"The '#1 Superfood' That Americans Are Missing Out On"
It's highly prized in other parts of the world, but sadly not here…Find out why AARP named this a '#1 Superfood' and why you may be missing out on one the most astonishing health-supporting foods in existence.*
By Dr. Mercola
There are over forty thousand different varieties of these single-celled organisms, but one has consistently stood above the crowd during the last forty years for its spectacular nutrient content.
This acclaimed "superfood" is spirulina.
Spirulina is a variety of fresh water blue-green algae similar in makeup to sea vegetables such as dulse, kelp, nori, kombu, arame, wakame, and chlorella.
However, compared to other sea vegetables, spirulina has been shown to be more easily digestible and have greater nutrient bioavailability.
Having gained international attention and the focus of extensive research, the AARP labeled spirulina as a #1 superfood in its September 2005 issue.
What's more, because of its rich nutrient content and highly available, abundant protein, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization identified it as a potential tool in the fight against widespread malnutrition.
Simply stated, containing up to 70 percent protein by weight and with all of the essential amino acids, the quality of spirulina's protein rivals that of the best protein sources.
This even includes milk, eggs, and beef.
However, one must consider the dosing since spirulina is typically used in much smaller levels than these proteins. It typically is considered a supplement and not a protein replacement.
What's more, spirulina is one of the highest, most digestible sources of "complete" protein. A complete protein contains all essential amino acids.
Spirulina contains other important phytonutrients, too:
Essential fatty acids, including hard-to-find gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) for your heart and joint health*
Minerals such as Iron, Magnesium, Calcium, Selenium, and Zinc
Sulpholipids and the antioxidant enzyme Superoxide dismutase (SOD) all of which are in a bio-available form
And that's not all...
Within spirulina's deep, dark color lies an impressive array of natural pigments.
Green from chlorophyll... blue from phycocyanin... and orange from carotenoids... all collecting and passing along the sun's energy and supporting your healthy, normal growth.*
In fact, spirulina is one of the highest sources for phytopigments like phycocyanin, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin and other plant pigments.
One of the richest beta-carotene foods in existence, spirulina's ten mixed carotenoids, including orange carotenes, alpha, beta, gamma, and yellow xanthophylls, work within your body.*
Research suggests spirulina's potential benefits for promoting total body health, including...
Promoting normal immune response*
Promoting optimal gastrointestinal flora*
Supporting optimal digestion*
Helping to maintain normal blood pressure levels that are already within the normal range*
Helping to maintain normal blood sugar levels that are already within the normal range*
Promoting increased seasonal comfort*
Supporting heavy metal detoxification*
Promoting optimal cardiovascular health*
Supporting normal immune system activity*
Curbing hunger and promoting a feeling of increased energy*
Of all the phytopigments found in spirulina, there is one in particular generating much interest among scientists...
Spirulina is especially recognized among scientists for its phycocyanin content, the vibrant phytopigment that gives spirulina its natural bluish tint.
Studies show that phycocyanin may have multiple health benefits, including support of brain and heart health, protection against oxidative stress, and the promotion of a healthy immune system.*
In mammals, phycocyanin converts to phycocyanorubin, an antioxidant very close in structure to bilirubin.
Why is this important? Evidence suggests bilirubin can protect tissues against free radical-caused oxidative damage.* In fact, slightly elevated bilirubin blood levels have been linked to normal healthy cardiovascular function.*
Phycocyanin is found only in spirulina. And it's plentiful, too -- phycocyanin makes up about 16 percent of spirulina's total weight.
Plus, phycocyanin may play a major role in stem cell regeneration, especially in bone marrow and blood cells.* Phycocyanin supports the creation of the red blood cells that oxygenate your body and the white blood cells that make up your cellular immune system.*
What's more, scientists have discovered that the phycocyanin in spirulina supports white blood cell production.*
When I do recommend a supplement, I believe it's important to use one derived from safe, whole foods. This helps ensure that you receive all of the cofactors and enzymes naturally found in the food along with the vitamins and minerals. With whole food supplements you're not getting isolated, lab-manufactured vitamins and minerals like those typically found in many supplements. Rather, you're receiving them as nature intended – as part of the entire food.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.