Blue algae have slowly been making its way into our lives for a while now. You might have seen #spirulinasmoothies taking over your Instagram or chlorella powder on the shelves of your favourite natural health store but this is the year that blue algae goes from being a wallflower to taking centre stage.
If the end of last year is any indication, this year is going to mean more trends in healthy and sustainable living and nothing lives up to the hype like algae. Blue-green algae may not sound like the most delicious superfood, but it is nutrient-dense and much more gentle on our environment than other protein sources like chicken or beef.
Spirulina, for example, produces its own food by photosynthesis without a living organic carbon and is 60% protein that requires minimal energy to produce. So if there ever was a food that can unequivocally be called a superfood, spirulina would be it.
Despite the fact that spirulina is sometimes called ‘pond scum’, it’s also rich in iron and antioxidants. Some have even argued that it’s the most nutrient-dense food on the planet.
In the past week alone, spirulina has made the news for potentially reducing hypertension, relaxing our arteries, and helping us fight obesity. You can also check out our previous blog posts on spirulina that explains how this humble green food supports our gut health and helps alkalize our bodies.
But we can’t let spirulina take all the attention. Chlorella is another freshwater blue-green algae that is bursting with vitamins and minerals.
Chlorella is another plant-based source or protein as well as a source of vitamin B1, B6, K, chlorophyll, and phosphorous too. It’s also been shown to have a positive effect on our blood-sugar levels, fight diabetes, and positively increase our cell activity.
If ‘algae’ brings to mind the slimy stuff on the side of your kid’s aquarium then you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the algae products on the market have been dried and can be taken in capsule or powdered form. Besides smoothies, we like mixing some of the dark green powder in with our smoothies, rice, or grains and once mixed in with our cooking it’s pretty much tasteless.
Need some algae cooking inspiration? We’ve got some delicious spirulina recipes you can test out here!