Spirulina: One of the Best Protein Sources You Probably Aren’t Eating

If you’re a little freaked out by the superfood spirulina| you’re not alone. This algae| which is sold in powder form| has been a favorite of health nuts since the 1970s| and it’s also what gives Naked and Odwalla smoothies that deep green hue. If the idea of eating the blue-green algae scares you| it’s a great idea ¡ª especially if you’re concerned about getting enough protein: just one tablespoon of spirulina offers four grams!

Amino acids make up 62 percent of spirulina| which make it a complete protein. It’s also one of the few known plant sources of vitamin B12 (great for anyone who steers clear of animal products)| and is also full of enzymes and probiotics that may help to enhance your immune system and digestive health. Preliminary studies have also linked spirulina consumption with a reduction in allergy symptoms and improved exercise performance.

If we’re being honest| spirulina doesn’t have the most pleasant flavor and can often overwhelm a recipe| but it’s easy enough to mask the flavor by playing with proportions| or you can take it in pill form| avoiding the taste altogether. For a starter recipe using the good green stuff| blend it up in a not-too-sweet breakfast smoothie rock star Ellie Goulding loves to sip.

Image Source: Shutterstock