Spirulina is an ancient, singled-celled fresh water blue-green algae that has existed since the beginning of life on Earth.
It is classified under the Arthrospira species and grows in alkaline water bodies in climates where the maximum amount of sunlight is available.
The word in Latin means "spiral" and, under close microscopic
observation, it has long, unique spiral shaped strands.
All algae have been around for billions of years and were one of the very first forms of life on this planet.
In fact, spirulina was one of the first edible algae's to play a major role in the development of the food chain. This is because of its ability to endure high temperatures.
One of the most phenomenal things about this top 10 superfood algae is its ability to efficiently synthesize large concentrated amounts of protein in short periods of time, taking in the sunlight and converting it into a green super fuel for the body.
Note: Its spiral microscopic shape also represents the spiral shape of our galaxy and symbolizes the process of human evolution.
Spirulina offers a total protein content of 65%, the highest in all the plant kingdom!
Containing all 8 essential amino acids and a total of 18 in all, it is well known in the health food movement as a supreme source of protein.
One of the essential amino acids it supplies is tryptophan. Tryptophan is necessary for creating serotonin and balanced brain chemistry, which can help to elevate mood, alleviate depression and ensure a good nights sleep.
In nutritional studies it leads the way as a superior digestible protein source over beef. Research indicates it is actually 12 times higher in protein, yet contains a much healthier balance of minerals and other valuable nutrients.
Spirulina is considered one of nature's "perfect foods." Most people suffer from mineral deficiencies for a number of reasons: stress, inadequate diet, toxic overload, lack of restful sleep and foods that lack mineral quality.
The powder has been used successfully to treat malnourished children in underdeveloped countries around the world.
This edible algae contains a complete spectrum of nutrients and is an ideal supplement for restoring a malnourished system. These phytonutrients include fatty acids, polysaccharides, antioxidants, enzymes and a rich source of beta-carotene, Vitamins: E, K B1, B2 and B6.
It is hard to overdose on this micro-algae for the reason that it has an impeccable ratio of vitamins and minerals your body requires.
Other Superhealth Components
This superfood algae also contains bioavailable forms of the mineral sulfur, needed for joint health as well as liver and spleen functions.
Spirulina, along with hemp seed, is one of the richest whole food sources of GLA or Gamma-Linolenic Acid. GLA is an essential fatty acid that has been shown to reduce the inflammatory symptoms of arthritis and relieve joint pain. It also promotes healthy hair and skin.
Zeaxanthin, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and phycocyanin are three potent antioxidants found in spirulina that help to enhance eyesight, improve metabolism and stimulate the production of stem cells.
immune system boosting benefits that spirulina offers primarily come
from the high levels of beta-carotene, a type of lipo-polysaccharide
(called LPS) and phycocyanin.
Some health advocates consider it to be the quintessential survival food because you can live on it alone for long periods of time.
Spirulina contains high concentrations of chlorophyll, the green pigment in plants that collects energy from sunlight and uses that energy for the process of photosynthesis. Chlorophyll is a known blood purifier and is excellent at cleansing the liver, nervous system and blood of unwanted toxins.
Plant based chlorophyll is incredibly similar to the human blood hemoglobin. The only difference is that the center molecule in algae is magnesium and the center molecule in blood cells is iron. It is probably no coincidence that chlorophyll-rich spirulina is exceptionally high in iron, which is excellent for anemia and helps to build the blood.
In addition, the blue polypeptide found in spirulina-algae, phycocyanin, also stimulates hematopoiesis and provides the blood with a richer supply of oxygen, helping it to cleanse more efficiently.
It has a history of use as food by the Aztecs up until the 16th century. They called it Tecuitlatl and processed and dried it in the form of cakes, as described by one of Cortes' soldiers. The Aztec's were known to use it with cacao.
It is called "dihe" by the African people of Lake Chad. The use of this algae dates back to the beginning of their population around the lake region. They sift it from the top of the lake water and preserve it by sun drying it on rocks.
It is a complete protein-rich food that can be used as a protein powder in shakes, smoothies and protein bars.
We particularly love the brand by Healthforce Nutritionals, Spirulina Manna. It is a high quality spirulina powder that is not heat processed like other brands. This retains all living enzymes needed to digest the nutrients in the algae.
Start with 1 teaspoon of powder and increase to 1T or more over time.
Some people experience an energy boost soon after consuming this green superfood algae. It is the perfect addition to a protein shake for anyone on a weight lifting regime.