King of superfoods: what is spirulina and how can it improve my health?
- Credit: Nimrod Genisher Photography
Renowned for its wide-ranging health benefits and powerful antioxidant properties, spirulina is one of the most popular supplements in the wellness world.
It’s best known in its dried powder form, but did you know that it’s also available as a fresher, healthier food, delivered straight to your door?
We chat to Michael Drane, founder of Pure Foods, the UK’s only fresh spirulina supplier based in Norfolk, about the benefits of this nutrient-rich superfood and how it can help you enjoy a happier, healthier life.
Q: Firstly, what exactly is spirulina?
A: Simply put, spirulina is a type of blue-green algae, and one of nature’s most potent sources of nutrients. It’s packed with amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins, proteins, iron and calcium, which is why it’s often referred to as the ‘king of superfoods’. Pure Foods’ spirulina is very different to the powder supplements you find in health food stores – ours is 100 per cent raw, fresh and can be consumed everyday as part of a healthy diet.
Q: What’s the difference between fresh spirulina and the powder supplement?
A: Raw spirulina is a food product and has a much higher nutrient and protein content, which means it’s better for your body. It comes straight from where we grow it in Israel and is flash-frozen to lock in the nutrition and prolong its longevity, so you get the best of both worlds. There’s no dehydration or heat treatment involved – it's 100 per cent fresh and plant-based, making it suitable for vegans. The absorption rate of fresh spirulina is also much higher than the powder version.
Q: Who can benefit from it?
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A: Everyone can benefit from the nutrition found in spirulina – men and women, adults and children, elite athletes and gentle exercisers. Consuming it daily can help to boost your immune system and enhance your fitness goals and active lifestyle. It has also been shown to help with iron deficiencies, and recent studies have found it can help with some of the long-term effects of Covid-19.
Q: What are the health benefits of spirulina?
A: Spirulina is proven to have a range of physical and mental benefits, including:
- Increased energy – iron helps to alleviate mental fatigue, reduce anxiety and improve sleep, while protein creates long-lasting energy release
- Healthy blood flow – vitamin b12 reduces fatigue and lowers blood pressure
- Boosted immune system – amino acids boost the immune system, while antioxidants prevent cellular damage and reduce inflammation-related health issues
- Better digestion – calcium helps regulate body fat while natural fibre enhances gut health, resulting in a more efficient metabolism.
Q: How should I consume it?
A: Consistency is key. Spirulina needs to be taken on a regular basis for you to feel the full health benefits. Our fresh produce is taste-free and odourless, which makes it easy to add into your daily diet. I recommend a serving of 20g each day, and we've got some great recipes on our website.
It’s also worth bearing in mind the quicker you consume it the better – it’s a living product, so the faster you can get it into your body the more benefits you’ll feel. It usually takes around a month to feel a difference to your health.
Q: Is it safe to consume spirulina every day?
A: Some powdered supplements can include chemicals that could cause some minor side effects, but our spirulina is completely natural and contains no chemicals or additives, which means it’s safe to consume daily.
Q: Where can I get it from?
A: Pure Foods is the only company in the UK delivering fresh, natural spirulina to your door. Each punnet is weighed out into 20g serving sizes and is easy to add to smoothies, juices or breakfast bowls. If you’re new to the superfood, you can try our one-week supply trial. We also offer a monthly subscription service with a discounted price.
To find out more, visit purefoodsfresh.co.uk.