We combed the Earth and took a dive into the deep blue sea (yes, literally!) to bring together a list of superfoods that are a must-have in your pantry or at least should be feature in your meal prep from time to time. Let’s spiru-lean into the spiru-life with the little spiral supplement known as spirulina.
Packed with a variety of essential nutrients and antioxidants, spirulina was first used by Aztecs in Mexico as endurance boosters and to treat various diseases due its nutrition content. Touted as a fantastic source of plant-based protein (vegans, rejoice!), this blue-green algae is loaded in vitamins, proteins, magnesium, manganese, copper and iron—just what you need to sustain and improve your immunity. Now that you know a little more about this superfood, let’s dive into its benefits and how you can include it in your everyday eating habits.
Less Inflammation? Yes Please!
A brilliant source of antioxidants, spirulina is a natural anti-inflammatory that fights against free radicals to reduce oxidative stress and lowering your risk of chronic diseases such as cancer. Phycocyanin, its main active compound gives spirulina its unique blue-green hue (our personal favourite colour).
More Endurance = More Strength
Post workout fatigue is real, right? Research studies suggest that antioxidant properties in specific plant compounds and algae can help athletes and physically active individuals minimise oxidative stress on their cells and muscles whilst improving strength and endurance, leading to a healthier post workout recovery.
Hello, Good Cholesterol
There’s no pretty way to say this—heart disease is one of the leading causes of death around the world and one of the biggest risks of contracting heart-related issues is high levels of “bad” cholesterol. The antioxidants founds in spirulina effectively combat oxidative stress, chipping away at bad cholesterol while also raising good cholesterol by keeping the fat structure in your body health and protect from damage.
Who Doesn’t Love Versatility?
One of the best ways to include spirulina in your everyday lifestyle habits is spirulina powder. It’s easy to find online or in health food stores and can be added to anything from smoothies to soups and even coffee (blue algae latte, anyone?)
If you’re keen on reaping the benefits this “food of the future” has to offer, we suggest making these Spirulina Energy Bites. Treat lightly though—spirulina can be quite bitter and potent in taste, so use only as much as you can handle.
Spirulina Energy Balls
1 cup pitted dates
1 ¼ cup raw walnuts
1 ½ teaspoon spirulina
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cardamom or cinnamon (optional)
½ cup unsweetened coconut (for coating)
Pulse the dates, walnuts, spirulina, cardamom and salt in a food processor until a stiff paste forms.
Break off thumb-sized pieces of the paste, roll into balls and roll into the shredded coconut.
Refrigerate the product for a few hours to set and reach for one whenever you need a quick boost of energy!Written by Rawan Khammash, Nutrition Director