There’s a general consensus that anything green is good for us, isn’t there? The greener the better, eat your greens, make sure you get your five a day. Eating green stuff is always touted as the key to health. And generally, (and sadly) the more unpalatable the taste, the better it is for us. Just look at brussels sprouts and how much they divide us come Thanksgiving and Christmas. Why oh why can’t sprouts taste like donuts or something?
But perhaps what tops of the list of green foods that taste a bit like soggy school dinners, is Spirulina. Now, spirulina is actually amazing. It’s a type of blue-green algae called cyanobacteria and grows in water. Kinda like pond scum. But do bear with me, because it truly is amazing despite so far not sounding that great at all.
A Nutritional Powerhouse
Spirulina is positively packed with nutrients. It’s around 60-70% total protein, which means it contains all nine essential amino acids (so-called because the body cannot manufacture them, and is therefore essential that we eat them.) It’s also high in iron, calcium and B vitamins. Spirulina is also a source of vitamins A, C, D and E plus the minerals magnesium, selenium, zinc, potassium and chromium.
So its pretty much the definition of what a superfood is and taking it daily is like taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement. In fact, it’s so super, that the UN has named it a food of the future because of its impressive nutritional profile. It’s cheap and easy to produce, (in crystal clear waters, not actually in ponds) and could be part of the answer to malnutrition worldwide.
Super! Why All the Talk of Gross Greens?
But there’s a catch. It's taste. Personally, I like it. But it can take a bit of getting used to. It tastes a little like the sea. If you imagine standing on a beach and breathing in all that gorgeous air, the taste reminds me of that, intensified.
And as I’m one to take note of my mum’s advice and eat my greens, I take spirulina every day. Not only does it have all that protein, vitamins and minerals, it also contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. These are plant nutrients that help support the immune system and help ward off a plethora of diseases.
How to Take Spirulina (Or, How to Disguise the Taste of Spirulina)
So how do I take it? Spirulina usually comes in powdered form. Ours is super fine, meaning that it dissolves really easily and doesn’t form nasty clumps of gloop. I add a teaspoon of Nature Restore Spirulina powder to my morning juice and knock it back without thinking. The sweetness of the orange juice takes the edge off the bitterness and after so long, you probably won’t think twice about it. It makes me feel energized and virtuous, which is a perfect start to the day!
Spirulina is a beautiful deep green color, almost blue, and also adds a satisfying greenness to my post-gym smoothies. All that readily available protein does wonders after a workout, too.
It’s also safe for vegans who may have to think a little harder about where their protein is coming from and makes a perfect plant-based mid-afternoon smoothie or juice. You can even add it to homemade energy balls for a nutrient enriched healthy snack.
How will you take yours?