The rediscovery and distribution of spirulina is such a boon in our modern times. This amazing superfood, through its many nutritional and health generating properties, is restoring balance to the inner landscape of the human body/mind as well as the outer landscape of the Earth.
It is truly a sustainable and praise worthy food. Let’s first take a look at its structure and history.
Structure and History
It is a microscopic single-celled algae that has the appearance, when seen under a microscope, of a spiral strand: thus the name spirulina (1). But don’t be fooled by the smallness of this algae. It packs a full spectrum of vitamins, minerals, macronutrients, and medicinal qualities that make it worthy of the classification as a superfood.
During the early evolution of life on this planet one of the first organisms to be created was algae (2). This food has been on Earth for an estimated 3.5 billion years (3). It and other algae were responsible for a considerable amount of the oxygen being released into the atmosphere so that other living organisms could evolve (4).
Algae and many other important factors such as the big bang, supernovas, volcanoes, and water filled comets have helped shape our wonderful and thriving environment. We owe are life to these forces.
They are also part of a mysterious drive toward the emergence of life. Emergence in physics and evolutionary science is defined as the rise of a system that cannot be predicted or explained from antecedent conditions (5).
- 60-70% protein by weight, depending on variety (6)
- Complete protein source (7)
- Highest concentration of protein by weight of any food thus far studied (8)
2. Vitamins (rich in the following):
- Beta Carotene, the precursor to Vitamin A (9)
- B1, B2, B6 (10)
- E (11)
- K (12)
- Contains a full spectrum of minerals and is especially rich in Iron and Magensium (13)
4. Other Important Nutrients
- Contains 2,000 enzymes (14), which are catalysts for bio-chemical reactions such as the breaking down of food into simpler, more digestible parts
- Rich in chlorophyll (15)
- Rich in essential fatty acids (those that cannot be synthesized by our bodies) such as omega 3 and omega 6 (16)
- It has the second highest concentration, behind mother’s milk, of the omega 6 fatty acid GLA (gamma linolenic acid). GLA acts as an anti-inflammatory substance and has been shown to help produce healthy skin and hair (17).
Health Benefits of Spirulina
1. Improved Mental Functioning
- The presence of essential amino acids in this algae, such as tryptophan and leucine, have been shown to balance brain chemistry by providing the building blocks necessary for healthy neurotransmitter functioning (18) (19).
- As with all green foods, it is a powerful alkalizing food (20). Due to the presence of many acidic foods in modern diets, it is very important to include many alkaline forming foods in our diet to counter balance an acidic body pH. The human body and immune system thrives in an overall alkaline environment.
- Contains a large array of antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin E, chlorophyll, zeaxanthin, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and phycocyanin, which help keep our cells free from damage due to the presence of free radicals (21).
4. Other Health Benefits
- Blood builder: due to presence of iron, chlorophyll, and phycocyanin (22)
- Offers support for healing hypoglycemia, diabetes, chronic fatigue, anemia, ulcers, and boosting the immune system (23)
Planetary Health Benefits
1. Can be produced into sustainable bio-fuels (24)
2. Vast quantities can be grown in a small amount of water, and it has enormously higher productivity than land crops (25)
3. As a plant based protein source it shifts our focus away from un-sustainable and cruel methods of protein extraction, such as factory farmed animals, to a sustainable and harmless method of protein extraction.
- “Gram for gram, spirulina could be the most nutritious and well-rounded food on the planet, which stores almost indefinitely.” (26) – Gabriel Cousens, M.D.
- “Spirulina yields two hundred times more protein per acre than beef.” (27) – David Wolfe
By adding spirulina into your current diet such as in smoothies, desserts, soups, and salads, you have a very powerful chance to regenerate your self and experience new levels of health.
I encourage you to seek out raw and organic spirulina as these retain the most of their original components.
For the health of the Earth and your body, I encourage you to try this ancient superfood.
1. Wolfe, David. Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future. pg. 107 | 2. http://www.spirulinasource.com/earthfoodch1a.html Retrieved June 20th, 2009 | 3. Ibid | 4. Ibid | 5. http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Emergent+phenomena Retrieved June 20th, 2009 | 6. Cousens, gabriel. Conscious Eating. pg. 587 | 7. Ibid | 8. Wolfe, David. Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future. pg. 110 | 9. Ibid pg. 109 | 10. Ibid | 11. Ibid | 12. Ibid | 13. Cousens, gabriel. Conscious Eating. pg. 587 | 14. Ibid | 15. http://www.spirulinasource.com/earthfoodch4a.html Retrieved June 20th, 2009 | 16. Cousens, gabriel. Conscious Eating. pg. 587 | 17. http://www.spirulinasource.com/earthfoodch4a.html Retrieved June 20th, 2009 | 18. http://www.naturalways.com/spirulina-analysis.htm Retrieved June 20th, 2009 | 19. Wolfe, David. Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future. pg. 111 | 20. Cousens, gabriel. Conscious Eating. pg. 587 | 21. Wolfe, David. Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future. pg. 113 | 22. Ibid | 23. Cousens, gabriel. Conscious Eating. pg. 588 | 24. http://www.spirulinasource.com/algaebiofuel.html Retrieved June 20th, 2009 | 25. http://www.spirulinasource.com/algaebiofuture.html Retrieved June 20th, 2009 | 26. Cousens, gabriel. Conscious Eating. pg. 587 | 27. Wolfe, David. Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future. pg. 111