Blue green algae may be the newest “superfood”. From it’s protein content to healthy fatty acids, this bacteria packs a nutritional punch.
Alright folks. It’s time to talk about pond scum.
Yes the gooey green stuff you try to step around when you’re at the beach. I’m talking about blue green algae: more specifically, spirulina.
You may be wondering why blue green algae is making it’s way into all sorts of health food products, and I’m here to tell you why. I stopped by WCIU You & Me This Morning to share my new-found love of blue green algae and why I’m adding it to my diet and beauty routine. The video below outlines the whole shebang, but if you’re in a time crunch I’ve outlined the benefits of algae and various ways I use it in my life. Enjoy!
Blue Green Algae: Where Does it Come From?
There are two types of edible microalgae: spirulina and chlorella. Spirulina is a blue green algae while chlorella is known as a green algae. For now, I’ll focus on the benefits and uses of spirulina.
Spirulina can be found in freshwater from Hawaii and other tropical locations around the world. It’s harvested in fresh water lakes, ponds, and even lagoons.
Benefits of Spirulina:
- A plant-based source of Omega 3 and healthy fatty acids: When algae is consumed in the form of Algal Oil (oil from algae), it contains DHA, a type of acid that accounts for the majority of Omega 3’s. For those of us that are strictly vegetarian or vegan, fish oil doesn’t cut it. So, researches have started going to the source, algae, to harvest Omega 3. When you think of it, what do fresh water fish consume to create healthy fats? Algae. Because of this, you may start seeing algal oil popping up on the market being labeled as the new cooking oil.
- Blue green algae is packed with chlorophyll: Chlorophyll is a plant pigment that thrives off of sunlight. When used as a supplement, it is supposed to support red blood cell restoration, as well as cleansing us from heavy metals. Some also believe that chlorophyll gives us an extra boost of energy since it is known as a blood builder.
- Fabulous beauty benefits: I typically don’t talk about ingredients unless I know I can use them for some sort of beauty purpose! When used topically, blue green algae is supposed to tighten, rejuvinate, and tone our skin. Because of its protein and fatty acid content, it may help us tighten and tone our skin. Spirulina also has a blend of antioxidants including beta carotene which acts as a UV defense and can give us a glow from the inside out. When mixed with ingredients like Moroccan clay or apple cider vinegar, it can give our skin a nutrient boost all while tightening and detoxing impurities from our skin.
3 Ways to Use Blue Green Algae:
- As a smoothie additive: I like adding spirulina powder to my smoothies to give them a green boost. My go to smoothie recipe is a two handfuls of spinach, a cup of almond milk, half of a banana, and a cup of ice. I add a teaspoon of spirulina powder, blend it all together, and gobble it up in 2.5 seconds. If you’re wondering about the flavor, it doesn’t taste like seaweed.
- As a face mask: A very simple face mask that you can make in five minutes flat is a blend of blue green algae powder and aloe vera gel. I take 1 tablespoon of spirulina, and 1 tablespoon of aloe gel, mix them together, apply to my face for 30 minutes, then rinse off. The aloe vera gel is a great soothing agent which helps with sun burn and irritations. It’s the perfect mask for summer!
- As a protein powder: You can find protein powders that contain blue green algae and use them in all sorts of recipes from smoothies to baked goods. I like adding spirulina protein powder to my homemade energy ball recipes and oatmeal bars.
Are there any additional ways that you use blue green algae? Share in the comments below!