Spirulina is more than just a pretty name, according to a dietitian.
Not only does this superfood sound like a princess, it can actually do your body some REAL good. You may have found it in one of those blue algae lattes you scrolled past on Instagram, on a menu, and especially, in our Matcha Superfood Blend. Why is it included in our pre-workout you ask?
We chatted with Krista King, a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified health coach of Composed Nutrition to talk about the benefits of this pretty little algae surrounding women's fitness and wellness.
What are some of the benefits of Spirulina?
Spirulina is a type of algae that is extremely nutrient dense - 1 tablespoon equals 4g of plant-based protein. "This is almost comparable to an egg, which provides 6g of protein," King says. It's also an excellent source of iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium.
In terms of fitness specifically, Spirulina is an antioxidant powerhouse and can help to reduce inflammation. "Studies have shown that Spirulina has beneficial effects on muscle endurance and exercise performance", King says. Spirulina can also help to balance cholesterol levels, lowering the bad (LDL cholesterol) and increasing the good (HDL cholesterol.)
Are there any benefits of Spirulina associated with women's health?
Why, yes! Spirulina nutrients help support your liver, which is the primary place of detoxification processes and is very important for hormone metabolism. In particular for women, the liver detoxifies estrogen to package and clear from the body.
Foods like Spirulina help to support this natural detoxification system for hormone balance. "Imbalances in estrogen and progesterone can be behind hormone-related symptoms we often associate with PMS like cramps, mood swings, breast pain, and bloating", King says.
What's the recommended amount of Spirulina to supplement your diet?
"In general, Spirulina is safe to consume, but may have potential side effects. With any supplement, it’s important to check with your doctor to ensure it’s right for you," King says. While there is no set recommended daily amount of Spirulina to consume, studies have used anywhere from 1 g to 4.5 g per day.
It's also worth mentioning that if you're taking any blood thinner medications, this superfood may not be for you. "If you have an autoimmune condition, bleeding disorder, or a genetic condition called phenylketonuria, consult your doctor before starting", King says.
Are there any recipes you like with Spirulina yourself?
Aside from giving anything it touches a beautiful blue green hue, Spirulina is an easy and convenient way to kick your breakfast or mid-day snack up a notch in nutrients. "Spirulina is great to add to green smoothies, smoothie bowls, or green juices", King says.
Our Matcha Superfood Blend packs a big Spirulina kick to combine your nutrient fix with your energy boost.