I am in a Maui state of mind anticipating our upcoming trip to Maui. With our 10th anniversary around the corner we thought we'd celebrate Hawaiian style. And with a bottle of Hawaiian spirulina in the fridge...wait, spiru what? What the heck is spirulina? Read on for the fantastic health benefits of spirulina and my latest Hawaiian green smoothie recipe.
The Health Benefits of Spirulina
Spirulina is a blue-green algae found in pristine waters. The deep blue-green color comes from a high concentration of chlorophyll, one of natures most powerful detoxifiers. Consumed for centuries, spirulina (like its cousin chlorella) provides an astonishing array of vitamins (B's, E and K's), chlorophyll, important minerals, essential fatty acids, complete protein (all essential amino acids) and antioxidants.
Spirulina is reported to boost our immune systems, reduce inflammation, improve digestion and is great for eye health, blood pressure and cholesterol.
I researched brands and discovered Nutrex Hawaii. Grown in a BioSecure Zone in lined ponds, it is the worlds first organic spirulina. You can buy it online and at health oriented stores. The best price I've found is on ThriveMarket.com. Add it to your morning smoothie for pennies a day. Hawaiian spirulina is clean, non-toxic, high quality spirulina.
A Great Green Detox Smoothie
Spirulina in this green smoothie makes it a great detox smoothie. And one little teaspoon has 2 grams of protein. It's amazing stuff. This study reports that "it may even have an anticancer, antiviral and antiallergic effects".
Tips for The Hawaiian Green Smoothie Recipe
This smoothie recipe uses unsweetened almond milk, canned coconut milk, fresh spinach leaves, frozen tropical fruit (either mango or pineapple) and spirulina. I add a little vanilla. Blend away and start your day in an amazing way. It's smooth, creamy and a beautiful vibrant green from the spirulina and spinach.
Most smoothies are best consumed right away. I've discovered this one sits fine in the fridge until morning. Blend before bedtime, place in a jar with a lid, and grab on the way out the door. Shake well and consume while it's cold.
Note - the color of your smoothie will depend on the protein powder that you. If you use whey, it will be bright green. If you use a plant-based protein, it might be more of an army green.
Who Should Not Use Spirulina
This is powerful stuff. While spirulina is considered a healthy food and supplement, one doctor notes that it should not be taken if you have a severe seafood or iodine allergy. And, if you are pregnant or nursing or have hyperthyroidism, consult your healthcare provider before adding spirulina to your diet. It's also high in bio-available iron, so if you have an iron problem, skip this until your iron levels are safe.
Because spirulina can reduce blood clotting, it may increase the risk of bruising and bleeding in people with certain bleeding conditions or on blood thinning medications. Check with your physician before using.
Histamine Friendly Tips
While I was concerned about spirulina being an algae after being diagnosed with MCAS and histamine intolerance, it's now back in my diet for its tremendous detox support. "Spirulina has the ability to modulate immune functions and exhibits anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting the release of histamine by mast cells" says this study.
Looking for Another Hawaiian-inspired recipe?
For another Hawaiian-inspired recipe try this Hawaiian style salad with goat cheese.
Hawaiian Green Smoothie
- 8 ounces unsweetened almond milk or oat milk recipe here
- 2 ounces canned coconut milk
- ½ cup frozen mango or pineapple
- handful raw fresh spinach leaves 2 ounces
- 1 teaspoon spirulina powder
- 1-2 scoops protein powder of choice
- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.