The algae spirulina is well deserving of its super-food status, says nutritional therapist Laura Holland.
Spirulina - The Protein Queen
The "superfood" label is overused but there are a few items backed up by research that really do deserve the status. Spirulina is an algae available in a powder or capsule form and, according to a nutritional analysis carried out by Antenna, is one of the richest protein sources around, at 70 per cent (much more than meat, which is about 25 per cent).
It's also full of essential minerals, including magnesium and calcium, both crucial for bone density and cardiovascular health. And with a high vitamin B content, it can have a positive impact on the nervous system.
There is increasing scientific and clinical evidence for spirulina's role in controlling a variety of chronic diseases including diabetes and anaemia. The intense dark green colour of the algae is due to its chlorophyll content and together with a high iron profile it makes spirulina effective for helping those with anaemia - it builds the strength and the vitality of the blood.
It has also been shown to stabilise blood sugar levels due to its nutrient profile, making it a favourite for those trying to lose weight. More importantly, it provides therapeutic support for those with type 2 diabetes.
It's easy to start eating your way through algae. Add a small amount of spirulina powder to juices at breakfast - it has a very mild flavour. It is also available in capsule form for those with a delicate palate. Always check the label for directions first, but taking the greens between meals is a great way to reap the benefits.
Laura Holland is a well-being consultant and nutritional therapist. For more information, go to www.beutifulyou.co.uk