Spirulina is the king of super foods and has a full spectrum of nutrients that nourish the body and mind: beta-carotene, iron, calcium, magnesium, Vitamin B complex, chlorophyll, complete protein, GLA and more. Unlike some other super foods such as maca or acai that can add a nice flavour, unfortunately spirulina does not taste good at all. Luckily you can hide the flavour quite well to still get all the health benefits but in a smoothie that actually tastes good such as in the recipe I will share below. Just to encourage you to want to consume spirulina despite its somewhat special taste here is what it does for you according to Organic Burst, where I get my spirulina powder from:
- Supports the immune system. Beta-carotene, chlorophyll, Vitamin B6 and iron in spirulina powder support and strengthen the immune system.
- Healthy brain and cognitive function. Spirulina powder is rich in Vitamin B6 and iron that are known to support healthy cognitive function.
- Weight management. Taken one hour before meals, spirulina powder can naturally promote satiety and therefore prevent over-eating. Due to its rich protein content it helps balance your sugar levels. Studies show that Spirulina helps support the liver leaving it to metabolise fat by preventing the build-up of triglycerides, lipid peroxidation and cleansing from toxins.
- Boost exercise results. A recent study in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise reported that taking spirulina enhances exercise performance. Men taking spirulina had significantly longer time to fatigue and 11% increase in fat burning rate.
- Healthy heart. In multiple scientific studies Spirulina was shown to create better lipid profiles and increase blood vessel elasticity. Subjects taking spirulina showed reduced total cholesterol, better HDL, and reduced blood pressure.
- Rich, complete and digestible protein source. Spirulina powder is very rich in protein (60-70%), containing 18 amino acids including all essential amino acids. According to studies, spirulina has a very high protein efficiency ratio (PER), meaning your body can efficiently use these amino acids. Protein in spirulina is four times more absorbable than protein in beef.
With only a little bit of spirulina this smoothie does actually taste amazing because of all the other ingredients:
a handful of pineapple chunks
1/3 frozen banana
1 spoon of protein powder of choice (vanilla or neutral)
a pinch of spirulina
1 tbs of hemp seeds
a little bit of almond milk, coconut water or regular water
Blend all ingredients together and top with shredded coconut, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds or anything else you might find at home. I normally don’t use whey protein as it comes from dairy but if you don’t mind this I recommend Pulsin Whey Isolate.