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I am a huge fan of green foods, something about them makes me feel healthier. Spirulina is a “nutritious superfood” that is made from blue-green algae. Common health benefits of spirulina include aiding in weight loss, improved cardiovascular health, increase in energy levels, and increased immune system function. It is also great for weight loss, skincare, oral health, and even digestive health. The list of benefits goes on and on. This is truly a superfood worth exploring in detail.
Spirulina is blue-green algae that have been eaten for centuries by Mayan and Aztec people in Central America. It was recently rediscovered as a “superfood” by the Western world. Since then, people have realized just how nutrient-dense Spirulina really is.
Spirulina is a single-celled organism and there are more than 3,000 varieties of it. 10% of spirulina is a protein that is equivalent to that found in meat, fish, eggs or milk. It contains antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals which can cause cancer. It also contains essential fatty acids Omega 3, 6, 9 which are great for heart health.
It is abundant in vitamins B-12 and D as well as iron, calcium magnesium potassium. It is an alkaline food with a high concentration of chlorophyll that can oxygenate your blood naturally. This superfood is also rich in beta carotene which gives it its amazing blue color.
Spirulina is a great detoxifier and can cleanse your blood, liver, and colon. It has anti-inflammatory properties that promote joint health and also improve digestive function and intestinal cleansing. Additionally, it helps to lower cholesterol and prevent atherosclerosis. This superfood contains about ten times more beta carotene than carrots, four times the calcium in milk, twice the potassium in bananas, and three times more iron than spinach.
If you have been searching for a supplement to add to your diet, give spirulina a try. It is ideal for those who have health concerns like diabetes, high cholesterol, cancer, obesity and want to detox their body. By consuming it on a regular basis you can lower your risks of suffering from these health issues. Here are the health benefits of spirulina:
23 Spirulina Benefits
1. One of the most nutrient-dense food on earth
Spirulina contains over 100 nutrients, including all of the essential amino acids (protein) and essential fatty acids. It also contains vitamins A, C, E, and K; important minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium; trace elements such as zinc and iron; beta-carotene; antioxidants; phytonutrients; chlorophyll, and more.
- Essential fatty acids (Omega-3 and Omega-6)
- Carotenoids (vitamin A, vitamin C and beta-carotene)
- Calcium and magnesium
- Antioxidants: Superoxide dismutase, catalase, phycocyanin
Spirulina is a complete protein with all the amino acids essential for human nutrition, except for methionine and cysteine. It contains up to 60% easily digested protein by weight—higher than any other whole food.
Spirulina may be the single most nutritious food on the planet.
Spirulina contains significant levels of essential fatty acids, particularly the long-chain, polyunsaturated fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA are considered “good fats” because they provide energy and help transport nutrients to cells throughout the body. In addition, they have been shown to have a number of beneficial effects on heart and blood vessel function, immune system response, vision, inflammation and the central nervous system. Related: Red Seaweed Benefits For Your Gut Health
2. Boosts Energy Levels
If you have low energy levels this could be a sign of a deficiency in the nutrients your body needs to function properly. Spirulina contains many vitamins and minerals that can boost energy levels. Your body needs vitamin B-12 to make red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout your body. Spirulina is high in vitamin B-12. The nitrates, proteins, and other nutrients found in spirulina can help improve the ability of your muscles to produce energy. The iron, niacin, and vitamin B-12 in spirulina can help keep your nervous system healthy. Spirulina also contains high levels of potassium that can help prevent muscle cramps, dizziness, and fatigue associated with low potassium levels. Due to its great energy-boosting properties, spirulina is really popular among bodybuilders.
3. Antioxidant Properties
Oxidative damage is thought to be a major factor in aging and many chronic & infectious diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. Spirulina is a fantastic source of antioxidants, which can protect against oxidative damage. Phycocyanin is the main active component of spirulina. This antioxidant chemical, like spirulina’s distinctive blue-green color, gives it a unique hue. Phycocyanin has been shown to be an effective antioxidant that scavenges for free radicals, protects cells from oxidative damage & increases the power of other antioxidants. Related: 12 Amazing Chlorophyll Benefits For Menstrual Cycle
4. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Inflammation is the cause of many common conditions such as heart disease, cancer, asthma, and arthritis. Inflammation is the root of these diseases because it damages cells. This can be seen by redness, heat, swelling, and pain that are all signs of inflammation. Spirulina has long been used as an anti-inflammatory treatment. Thanks to its key molecules such as phycocyanin and beta-carotene, spirulina is a natural anti-inflammatory agent.
Phycocyanin is an antioxidant that has been proven to have anti-inflammatory properties. This compound inhibits the expression of genes involved in the inflammatory response while reducing oxidative stress markers. In addition, phycocyanin has been shown to reduce inflammatory cytokine production as well as increase the presence of regulatory T-cells. This means that spirulina can help fight inflammation.
Spirulina is a potent and natural anti-inflammatory agent which can fight inflammation and reduce its negative effects on our bodies. That means spirulina can help reduce the risks of many common chronic diseases.
5. Weight Loss
Weight gain can be easily achieved in today’s world. We live in an era where fast-food restaurants are on every corner and junk food is commonplace. Health food is hard to come by, expensive, and often requires preparation (cooking).
This article will focus on the health benefits of spirulina, how it can help you lose weight, and why I recommend it as a supplement.
Spirulina is a microscopic blue-green algae that can be found in freshwater lakes and ponds. It is touted by some as a superfood because of its high nutrient content. One tablespoon of spirulina contains:
- 61 calories
- Protein – 4g
- Carbohydrates – 1.8g
- Fiber – .6g
- Calories from fat -6% (2.8 cal)
- Vitamin A – 34% of the USRDA
- Vitamin B-6 – 21% of the USRDA
- Iron – 8% of the USRDA
Spirulina also contains decent amounts of magnesium, phosphorous, copper, manganese, and other minerals.
Spirulina contains approximately 60% protein by weight! Protein is essential for a healthy body and has a higher “thermic effect” than carbohydrates or fat. This means that you use more energy in digesting proteins than carbohydrates or fat which can be helpful in weight loss.
Spirulina also contains the essential fatty acid, linolenic acid. Linolenic acid is used in the body to produce prostaglandins which are important for a healthy inflammatory response and blood clotting. The essential fatty acids are also involved in storing energy in cells throughout the body. This can lead to leaner body mass and a lower resting heart rate.
Carotenoids are also found in spirulina and can be beneficial in weight loss by increasing the production of adiponectin in the body. Adiponectin is a protein that has been associated with many metabolic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. Supplementing with spirulina may help increase adiponectin levels.
6. Treating Anemia
Iron deficiency is a common problem throughout the world. Iron deficiency anemia affects over 3 billion people worldwide and is the cause of 250,000 deaths per year. Iron supplementation has been shown to be effective in treating iron deficiency anemia but spirulina may prove to be a better option.
Spirulina has been found to increase the bioavailability of iron in the body. This means that it can help increase iron absorption and reduce iron deficiency anemia. Iron supplementation is commonly recommended to address this issue, but spirulina may prove to be a better solution since it does not have the same side effects as iron.
7. Treating Arthritis
Spirulina has been shown to have potent anti-inflammatory properties which means it can be beneficial in the treatment of arthritis. Arthritis is a common autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and degradation of the joints. By fighting inflammation, spirulina can help treat and relieve symptoms associated with arthritis such as pain and swelling.
8. Boosting The Immune System
Spirulina is a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that may be beneficial in preventing and treating colds and the flu. Vitamin A, for example, is important for overall immunity as well as a healthy respiratory system. Vitamin B-6 is also important for proper immunoglobulin production which can help us fight off pathogens.
9. Fighting Cancer
One of the most beneficial properties of spirulina for cancer patients is that it can increase oxygen levels in cells which may help fight tumors. It may also inhibit tumor growth by promoting apoptosis (cell death) in cancerous cells. In addition to helping prevent cancer from occurring, spirulina may also help treat cancer by making the body a more hostile environment for cancer cells.
10. Improving Digestion And Eliminating Intestinal Parasites
The combination of anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties makes spirulina a promising treatment for inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Spirulina has been shown to be effective at treating intestinal parasites such as giardia, an infection caused by parasitic protozoa.
11. Lowering Blood Pressure
A few studies have shown that spirulina supplementation can help lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular function. This may be due in part to the high content of polyunsaturated fats and magnesium.
12. Treating Candida And Thrush
Spirulina has been shown to inhibit the growth of candida albicans which is a common yeast that can cause thrush and other conditions. A study using mice found that when they were given spirulina, candida growth was inhibited.
13. Skin Care
The high content of antioxidants and other nutrients in spirulina make it a promising treatment for preventing aging. Spirulina can enhance skin health by promoting wound healing, protecting against oxidative stress, reducing inflammation, and boosting immunity.
14. Eye Health
Eye health is closely linked to overall wellness. The antioxidant properties in spirulina may be beneficial for protecting our vision, especially as we age. One study found that spirulina supplementation improved visual acuity and color discrimination in healthy young subjects.
15. Treating Diabetes
Several studies have shown that drinking a green powder drink containing spirulina and other plant extracts could help reduce blood sugar levels.
One study found that diabetic rats experienced significant reductions in blood glucose levels when they were given spirulina powder for 12 weeks. Other studies have confirmed these observations in rat models of diabetes, but future research is needed to see if these benefits can be replicated in humans.
16. Oral Health
Spirulina contains certain compounds that make it highly alkaline, which helps keep the mouth and teeth clean and healthy. When combined with other superfoods like coconut oil (with its antibacterial properties), it can be very effective at keeping cavities away.
17. Boosts Cognitive Performance
Spirulina is high in antioxidants, which have an important role in preventing oxidative stress throughout the body. Oxidative stress is the cause of many health conditions and diseases, so it’s important to limit free radicals as much as possible. Spirulina prevents the aging of cells, helps improve your mood and can even aid in better physical performance. Spirulina can also increase brain function and energy levels.
18. Detoxifying the Body
Spirulina is often used as a detox because it helps rid the body of various toxins. It contains powerful antioxidants that work to neutralize free radicals – unstable molecules that damage cells and produce oxidative stress. In addition, spirulina is an alkaline food, which can help reduce acidity in the body.
19. Improve cardiovascular health
Spirulina is extremely high in Chlorophyll, a green pigment that is responsible for the processes of photosynthesis in plants. One study found that when people supplemented with spirulina, it resulted in a significant increase in blood levels of Chlorophyll and other pigments allowing the body to produce more energy via oxidative phosphorylation.
20. Treat thyroid conditions
Your thyroid gland affects your metabolism, which is the rate at which your body converts food into energy. People who suffer from thyroid conditions or disease often struggle with symptoms including fatigue and weight gain. Some studies have shown that spirulina may be useful in treating hypothyroidism because it can reduce levels of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) . TSH is a hormone released by the thyroid gland that dictates how much thyroxine is being produced.
21. Enhance immunity
Your immune system is your body’s defense against illness and infection. A strong immune system is crucial to overall wellness because it helps protect you from a wide variety of diseases and conditions. Spirulina has been shown to significantly boost levels of the cytokine called interferon, which stimulates cells in your immune system to fight off invaders.
22. Improve bone health
There are many ways to improve bone health, but one of the most effective strategies is to increase your intake of foods rich in calcium and Vitamin D. Spirulina contains both calcium and Vitamin D, making it a great option for people looking to maintain strong bones. One study showed that taking spirulina with calcium was significantly more effective than taking calcium alone for improving bone mineral density and strength.
23. Reduce symptoms of menopause
Spirulina contains phytoestrogens, which are plant-based compounds that have a similar effect to estrogen. Some women find relief from menopausal symptoms by taking these compounds because they can help balance hormone levels. The best way to get these health benefits is to eat spirulina or take supplements every day.
Spirulina Side Effects
Spirulina has been described as safe to use by the World Health Organization. However, there are some side effects associated with taking spirulina supplements that you should know:
Spirulina contains polysaccharides that can interact with diabetic medications and may trigger hypoglycemia. It can also lower blood pressure which may cause dizziness and lightheadedness. In addition, people with liver disease should avoid spirulina supplements as it has been shown to have a hepatotoxic effect.
Other side effects have been reported but are considered rare. They include nausea, vomiting, itching, chest pain, and increased bowel movements.
You can take spirulina supplements or eat it in powder, tablet, or pill capsule form. Spirulina is also available as a liquid extract and can be added to smoothies or juices. Knowing the best time to take Spirulina will depend on your health goals. For some health conditions, you might want to take spirulina at a certain time of the day while for other conditions it may matter less.
You should not eat more than two grams of spirulina per day without a doctor’s approval. Many people who have allergies to seafood could also be allergic or sensitive to spirulina. You should also avoid taking spirulina if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. For best results, it’s important to talk with your doctor and find out what dosage and method of administration are best for you.