Spirulina: The King of Superfoods

Spirulina has been called a miracle of nutrition. It is a spiral-shaped blue-green microalgae that has existed for billions of years and has been used as a nutritious food source for centuries by the inhabitants of Africa, Asia and Central America. Spirulina grows naturally in highly alkaline tropical and sub-tropical lakes and is now being grown around the world in man-made ponds and photobioreactors. With its exceptional nutritional profile including 50 to 70 percent easily digestible protein, the health benefits of Spirulina have been well documented. It is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and there is also a significant body of research on its immunity-boosting, anti-viral, and anti-cancer properties.


Watch how Julie Daniluk, a Canadian Nutritionist talk about Spirulina and how powerful it is: 

Why Spirulina?  

  • Spirulina is approximately 60% complete, easily digested protein containing all essential amino acids;  
  • Spirulina has 31 times more beta-carotene than carrots and 51 times more iron than spinach;
  • Spirulina is the best whole food source of gamma linolenic acid (GLA);   Spirulina is rich in B vitamins, minerals, trace elements, chlorophyll, and enzymes;  
  • Spirulina is abundant in carotenoids, sulfolipids, glycolipids, phycocyanin, superoxide dismutase, RNA, and DNA.

International Recognition  

The United Nations Food Conference in 1974 declared Spirulina as the best food for the future and in 2003 established the Intergovernmental Institution for the use of Micro-algae Spirulina Against Malnutrition (IIMSAM).[1]
   
The World Health Organization (WHO) stated “Spirulina represents an interesting food for multiple reasons, rich in iron and protein, and is able to be administered to children without any risk. We at WHO consider it a very suitable food.”[2]  
 
In the late 1980s and early 90s, both NASA (CELSS)[3] and the European Space Agency (MELISSA) [4] proposed Spirulina as one of the primary foods to be cultivated during long-term space missions. 

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1 Capelli, B. & Cysewski, G.R., (2010) “Potential health benefits of spirulina microalgae, A review of literature”. Nutrafoods, 19. Retrieved from www. ceceditore.com
2 United Nations World Health Organization (WHO), Geneva, Switzerland, June 8, 1993. Source: iimsam.org/en/
3 Tadros, Mahasin G., “Characterization of Spirulina biomass for CELSS diet potential.” Normal, Al.: Alabama A&M University, 1988.
4 Cornet J.F., Dubertret G. "The cyanobacterium Spirulina in the photosynthetic compartment of the MELISSA artificial ecosystem." Workshop on artificial ecological systems, DARA-CNES, Marseille, France, October 24–26, 1990