Spirulina, a nutrient rich algae, is of great help when dealing with heat, physical exertion and stress…
Spirulina platensis is a microscopic freshwater algae with a characteristic spiral shape. Despite falling into the category of blue algae (or cyanophicee, among the oldest living beings), its vivid green hue is due to the significant presence of chlorophyll. Spirulina grows in alkaline waters and is spontaneous in some volcanic lakes found in tropical and subtropical climates ( e.g. Chad, Mexico).
A brief history:
Its use in nutrition is ancient: it was used by the Aztecs, as well as the Romans. In 1964 the Belgian botanist Jean Léonard discovered it during an expedition to Africa. After studying it, he concluded that spirulina is one of the richest food sources. In the early nineties, NASA proposed it as one of the main foods to be grown in long-term space missions. Today it is cultivated in various regions of the planet and its nutritional properties are undisputed.
A powerful mix of vital substances:
Spirulina is, above all, a protein source of primary importance. It contains 65 to 70 percent of vegetable proteins, made up of all essential amino acids, which our body is unable to synthesize on its own.
Spirulina also contains valuable omega 3 fatty acids and many vitamins. Among these, carotenoids (it contains fifteen times more beta carotene than carrots), tocopherol and B vitamins, important for the well-being of the nervous system and liver. It also contains vitamin B12 often lacking in vegan diets; recent studies, however, point out that spirulina is not able to adequately fill the deficiencies of this vitamin, it’s therefore always adviced to consult a nutritionist before making drastic changes to your diet.
Like many substances that nature gives us, spirulina also reserves surprises such as the presence of phycobilins: a particular compound of proteins associated with pigments capable of enhancing the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity of spirulina itself.
Spirulina also has some minerals (magnesium, iron, calcium, zinc) but not iodine, a substance that could create problems for those suffering from thyroid diseases. On the other hand, the presence of chlorophyll is excellent, an important detoxifying substance which is also useful for oxygenating the blood.
Overall, this microalgae turns out to be a powerful natural tonic and tonic, useful for recovering from many situations of chronic stress and fatigue or after an illness. It also helps with aging!