Ever wondered what creates that brilliant POP of green in Green Dream? It just so happens to be spirulina, an ancient, single-cell, blue-green algae (technically classified as a cyanobacteria) that flourishes in fresh, alkaline waters.
Here are 10 reasons why spirulina is easily an MVP in the superfood world + one of nature’s most perfect foods:
1. Humans have been eating algae for ages! The Aztecs living in Mesoamerica up until the 16th century integrated cyanobacteria into their diets, creating dried cakes called “tecuitlatl." Cyanobacteria has also thrived in the fresh waters of Lake Chad, providing African tribes with this ancient superfood. The Kanembu tribe would skim the spirulina off the surface of the lake, dry it on the surrounding rocks for preservation, and then mix it into soups.
2. At 50-70% protein, spirulina ranks as the highest source of protein in the plant kingdom. The algae is able to quickly synthesize concentrated amounts of protein and is in itself a “complete protein,” which means that it’s able to provide all the essential amino acids that our bodies need!
3. Spirulina receives its beautiful bluish tint from phycocyanin, a water soluble antioxidant that helps protect our cells against radiation and provides the blood with more oxygen.
4. Spirulina is a DENSE with nutrients—it's full of fatty acids (including sulfur gamma linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid that promotes healthy skin and joints), polysaccharides, vitamin B-12, and minerals, including iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, selenium, and chromium! ‘Nuf said.
5. The algae is supportive of healthy brain function and aids in the production of tryptophan, an amino acid that makes serotonin, a critical mood stabilizer!
6. Spirulina is bursting with antioxidants, including zeaxanthin, cryptoxanthin, phycocyanin, betoa-carotein, superoxide dismutase, and lutein. These free-radical fighting molecules bolster the immune system, combat invasive viruses and pathogens, and promote healthy vision and beautiful skin.
7. Like all plants, spirulina contains chlorophyll, a pigment that collects sunlight and transforms it into energy. In addition to this essential job that fuels life on earth, chlorophyll also purifies the blood, cleanses the nervous system and liver of toxins, and is a rich source of iron, which prevents anemia.
8. In addition to defending the body against viruses and pathogens, studies from the Cancer Science Journal and Biochemical Pharmacology found that cyanobacteria has been shown to activate natural killer cells that attack tumors.
9. Because spirulina is such a nutritional powerhouse and easily digestible by the body, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization highlighted it as a potential resource in fighting widespread malnutrition.
10. Finally, Spirulina can taste either cheesy and nutty (which makes it a natural superfood for our Cheesy Kale Chips!) OR a bit fishy. If you’re not a fan of cheesy, nutty, or fishy flavors, you can always mix up Green Dream into a smoothie, soup, or salad dressing or try it in our Coconut Dream coconut butter and Green Bee manuka honey!