I use my smoothie to start me off with at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies. A day that starts off that great is bound to be a great day. But recently I’ve starting adding algae in the form of spirulina to my smoothies and all I can say is “WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?”
Spirulina is a form of blue/green algae that is one of the oldest forms of plants on the planet. It’s nutritional value and cancer-fighting properties are impressive.
Protein: If you’re looking for a replacement from meat in your diet spirulina is your answer. It is rich in protein and contains all of the essential amino acids. And because there are virtual no cell walls, the protein in spirulina is much more easily digested and used by the body than other forms of protein. 16 potent grams are contains in 2 tablespoons of powder.
Iron: a serving of spirulina can provide up to 10% of your iron needs for the day.
Contains Metallo-thionine compounds: These bind to heavy metals and radioactive isotopes and allow for them to be excreted. Those of you who are dealing with cancer, or those who have had lots of exposure to CT scans and other diagnostics would benefit form including some of this nifty food to your daily routine.
Contains GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) which mediate inflammatory and immunity reactors. Inflammation is the cause of many illnesses including cancer. Eating foods that block inflammation can reduce your risk of these disease.
Contains substances that heal nerves and help nerves stay healthy. It has also been shown to increase dopamine in your system, and important neurotransmitter. Dopamine is the “pleasure” stimulator so it helps you to feel happy, but it also plays a role in hormonal activity such as inhibiting the release of prolactin. High levels of prolactin can increase risk of breast cancer, so inhibiting it can help.
It contains iodine which can help with preventing breast cancer.
It is a potent anti-oxidant and has been shown to increase brain function in animal models. Anit-oxidants help preserve DNA damage which can increase risk of cancer.
I would recommend to be very careful where you are getting your spirulina. Organic, controlled growing is preferred. I would recommend agains getting spirulina from open oceans in Japan or China. I discovered Nuts.com a little bit ago and they make a great organic spirulina harvested from controlled growing lakes. (I don’t get paid for saying this BTW)
So this morning I didn’t have my usual stuff, but I managed to make a delicious smoothie using:
- 2 cups filtered water (I use Berkey filters for my water and LOVE it…again, no compensation for my opinions)
- 1 tablespoon tahini (you can use 1/3 avocado or omit if you want)
- 2 tablespoons walnuts (contains precursors to Omega 3’s)
- 1/2-1 frozen banana
- handful fresh basil (fresh herbs have potent phytochemcials that prevent illness)
- handful fresh mint leaves (more phytochemcials)
- handful ice
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds (more Omega 3’s than 5 fish oil capsules)
- 2 cups fresh greens…I used arugula, spinach and baby romaine
- 1 tablespoon powdered spirulina (see words of caution below)
Place in high speed blender and blend well. I love using my handmade glass straw when I drink it. (Good for the taste and for the environment!) You can use anything you like in your own smoothies and the spirulina won’t affect the taste of it, it will just enhance the nutritional content and give it the beautiful green hue you see here.
Basil and mint are really easy to grow and they add sweetness and flavor without adding sugar. Avoid adding a sweeteners to your smoothie like honey. Instead add a few frozen berries. Added sugar, even if it’s natural, is one thing to avoid if you want to reduce your risk of cancer.
I always keep a supply of frozen banana pieces in the freezer. I like freezing them this way instead of whole because sometimes I don’t want to use the whole thing, and then I’m stuck 😦
Some words of caution:
1. Don’t stick your face in the bag of spirulina and inhale. After all, this stuff is fish food too. Nuff said.
2. If you are new to spirulina, start small. Your gut really likes the stuff and you need to go slow so the gut bacteria or microbiome, can get used to it. It can create gas and other gastric symptoms if you add too much too fast. Start with 1 teaspoon and over the course of a week or so work up to 1 tablespoon. As your gut gets used to it, you’ll be fine.
3. You can be allergic to anything, so if you notice a rash after you’ve eaten it, it could be from the spirulina. Use common sense and stop to see if the rash goes away.
4. Too much of a good thing is not good. Just as spirulina is good for you, you shouldn’t be taking more than a serving size or 2 tablespoons/day of powder.
5. Tell your doctor about anything that you add on a regular basis to your diet. Even things like kale can affect some medications.
6. Don’t freak if your poop looks radioactive. Cool color in = cool color out.
If you use a plant-based protein power or other protein sours in your diet consider trying spirulina! I will be using this on a regular basis for sure! You can also use it in baking and such. I’m looking for other good ways to use it. Got any?