I am talking about “Spirulina” – a spiral-shaped blue-green algae that grows naturally in warm, fresh-water lakes and ponds.
Although it’s long been used around the world as a food source, spirulina is particularly popular in the African country of Chad, where people dined on cakes made from the dried algae.
Were they noshing on pond scum because it tastes great? Maybe.
But a more likely answer is that the people of Chad (and of Mexico and other countries) knew what it took Western researchers centuries to discover: Spirulina is a nutritional superstar.
Today, this algae is typically consumed as a supplement, not just for its content of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, but as a remedy for a laundry list of conditions including cardiovascular disease, allergies, diabetes, and inflammatory and immune problems.
When you take a look at spirulina’s nutritional content, you can see why it’s considered a superfood.
It’s rich in vitamin B12, iron, magnesium, beta-carotene, the healthy fat gamma-linolenic acid, and it contains all eight essential amino acids. Spirulina even contains 26 times more calcium than milk.
In fact, this superfood may be so super that NASA has conducted studies on spirulina as a potential food for space travel. When it comes to space travel, the goal is to provide astronauts with foods that are rich in nutrients but don’t take up much room. NASA found that 1 kg of spirulina had the same nutrients found in about 1,000 kg of assorted vegetables and fruits.
Spirulina is a safe natural food with numerous health benefits, without any known side effects. Spirulina is suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets.
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