Gimmi a bottle of spirulina
IN the words of reggae artiste Chronixx: Gimmi a bottle a spirulina an' mek mi mix up di roots wid medina.
A natural, dark green algae, specifically a water plant which grows mostly in lakes and ponds, spirulina is being talked about more than ever. Popularly known as "super food", it is found in its powder form, sometimes in capsules and tablets too, in health food stores worldwide.
Although only recently popularised, spirulina has been used as a nutrient-dense food source for hundreds of years. It is praised for its incredibly high protein, vitamin and mineral content in an easy-to-digest form.
Because it is largely made up of protein and essential amino acids (65%) as well as its high natural iron content, spirulina is an excellent addition for people on a vegetarian, vegan or raw food diet. Spirulina's protein content is said to be higher than that found in beef and fish. This high concentration of protein and bio-available iron also makes it ideal for people with anaemia, those who are pregnant, nursing, who did surgery, or those who need to boost the immune system - without causing constipation.
SPIRULINA'S HEALTH PROPERTIES
* It contains all the essential amino acids. It contains Omega-3, -6 and -9s, and is especially high in Omega-3s.
* It is extremely high in chlorophyll, which helps to alkalize the body and remove toxins from the blood as well as boost energy levels.
* It helps to prevent heart disease, depression and diabetes.
* There are claims that it fights cancer due to its antioxidant qualities.
* It encourages weight loss and improves metabolism.
* It increases mental alertness.
* It lowers blood cholesterol and excess triglycerides.
* It helps to fight viral infections.
* It treats radiation sickness.
* It enhances the body's ability to generate new blood cells.
* It improves blood sugar levels.
* It strengthens the nervous system and immune system.
* It contains anti-aging properties similar to green tea.
* It removes toxic metals such as lead and mercury from the body.
* It increases libido levels
SPIRULINA'S NUTRIENTS LIST
* Vitamins B-1(thiamine)
* B-2 (riboflavin)
* B-6 (pyridoxine)
* B-9 (folic acid)
* Vitamin C,
* Vitamin D,
* Vitamin A
* Vitamin E
* Vitamin K
HOW TO USE SPIRULINA
When selecting and buying spirulina, try to choose one that is organic, as others can have the "nasty" nitrate compounds as additives.
I am never without it at home and it is a staple in all my green drinks and smoothies. OK, I must admit it does have an "unusual" flavour; however, when mixed or blended with soups, juices or smoothies, it can be quite pleasant (eventually). You can also mix it in water and drink straight, though this is definitely for the brave - as many people may have trouble with this.
I recommend getting about two teaspoons per day, and two or more tablespoons when recovering from an illness, after radiation exposure, or during pregnancy. The phosphorous content makes it great for tooth remineralisation, and its anti-inflammatory properties have been helpful to some with joint pain or other types of inflammation.
So, as you can see, there are several health benefits and advantages to be had by simply adding spirulina as a supplement to your diet. Don't believe me? Ask Chronixx!
If you are already experiencing any health challenges, it is important that you first consult with your health practitioner or doctor before taking on any new supplements.
Bena Nakawuki is an internationally trained and certified raw food teacher, wellness coach and editor. She is currently the only certified member of the International Association of Raw Food Coaches and Teachers in Jamaica. She is the owner of The Lotus Line and may be contacted at TheLotusLine@gmail.com, www.facebook.com - The Lotus Line of Natural Health Products and Services, and twitter.com/TheLotusLine.