Feeling Blah? Reach For This One Superfood, Says An Energy Specialist
The term superfood has become so popular, you might wonder what makes a food "super" in the first place. And while trendy elixers and little-known ingredients tend to get all the attention, many whole, everyday foods are "super" in their own way. Some are exceptionally high in vitamins and minerals, while others are plant-based protein powerhouses. And many tick both of those boxes!
You can also categorize these foods based on a specific nutrition goal you have in mind. Take, for example, superfoods for energy balance: We spoke with Ari Whitten, energy specialist and author of Eat for Energy, on a recent episode of the mindbodygreen podcast to find out exactly what foods fall into this group. While he gave us seven different foods that fuel energy levels, he declared his all-time favorite with zero hesitation: spirulina.*
Why spirulina is a top pick food for sustaining energy levels
You may have seen spirulina in powder form or blended up into smoothies (especially those with a gorgeous dark green or bright blue hue). This sea vegetable comes from a type of bacteria called cyanobacterium, which is often referred to as blue-green algae. According to Whitten, "Spirulina is No. 1 on the list," when naming the best foods for your energy levels.
Not to mention, there's been significant research2 on spirulina's role in performance, specifically physical activity and energy levels. You see, spirulina also contains impressive amounts of magnesium3 (which supports muscle and nerve function) and potassium (which aids in muscle contraction). Spirulina is also an incredible source of plant-based protein—it's between 55 and 70%4 protein, which makes it a great addition to a vegan diet.
Now, spirulina is certainly powerful but has an equally strong flavor. It's great to add to smoothies, but pure spirulina powder can be difficult to incorporate into other meals because of its potent flavor. That's why we included it in our organic veggies+ powder, mixed in with other powerful greens, roots, and pre- and probiotics to leave a more gentle taste. You can sprinkle this powder over just about anything—roasted vegetables, salads, pasta dishes, or even mix it into desserts to add some invisible nutrients.
Superfoods are all "super" for different reasons. Spirulina earns a spot in this lineup, thanks to its ability to provide plant-based protein, offer tons of vitamins and minerals, and support energy levels.* Trust the benefits don't stop there: Here, you can read about even more benefits of spirulina, if you're so inclined.