Warriors Eat Their Greens
Spirulina is another ancient algae, dating back to approximately 2-2.5 billion years ago. Unlike Chlorella, however, Spirulina grows in hot, alkaline environments which helps to maintain a naturally sterile habitat for growth and makes it easier to consume safely. The Aztec empire regularly harvested “tecuitlatl” from Lake Texcoco which was located close to their capital, Tenochtitlan, or modern day Mexico City. They used mesh baskets to skim the algae from the surface, and then laid it to dry and bake in the sun on compacted sand along the shoreline. It would form a cracker-like substance which was a staple of their diet and was credited for many nutritional benefits. This practice ended with Spanish conquest in the 1500s. On the other side of the globe, the Kanembu tribe still perform a similar harvesting and preparation process on the shores of Lake Chad in Africa to this day, and have even experienced windows of time where Spirulina was their only food source. Today, Spirulina is grown in controlled environments to meet its high commercial demand around the globe.
Spirulina Algae Nutrients
- Contains all known vitamins A-E and K, especially rich in the B-Complex
- May naturally contain all essential and non essential amino acids
- Naturally rich in minerals similar to chlorella because of its rich chlorophyll content, but is particularly dense in iron.
- Original plant source of essential Omega 3s, DHA and EPA, and also contains essential Omega 6, GLA
- Contains many antioxidants like astaxanthin, zeaxanthin, and S.O.D.(Superoxide Dismutase)
Many of the nutrients in Spirulina and other greens overlap quite a bit. All greens seem to assist with pH balance, overall digestive health, immune and inflammatory response, and healthy aging just to name a few. Spirulina is special because it is extremely dense in highly bioavailable proteins and b-vitamins. A single serving of Spirulina is about 65-71% protein compared to beef which is only about 18% protein. It is no wonder this algae was a staple of the Aztec diet. They considered it a gift from the gods even though its name, “tecuitlatl,” loosely translates to “rock poop.” They gave it this name as they observed it would cling to rocks on the shore; they believed it came from the rocks. The Aztecs were physically active people and they needed the nutrients from Spirulina to maintain their active bodies. Warriors eat their greens.
Incorporating Spirulina Algae Every Day
Like other greens, spirulina can be found alone in powder and combined in super green blends which can be added to smoothies and juices. Spirulina can also be added to something hot if desired, but some of the nutrients may break down in the heat so it is best if consumed cold or at room temperature. It can have a strong, fishy odor and taste so tablets which can be chewed or swallowed whole are also a popular choice.