Summary

Green and blue spirulina are packed with great amounts protein, nutrients, and a variety of vitamin and minerals. Not only is it great for you, but it is environmentally friendly as well!

Algae — pond scum, seaweed, and the algal blooms found in lakes — have become a popular family of ingredients in recent years. As spirulina continues to flood the market, health conscious individuals are curious what makes these powders so special, given its therapeutic and supplementary attributes. Originating from single celled organisms, spirulina is a form of algae that is easily digested and brimming with health benefits. Not only is it a great superfood, it’s also produced in a sustainable way, making it a great option for people looking to sustainably pack a nutritional punch.

What is Spirulina?

Spirulina consists of unicellular organisms that use light, warmth, water and minerals to produce protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and other vital nutrients. One of the oldest superfoods on earth, spirulina was first discovered in the sixteenth century. Aztec fishermen living in the capital city of Tenochtitlan were seen by Spanish chroniclers harvesting a “new food” using fine nets collecting this blue colored “techuitlatl” from the lagoons. Algae are often found in water and are photosynthetic organisms, meaning they use sunlight and chlorophyll to make food. Modern farmers harvest the algae from ponds or controlled environments, dry the algae, and grind it into that familiar blue-green powder.

Difference Between Blue & Green

Both green and blue spirulina contain the antioxidant phycocyanin and this fact is perhaps the only similarity between them. Phycocyanin is an antioxidant that gives spirulina its unique blue-green color and can fight free radicals by inhibiting production of inflammatory signaling molecules, providing impressive anti-inflammatory effects.  When it comes to the differences, there are plenty. The most apparent difference is in their differing colors. Green spirulina is the algae in its most basic form and is richer in nutrients than blue spirulina, which is an extract. Blue spirulina contains an isolated form of phycocyanin which gives it a brilliant blue color and potent antioxidant properties. When it comes to flavor profile, green spirulina smells and tastes very strongly of the ocean whereas blue spirulina is less pungent in taste and smell.

Nutrition

Spirulina is crowned a superfood due to the high concentration of vitamins, including vitamins A, C, E and B vitamins, as well as minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc and selenium. Vitamin C and selenium, in particular, are antioxidants that help protect our cells and tissues from damage caused by free radicals. B vitamins - B1, B2, B6, and B12 - found in spirulina can boost energy levels to a great extent by helping transform the food eaten into energy that cells can use.

Spirulina has a 60% protein content, deeming it a richer source of protein than most vegetables. Due to spirulina’s high protein content, consuming it prior to a meal will help us feel fuller and will make us less likely to overindulge. Chlorophyll is a property in spirulina that aids the digestive system in regularizing and improving bowel health, as well as promoting good bacteria in the gut. Due to its high levels of antioxidants, when digested spirulina can bind with heavy metals in the body and help your body to detox them.

Sustainability & Bigger Picture

Spirulina is one of the world’s most environmentally efficient crops. Spirulina produces twenty times more protein per acre than other commonly grown crops such as corn and even soybeans while using ten times less water to produce it. Algae can thrive on marginal, or non-crop land, so they don’t compete with valuable agricultural land. As photosynthetic organisms, algae use sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into usable energy, releasing oxygen as a byproduct, which in turn helps reduce the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Microalgae, in particular, are one of the world’s fastest growing organisms, with some species capable of doubling in less than a day.

Algae can be grown quickly, almost anywhere, and in a way that reduces greenhouse gases without putting pressure on the environment. For those of us living in the Western world, accessing good quality protein is nowhere near as difficult as it is for those living in poverty in developing countries. While known as a niche health-food product domestically, a number of individuals and organizations are developing low cost spirulina programs to address malnutrition and empower the farmers in developing countries. Spirulina offers a profitable, ecologically sound way of producing food that can benefit local rural economies.

Final Thoughts

Both blue and green spirulina can make for a wonderful secret ingredient behind a vibrant creation. Green spirulina has even more health benefits, but if you ever get fatigued of the pungent fishy taste of green spirulina, the blue one will not disappoint as a back-up option! Spirulina is extremely easy to incorporate into your diet through your favorite smoothies, but we love to utilize its bright pigmentation in other fun recipes, such as in our Blue Majik Miso Muffin or in blue-green colored coconut sprinkles. While the idea of incorporating algae into your diet may not sound all that fun or easy, spirulina is not only easy to come by and easy to incorporate into all sorts of foods, it’s also packed with valuable nutrients and is a sustainable ingredient, to boot!

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We believe eating delicious is crucial to a healthy diet. Each week, our team of chefs design a new menu for what's in season, fresh and flavorful.
TRY THISTLE
Posted 
Dec 3, 2020
 in 
Nutrition
 category.
Summary

Green and blue spirulina are packed with great amounts protein, nutrients, and a variety of vitamin and minerals. Not only is it great for you, but it is environmentally friendly as well!

Algae — pond scum, seaweed, and the algal blooms found in lakes — have become a popular family of ingredients in recent years. As spirulina continues to flood the market, health conscious individuals are curious what makes these powders so special, given its therapeutic and supplementary attributes. Originating from single celled organisms, spirulina is a form of algae that is easily digested and brimming with health benefits. Not only is it a great superfood, it’s also produced in a sustainable way, making it a great option for people looking to sustainably pack a nutritional punch.

What is Spirulina?

Spirulina consists of unicellular organisms that use light, warmth, water and minerals to produce protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and other vital nutrients. One of the oldest superfoods on earth, spirulina was first discovered in the sixteenth century. Aztec fishermen living in the capital city of Tenochtitlan were seen by Spanish chroniclers harvesting a “new food” using fine nets collecting this blue colored “techuitlatl” from the lagoons. Algae are often found in water and are photosynthetic organisms, meaning they use sunlight and chlorophyll to make food. Modern farmers harvest the algae from ponds or controlled environments, dry the algae, and grind it into that familiar blue-green powder.

Difference Between Blue & Green

Both green and blue spirulina contain the antioxidant phycocyanin and this fact is perhaps the only similarity between them. Phycocyanin is an antioxidant that gives spirulina its unique blue-green color and can fight free radicals by inhibiting production of inflammatory signaling molecules, providing impressive anti-inflammatory effects.  When it comes to the differences, there are plenty. The most apparent difference is in their differing colors. Green spirulina is the algae in its most basic form and is richer in nutrients than blue spirulina, which is an extract. Blue spirulina contains an isolated form of phycocyanin which gives it a brilliant blue color and potent antioxidant properties. When it comes to flavor profile, green spirulina smells and tastes very strongly of the ocean whereas blue spirulina is less pungent in taste and smell.

Nutrition

Spirulina is crowned a superfood due to the high concentration of vitamins, including vitamins A, C, E and B vitamins, as well as minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc and selenium. Vitamin C and selenium, in particular, are antioxidants that help protect our cells and tissues from damage caused by free radicals. B vitamins - B1, B2, B6, and B12 - found in spirulina can boost energy levels to a great extent by helping transform the food eaten into energy that cells can use.

Spirulina has a 60% protein content, deeming it a richer source of protein than most vegetables. Due to spirulina’s high protein content, consuming it prior to a meal will help us feel fuller and will make us less likely to overindulge. Chlorophyll is a property in spirulina that aids the digestive system in regularizing and improving bowel health, as well as promoting good bacteria in the gut. Due to its high levels of antioxidants, when digested spirulina can bind with heavy metals in the body and help your body to detox them.

Sustainability & Bigger Picture

Spirulina is one of the world’s most environmentally efficient crops. Spirulina produces twenty times more protein per acre than other commonly grown crops such as corn and even soybeans while using ten times less water to produce it. Algae can thrive on marginal, or non-crop land, so they don’t compete with valuable agricultural land. As photosynthetic organisms, algae use sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into usable energy, releasing oxygen as a byproduct, which in turn helps reduce the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Microalgae, in particular, are one of the world’s fastest growing organisms, with some species capable of doubling in less than a day.

Algae can be grown quickly, almost anywhere, and in a way that reduces greenhouse gases without putting pressure on the environment. For those of us living in the Western world, accessing good quality protein is nowhere near as difficult as it is for those living in poverty in developing countries. While known as a niche health-food product domestically, a number of individuals and organizations are developing low cost spirulina programs to address malnutrition and empower the farmers in developing countries. Spirulina offers a profitable, ecologically sound way of producing food that can benefit local rural economies.

Final Thoughts

Both blue and green spirulina can make for a wonderful secret ingredient behind a vibrant creation. Green spirulina has even more health benefits, but if you ever get fatigued of the pungent fishy taste of green spirulina, the blue one will not disappoint as a back-up option! Spirulina is extremely easy to incorporate into your diet through your favorite smoothies, but we love to utilize its bright pigmentation in other fun recipes, such as in our Blue Majik Miso Muffin or in blue-green colored coconut sprinkles. While the idea of incorporating algae into your diet may not sound all that fun or easy, spirulina is not only easy to come by and easy to incorporate into all sorts of foods, it’s also packed with valuable nutrients and is a sustainable ingredient, to boot!

Get meals delivered to your door
We believe eating delicious is crucial to a healthy diet. Each week, our team of chefs design a new menu for what's in season, fresh and flavorful.
TRY THISTLE
Posted 
Dec 3, 2020
 in 
Nutrition
 category.