Spirulina is often described as blue green algae although it is technically a type of cyanobaceria. The name cyanobacteria was inspired by phycocyanin, a bluish pigment that they use for capturing light necessary for photosynthesis. This is the reason why the blue green algae also have chlorophyll content.
This dietary supplement grows in saltwater and freshwater alike and is safe for consumption for animals and humans alike.
You can get this green superfood in powder, tablet, or flake forms. Even though this superfood is getting more popular in the world of health foods, this algae is said to have existed since 3.5 billion years ago, making it among the oldest fossils ever known.
The dietary supplement blue green algae also served as the main protein source for the Aztecs who harvested it from the Lake Texcoco, selling the Tecuitlalt in the form of cake. While there is no solid evidence, according to legend, the messenger runners of the Aztecs took the algae during their marathons.
A Pond Scum Rich in Nutrients
No matter how you choose to call it, the blue green algae is more than deserving of its title as a superfood. Even though the blue green algae look more like a slimy scum in ponds, there is no denying that it is among the most nutrient-dense and nutritious foods you can ever find in the planet.
For starters, the algae contain 60% protein that is over two times higher than the protein content of red meat. This also contains around 18 amino acids that include all of the essential amino acids as well as 10 out of 12 of the non-essential amino acids.
The blue green algae is also an excellent source of copper, phytonutrients, manganese, iron, B vitamins, potassium, Gamma-linolenic acid or GLA, and iodine.
One more reason behind the superfood title of spirulina is because of the fact that is a form of sustainable food source. Aside from requiring 10 times lesser water compared to other forms of vegetables, the algae is available for harvest all year round, not to mention that it can also endure even extreme temperatures.