Happy day two of my 12-day blog series where we explore beauty foods that will have you glowing from the inside out!
Today's beauty food is SPIRULINA!
Have you used this powerful little super food before? You've no doubt heard of it, as it's made it's way through the trendy health circuit. The first time I heard of spirulina, I was a bit confused, wondering how to best use it - how much to use and what flavors or recipes to pair it with. Now that I feel like a bit more of a spirulina aficionado, I'd like to share my favorite easy way to incorporate spirulina in my daily routine.
If you've read my blog before, you know I'm obsessed with green smoothies. More on my green smoothie philosophy, here. They are hands-down the easiest way to get more of this power-packed blue-green freshwater algae into your diet.
The reason spirulina is the bomb.com is that this nutrient-dense micro algae is rich in anti-oxidants and teaming with skin-boosting chlorophyll and phytonutrients. On top of that, it's also a plant source of essential amino acids. Other vitamins and minerals found in spirulina include B vitamins, vitamins C, D, and E, iron, copper, and manganese.
In addition to skin-supporting properties, there are a myriad of additional health benefits, including;
- Candida fighter - it acts as a microfloral balancer by being anti-microbial for candida while promoting healthy bacterial flora
- Cancer prevention and support - anti-oxidant properties facilitate healthy cell regeneration
- Blood sugar and Hypoglycemia regulator (Type 2 Diabetes support) - stabilizes glucose levels in the blood
- Thyroid support: provides critical micronutrients the thyroid needs
Spirulina for Radiant Skin
What it does to your body behind the scenes is what leads to brighter, glowing skin.
Spirulina is rich in chlorophyl (what gives plants their green color and allows them to turn sunlight into energy) and phytonutrients, which translates to clearer skin, brighter eyes, and major de-puffing! Because spirulina contains high levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and chromium, it heals and strengthens our tired adrenals and supports the liver in cleansing, which has long-term healthy regenerating effects for the cells in our body. It also draws out heavy metals from the gut, brain, and central nervous system. If you've had exposure to arsenic (commonly in unfiltered water sources), spirulina is your new BFF. And to top it off, spirulina is rich in gamma linolenic acid (GLA), an essential amino acid that leads to smoother skin by fighting inflammation and has been shown to combat eczema.
My favorite way to incorporate spirulina into my daily life is, of course, in smoothies! It adds to the beautiful green color, and amps up the detoxing chlorophyll power in my morning routine. Since, I always seem to be in need of something fast and easy (and dislike washing dishes!) I created this recipe with minimal cleanup in mind. In fact, while you will need to do a little prep ahead of time by freezing the pineapple, banana, and ginger, all you have to do in the morning is throw everything into the blender. No knives or cutting boards to clean! I've measured this out, but please feel free to eyeball all the quantities - it doesn't have to be perfect. I haven't timed myself, but this smoothie no doubt took me less than three minutes, including cleanup!
Another way to get a quick and easy spirulina fix is by mixing ~1/4 teaspoon with 8 oz. of coconut water. It totally masks the funny taste of the spirulina and is instantly hydrating and energizing.
EASY GREEN SMOOTHIE
(makes two 16-oz. smoothies)
- 2 cups ice cold filtered water or coconut water
- 3 cups (~3 handfuls) pre-washed baby spinach
- 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
- 1 peeled frozen banana, broken into pieces
- 1/2 inch peeled, pressed fresh ginger (freeze ahead)
- 1 Tbsp. cilantro leaves
- 1/2 teasp. spirulina
- Hemp seeds for topping
Combine water and spinach in Vitamix (or other powerful blender!). Blend until spinach is totally incorporated, about 30 seconds on high. Add remaining ingredients and blend another ~30 seconds on high.
Note: You'll want to freeze pineapple, banana, and ginger if possible prior to smoothie making (this will result in a nice, cold, slushy consistency of your smoothie!). If you have fresh, that's great too, but allow extra time for prep. For tips on freezing ginger, see my blog post from yesterday.
Spirulina, which grows primarily in tropical and subtropical lakes, is susceptible to environmental toxins, so it's important to choose quality-sourced varieties. Hawaiian spirulina is known to be one of the best! Here's the brand I buy.
*If you are pregnant or nursing, please consult with your doctor before adding spirulina to your diet. Same goes for your kids!
If you want to participate in our Beautycounter giveaway (a Color Intense Lipstick), please use the embedded links to shop products! Today's food is specifically designed to align with Beautycounter's No. 1 Brightening + Vitamin C line, which I have been using for the past few weeks and am loving!
Thank you for reading! I'd love to hear your favorite ways to use today's Inside Out Beauty Food, in the comments!