Spirulina is a green “super food” that is famous for it’s dense nutrient profile. It is known for being high in protein, vitamins, antioxidants, amino acids, essential fatty acids, and phytonutrients.
What Is Spirulina?
It’s basically a bacteria that is grown in both salt and fresh water, it is also known by it’s other name, “blue-green algae.” You will typically find it sold in the form of green powder or tablets. On their own there isn’t much of a taste, just slightly bitter with a chalky texture.
It is commonly used as a nutritional supplement mixed in healthy drinks because of of how highly packed with nutrients they are. Here are top 3 of the health benefits of spirulina supplements:
1. High in Protein
Spirulina is very good for vegans because it’s high in protein, they’re often found in green juices or bottled green smoothies at the store. At 60% protein, it actually contains more protein gram per gram than soybeans, beef, chicken, pork, or fish!
2. Vitamins & Minerals
Abundant in vitamins A, C, D, E, as well as many B vitamins, it has earned the title of “super food” by many. It is also rich in minerals such as calcium, potassium, chromium, copper, iron, and magnesium. Although it does contain a type of vitamin B12, it is not a good source for vegans to get their B12 because the human body cannot absorb the inactive B12 of spirulina.
3. Good For Skin & Hair
The potent amounts of antioxidants and phytonutrients in spirulina helps your skin flush out toxins, helping you look younger as well as keeping the body healthy. Spirulina also contains nutrients that are good for the hair such as vitamin A, beta carotene, and essential fatty acids. These things make spirulina a good food to intake for people who are having issues with hair loss or balding.
Word of Caution
Because spirulina is grown in water, there is a chance that is can be contaminated in unclean water. If the spirulina was grown in waters that are full of heavy metals or other toxic substances such as microcystins, it can become unfit for human consumption. Eating contaminated spirulina can lead to nausea, stomach pain, liver failure, or even death!
When you are buying spirulina, make sure that you purchase it from a well-known and trusted brand. Look on the back of the label to see if it’s been tested for toxic microcystins and is free of it. If not, it’s safer to move on to the next one until you find one that you know is safe.