Everything you wanted to know about Spirulina
Why Spirulina is the most popular nutritional supplement
We struggle to cope with hectic lifestyles, stressful commutes, and work lives that intrude into our personal lives. It’s no surprise that a traditional healthy diet is no longer enough to keep body and mind in top condition, causing more people to turn to nutritional supplements.
Among the many different nutritional supplements on the market today, there’s one which stands out – Spirulina.
What is Spirulina?
Scientists used to think that Spirulina was a plant, but it’s actually a type of cyanobacteria, a microscopic blue-green algae. Spirulina got its name because it grows in easy to recognize spirals. There are hundreds of species of Spirulina, but only a few dozen are edible.
Like plants, Spirulina perform photosynthesis, creating oxygen out of unbreathable chemicals. Spirulina appeared on earth over 3 billion years ago, and it’s thanks to them that we have breathable air today. It’s thought that 90% of the air we breathe is thanks to algae like Spirulina!
Where does Spirulina come from?
Spirulina grows naturally in warm, subtropical sea and lakes that are rich in mineral salts. Today, Spirulina farms in Asia and the US grow Spirulina in artificial lakes.
The History of Spirulina
Spirulina was popular among the Aztecs, who called it tecuitlatl. It grew on the edge of massive lakes in the Valley of Mexico. Aztecs harvested it and dried it in the sun, into blue-green cakes. They would cook Spirulina into their bread and other dishes, and Aztec long-distance runners ate dried cakes of Spirulina to fuel their long runs. In the 16th century, the Spanish conquistadors suppressed the production of Spirulina and drained the lakes where it grew.
Spirulina has been eaten in Africa since at least the 9th century. Women still harvest Spirulina from the shores of Lake Chad, using traditional woven baskets. They dry it into dihe, and eat it as a sauce or in broths and stews. It’s thought that Spirulina is what prevented local tribes from suffering from malnutrition or starvation during famine.
After the fall of the Aztecs, Spirulina was unknown in the West for centuries. In the 1960s, a botanist named Pierre Compere identified a sample from Chad as Spirulina. Shortly thereafter, a mysterious blue-green algae appeared on the edges of the evaporator system of a factory in Mexico. The biologist at the factory recognized it as Spirulina.
Today, NASA have even approved Spirulina as a space food for astronauts.
What are the benefits of Spirulina?
As botanists probed the algae further, they rediscovered the huge health benefits of Spirulina:
- Spirulina contains up to 70% of pure protein, more than beef or soy beans
- Spirulina is a rare non-animal-based source of complete protein
- Spirulina is high in calcium, magnesium, iron, and vitamins A, E, and K
- Spirulina contains all the essential amino acids that your body needs
- Spirulina might help fight allergies, improve natural immunity, lower fatigue, boost a healthy digestive system, reduce inflammation, and balance the body’s pH levels
But let me share a secret: not all Spirulina supplements are equal
Some Spirulina supplements are simply better than others. Like Spirulite, which contains 100% natural ingredients from superfoods including guar gum, linoleic acid, and acai berries, as well as pure Spirulina. Spirulite contains no iodine, and is full of super-concentrated nutrients to fill your body with good stuff and reduce your appetite for junk food.