Well Being

Robyn Youkilis Explains Spirulina (And Why We Should All Be Taking It)

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spirulina smoothie
Acai berry, chia seedscow placenta…We'll eat anything if someone tells us that it can make us healthier. But while some enjoy only momentary celebrity (I miss you, kombucha), others, like the micro-organ spirulina (it's basically seaweed) have been around for centuries. And when something's been touted for that long, you've got to ask: What's so awesome about it…and should I be eating it? Or at least, I did. And then I asked health food expert Robyn Youkilis.

Youkilis is a board certified holistic health coach who regularly hosts seminars and workshops, where she teaches individuals how to be their most healthy selves through educated eating. She's also a big fan of spirulina, a bright-green organism that's often turned into a fine powder, and has been cultivated in South America for ages; the Aztecs used to eat it as a primary food source.

But it's got plenty of clout in the modern world, too. Not only has it been shown to improve physical prowess, but, according to Youkilis (and multitudes of research, and NASA), the complete protein is sustainable superfood that basically everyone should be incorporating into their diet.

What exactly is spirulina?

Spirulina is a blue-green micro-algae; those teeny tiny little micro-organisms at the very bottom of the food chain.

Is it safe for the environment to harvest large quantities of spirulina?

Yes, since it's a single cell organism it doesn't require a lot of resources. Check out what David Wolfe has to say on these specifics.

Why would a woman want to incorporate spirulina into her diet? What are its health benefits?

It's a complete vegetarian source of protein containing all 8 essential amino acids and 14 non-essential ones. But the best part is, it helps control cravings. Too much (usually animal-sourced) or too little can often effect our cravings. Including a complete vegetarian source of protein will help curb them.

Additionally, it is great for muscle and joint recovery post workout as well as an abundance of B vitamins, such as B6, and B12 which can help balance mood and boost metabolism!

How does it compare to hemp, whey, and other supplements?

It is one of the original “superfoods”; a name bestowed upon certain “power” foods that have an extremely high phytonutrient content and offer up a bevy of health benefits. It's great to mix and match superfoods and supplements and see what works best for you.

Also, this is where working with a health coach comes in, I personally recommend which ones would suit you and your needs best.

What are some of the best ways to add it into your diet?

You can add it in dried powder form to smoothies (and even popular health food restaurants or juice bars have it) or take it in capsule form. There are also some cool specialty products on the market that contain spirulina–just check the list of ingredients.

Ready to try the superfood that's been keeping astronauts and Aztecs healthy for thousands of years? You can find spirulina at just about any health food store, or you can order it online. And be sure to tell us what you think.

Image: Smoothie Web

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