Wellness: Superfoods – Spirulina, Superfood With An Attitude
I never thought I would ever eat anything like this, and many people have never even heard of it. So you may be surprised by what nutrition research has revealed about the health benefits of spirulina as a superfood.
Spirulina is a naturally occurring algae, known to have inhabited the earth for about 3.5 billion years. Science has determined that spirulina produced much of our planet’s oxygen, enabling the earliest organisms to develop. Spirulina grows in many freshwater lakes, rivers and ponds, ideally in environments with moderate temperatures and very high levels of sunlight exposure.
As an edible human nutrition source, spirulina is a pure and natural whole food, green-blue in color. Research has demonstrated its dietary attributes as follows:
- Source of vitamins A, B6, C and D, as well as iron, potassium, chromium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, selenium and zinc
- High protein, calcium, chlorophyll and beta-carotenoids (antioxidants) content
- Contains essential fatty acids
Scientific studies have established the superfood’s beneficial role in:
- Weight loss and maintenane
- Helping regulate blood sugar and blood pressure
- Lowering triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, and potentially raising HDL (“good”) cholesterol
- Alleviating pain from inflammation
- Improving digestion and increasing “friendly” flora in the intestines
- Delivering antioxidant activity to prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and stroke
- Helping protect organs such as the liver, kidneys, eyes and brain
- Removing radiation from the body
- Improving the immune system, fighting viruses and alleviating allergies
- Spirulina is a versatile health food supplement available in tablet or powder form, including varieties from organically raised algae sources. Shoppers in the Playa Tamarindo area can find such products at independent grocery and health food stores such as Almacen Organic & Natural.
Mixing spirulina powder with your favorite fruit juice is as simple as it gets! Try this smoothie recipe for starters and find ways to make it your own. Adjust the amounts and variety of ingredients to suit your taste and personal health routine.
Other fruit as desired:
1 papaya, peach and/or mango
½ cup berries
1/2 cup yogurt
1 cup soy milk or fruit juice (apple, orange or pineapple)
1 teaspoon spirulina powder
Combine ingredients in a blender and mix thoroughly.