Let’s face it: images of spirulina are unappealing, but we all know that the deeper green a food is, the better it probably is for us. Kale, broccoli, spinach: mother told you to eat your greens and now you know why. Spirulina is one of these foods: a powder made from algae and extremely wholesome, but there probably wasn’t any in your mother’s kitchen twenty years ago.

Where Does Spirulina Come from?

There’s plenty of this algae floating around the coastal areas of the world, but some sources are more comforting than others. Would you want to ingest a food that was harvested from seawater high in toxicity? Probably not: let the internet guide you to better sources. Is it worth bothering, though?

What Is Special about Spirulina?

Dark rich foods contain tons of nutrients, and this one is no different. It contains numerous vitamins, minerals, and more protein than the ordinary plant material. The goldmine here, especially for vegans and vegetarians, is its iron density. You might not find a better source outside of a bottle.

More Benefits of Spirulina

Health food lovers and makers of spirulina powder believe you can obtain much of your protein, omega 3s, B vitamins, and calcium by taking this supplement alone or in conjunction with other well chosen health foods. It’s a fantastic antioxidant, something to keep in mind if you are at a high risk of developing cancer because of environmental exposure, previous eating habits, or genetics.

As a detox product, this is also a great choice and is potentially useful to those with inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, asthma, and fibromyalgia. Practitioners recommend consuming a food like spirulina after suffering illness to rid your body of remaining germs. Added to a smoothie, you re-hydrate your body at the same time.

Best Sources of Spirulina

Health food review sites recommend products harvested in specific locations and are keen on organic spirulina. They hone in on California and Hawaii, for instance. California is home to the biggest farm, located away from industrial and city pollutants and without chemicals.

Hawaii’s top brand comes from the Kona coast. The key here is sunlight: that’s what makes spirulina grow especially rich. Certain brands taste better than others apparently, but no one recommends sitting with three or four open bottles and a spoon trying them out.

Prices for Spirulina

As you would expect, that’s a wide open topic. Organic products are more expensive than otherwise. Although Chinese spirulina is cheapest, a lot of Americans would be concerned about eating an herbal supplement harvested in China.

For one thing, there are American sources; for another, what are the regulations over there for growing and producing supplements? Select a brand which has passed American testing standards regardless of where it comes from. One of the top brands, Earthrise, charges about $20 for 180 grams of powdered algae or about the same for 360 tablets. Certain supplements combine spirulina with wheat grass and other so-called “super foods.”

Eating Spirulina

You wouldn’t want to take a scoop straight out of the bottle and eat spirulina raw or even mix it with a glass of water, though some hard-core fitness fanatics do this while grimacing. Although some of the best, most nutrient-rich foods are tasty (avocado, broccoli, and spinach, for example), this is not one of them.

Saying that, a teaspoon might go unnoticed in a smoothie as long as you haven’t already loaded it with assorted powders also known for how shockingly bad they taste. It’s also possible (and probably more palatable) to swallow a capsule, but then you miss the fun of turning your health shake green; and every mother knows that’s the best way to make little boys drink it.