Spirulina is a blue-green algae. It is a simple, single-cell form of algae that thrives in warm, alkaline fresh-water. Spirulina is considered a cheap source of high quality protein and a very complete source of other nutrients. An interesting testimony to its esteemed nutritional value is the formation of The Intergovernmental Institution for the use of Micro-Algae Spirulina against Malnutrition. Spirulina (Algae) is also targeted as a renewable energy source (biofuel). Spirulina, these days, is harvested in specifically designed farms.
As many of our patients express a concern that they will not receive enough protein when changing to a plant based diet, Spirulina is a very useful supplement to introduce to their diet.
Spirulina is very high in chlorophyll, the green substance in plants which allows them to transform sun light into energy. Spirulina is 65%-71% complete protein, with all essential amino acids in perfect balance. In comparison, beef is only 22 percent protein. It is also rich in B vitamins and Iron.
• It 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 foods (Chia Seeds). It contains all essential amino acids.
• It contains Omega 3-, 6 and 9s and is especially high in Omega-3s.
• It is extremely high in Chlorophyll, which helps remove toxins from the blood and boost the immune system.
• It has a very high concentration of bio-available iron and is excellent during pregnancy and for those with anaemia and will not cause constipation.
• Spirulina is a great source of other nutrients including (according to Wikipedia): “Spirulina contains vitamins B-1(thiamine), B-2 (riboflavin), B-3(nicotinamide), B-6 (pyridoxine), B-9 (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”.
• It is also incredibly high in calcium with over 26 times the calcium in milk, making it excellent for children, the elderly and during pregnancy.
• Some research has suggested that it may be helpful in allergies and allergic reactions.
• It’s phosphorus content makes it helpful as part of a tooth remineralisation regimen.
The easiest way to take it is to add a teaspoon to a green juice in the morning.
• Emerging evidence suggests that it binds with radioactive isotopes and may be useful for radioactivity exposure or radiation therapy.
• The protein in it is highly usable and has a net protein utilization rate of between 50-61%
• It can bind with heavy metals in the body and help remove them.
• It can increase fat burning during exercise.