If I had to choose two foods to survive off for the rest of my life, Spirulina would definitely be one of them.
The other would probably be whole coconuts, but that’s another post for another time.
Spirulina is absolute magic.
It’s a Nutrient Bomb
It contains all essential amino acids, making it the perfect source of protein.
In fact, Spirulina’s protein composition is approximately 50%-70% of its dry weight. I’ll link a full report of the nutritional makeup of Spirulina here.
It also contains the stress-relief mineral magnesium, blood-building iron, omega 3’s and essential B-vitamins, making it an amazing supplement for vegans.
While Spirulina has not been shown to contain any sufficient amount of vitamin B-12, Chlorella has more promising research and may contain higher amounts.
Evidence may suggest that Spirulina helps to protect the liver, and studies have shown that it could be used as an alternative treatment for individuals with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
It may also seriously promote brain health. It has been shown to reduce levels of amyloid-beta proteins, which may help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. I’ll link University Health News’s article that provides more information on this here if you’re interested.
Another benefit of Spirulina is its ability to help detoxify your body from excess heavy metals such as lead and mercury. It can bind with these harmful toxins, and move them out of the system.
Spirulina is easy for the body to digest, break down and absorb nutrients from, and you are usually only recommended to take 6-8 tablets (though I usually take several more), making it a great quick “snack”.
I actually love taking a few tablets in the evening as a bedtime “snack” if I get munchy before bed. I don’t like eating too soon before going to sleep, because I want to give my body all the energy it needs to rest and repair – rather than work hard to digest food.
It’s not as satisfying as a snack or a meal, but it does take the edge off enough for me to fall into a peaceful sleep. In fact, Spirulina may help your body produce melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep.
Some people actually pop them like candy.
Unfortunately, I’m not one of those people.
Spirulina vs. Chlorella
You may be wondering what the difference between Spirulina and Chlorella is. To be honest, I used to think there was no difference, other than the name.
There are a few key differences between Spirulina and Chlorella.
First, Chlorella is higher in chlorophyll than Spirulina – which you can usually see in it’s dark green color. Spirulina often has more of a blue tint to it.
Another major difference is their cell walls. While Spirulina has a fragile cell wall, Chlorella has a thicker, indigestible cell wall that needs to be “broken” for the body to absorb its nutrients. When picking a Chlorella, look for “Broken Cell Wall” on the label to assure you’re getting the benefits.
I’ll write about Chlorella soon, but let’s get back to our friend Spirulina!
Making Spirulina Taste Yummy
While I love the benefits I receive from taking algae, I’m not a huge fan of the taste.
If you aren’t a fan either, I recommend finding some pressed Spirulina tablets.
If you can, stick to tablets rather than capsules. Capsules can often hinder your body’s absorption of nutrients, and swallowing the tablets really isn’t that gross.
But, if you want to get the powder into your diet, there are ways to make it taste amazing.
Of course, you can add it into smoothies and juice, but how much fun is that?
One of my favorite ways to consume Spirulina is in a “Mermaid Latte”.
It’s basically just a light matcha latte with about 1/4 teaspoon or more of “Blue Majik”, a trendy Spirulina Extract with a striking blue color. The more Blue Majik added, the brighter the color will be. Just keep in mind that it has a pretty intense flavor, and you will taste it if you add too much.
While this is a great option for anyone who likes weirdly colored food, mermaids or Instagram-worthy creations, it’s not the only option for getting in those Spirulina benefits.
Another great option is to add Spirulina powder into fresh coconut water, with a dash of vanilla stevia if desired.
In my years of consuming not-so-palatable supplements and superfoods, I’ve come to realize that coconut water is an excellent vehicle for strange powders and liquids.
Another great cover-up for strange tasting healthy things is dark chocolate.
Making a creamy, dreamy raw chocolate mousse or chia pudding can turn Spirulina into a delicious treat.
One great way to get a daily dose of Spirulina any time of day is to make energy balls. These are basically little balls made of nuts and dried fruit, plus flavorings like vanilla, lemon or chocolate.
These make a great snack for those with a sweet tooth, or anyone who tends to get snacky throughout the day. They’re a perfect pre or post-workout pick-me-up, and a great breakfast or dessert.
My final favorite way to eat Spirulina powder is to mix it into vinegar-y salad dressings. A super flavorful, garlic and herb-filled vinaigrette made with apple cider vinegar and lemon juice can mask the flavor of Spirulina wonderfully.
My Favorite Spirulina Brands
The Spirulina I take is Nutrex’s Pure Hawaiian Spirulina tablets.
It’s certified free of pesticides, herbicides and pollutants. According to their website, it’s the only Spirulina cultivated in a Biosecure Zone, assuring its purity.
I do also love Blue Majik, mostly because it’s fun to include in recipes, but also because it still contains amazing nutrients.
When buying a Spirulina, try to find one that’s cultivated in clean water without pesticides, or is certified organic.
So there you have it!
To sum it up, Spirulina is a magical food containing a complete amino acid profile, omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins and more!
It’s a wonderful addition to any diet, but it particularly beneficial for vegans and vegetarians.
I hope this post helped you in some way, and maybe encouraged you to add Spirulina to your health regimen, if you haven’t already!
Peace & Healing,
xoxo – Mackenna