Kale and chia seeds step aside, there’s a new superfood in the game and it’s packing a punch. The new player’s name is spirulina and in the past few years this algae has been gaining some serious attention and for all the right reasons.

Image courtesy of EatDrinkBetter.com

Technically spirulina is a type of blue green algae (that green stuff you sometimes see in water) and is the scientific genus for two species of algae, although only one is widely cultivated for commercial uses. It is most known for its high protein levels and as a substantial source of vitamins A, B12, K and iron. Because of these attractive qualities spirulina is commonly used as a dietary supplement, either in the form of a powder or tablets. It’s nutritional benefits are especially attractive for vegans and vegetarians whose diets are lack iron-rich animal products. Spirulina’s intense blue-green color makes it commonly used as a natural coloring agent in recipes from noodles to drinks. Be warned: it has a distinct algae taste that may be initially off putting, but is easy to get used to.

Image courtesy of Vegetukku

While this superstar algae is gaining popularity, it’s still fairly hard to find in your average grocery store, although specialty food and health stores should stock it. Try adding it to a smoothie or use it to make blue pasta. And if you’re really brave drink a glass of spirulina with straight water. Whichever way you choose, this new superfood is bound to make you feel like a rockstar