Health Foods 101: Spirulina

Health Foods 101: Spirulina(Source: Thinkstock)

Everyone wants to eat healthy, but not everyone knows where to start. Whether you're trying to lose a few pounds or looking for an extra energy boost, food is the foundation of positive results. To help you navigate the grocery aisles, we're starting a series called Health Foods 101. With the help of experts, we'll be breaking down popular ingredients, why they're good for you and how to eat them.

Up this week: Spirulina. To get all the info on this super ingredient we consulted McKel Hill, MS RD LDN, the dietitian and creator of wholesome lifestyle site Nutrition Stripped.

What it is:
Spirulina is a blue-green micro-algae grown and harvested from very alkaline water sources. It is commonly ingested in tablet form, powders, flakes, pills or capsules. Hill said she prefers its freeze-dried powder form and added, "Spirulina tastes unique, as if nutty flavors of chocolate, vanilla and slightly sweet seaweed were mixed together."

Its nutritional value:
Spirulina is considered a "superfood" because of its antioxidant content. In just 100 grams (less than one cup), it contains 57 grams of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamins A,C, K, E, B, calcium copper, iron magnesium, potassium, zinc and selenium.

Health benefits it yields:
Thanks to the powerful mix of nutrients listed above, the food is anti-inflammatory, boosts immunity, protects the liver, reduces allergic reactions, improves muscle endurance and oxidative stress, is said to reduce oral cancer and can help fight infections and antibiotics-related illnesses.

How you eat it:
Hill suggests mixing spirulina into smoothies, desserts, fresh juices or water for a nutrient boost. 

How much you should eat:
Up to you! As you read, even 100 grams is full of rich health benefits. Hill also suggested that you should stick to organic sources.

Recipe to Try: Spirulina Energy Globes
For a quick nutrient-packed snack, try one of Hill's recipes using spirulina on Nutrition Stripped here.

Health Foods 101: Spirulina(Source: McKell Hill)

Former Associate Editor at StyleBistro. Willing to try any workout trend. Green beauty junkie. Fan of overdressing. Proud member of the cult of Beyoncé. Twitter/Insta: @kristinarodulfo Follow me: Google