Although the word “spirulina” may sound new to you, it is actually very old. Spirulina is a blue-green alga that scientists trace back to 3.5 billion years ago. However, historians can trace how people have been harvesting organic spirulina and including it in their diet as far back as the 16th century. When Spanish invaders conquered Mexico, they found the Aztecs collecting a blue substance from lakes and making blue-green cakes from it. Today, spirulina has become a common dietary supplement as it is packed with macro and micro-nutrients.
What is in Organic Spirulina
Organic spirulina can come in the form of capsules, tablets, or powders. When dry, organic spirulina can have between 60 to 70% protein with an excellent balance in amino acid content. On average, the macronutrient composition of organic spirulina is:
Digestible carbohydrates: 20%
The remaining 10% approximately equally divided among fibre, minerals, and some remaining water.
The Micronutrients Also Shine
Already, the protein content of organic spirulina is impressive, but do not let that steal the show. Organic spirulina is also rich in vitamins, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, B12, C, D, and E. That last B vitamin, B12, is crucial for those in a whole-foods plant-based or vegan diet. People commonly get B12 through animal products like meat, dairy, and eggs. Those who only eat plants usually resort to B12 supplements. However, organic spirulina can be a daily B12 source.
Organic spirulina is also rich in β-carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A. Just a teaspoon of spirulina (4 or 5 g) has 6 mg of β-carotene. That may not sound like a lot, but take that daily, and you can minimise the risk of cancer. Moreover, that 6 mg of β-carotene from a teaspoon of spirulina is like eating 100 g of bright-coloured vegetables.
How to Incorporate Organic Spirulina
Now that you know how much of a superfood organic spirulina is, how can you include it in your diet? If you get it in the form of a tablet or capsule, then just take it as you normally would any other pill. However, if you get it as a powder, you can be more creative with it by making it a part of your recipes.
Since spirulina is an alga that grows in freshwaters like lakes and lagoons, its taste can remind you of it. Some say it has a potent earthy flavour. However you may perceive it, you will definitely find it unfamiliar. Yet, you will not be chugging down a cup of it. You can put a teaspoon of your organic spirulina in smoothies or shakes. Taking this small amount every day can give you enough of the health benefits without overpowering you with the unfamiliar flavour.
Moreover, that natural blue-green colour of organic spirulina also lends itself in whatever you put it. If you bake, and you want to go for blue or green pastry, you can use organic spirulina instead of artificial colouring. Healthy, tasty, and pretty. What more can you ask for?
Regardless of whether you are a rookie or a veteran in the health scene, if you have not tried organic spirulina yet, then you are missing out. With the nutrient density of this ancient superfood, you should have no problem squeezing it in your daily diet and reaping its benefits.