Did you know that spirulina - a single-celled, blue-green alga that has been thriving on Earth since the beginning of life itself - was considered a superfood by ancient Mayans and Aztecs?
Spirulina is very low on the food chain, which means it’s a pure food. Its green color is derived from chlorophyll, which allows it to convert sunshine to protein, fatty acids, carbohydrates and many other nutrients essential for life.
Its blue color comes from a pigment called phycocyanin, shown to increase bone marrow stem cell and anti-cancer natural killer (NK) cell production.
Spirulina contains nearly 70% protein, which is made up of all the essential amino acids plus 10 more. This means spirulina is an excellent protein resource that helps your body build muscle, bone, strength and endurance. Because spirulina is typically consumed raw, it doesn’t lose its protein content, which is absorbed four times faster by your body than animal proteins.
Spirulina is a very pure food that provides more than 100 nutrients, including as much iron as red meat, vitamin E, zinc, B vitamins, copper, calcium, sulfur and magnesium. It is also a rich source of vitamin A in the form of the antioxidant beta-carotene.
Studies show that regular consumption of spirulina provides many health benefits. For instance, a two-month study carried out at the National Obesity Centre of Cameroon on HIV-infected patients showed that spirulina improves their insulin sensitivity, lowering their future risk of developing type II diabetes. HIV-infected patients typically develop abnormalities in glucose metabolism, both because of the infection and also the antiretroviral treatment.
In this particular study, 17 insulin-resistant HIV-infected patients were given 19 grams of spirulina daily. Their physical activity and diet did not change over the study duration. After eight weeks, insulin sensitivity improved in every one of these patients - while increasing overall by over 200% in the entire group.
And that’s not all spirulina can do. It also stimulates stem cell growth, especially in the brain; has known virus-fighting properties; fights inflammation and arthritis; and also favorably affects lipid profiles, immune variables and antioxidant capacity, all of which are great ways to boost overall health.
If you’d like to benefit from the amazing healing powers of spirulina, you can get it in supplement form, either as pills or powder. It’s easy to add powdered spirulina to your morning smoothie. You can also mix it with guacamole or blend it into salad dressing.