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What is Spirulina?

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Spirulina The high protein Antioxidant Superfood

Spirulina is a blue-green algae that contains 60% protein, vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and cell protecting antioxidants.  It is also high in chlorophyll.  Chlorophyll is a great blood purifier and helps to strengthen the immune system.

Spirulina can be added to water or smoothies and also taken in pill form.  Spirulina is a great superfood for vegetarians because it is high in bioavailable B-12 and protein.  Scientific research has determined that spirulina has anti-allergenic properties and is believed to be anti-inflammatory and anti-viral.

It is important to purchase spirulina from a reputable brand because it can be contaminated with heavy metals from the water it was grown in.  Organically grown spirulina is the safest and cleanest available.

 

So go ahead and scoop some spirulina into a smoothie for a healthy and green treat.

 

Spirulina contains vitamin B12, vitamin A and is high in iron, but it does have one big drawback: It doesn’t taste very good, in fact some have even likened it to pond scum (though we question how they know what pond scum tastes like.) It has been touted as an energy enhancer and immunity booster, and it also increases healthy lactobacillus in the intestine, enabling the production of vitamin B6, which helps in energy release.

However, the algae has been used as a source of protein and vitamin supplements for years without side effects. It is rich in chlorophyll, and like plants, gets its energy from the sun, making it a popular supplement for vegetarians and vegans. Recent clinical studies have suggested it has antiviral, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects.In a recent randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial, people with allergic rhinitis were fed with placebo or spirulina daily for 12 weeks. The study showed that people who took the high doses of spirulina significantly reduced allergen levels in allergic rhinitis.

“I like using spirulina as a protein-rich superfood with my clients,” says Zoë Keller, a holistic health coach. “It works well for people who need to re-mineralize their body and boost their daily nutrient intake (which is most people eating the Standard American Diet).”

Spirulina does have nutritional value, including:

60 percent protein, as well as many important amino acids
Antioxidants (ORAC score four times higher than blueberries; ORAC is a way to measure the total antioxidant capacity of a food. )
Essential minerals, such as calcium and iron
Chlorophyll, which helps remove toxins from the body and boost the immune system

Another study by the Department of Aquataculture in Taiwan, found that when a group of white shrimp were exposed to seawater containing spirulina, before transferring them to seawater with a pH level of 6.8, the shrimp exposed to spirulina showed a faster recovery rate than a control group not exposed to the algae.”Some claim it helps children with behaviors like ADD as well as other conditions like arthritis,” says Cartwright. “It is touted as a ‘cure all.'”

Read the full story at www.mnn.com

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