What is it?

Spirulina is a natural “microalgae” that grows in environments with moderate temperatures and high levels of sunlight, such as in salty lakes in Mexico and on the African continent. Records of the Spanish conquistadors suggest that the even the Aztecs used Spirulina as a food source! The Spirulina sold today is mostly grown and harvested in commercial ponds such as this one in California.

It is then dried and most commonly added to the diet in a green powder.

spirulina powder

Why is it super?

  • Spirulina is one of the most potent nutrition sources available:
  • It is 60-65% protein- more protein than any other food source available!
  • It has a high calcium content (it is estimated that it contains 26 times the amount of calcium in milk!)
  • It is one of the highest food sources of the essential amino acids GLA, which is known to have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • It contains Omega-3 fats, which helps makes up our cells’ membranes and keeps the nervous system functioning.
  • It is extremely high in Chlorophyll, which helps to remove toxins from the blood.
  • It is high in bio-available iron, therefore making it ideal when the immune system needs a boost!
  • It is a great source of other vitamins including Vitamins B-1, B-2, Vitamin C, D, A, and E and minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, and manganese.

How to eat it?

  • Make sure to choose an organic and quality brand of Spirulina, as others may be contaminated with additives and unhealthy substances depending on how it is produced.
  • Know where your Spirulina comes from, and make sure it’s a reputable source!
  • If you have any questions about how to give Spirulina to your child or if it is safe to take, talk to your health care provider.
  • Use 1/2 teaspoon for babies under 1 or 1/4 tsp twice per day.
  • Double the amounts over for children over 18 months.
spirulina smoothie

Tropical Spirulina Smoothie (for infants over 6 months and toddlers!):

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of chopped mango, (frozen works too!)
  • 1 banana chopped
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • ½ avocado
  • ½ - 1 ¼ teaspoons of spirulina powder (depending on the age of the child)

Directions:

  1. Put banana into blender with 1 cup coconut milk and puree until fully blended.
  2. Add the mango and puree.
  3. Add the avocado and the spirulina powder* and once again puree until fully blended.
  4. Pour into cup and enjoy!
toddler drinking spirulina smoothie

Fun Fact:

The American National Aeronautical and Space Agency includes Spirulina in their astronaut diet because it is often described as one of the most complete food sources in the world!

Now go and enjoy the wonderful health benefits of this Superfood- Spirulina!

 

Written by: Dana Stretchberry

Sources:

http://wellnessmama.com/4738/spirulina-herb-profile/

http://www.australianspirulina.com.au/spirulina/spirulina.html

http://www.nutrex-hawaii.com/where-does-spirulina-come-from

 

Images:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-FcOiHMseCmo/Ts3SMgS8ImI/AAAAAAAAAFc/nOm9CbWQK_s/s1600/spirulina+farm.jpg

http://www.seattlehealthcounselor.com/blog/2012/09/spirulina-for-kids-and-babies/

www.sarahlearns.com

www.veganspoonful.com

 

Recipe adapted from:

http://www.mamanatural.com/delicious-tropical-smoothie/