With the increasingly growing trend of people starting to pay more attention to their overall health, many new health trends have been put front and center. Among them, healthy eating has a new peak. Not only have people started to pay more attention to the foods they eat and the way they eat them, but they are also exploring different types of food as well as the health benefits they carry.
One of such food types is certainly algae. Even though they’ve been around for a long time, algae have only recently been recognized for their amazing health properties. Labeled as superfoods, algae actually contain a lot of healthy and nutritious compounds. With that being said, let’s discuss various health benefits of making algae an essential component in your diet, some great ways you can include them in your regular meal, as well as some delicious recipes you should try out.
What are algae?
Algae is the name used for various types of seaweed and other underwater plants that contain plenty of chlorophyll, lack roots, and stems and offer some amazing health benefits when consumed regularly. If you think about it, different types of fish feed on algae and fish meat is one of the healthiest meat types. So, why not just cut the middleman and go straight to the source of healthy nutrients? Spirulina is probably one of the most widely-used types of algae. The health benefits of spirulina are aplenty, which is why we’ll be focusing more on them next.
Spirulina and its amazing properties
Spirulina is a freshwater type of algae that’s actually quite popular in many kitchens around the world. Due to its deep bluish-green color, spirulina will not only make your meals far healthier but it will also make them look cool.
First off, since spirulina is rich in packed with nutrients, such as protein, vitamins B1 and B2, copper, and iron, it’s actually a great dietary addition to anyone who doesn’t get enough of these through their regular meals. On top of that, spirulina has amazing anti-inflammatory properties, which have proven to be quite beneficial for people suffering from various allergies. Do note, however, that spirulina alone can’t and never should be used as a substitute for allergies medicine.
Why include algae in your meals?
As mentioned earlier, consuming more algae will bring numerous benefits to your body. Some algae are excellent at reducing bad cholesterol, without affecting the levels of good cholesterol. This means that not only will you get plenty of vitamins and minerals through algae, but you’ll actually help keep your entire body in order.
High cholesterol levels can lead to some serious health issues and diseases, so keeping it in check is always a good idea. Moreover, various algae have great antioxidant properties which is another thing that justifies the superfoods label. Since our bodies are constantly exposed to harmful materials no matter how clean and safe we’re trying to live our lives, getting a healthy dose of antioxidants in each day certainly can’t hurt.
How can I include algae in my diet?
Algae are actually quite simple to include in any diet. Since they most commonly come in the form of powder or dehydrated tablets, adding them to your meals is actually quite easy. You can simply add a teaspoon of algae to your smoothie and enjoy not just the health benefits but also the cool color your smoothie will receive from algae.
This is also a great way to encourage your kids to eat more algae as well, as they won’t be able to resist the way the smoothie will look. As for powdered algae, you can mix them into your salad dressing, add them to your favorite dip or simply sprinkle them on top of the food you’ve prepared. They can also be an excellent addition to any soup or broth you’re making as well as the perfect way to spice up your morning oats.
Finally, a fun recipe
As promised, we simply can’t talk about adding algae to your regular diet without mentioning at least one delicious recipe. While simply talking about the ways you can add algae to your food is great, actually providing you with a recipe to try out is even better. So, check this one out:
Spirulina Ice cream
- ½ cup of full-fat coconut milk
- ¼ cup agave or maple syrup
- 1 tsp spirulina
- 1 tbsp cacao nibs
Use either a blender or a wire whisk to mix in all the ingredients except for the cacao nibs. When blended into a smooth mixture, transfer into a bowl and place in the freezer for at least 4 hours to allow the mixture to freeze. When serving, sprinkle cacao nibs on top and add some fresh mint to taste. Enjoy!
The best thing about this recipe is that it’s not only vegan but it’s also gluten-free, which makes it a delicious guilt-free treat for any time you need a pick-me-up snack. Additionally, the maple/agave syrup can easily be replaced with some type of stevia alternative, which will turn this already healthy ice cream into a diabetic-friendly snack.
As you can see, there are plenty of benefits when it comes to adding more algae into your regular diet. Even though algae are not something you hear many people discussing, that doesn’t make them any less healthy or beneficial. Besides, they wouldn’t be considered superfood if the weren’t actually super!