Now we all know that there are no quick fixes to pretty much anything in life – especially when it comes to our health and nutrition.  If your energy is lacking or you aren’t feeling up to par, chances are it didn’t happen overnight.

While  we do have some clients who start to feel better quickly, often it’s slow and steady that wins the race.

That being said, there are some superfoods that can help the process move along more quickly.

Enter Spirulina

Spirulina is a natural blue green algae that has been used for centuries as a healing food.  It is packed with easy to digest protein (in fact it is more than half protein by weight), vitamins (more beta carotene than carrots), minerals (including iron), antioxidants, enzymes and more.

Research has found its properties can boost the immune system, the cardiovascular system and overall energy levels.  One study found that spirulina increased exercise performance in runners.*  Spirulina is also a known anti-inflammatory and antihistamine.

Adding spirulina to the diet

Spirulina can be taken via tablets, powders, or flakes. To be perfectly honest, spirulina is not going to win any awards for taste. However, there are ways to add it to foods and drinks to mask the flavor.

Aside from taking tablets, adding a heaping teaspoon of spirulina to your morning smoothie is a great way to work in this superfood. We also love adding spirulina to homemade bars, as in this powerhouse recipe below.

Superfood Freezer Bar
Notice that spirulina isn’t the only superfood in this power bar!

  • 1/4 cup golden ground flax
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons raw unsweetened cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon spirulina powder
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil (softened or melted is easiest)
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey, unsweetened maple syrup or coconut nectar (we use about 1 tablespoon, but you may want to start with a little more until you get used to the taste)
  • 1 teaspoon alcohol free vanilla extract

Mix all of the above in a bowl and spread out into a parchment lined pyrex type dish.  Place the dish in the freezer and allow to chill about 10 minutes.  Break pieces off as needed and keep stored in the freezer.  Note that the bar is not pretty – it’s tough to make a combination of brown and green very attractive, but as far as taste and how you feel afterwards – we think its a winner.

Where to find spirulina

Sourcing is important, as many products are laced with heavy metals or other contaminants. Ideally look for an organic product.

Here is one we like:  Mountain Rose Herbs Spirulina

*http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20010119

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