When I was asked this question, I really didn’t have to think too long. If I had to choose one supplement, Spirulina would be my absolute ‘go to’. This microscopic algae packs a punch when it comes to supporting sustained energy levels all day long.
So, what is Spirulina exactly? Spirulina is part of the blue-green algae family that grows in both fresh or seawater and has been consumed by humans for centuries. We know it dates back to at least the 16th century and was highly valued by a number of ancient cultures like the Aztecs, for its sustaining qualities. Spirulina is rich in a large array of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals and protein. In fact, it’s considered to be one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet.
Rich in complete and usable protein
Spirulina contains between 55 – 70% ‘complete protein’ – which means it contains all the 9 essential amino acids your body needs but can’t make itself. Added to this, the protein in Spirulina is also very ‘usable’ making it easy for your body to absorb and utilise. In fact, Spirulina comes in second place, after eggs, for foods with the most usable protein. This is because the cell walls in Spirulina are thin and so very easily digestible. Great news for any vegans, vegetarians or flexitarians out there looking for another plant sourced complete protein.
Because of its nutrient density, Spirulina can help combat the impact of illness in the body and supports the healthy function of multiple areas like your brain, cardiovascular system, immune system, cells, liver, adrenals and pancreas.
Let’s take a closer look:
1. Spirulina is packed with nutrients.
As I mentioned, Spirulina is loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants including the omega fatty acids Linoleic Acid (LA) and Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), B vitamins, zinc, selenium, iodine, magnesium, calcium, beta carotene, iron, B12 and zeaxanthin. Spirulina also contains a unique and powerful antioxidant called phycocyanin, which can help support your body’s natural defences against oxidative damage.
2. Spirulina can help support immune function.
Spirulina contains nutrients that provide support for your immune system like zinc, beta carotene, omega fatty acids, zeaxanthin and phycocyanin. When these protective nutrients become depleted your susceptibility to illness increases substantially.
3. Spirulina can help with inflammation.
Inflammation is a natural process that occurs in the body in response to injury or infection. However, chronic inflammation can contribute to the development of numerous health problems and later chronic disease. Stand out nutrients found in Spirulina for fighting infection include, selenium, zinc, chromium, chlorophyll, phycocyanin, beta carotene, lutein, vitamin E, and again the omega’s get a mention here.
4. Spirulina supports energy levels.
I’ve already touched on the protein found in Spirulina for supporting good energy levels, and another key contributor is the iron found in Spirulina. Iron is a key component of haemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to the body’s tissues. When the body has low levels of iron, less oxygen gets transported, leading to tiredness and low energy levels. Spirulina also contains the B vitamin family (B1, B2, B3, B6, B12) which give a huge boost to your body’s energy levels.
5. Supports detoxification
The main detoxification ‘exit’ routes include your skin, lungs, bladder and bowel, but the process actually begins much deeper in the cells and key organs of your body, like your kidneys and liver. In order for toxins to be mobilised and excreted these important organs need the right nutrients to help them do this, otherwise they can remain stored away and block other necessary functions. Spirulina contains key nutrients like zinc, selenium, manganese, magnesium, calcium, chromium, phosphorous, and potassium to name a few, to help with the body’s detoxification process.
6. Healthy blood sugar balance
To help your body maintain good blood sugar levels, it needs nutrients such as chromium, omega fatty acids, zinc, B vitamins and protein, all of which are found in Spirulina. Maintaining good blood sugar balance has become more difficult as modern food becomes more processed, stress floods our lives, and we’re convinced that alternative sweeteners are a better solution to sugars (when in fact that’s not the case). Sweeteners, natural or otherwise, might reduce your calorie intake but they still impact your pancreas and insulin production. It’s always best to stay clear of processed foods and sugars, and eat as close to natural as possible.
7. Spirulina is easy to incorporate into your diet.
Spirulina is widely available in supplement form, making it easy to incorporate into your daily routine. It can be taken in capsule, tablet, or powder form, and it can be added to smoothies or other recipes. Some people even choose to sprinkle spirulina powder on top of salads or other dishes to boost their nutrient intake. I like to add Spirulina powder to my bliss balls for a mid-afternoon snack when I have a hankering for something sweet – it not only keeps my body going but also my brain, which definitely needs the help by about 3pm.
There are many Spirulina powders and supplements on the market and it’s important to choose the most natural one you can find. I personally choose Lifestream Spirulina due to its pure, highly bioavailable and nutrient dense ingredients.
Spirulina really is the most powerful and complete supplement available and I believe it can make a huge difference to the healthy function and energy levels of your body. Give it a try today!
About Kim Wessels
Passionate about helping empower people about health through natural therapies, Kim Wessels is the in-house Naturopath at Lifestream.
As a qualified Life Coach, Naturopath & Medical Herbalist, Kim’s
services include providing support for; food intolerances, stress management, improving sleep, mood & mindset as well as increasing energy.
Believing that everyone has the internal drive to achieve anything they want, Kim is on a mission to assist her clients on this path, in their journey of health & life.
Kim genuinely loves watching people reach their desired goals & live life to their upmost potential & provides the tools to help nourish the mind, body & spirit.
Kim is a registered member of NMHNZ – Naturopaths & Medical Herbalist of NZ and is also an experienced Usui Reiki Master & a Mindfulness & Meditation Facilitator.