Although the latest scientific classification does not classify spirulina as a microalgae, it was considered to be so until 1962. Technically, they’re actually a cyanobacteria, very similar to microalgae in their ability to obtain their energy through photosynthesis and produce oxygen. Modern microscopes have revealed however, spirulina is a prokaryotic organism, whereas algae is eukaryotic. Prokaryotic organisms lack the cellular compartments such as the nucleus or mitochondria known as organelles and this is one of the reasons it is believed this simpler form of cell proceeded eukaryotes by millions of years of evolution.
To make matters more confusing still, what the health industry has termed spirulina is actually two species: Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima. It occurs in freshwater environments and historical record suggests he was eaten by the Aztec People’s who harvested it from Lake Texcoco in Mexico. The people of Chad have also eaten in centuries, and the Kanembu people who live around Lake Boudou Andja still derive a large percentage of their traditional diets from spirulina.
What’s the nutritional value of spirulina?
Spirulina is one of nature’s most complete foods containing abundant:
- 60% Protein – including a protein utilisation rate of over 50%
- Vitamin A (ref)
- Thiamine B1 – , riboflavin B2, nicotinamide B3, pyridoxine B6, folic acid B9
- vitamin B12 – the highest vegetarian source
- Carotenoids such as beta-carotene (over 2 ½ thousand times more than carrots)
- Calcium – over 25 times that of cows milk
- Iron – almost 4000 times more than spinach
- Trace minerals such as magnesium copper iron chromium and potassium selenium sodium and zinc
- Omega threes and the important fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA) which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties
Are there any Side-effects to Taking spirulina?
Powerful foods like spirulina can provoke Herxheimer, or healing reactions in people whose bodies are carrying toxic overloads. As with any new food or substance you ingest we suggest beginning you healing journey gently and seeing how your body adjusts.
Certain people have noticed the following reactions and side effects:
- elevated body temperature –
- spots or skin blemishes
- tiredness and exhaustion
How to use Spirulina Powder?
found in powder and tablets, most people begin their spirulina journey with a tablet or two in a glass of water, or a teaspoonful of the dark green powder stirred into a favourite smoothie. The taste is strong and vaguely fishy so many people preferred to sweeten the deal with a few chunks of their favourite foods like bananas and apples or pineapple.
As time goes on, many people find that spirit Lena is a valuable ingredient to raw energy balls, adding powerfully alkalising green punch.