What's so special about spirulina + who's it good for?
In our previous blogs we talked about the importance of eating plant-based food because plants provide the widest variety of nutrients including antioxidants. This includes algae which has been getting a lot of attention lately, not just for its antioxidant and nutrient benefits, but also as the world searches for animal protein alternative, because it contains up to 60% complete protein of which around 40% is usable protein and follows eggs at position 1 for the most usable protein.
This is why the WHO (World Health Organization) has also acknowledged spirulina as a suitable and safe food choice for populations at risk of malnutrition. In fact, a group of students from a Tel Aviv school collaborated in a small study to evaluate the effects of spirulina on severely malnourished children. The children that received spirulina gained an average of 35% more weight and 18% more arm width than children given enriched milk. These children were also quick to recover and be discharged from hospital.
So, what’s in this super green superfood? We’ve already talked about phycocyanin, omega’s like GLA (gamma linoleic acid), LA (linoleic acid) and chlorophyll, the green pigment involved in photosynthesis, now let’s look at some others.
Spirulina can contain up to 15% of your daily Iron in just 1 teaspoon and a great option for people who have difficulty maintaining their iron levels need for strong red blood cells and immune health.
Carotenoids – commonly found in yellow, orange and red fruits and vegetables. Spirulina has 3 carotenoids despite its blue green colour, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin which are antioxidant in effect and supporting health cell function for wellbeing.
Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is an especially powerful antioxidant that breaks down oxygen molecules in cells that cause damage to your tissues. When you think antioxidants, think anti-aging because they help to keep your cells from premature damage and death.
Who is Spirulina good for:
- People following a keto diet - because Spirulina is low in carbohydrates & high in easily absorbed protein
- Elderly – for active or inactive seniors wanting extra energy, antioxidant support and healthy bones
- Post COVID recovery – to help support increased energy levels with and easily bolster depleted vitamin, mineral and antioxidant stores
- Children – an easy way to boost nutrient intake for picky eaters
- Vegans and vegetarians – an added source of easily absorbable protein and iron
- Busy working parents - supporting energy and the effects of sleep deprivation and long days
- Stressed people - helps to boost nutrients used up quickly in stressed states
- People trying to give up coffee, sugar and stimulants
- People who are less than 7-10 serve fruit and vege a day
- Active exercisers – for a protein and energy boost pre and post workouts.
- People with poor digestion or reduced stomach capacity (e.g gastric surgery)
Lifestream have a wide range of spirulina supplements, available in capsule, tablet or powder form - there's a format to suit everyone's needs. See the full range here.