Written by Khanyisile Msebenzi
Every year or so there seems to emerge a new healthy trend or superfood. Spirulina was all the rage some 10 years ago and in my opinion should always be the rage and the one superfood supplement we should take as women in this age of busyness. By now we all know that our bodies don’t get enough nutrition, most of us overload our bodies with carbohydrates and take little other nutrients that our bodies need for optimal functioning.
Spirulina is from the green and blue algae family and is a single-celled Cyanobacteria that grows both in salt and fresh water. It produces its energy from sunlight through photosynthesis. It is high in:
- B Vitamins
- Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
It is also anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, can reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, heart disease and anaemia. Spirulina also helps improve muscle endurance and faster muscle recovery.
As a young woman these are the reasons you should consider taking Spirulina daily:
- Improved concentration and brain function. By taking Spirulina every day blood flow to the brain is increased due to anti-inflammatory properties of spirulina and it’s high iron content.
- Spirulina improves memory function because it protects your cognitive systems and stimulates your brain and nervous system.
- Spirulina’s main ingredient is tryptophan, which is an amino acid the human body needs to produce serotonin and melatonin. Our bodies do not produce tryptophan on their own. Serotonin is the ‘happiness’ hormone, regulates our moods and stress. Melatonin regulates our sleeping patterns so we get good sleep. Tryptophan is important in preventing conditions such as insomnia, anxiety and depression.
- Spirulina gives energy, especially if you work out, but even if you don’t, Spirulina gives you energy to go through the day at high energy absorbing more with your brain. The energy comes from the high chlorophyll and protein content in Spirulina.
- Spirulina keeps you full for longer. Eating heavy meals especially between classes can be draining. We all know the itis that hits in the afternoon that takes forever to get through, those hours lost can never be recovered. Spirulina keeps you fuller for longer because of its high protein content.
Spirulina comes in mainly two forms, in tablet form and powder form. In my experience taking the tablet form is easier, the taste of the powder is different to anything I am used to and makes it difficult for me to swallow, but it is not horrible at all, just different. If you choose the powder option, try to include it in your daily smoothie to mask the taste.
Dischem and Clicks usually have good specials on Spirulina and it is affordable on a student budget, in my view, you can’t afford not to take this superfood if you want to live life at high energy.