(reviewed by Dr. Rudderham)
“Spirulina belongs to an ancient class of single-celled,
blue-green spiral algae. At least thirty-five varieties of Spirulina still
exist in various lakes and waterways across the Earth.”—David Wolfe
Amongst the superfoods, Spirulina will always be at or near the top of the list. This should not be surprising considering it has over 100 known nutrients in it, has more protein than most meats or fish, and its proximity to the beginning of the food chain. As of 2009, there are over 200 published scientific studies supporting Spirulina benefits health.
Not all Spirulina is alike. The variance in quality and nutrient value varies greatly depending upon source. Would you price shop gasoline if you knew the less expensive gas would harm your car’s performance and dependability? This of course is true of all foods whether in a natural raw state or supplement form. Everyone knows, or should know today, that the nutrient density (and toxicity) of foods and supplements is of primary concern due to environmental concerns and food industry business practices today.
Extracts of power molecules from algae are gaining in popularity for both supplements and skin care products – mostly for their anti-oxidant power. In fact they may be the most powerful natural antioxidants on the planet well above all known superfruits.
Because Spirulina is such a strong botanical (a vegetable algae), it retains much of its nutrient value when harvested and processed. Historically, those appreciating Spirulina’s first were from Africa (particularly Lake Chad), where they skimmed it off the lake and dried it on rocks.
The ancients from Central America into central Mexico consumed Spirulina as their primary source of protein for thousands of years. It is believed the Aztecs mixed Spirulina and Cacao (chocolate) for a nutrient dense treat. Yet few people today appreciate its power or consume it daily as they should.
Spirulina’s Health Benefits
A myriad of health benefits derive from Spirulina. Everything from:
- vitamin A
- B Vitamins (B1, B2, B6)
- vitamin E
- vitamin K
- major (and trace) minerals
- essential fatty acids
- all essential amino acids
- nucleic acids (RNA and DNA)
- gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), and even
- phycocyanin can be found in spirulina.
It protein to weight ratio is very high … over 65%.
Spirulina is fabulous for balancing brain chemistry, building and purifying blood, increasing the production of stem cells, enhancing the immune system and eyesight, promoting healthy hair and skin, and even helps reduce allergies.
Also, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center and many other sources globally, there is increasing evidence Spirulina may help prevent certain types of cancers. Especially when taken with chlorella, another single cell algae that has excellent metal detoxification characteristics as well as many of the food value features of spirulina. This of course should not be surprising since improving your nutrition naturally improves all organ and immune system function and a malnourished bio-chemistry more likely to see aberrant cells replicate out of control. Scientifically proving it in the laboratory under methods used to evaluate and regulate drugs is another issue, since there is little financial incentive for anyone to invest that kind of time and money in clinical trials to prove Spirulina’s value as it is widely available to competitors.
Spirulina has been found to have:
- 300% more calcium than milk
- 2300% more iron than spinach
- 3900% more Beta Carotene than carrots
- 375% more protein than tofu
- and the list goes on and on…
Growth conditions as well the drying methods for curing Spirulina impacts nutrient preservation. Low oxidation methods, which are costly, preserve nutrient value. That is why the source of your Spirulina matters greatly. The most expensive is not always the best … but in many cases the least expensive is not worth buying.
Good Spirulina has oil and fat soluble antioxidants. Excellent quality Spirulina has many varieties of fat and water soluble antioxidants including phycocyanin (good for liver and kidney function and hard to find in food), chlorophyll (anti-toxin and anti-carcinogen), zeaxanthin (helps eyes and brain), beta carotene (helps skin, eyes, immune system), and Japanese scientists recently found calcium spirulan in Spirulina, believed to be active against numerous viruses including influenza, herpes and HIV..
The Spirulina we select for OWC’s store has more than a dozen quality control tests for each manufacturing lot, and patented processes provide superior enzyme levels improving bioavailability. The drying method results in retained carotenoid levels greater than any other known source as well. In making product selections for our members, we follow the manufacturing and supply chain all the way to the ingredient supply sources to assure we are selecting the best of the best. We are always looking for the best “superfuel for the body.”
Perhaps the most important reason to consider increasing your Spirulina daily uptake is that nutrition authorities around the world including the United States Government recommends a minimum of 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day yet a low percentage of people, especially in the United States, achieve these levels. Studies have shown 3 grams of Spirulina have comparable phytonutrient value to 5 servings of fruits and vegetables.
So consider adding some of our high quality Spirulina to any meal replacement protocol you have adopted whether a pro athlete in a heavy training phase or a 60 year old looking for nutrient dense calorie light body fuel.
If you practice positive affirmations, doing so in connection with mixing and taking your superfoods can only help. As Forrester (Connery) stated when asked if he prays, “why not, you have nothing to lose.”