Common Name: Spirulina
Botanical Name: Arthospira
Growing Area: Cultivated around the world
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Spirulina is called a blue-green algae because it contains both chlorophyll (providing green pigment) and phycocyanin (blue pigment). It forms spiraling, microscopic strands. This simple, one-celled algae thrives in warm, alkaline fresh water. Spirulina is naturally sterile because of its ability to grow in hot, alkaline environments, where other polluting organisms can’t survive. Certain species of Spirulina even survive when the water evaporates, and lie dormant on rocks as hot as 160 degrees farenheit. Spirulina also retains its nutrients even when exposed to high temperatures during processing.
Nutrients & Applications:
Spirulina contains a staggering array of essential nutrients for our bodies. Not only does it contain over 60% complete protein (almost three times as much as that found in beef!), it has high concentrations of many other important vitamins and minerals, such as B complex vitamins, vitamin E, carotenoids, iron, manganese, zinc, essential fatty acids such as gamma linolenic acid (which is only otherwise found in mother’s milk), and more beta carotene than you can find in carrots! Spirulina is also one of the few plant sources of vitamin B12, which is essential for healthy nerves and tissues.
Studies suggest that Spirulina can help stimulate the immune system, increasing production of antibodies, and promoting a healthy response to allergens. It may also help reverse age-related declines in memory and learning, help maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and promote the formation and development of red blood cells. Spirulina has also been shown to promote the growth of probiotics, which can help maintain intestinal health.*