My final swap is nettles for spiralina.
Spirulina's deep blue-green color reveals its active ingredient — chlorophyll — clearly. Health.com explains it as one of the oldest life forms on Earth and possibly consumed in Aztec and African diets centuries ago.
Today it's touted for its ability to strengthen the immune system, reduce fatigue and combat allergies. Nettles are another plant with chlorophyll that even rivals the amount found in spirulina, but they're often found in ditch banks, forests and riverbanks. It's sometimes called "stinging nettle" because it does just that; if you touch it without wearing gloves, the tiny hairs on every surface sting like a bee due to the presence of formic acid, leaving small red welts. But internally, Bon Appetit asserts, it acts like a tonic:
"Taken over time, nettle will strengthen your circulatory, immune, and endocrine systems to promote peak function. The stronger these systems, the better position our bodies are in to deal with whatever might come our way."
Cooked or dried, though, this pesky stinging problem goes away completely; good thing, too, because this free foraging food is highly nutritious, containing fiber, lecithin, chlorophyll, sodium, iron, phosphorus, sulfur, potassium and vitamins A and C, according to Mother Earth News. It's been used in birth rooms and battlefields to stop bleeding, both internally and externally, and is considered to purify blood, as well. As a tea:
"It has been found to help cure mucus congestion, skin irritations, water retention and diarrhea … stimulate the digestive glands of the stomach, intestines, liver, pancreas and gall bladder. Applied externally, nettle tea … relieves rheumatism in both people and animals, makes a first-class gargle for mouth and throat infections, helps to clear up acne and eczema and promotes the healing of burns."
To complete the series I want to point out that brocalli is arguably one of the most nutirtious vegatables readily available in supermakets. Not only does it support normal cell function and division, it helps your body detoxify and reduces inflammation and damage from reactive oxygen species (ROS). Another vegatable that I would highly recommend is rocket. It has many of the same nutrients and healing compounds, including fiber, vitamins A, C (to boost the immune system) and K (for bone strength), folate, calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese that are found in cabbage and brocalli. One study showed that rocket can be a powerful aid against gastrointestinal ulcers, psoriasis and skin, lung and mouth cancers. Many more vitamins and minerals help lower blood pressure and improve blood vessel function.
ReferencesBon Appétit July 19, 2017Health December 27, 2016Mother Earth News March/April 1981