirulina?
Spirulina helps in a number of diseases like obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. By virtue of its lipid and glucose lowering actions, it may have a role to play in most of these metabolic disorders. In addition, it plays a vital role in internal cleansing and detoxification of the body. Thus, it boosts your immunity. Also, since it is responsible for effective energy metabolism, it leads to vigor, vitality and longevity. Spirulina has an alleged protective effect on the heart and brain, with some claiming its beneficial effects in depression.
What form is Spirulina available in?
Spirulina is available in 500 mg tablets, capsules or as powder. Daily recommended dosage is 3-10 g either as tablets or capsules (20 tablets/capsules evenly spread over the day) or powder. When used as powder, it can be combined with various foods for a combination of uses. A popular way is to add Spirulina to fruit juice in a blender. A liberal sprinkling on slices of fresh fruit like apples with almonds or vanilla added will make a good recipe. If you are of a creative inclination, you will enjoy coming up with your own recipes.
With an ever increasing number of mouths to feed, the world will one day be hard pressed to supply the required food. Superfoods have the potential to fill this gap. Thus, many consider them to be the foods of the future. Also, it is quite suitable for the modern, busy individual who wants to lead a healthy lifestyle and consume healthy food.
A most important additional benefit is the preventive and curative powers that these foods are claimed to possess. Renewed vigor, improved immunity and a sense of well being. Results are in: the use of a variety of superfoods can lead to a more healthy and productive life.
About the Author
Tom Hines, co-owner of NutritionGeeks.com (Minnesota’s #1 Now Foods supplement retailer) and retired power lifter, has been working in the nutrition industry since 1997. He has a true passion for creatively helping others to learn about health and nutrition, which enhances their lives and well-being. He lives on the prairie in West Central Minnesota and spends his leisure time coaching youth wrestling, working with his horses and being play toy #1 for his 3 boys: TJ, Grady and Brock.
Have you tried Spirulina? What’s your opinion on this supplement?