So when Jackman took to Instagram to tout his new superfood discovery we were intrigued. Munching down on a ‘blue algae’ smoothie bowl, Jackman shared the meal with his followers, describing the taste as ‘amazing’.
Look, we were happy enough to take his word based purely on that testimonial, but the journalist within had more questions. What is in a blue algae smoothie bowl? Is it safe to eat? And why should we be eating it?
Well settle in mate, blue algae school is in session.
What Is Blue-Green Algae?
Marketed in the nutrition world as ‘Blue Majik’, the blue-green algae ingredient has been a staple on hipster menus for around a year now, emerging as somewhat of a new matcha option. The term ‘Blue Majik’ has been adopted by the population but is actually a commercialized brand name for the algae (much the same as how ‘Coke’ is used in place of cola).
Blue Majik is a powder (and yes, it’s blue), which has been added to everything from smoothies to lattes, giving them a bright blue appearance. The photogenic powder is derived from a type of seaweed called blue-green algae, or spirulina, and the benefits go even further than simply brightening up your Instagram feed.
“Pretty sure if I took algae out of the sea it wouldn’t taste like that,” joked Jackman while getting his dose. Same.
What Is It Good For?
Spirulina is extremely high in B vitamins and minerals, assisting with the formation of DNA, nerve function, energy, and healthy brain functioning. Oh, and in even better news, the algae-derived powder will deliver you a solid hit of protein in the process, with the University of Maryland Medical Center suggesting that 62 per cent of spirulina is amino acid based. Sign us up.
The protein found in Blue Majik is reportedly what delivers the blue colour, and assists in “pharmacological actions, such as anti-inflammation, antioxidation, antitumor, immunological enhancement, and hepatorenal protection,” according to the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
What Is It Like To Drink?
To continue our eternal search for the next superfood, MH went to our local in search of spirulina. Unfortunately for us, the only iteration of this new miracle ingredient available was a ‘unicorn latte’. Try ordering that when you’re out for breakfast with the fellas.
Pride aside, Jackman was right, it is ‘amazing’. The drink had the same effects as a coffee, whether they be placebo related or not, and post-unicorn energy levels were at a high. The taste was also incredible; although I have a sneaking suspicion sugar may have been a key contributor to this aspect. Although not added in personally, and the official ingredients of Blue Majik list ‘no added sugar’, there was a sweetness to the latte that doesn’t come from seaweed or milk.
Drinking a blue drink also doesn’t feel like the most health-conscious of decisions in the moment, however when thinking of other ‘blue’ foods, such as blueberries, those doubts can be quickly put to bed.
While the long term benefits of unicorn latte indulgence need much further research (which we’re willing to commit to), the short term seem equal to, if not greater than coffee. There are no immediate bathroom trips following a unicorn latte, something that can’t always be said for a regular cuppa.
While not readily available at every café, it’s worth considering adding the odd algae smoothie or latte into your diet, if not for variety then for the associated health benefits. Or the Insta-shot.