Fostering a Gentler, Healthier and more Compassionate World for all Living Beings

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Spirulina is gaining more attention from medical scientists as a nutraceutical and source of potential pharmaceuticals. There are several peer reviewed scientific studies about Spirulina’s ability to inhibit viral replication, strengthen both the cellular and humoral arms of the immune system and cause regression and inhibition of cancer. While these studies are preliminary and more research is needed, the results so far are exciting. 

What Is Spirulina?

Spirulina, (rhymes with “ballerina”), is a traditional food of some Mexican and African peoples. It is a plank tonic blue-green algae found in warm water alkaline volcanic lakes. Wild Spirulina sustains huge flocks of flamingos in the alkaline East Africa Rift Valley Lakes. It possesses an amazing ability to thrive in conditions much too harsh for other algae. As might be expected, it has highly unusual nutritional profile. Spirulina contains 18 amino acids in the exact proportion to mother's breast milk, is the world’s richest natural source of Vitamin B-12 and contains a whole spectrum of natural mixed carotene and xanthophylls phytopigments. Spirulina has a soft cell was made of complex sugars and protein, and is different from most other algae in that it is easily digested. Millions of people worldwide eat Spirulina cultivated in scientifically designed algae farms. Current world production of Spirulina for human consumption is more than one thousand metric tons annually. The United States leads world production followed by Thailand, India and China. More countries are planning production as they realize it is a valuable strategic resource. 

Spirulina is not Chlorella, or the blue-green algae harvested from Klamath Lake, Oregon. Chlorella, green micro-algae, is a nutritious food but does not have the same anti-viral, anti-cancer and immune stimulating properties of Spirulina. The Chlorella cell was is made of indigestible cellulose, just like green grass, while the cell wall of Spirulina is made of complexed proteins and sugars. The Klamath Lake blue-green algae have the scientific name Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, because it can sometimes contain potent nerve toxins. While the scientific literature is full of information concerning the toxicity of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae and its dangers to humans and animals, there are few, if any, peer review scholarly scientific papers regarding therapeutic benefit. In contrast, the scientific literature is full of information concerning the benefits and safety of humans and animals eating Chlorella and Spirulina.

Other Potential Health Benefits

Spirulina is one of the most concentrated natural sources of nutrition known; it contains all the essential amino acids, rich in chlorophyll, beta-carotene and its co-factors, and other natural photochemicals. Spirulina is the only green food rich in GLA essential fatty acid. GLA stimulates growth in some animals and makes skin and hair shiny and soft yet more durable. GLA also acts as an anti-inflammatory, sometimes alleviating symptoms of arthritic conditions. 

Spirulina acts as a functional food, feeding beneficial intestinal flora, especially Lactobacillus and Bifidus. Maintaining a healthy population of these bacteria in the intestine reduces potential problems from opportunistic pathogens like E.coli and Candida albicans. Studies show when Spirulina is added to the diet, beneficial intestinal flora increase. 

Hawaiian Spirulina · Recipes

Creating Recipes with spirulina can be fun, enlivening and tasty. Use spirulina powder in culinary creations, sprinkle it lightly over dinner and salads, and find a new zest and excitement with food. It’s easy, nutritious and colorful.

Here are a few simple rules to follow: 

When first using spirulina powder, use 1 to 2 teaspoonful per recipe to acclimate to the taste, you can always add more later. Add spirulina towards the end of the cooking process, as the most benefit will lessen if spirulina is heated. Spirulina can be added to any recipe; however, spirulina is a dry ingredient, so add it to recipes accordingly.

The following recipe is all allergy-free and nutritious. All ingredients are readily available in health food stores and some supermarkets. Enjoy! 

Banana Energy Treats

Ingredients: 

4 mashed bananas 

1 cup ground sunflower seeds 

1 cup soaked currants 

1 cup raw tahini or raw almond butter 

4 Tbsp. soy milk powder 

1 cup coconut 

2 Tbsp. lecithin 

1 tsp. vanilla extract 

2 tsp. spirulina powder 

Directions: 

Combine all ingredients. Make into balls or logs. Roll in coconut and chill.

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