Spirulina (arthrospira) is a blue-green algae found in alkaline ponds around the world. It does not have a hard cell wall making it harder to digest, but a soft, easily digested cell wall made of a mucopolysaccharide. Spirulina is a non nitrogen-fixing blue-green alga, which makes it safe for human consumption. In fact, it has undergone 30 years of safety testing with excellent results. However, spirulina has been around and has been consumed by humans for thousands of years.
Today’s food is lower in essential nutrients than foods produced only 50 years ago. Farming practices have depleted our soils of minerals, overuse of chemical fertilisers is killing valuable microorganisms that contribute to the mineral content in soils. Furthermore, long shipping and storage time between harvest and selling reduces nutrient content in our foods. Spirulina is the best vegetable protein source, with a protein content of over 65%, higher than any other natural food. 3-10 grams a day delivers impressive amounts of beta carotene, vitamin B-12 and B-complex, essential trace minerals, phytonutrients and gamma-linoleic acid. Please refer to tables below for further nutrient information.
Why not take isolated vitamins and minerals?
Vitamins and minerals in foods are bound to natural food complexes with proteins, carbohydrates and lipids. The human body recognises this entire food complex as food. Most vitamin and mineral supplements, however, are synthetic combinations of isolated USP vitamins and minerals. These are often formulated to claim 100% recommended daily intake (RDI) on labels. But these vitamins and minerals are not bound to anything, and may have an entirely different chemical structure than those found in foods. Vitamin and mineral formulas may ignore antagonistic and synergistic effects of vitamins and minerals both in regard to absorption and metabolic reactions once absorbed. It is well known that many vitamin and mineral supplements, especially calcium and iron are not well absorbed.
Also, some vitamins and minerals are extracted from food sources, leaving behind toxic residues if chemical solvents were used to remove them. Since many conventional foods are nutrient depleted, more people are taking spirulina and other green superfoods. These wholefoods offer functional nutrients and phytochemicals, new frontiers for disease prevention research, way beyond isolated vitamins and mineral supplements.
A spirulina farm is an environmentally sound green food machine. Cultivated in shallow ponds, this algae can double its bio mass every 2-5 days. This productivity breakthrough yields over 20 times more protein than soybeans on the same area, 40 times corn and 400 times beef. Spirulina can flourish in ponds of alkaline water built on already unfertile land. This way, it can augment the food supply not by clearing the disappearing rainforests, but by cultivating the expanding deserts.
Protein and amino acids in spirulina:
Spirulina has the highest protein of any natural food (65%); far more than animal and fish flesh (15-25%), soy beans (35%), dried milk (35%), peanuts (25%), eggs (12%), grains (8-14%) or whole milk (3%).Essential amino acids cannot be manufactured by the body and MUST be supplied in the diet. A protein is considered complete if it has all the essential amino acids. Spirulina is just that, a complete protein.
1 gram to 8 grams of daily intake is commonly used and suggested, mixed with juice or water throughout the day.
This powder tends to curb cravings and leaves you feeling cleansed – although the smell isn’t the greatest.