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[ 550 ]Spirulina platensis

Spirulina Powder

1/4 Pound:  $7.09 Pound:  $15.75 
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Spirulina platensis
plant overview
spirulina, a “super” food

What is spirulina powder? Spirulina is a powder produced from a water-based organism that appears blue in color, even though it uses sunlight to produce energy like green plants do. Spirulina powder is a popular “superfood” taken in capsule form or added directly to smoothies, yogurt, soups, and other foods and beverages. Spirulina powder is a rich source of calcium iron, protein, essential fatty acids, B vitamins, trace minerals, carotenoids, and other antioxidants. You can buy spirulina powder online in ¼ pound and full pound quantities.

Clicking "learn more" next to each variety will take you to individual product pages for details.

A Bit of Botany

a little botanical information on spirulina

Spirulina is an aquatic micro-organism often referred to as an algae, though botanically it more closely resembles bacteria. At one time the maxima and plaetensis species were classified in the genus Spirulina. It is now agreed that the species are in fact in the genus Arthrospira; nevertheless the older term Spirulina persists and is presumably in use due to historical precedent, sometimes causing confusion.

Arthrospira is a genus (Family Phormidiaceae) of free-floating filamentous cyanobacteria characterized by cylindrical, multicellular trichomes in an open left-hand helix.

common names & nomenclature
The name spirulina comes from modern Latin, spirula meaning "small spiral (shell)".

Also known as:
spirulina, arthrospira platensis, arthrospira maxima, blue-green algae (although not technically an algae)

Cultivation & Harvesting

considerations for growing and harvesting spirulina

Arthrospira platensis is naturally occuring in tropical and subtropical lakes with high pH and high concentrations of carbonate and bicarbonate.

Most cultivated spirulina is produced in open channel raceway ponds; paddle-wheels are used to agitate the water.

Monitoring the temperature, pH and concentration of algae is paramount. Once the concentration increases to about 0.5g/L the algae must be harvested. Harvesting can be done by using a cloth and simply filtering the solution thereby obtaining a “biomass” of about 10% dry matter per liter. The biomass harvested is then pressed in a cloth in order to produce a kind of cake.

Even though spirulina is most nutritious in its wet form, its swift spoilage makes dried algae more practical. spirulina lasts for a few days at most if refrigerated, and only for a few hours at room temperature. Hence if it In order for to be transported or stored it must be dried. Once dried and well packaged it can be stored for at least a year without losing nutritional value. Store dried spirulina powder in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

The Rest of the Story

additional information

spirulina provides protein support
Many people are turning to diets that are low, if not free from, animal products. These diets are healthful as long as they’re supported by a good amount of protein. One way that you can make sure you’re getting enough protein is by supplementing your diet with spirulina.

Spirulina is a form of algae that provides you with all of the amino acids you need for a complete protein. While many plant sources provide you with many of the amino acids you needs, you usually have to pair them with other sources in order to get all of those amino acids.

But when you have spirulina on your side, you don’t have to supplement with anything else. You’ll get all of the amino acids you need in order to build cells and tissues that keep you healthy and strong.

Spirulina is a particularly good supplement for people who are making the transition to a vegetarian, vegan, or raw food diet. Adding spirulina to your diet can guarantee that you won’t lack the protein you need to survive. While many vegetarians and vegans end up deficient in protein, this supplement can make sure that never happens to you.

The health benefits of eliminating meat from your diet can be huge, and no matter what diet plan you’re following as you eliminate animal products, spirulina will provide you with the support you need.

You can use it in several forms, but most people add spirulina powder to a smoothie to get the most benefit from it. It comes in powders, capsules, tablets, and flakes. The easiest way to use it and digest it is to add the powder to a liquid such as juice or a smoothie.

Just a small amount of spirulina in the morning can give you all the protein you need for an entire day. And what’s even better, you won’t be adding any saturated fats to your diet that can clog up your arteries and ruin your heart.

If you’re looking to improve your health, lose weight, or just make sure you’re getting enough protein in your diet, spirulina is a great supplement to add to your diet. If you’re eliminating animal products from your diet, spirulina is particularly helpful because it provides a complete protein you can’t get from other plant sources.

Formulas & recipes
How to use spirulina powder
Spirulina is said to have a fish-like taste, some would call an “acquired taste,” which is why the capsule form of the herb is so common. The powder can also be added to smoothies or juices to get all the spirulina powder benefits without the fishy taste.

Spirulina smoothie recipe
-1 teaspoon spirulina
-1 frozen banana
-1 cup spinach
-½ cucumber, sliced
-¾-1 cup coconut milk, full fat
-1 teaspoon chia seeds

Add all the above ingredients to a blender and blend until consistency and color is uniform. The smoothie should be bright green with smoothie thickness. If the smoothie is too thick, add a bit more coconut milk and blend it on low for 5 seconds. If the smoothie is too thin, add more frozen banana or ice to thicken it up. Top with honey, blueberries, and any other fruit you think would go well. Enjoy!

Where in the World

habitat and range for spirulina

Arthrospira platensis occurs in Africa, Asia and South America, but cultivated in many areas. The largest commercial producers of spirulina are located in the United States, Thailand, India, Taiwan, China, Pakistan, Burma (a.k.a. Myanmar), Greece and Chile.

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised:  Before making any changes to your diet you should always consult with your doctor, especially if you are pregnant, nursing or have existing conditions.

All reviews solely reflect the views and opinions expressed by the reviewer and not that of Monterey Bay Herb Co. We do not verify or endorse any claims made by any reviewer. None of these statements have been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition.