Shakeology Ingredients – Spirulina
Spirulina is one of the most interesting Shakeology ingredients, and one that many people are not familiar with.
What is Spirulina?
Spirulina is a microscopic blue-green algae in the shape of a spiral coil, living both in sea and fresh water. One of the species of Spirulina, Arthrospira, is cultivated around the world, and is used as a human dietary supplement, as well as a whole food. It is available in tablet, flake, and powder form, and is also used as a feed supplement in the aquaculture, aquarium, and poultry industries.
Spirulina is believed to have been a food source for the Aztecs and other Mesoamericans until the 16th century; its harvesting from Lake Texcoco and subsequent sale as cakes is described by one of Cortés’ soldiers. Spirulina may have an even longer history in Chad, as far back as the 9th century Kanem Empire. It is still in daily use today, dried into cakes called Dihé, which are used to make broths for meals, and also sold in markets.
Spirulina Nutrition Information
Spirulina contains an unusually high amount of protein with, between 55% and 77% by dry weight, depending upon the source. It is a complete protein, meaning it contains all essential amino acids for human dietary needs. Spirulina also contains many essentially fatty acids, including a large amount of gamma-linolenic acid.
As for nutrients, Spirulina has significant amounts of vitamin A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), B12 (cobalamin), vitamins C, D, and E, folate, vitamin K, biotin, pantothenic acid, and inositol.
Spirulina Health Benefits
A number of animal and test tube studies suggest that Spirulina increases production of antibodies, cytokines (infection fighting proteins), and other cells that improve immunity and help ward off infection and chronic illnesses such as cancer.
Likewise, Spirulina is suggested to stop the release of histamines and prevent inflammation in order to lessen allergic reactions and even act as a pro-biotic to build up healthy bacteria cultures in the digestive system.
- Spirulina in Shakeology – Each Shakeology serving contains 350 mg of Spirulina.
If you would like to continue reading about other Shakeology ingredients, be sure to check out our article on Chia seed.