In my quest to clean up my diet I have tried a myriad of so called superfoods. One superfood that caught my attention a few years ago was algae – more specifically spirulina and chlorella. As high source of protein and nutrient dense, this blue green algae is filled with many vitamins and minerals including magnesium, calcium and B vitamins. The benefits of spirulina and chlorella include regulating blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, boost energy and detoxification from heavy metals.
Given the amount of research supporting the beneficial health claims of both spirulina and chlorella I was interested in adding it into my diet. Most people who supplement with these algae tend to add it to their smoothies but I am not a big smoothie drinker as I generally prefer to chew my food. Adding aqua greens into my non existent smoothie routine was not going to work for me. I decided that the best way to take the spirulina and chlorella was to mix it with water and just gulp it down. I generally don’t have to much difficulty introducing new things into my diet and I assumed that spirulina and chlorella wouldn’t be an issue.
I was wrong.
Nothing I have ever eaten in my entire life could have prepared me for the disgusting, pungent, nauseating taste of this algae. It smelt funny, tasted worse and left me with an distinctly queasy feeling that I hope to never experience again. I was traumatized. But I am also stubborn and giving up on my goal of including spirulina and chlorella in my diet was not something that I was willing to do just yet. So for the next few days I would faithfully mix a spoonful of the powdered greens with water and choke it down telling myself that it wasn’t that bad, that the agony that I felt was all in my head. I was lying to myself and I was not very convincing.
Spirulina and chlorella soon became my superfood nemesis and I was willing to avoid it all cost. I would think of excuses as to why it was not a good idea to drink it that day, I would “forget” to drink it on the days that I couldn’t think of an excuse and I would hide the container in the back of my fridge so that it would be “out of sight, out of mind”. I should have just thrown in the proverbial towel, thrown away the pricey container of spirulina and chlorella and moved on, but I read a lot of articles and do a lot of research on health and well being, and I was frequently reading about the benefits of these powerful algae. A small part of me was just not willing to completely give up.
I finally came across an article that solved my dilemma. It discussed how wonderful blue green algae was for the body, and offered a simple suggestion for those wanting to create an easy and energizing beverage using spirulina and chlorella – instead of mixing the greens with plain water, use coconut water instead. The sweetness of the coconut water neutralizes the strong seaweedy taste of the chlorella and spirulina and the addition of the coconut water offers extra hydration and electrolytes. Genius! I hadn’t thought to mix it with anything else as I generally stick to water or tea as my choice of beverage. I immediately ran to the grocery store to purchase a carton of pure coconut water and the next morning before heading to the gym I tested out my “new” concoction – while the taste wasn’t amazing, it is tolerable and even somewhat refreshing. Now I’m hooked. Spirulina and chlorella mixed with coconut water is the perfect pre-workout beverage, it’s protein rich, hydrating, energizing, healthy and filling.
For those of you interested in boosting your superfood intake with spirulina and chlorella:
- only purchase algae that is clean, safe and pure – environmental pollution can contaminate algae
- purchase organic to ensure that it is free of fertilizers and toxins
- purchase from a reputable maufacturer
- some people are allergic to spirulina and chlorella, seek medical attention at the first sign of an allergic reaction
- spirulina and chlorella can interfere with certain medications including blood thinners. Check with your doctor to ensure it won’t interfere with any medications you are on and if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
Spirulina and chlorella can be great and healthy additions to many diets but the key is to find a way to take it in a way that works best for you and be consistent. By mixing it with coconut water you have an easy, energizing and healthy drink to help you power through your day.
Are there any super foods that you have struggled with?
I hope that you have a great day! XXS