Spirulina

Happy Derby Day! I hope everyone is planning to watch the 136th Kentucky Derby and cheer on their favorite horse! Last year I did my very first blog post on Derby Day (Eat Chic is officially 1 year old!)! Check out a great recipe for Mint Juleps here!

I recently bought some Spirulina powder at my Whole Foods to add to my morning fruit and vegetable smoothies! For those of you who may not be familiar with it, spirulina is a microscopic blue-green algae that lives in both sea water and fresh water environments.

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Spirulina is commonly used as a human dietary supplement available in tablet, flake, and powder form. It has grown in popularity, especially among vegetarians, due to its numerous nutritional benefits.

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Spirulina is a complete protein (meaning it contains all essential amino acids – those that your body cannot make on its own and must get from diet) and is rich in essential fatty acids such as omega-3’s. Spirulina is a great source of a vitamins including vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3, B6, B9, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin B12 (found mostly in animal products such as meat). Spirulina is also high in minerals such as potassium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc.

Some of the health claims associated with spirulina that I came across in my research claimed that spirulina decreases stress, betters eyesight, reduces cholesterol, decreases food cravings, increases diabetic control, increases mental alertness, strengthens the immune system, and improves wound healing.

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I was drawn to spirulina because of its superior vitamin and mineral content. I only bought a small amount to try at first; spirulina can get pricey! I paid about $2.50 for this small bag of spirulina (probably about 5-6 tablespoons). It has a dark green color, a slight fishy smell, but doesn’t really have much of a taste; so adding 1 tablespoon of it to a breakfast smoothie is the perfect way to start the morning!

sources: picture 1, picture 2, picture 3

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