We hear the word “superfood” thrown around quite a bit these days. A marketing buzzword, it’s intended to imply good health, yet many processed foods boast so-called superfoods on their ingredients lists. (Looking at you, Vegan Cheesy Salad Booster with spirulina.) We’re not fooled. We know that the manufacturing process will tend to strip away beneficial nutrients. Our best bet is to eat simple, whole organic foods, like these 6 true superfoods that make it into our grocery cart each week.
Spirulina is often called out as a superfood. An algae-like organism that’s grown in lakes, it is supposed to be incredibly protein-dense and packed with nutrients. According to Osteopathic Physician Dr. Joseph Mercola, spirulina is “50 to 70 percent protein by weight, which is even better than red meat, which is about 27 percent protein.” Dr. Mercola confirms that spirulina does provide a concentrated source of protein, vitamins, antioxidants and other nutrients and shows promise for fighting a wide variety of diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, neurodegenerative disorders, HIV, allergies and more.
It’s also great for improving digestion, according to Lisa Hayim, RD, MS and NYC-based nutritionist. “These superfood, ocean-based plants have been shown to increase the amount of both lactobacillus and bifidobacterium in the digestive tract,” she says. “These probiotics … may actually improve your gut’s immune response to pathogenic organisms.” Mix a teaspoon or so of the powder with water or lemon juice (and add a dash of raw honey if you like) and bottoms up!
Wondering if spirulina could be the superfood for you, but afraid to try? No worries, we take the plunge for you. Find out what Brit + Co staffers have to say of their first impressions of spirulina.
What’s your opinion of so-called superfoods? Tweet us at @BritandCo.