Spirulina, Arthrospira platensis, is a blue-green algae that has been cultivated and used as a complete food for thousands of years. In the Aztec culture it was called “Tecuitlatl” and was produced, collected and sold dried in cakes. The protein in spirulina is unusual for a plant-based source as it is “complete”. That means it contains all of the “essential” amino acids, those that our body cannot manufacture and must be consumed in food. It contains abundant amounts of many vitamins and minerals. For example it contains about 2.5 times the % daily value of vitamin A and a significant amount of iron. Because this iron is in an highly bioavailable form Spirulina is an excellent food to use to ensure adequate iron intake, especially for vegans.
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