Spirulina is often referred to as a ‘superfood’ as it contains all eight essential amino acids plus more than 100 nutrients and antioxidants.
Spirulina is a one-celled freshwater blue-green algae that thrives in warm alkaline water. Spirulina is 69 per cent complete protein with all the essential amino acids in perfect balance. In comparison beef is only 22 per cent protein. It is one of the few plant sources of vitamin B12, and also contains essential fatty acids and iron in an easily absorbable form. Unlike other blue/green algae, spirulina lacks cellulose cell walls, making it more easily digested. In fact it is now used by NASA for its voyage nutrition.
Spirulina encourages the growth of the beneficial bacteria L acidophillus while supressing bad bacteria in the gut. Research has shown that just two grams of spirulina per day can cure symptoms of gastric ulcers as the chlorophyll helps coat the irritated stomach lining, reducing tissue inflammation. It also helps with constipation.
Spirulina is a very low glycaemic index food, and as it is a valuable source of the amino acid phenylalanine which is believed to suppress appetite by acting on the appetite centre in the brain, it can be used by anyone as an aid to helping weight loss. For this purpose it is recommended to take spirulina in between meals when feeling peckish.
Spirulina is a good, healthy, source of protein for recovery after exercise.
It has also been shown to stimulate the immune system by increasing the amount of antibodies, boosts the liver’s recuperative powers, and has been found to be effective against herpes.
Spirulina can be added to smoothies any time of day and has no known contraindications. For those not inclined to take the powder tablets are available. Spirulina is inexpensive at less than €11.28 for 100 tablets.
Sara’s Choice Spirulina, recommended by Au Naturel Health Foods, is an Irish owned company with every batch of spirulina independently tested and certified heavy metal and radiation safe.
For further information contact Susan at Au Naturel Health Foods, Irishtown, on 09064 87993