Recently, you may have noticed something called spirulina popping up at your favorite smoothie shop or coffee parlour. So what exactly is this mysterious new health food? Spirulina is commonly called blue-green algae, but is, in fact, a cyanobacterium, which is a bacterium that gets its energy from photosynthesis. It's purported to have an interesting history, significant health benefits, and be the next superfood craze.
There are said to be more than 40,000 types of spirulina, that all grow in warm lake areas. Reportedly, the Aztecs farmed spirulina in the 16th century, as records from Cortes explain this practice. Additionally, humans on the continent of Africa have harvested and consumed spirulina for hundreds of years, as it grows naturally in abundance there. Only within the last couple of years has spirulina become popular with mainstream health-focused foodies.
Spirulina contains tons of protein; it's also a great source of vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. Plus, it contains 10 of the 12 necessary amino acids.
The easiest way to add this superfood to your healthy diet is in powder form or tablet form. We recommend mixing it into your favorite smoothie bowl or latte. If you're not convinced of its merits just yet, you can always sample it at your local smoothie bar or health-focused coffee shop. When you're ready to add it to your natural foods pantry, numerous options can be found at health food stores and grocery stores.