It’s January. You’ve probably started the year with a long list of new habits and health goals. Losing weight, exercising four times a week, eating better… As the holidays end and the moment to start approaches, you might be feeling overwhelmed. Will you have enough energy to exercise? What about those moments when you’ll just be unable to resist snacking? How about those times you feel too low to do anything? Sometimes we all need a helping hand to keep our motivation high and make sure we stick to our new habits. When it comes to healthy new year resolutions, you can’t ask for better than spirulina. It’s so nutritious, the United Nations named it “Best Food for the Future.” But it doesn’t just nourish your body from the inside out, it can also help you stick to your new habits by regulating your appetite, giving you energy, and boosting your mood. Spirulina can help you make 2018 your healthiest yet.
Researchers believe that spirulina is one of the oldest forms of life on earth. This single-celled blue green algae was present over 3.5 billion years ago, and produced most of the oxygen that earlier life needed to develop and thrive. In a way, back then it was already a superfood!
Ancient cultures knew the power locked in spirulina. It was a staple food for the Aztecs, who harvested it from Lake Texcoco, and turned it into cakes. The Kanembu people of Lake Chad in Africa have also used spirulina for centuries as part of their diet. But when it comes to modern use, it wasn’t until 1970 that spirulina started being produced on a global scale, and that its use became more widespread.
Spirulina: Your New Year Health Helper
Spirulina contains an impressive array of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and protein. It’s a probiotic, which means it feels the good bacteria in your gut, improves your digestion and your nutrient absorption. The antioxidants it contains, responsible for its blue green pigment, help your body fight free radicals, thereby slowing the aging process and protecting your body from environmental pollutants. It’s pretty much a complete food, and offers your body many of the nutrients it needs to stay fit and healthy. If you need more proof of spirulina’s nutrient power, consider this: in 1988, NASA wanted it to be harvested as an essential food source during lengthy space missions.
Here are the top 5 reasons you need spirulina in your life in 2018:
It’s a complete protein
It’s the new year, so you want to start by giving your body everything it needs to be the best it can be. Spirulina contains all the essential amino acids your body for optimal health. If you’re considering transitioning to a plant-based diet, spirulina is a fantastic food to make sure you get enough healthy protein. In fact, it’s one of the best sources of vegetarian protein, with 60% protein—you might be surprised to learn that’s more than beef (28%), chicken (25%0 and soy (16%)!
With all the plans you have for 2018, a positive, happy mind-set is essential. So you’ll want to feed your mind the nutrients it needs to thrive. Here too, spirulina can help. One of the amino acids in spirulina is tryptophan, which is known to boost mood. Another is tyrosine, one of the building blocks of dopamine—our very own happy chemical, which creates pleasure, increases alertness and regulates appetite.
Speaking of appetite, spirulina’s high fiber content makes it another perfect food for helping you achieve your new healthier eating habits. Fiber helps slow the absorption of sugar, keeping your fuller for longer, meaning you’re better able to control your appetite, and are less likely to snack. Some people report that drinking it half an hour before meals helps them to feel less hungry, and therefore eat less.
Balances blood sugar levels
After all the excesses of the holidays, most people’s blood sugar levels are elevated. But this comes with an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and weight gain. Spirulina can help you get your blood sugar levels back to normal. A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that taking 2g of spirulina a day for 2 months reduced blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetics.
Gives you energy
If you’re feeling tired, you’re less likely to keep up your resolutions to work out. Spirulina contains vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B5, which are all essential for helping transform food into energy. In a study published by the European Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers noted that healthy individuals taking 2.5g of spirulina 3 time a day for 3 weeks increased endurance performance. Just what you need to power you through your new workout routine.
How to Take Spirulina
Spirulina is most commonly available powdered, in flakes, or as tablets. You can add the powder to smoothies or juices, sprinkle the flakes on your salads, soups or porridge, or simply take the tablets if you don’t like spirulina’s peculiar flavor. Spirulina tastes the way you’d expect algae to taste; brands will taste different, so you might want to experiment to find one you like. Always choose organic spirulina as this has been harvested without the use of harmful pesticides or chemicals.
Start Your 2018 Green
As the new year begins and we dive into our positive intentions, we all need a helping hand to make our new healthy habits stick. Spirulina doesn’t just support your health from the inside, it also helps you to maintain your healthier lifestyle by supporting your mood, giving you energy, and nourishing your body. Time for a green smoothie?
Please note: You are advised to seek the advice of a doctor before taking supplements, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, are taking medication or have a medical condition.