Although it is commonly considered a dietary supplement, you could just as well call spirulina one of the world's most nutritious whole foods — because that's what it really is.
Spirulina Facts: Spirulina is a single-celled, microscopic blue-green algae that is part of the cyanobacteria family. It grows wild in the alkaline waters of tropical South America, Africa and Mexico. It's also produced for the marketplace by commercial processors who grow it in vast aqua farms.
Spirulina Facts: Spirulina has been around for literally billions of years. They are some of the earliest and simplest life forms on the planet.
Spirulina Facts: The name "spirulina" is derived from the Latin word for "helix" or "spiral"; denoting the physical configuration of the organism when it forms swirling, microscopic strands.
Spirulina Facts: Spirulina range in size from 2 to 8 microns, which is about the same size as a human blood cell.
Spirulina is thought to contain every nutrient required by the human body, in near-perfect ratios.
It is especially rich in vitamin E, vitamin C, beta carotene and B complex, including B-12 (not usually found in plant foods), and chlorophyll.
It is also rich in essential fatty acids, carotenoids and minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and zinc.
It is recognized to be the most complete food source known; no other food contains as many nutrients.
It has more beta carotene than any other food, ounce-for-ounce.
It has an abundance of phytonutrients (plant micronutrients), many of them not yet identified.
Spirulina has is the highest protein content of any natural food — about 70%.
It is also the world’s most digestible natural source of high quality protein, far surpassing the protein bioavailability of beef.
The absorption of each ounce of protein in spirulina is four times greater than the same ounce of protein in beef.
Since it already contains three times more protein (by weight), that means that spirulina contains twelve times more digestible protein than beef.
The protein found in this algae superfood is complete, containing all eight essential amino acids, unlike beans and other plant-based foods that typically lack some of the essential amino acids.
Spirulina has twice the B-12 content and 2 to 6 times the iron content of liver.
It has 10 times more beta-carotene than carrots.
One 3-gram serving (about a teaspoon) provides more antioxidant activity than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables.
Spirulina has 30 times more phytonutrient content than blueberries and 60 times more than spinach!
It produces 20 times as much protein as soybeans when grown on equal-sized areas.
It produces 200 times as much usable protein as cattle ranching, acre per acre.
My favorite method to include spirulina in my diet is to blend it into a green smoothie every morning. My basic recipe uses coconut or some other nut milk, a banana, raw organic eggs or protein powder, and a tablespoon of spirulina and/or chlorella combined in a blender. Bananas blend well with spirulina, and mask the bitterness completely — just make sure you use very ripe ones. You can add additional ingredients to flavor the smoothie to your liking.
Green smoothies make the most nutritious breakfasts you could imagine — high in protein, fiber and phytonutrients that you can only get from dark green vegetables. I've devoted an entire section on smoothies elsewhere on this website. If you skip over to my page on how to make a healthy smoothie, you'll find some great tips on how to get started.
The finest quality spirulina I've found is made by Nutrex, the brand name of the Cyanotech company, which has been growing spirulina for over 20 years. They spare no expense to produce the most nutritious and freshest spirulina in the world. At its 90-acre facility located on Hawaii's pristine Kona Coast, Cyanotech uses patented and proprietary technology, harvesting and processing techniques to produce the purest, most powerful spirulina in the world.
What's truly unique about Hawaiian spirulina is that it's grown in large aquaculture farms using ultra-pure, mineral-rich ocean water drawn from a 2000-foot depth off the Big Island. That means that the water is as pristine and unpolluted by modern civilization as possible. This vital resource provides a rich mixture of calcium, magnesium, and trace elements — 92 different minerals in all.
No other spirulina is grown with water that has such a rich source of naturally occurring nutrients. Every other producer of spirulina uses either river water or irrigation water — another reason why Hawaiian Spirulina is the purest and highest quality in the world.
Cyanotech's Ocean Chill drying process flash dries the spirulina, preserving the delicate phytochemicals that give spirulina many of its most remarkable health properties. Cyanotech also uses glass packaging with oxygen absorbers and sealing caps to ensure the maximum freshness and potency of the spirulina.
In short, you won't find a higher-quality spirulina product anywhere, at any price! One 3-gram serving of Hawaiian Spirulina (about one teaspoon) provides more antioxidant activity than several servings of fruits and vegetables!
Read some great testimonials about spirulina
on the Nutrex-Hawaii website.
Learn more about the wonderful health benefits of spirulina and how it's grown in this short video produced by the Cyanotech company:
Other pages in this website related to spirulina and chlorella:
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