Originally published in MindBodyGreen
Did you know that the United Nations declared spirulina the best food for the future?
Spirulina is one of the most potent, most concentrated and most nutrient-rich foods too. And like most superfoods, it’s both a food and a medicine.
According to health experts, spirulina has the power to give us maximum nutrition, health and energy, as well as minimum calories and no trans-fatty acids. Spirulina has the power to dramatically help us achieve our ideal weight, diet and food habits.
Although new scientific research and talk of spirulina have been flourishing these days, certain facts about the superfood still manage to pass under the radar. Here’s what you may not know:
1. Spirulina belongs to the bacteria kingdom, not the plant kingdom.
Although widely called blue-green algae, it’s a cyanobacteria (meaning blue bacteria).
2. 35 varieties of Spirulina exist, and some are more superior than others.
For example, Spirulna platensis is superior to Spirulina maxima regarding lipid content, and it has much less palmitic acid (saturated) and more gamma-linolenic acid (essential).
3. The people of Mexico City in Central America and the people of Lake Chad in Africa have long enjoyed spirulna.
Called tecuitlatl, the Aztecs have used it for an estimated 5,000 years. Called dihe, the Kanembu people have used it for over 1,000 years.
4. Spirulina can survive in the harshest temperatures.
Whether you freeze it, refrigerate it, let it sit on the counter, or hard-core process it, you’ll still get all of its nutrients.
5. Spirulina has the highest concentration of protein (by dry weight) found in any food.
Depending on the variety, it consists of 65-71% protein whereas soya flour only contains 35% crude protein.
6. Spirulina is a complete protein source.
It contains all eight essential amino acids and eighteen amino acids in total.
7. Spirulina has a high digestibility of its proteins, comparable to casein in milk.
Its cells don’t have cellulose walls, which makes its protein 83-90% digestible in ordinary dried spirulina, as opposed to 95.1% for pure casein.
8. The iron content of Spirulina beats raw spinach and whole cereals and is equivalent to red meat.
Depending on the variety, it’s 25-50 times richer than raw spinach and twice as rich as the highest iron-rich food — whole cereals.
9. Spirulina is the highest source of B-12*, topping its nearest rival raw beef liver.
It’s two to six times richer in B12.
10. Athletes discover more endurance and strength when eating Spirulina.
(Super-athlete recommended dose: 30+ grams/day).
11. The beta-carotene in Spirulina is way higher than carrots.
You get ten times the benefit of carrots to improve your eyesight.
12. Spirulina is the richest source of the essential acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) after human milk and some little-used vegetable oils (evening primrose, borage, blackcurrant seed and hemp oil).
GLA is responsible for reducing inflammation.
13. Spirulina applied on the skin protects against ultraviolet radiation.
Thanks to its blue pigment, you can create homemade sunscreen by adding spirulina to a simple 50/50 mixture of organic coconut oil if you have sensitive skin.
14. Spirulina production only uses two percent of the water required for beef protein production.
If you compared the two to your showering habits and you use two gallons per minute to take your showers, you’d have to stop showering for a whole year to make up for the water used to produce beef protein. Spirulina, on the other hand, only uses an astonishing one-minute of water. It’s a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly food.
15. Spirulina is a powerful tonic and immune-system booster, killing cancer cells and protecting against HIV infections.
It increases the production of T-fighter cells, macrophages, B-cells, and the anti-cancer natural killer (NK) cells.
Are You Ready to Supercharge Your Health?
Spirulina has the power to improve your health, boost your immune system, cleanse and alkalize your body and even enhance sexuality.
Spirulina has the power to meet and exceed all your macronutrient, essential fatty acid and immune system requirements — and it does so much more, nourishing you at the deepest level possible.
So go ahead and include it in your daily diet. Add one tablespoon to smoothies, sprinkle it on salads, or add it to homemade protein bars. And make it the true superhero of your new and improved you.