Who would have thought that the world’s first biological organism would become such a powerful super food in our day? The green algae, from which spirulina derived, are that first organism and that amazing super food. Spirulina has become increasingly popular as a supplement in the 21st century.
One of the spirulina benefits is its ability to boost energy, but is also popular among vegetarians as a source of protein. In this article, we are going to examine the top 10 spirulina benefits, but first let’s define what spirulina is.
What is Spirulina?
Spirulina is a type of green algae coming from one of the two species of arthrospira. You can find it all over the world, but mostly in China, India, Thailand, Myanmar, and the United States. China is the world’s leading producer of the green algae which produces spirulina. Spirulina is a cyanobacteria, which receives its energy through the process of photosynthesis. The oxygen byproduct of this organism was responsible for oxidizing the earth and allowing oxygen breathing animals to exist. Today, spirulina is still providing life and energy from the consumption of its nutrients.
Which Nutrients Are Found in Spirulina?
Spirulina is rich in a number of nutrients. This abundance of nutrients, which help the body function more efficiently give birth to the spirulina benefits. Let’s take a look at some of spirulina’s nutrients and the percentage of daily value (% DV) they contain. Based on 100 grams (a little less than 1 cup), spirulina provides:
- 57 grams or 114% DV of protein;
- 8 grams or 27% DV of fat;
- 24 grams or 8% DV of carbohydrates;
- Vitamin A 11% DV;
- Also, vitamin B6 20% DV;
- Vitamin C 16% DV;
- Iron 158% DV;
- Magnesium 48% DV;
- Potassium 43% DV;
- Calcium 12% DV.
Some brands of spirulina supplement also contain vitamin B12, which is a synthetic additive with little to no value for your body. Whether taken in the form of a tablet, powder supplement or as a whole food, spirulina benefits are a welcome dietary addition to give your health a boost.
These top 10 spirulina benefits can have an effect on your overall wellness, but they are not all inclusive cures. For severe health conditions, it is still best to consult with your health care professional.
Top 10 Spirulina Benefits: The Amazing Boost of the Green Algae
Helps Prevent Atherosclerosis
The first of the many spirulina benefits is a potential lifesaver for those who are genetically prone to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). According to a study conducted on Cretan Greek dyslipidaemic patients, spirulina was affective at lowering the triglyceride concentrations, which are responsible for atherosclerosis.
Reduction of Nasal Allergy Symptoms
In addition to helping lower triglyceride concentrations, another item on the list of spirulina benefits is the reduction of nasal allergy symptoms. A 2007 study in Turkey determined that spirulina at a dosage of 2000 mg per day was able to bring about a 32% reduction in the cytokine interleukin-4, which is an indicator of a reduction in to nasal allergy infection.
Iron Deficient Anemia Cure
Due to its high iron content, another one of spirulina benefits is its ability to help cure iron deficient anemia. Studies on patients over the age of 50 who were suffering from iron deficient anemia and treated with spirulina showed a significant increase in the level of iron in their blood.
If you’re needing a boost in energy, you can take advantage of another item on the list of spirulina benefits. Because of its high level of complete protein, which includes all 8 essential amino acids, it helps to fuel your body. Additionally, the iron levels found in spirulina help boost your energy levels by encouraging the circulation of oxygenated blood.
Blood Sugar Regulation
The spirulina benefits continue to add up as it is also helpful in the regulation of blood sugar levels in diabetics. Researchers at M S University of Baroda in India determined that there was an appreciable lowering of fasting blood glucose and postprandial blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes after being treated over a period of 2 months with spirulina supplements.
Studies show that spirulina benefits those who are trying to control their weight as well. Livestrong points out that spirulina’s high protein and high nutrient load helps to fuel the body at a low caloric intake. Its glycemic regulation potential also helps reduce the production of insulin and consequently the tendency to binge on less healthy carbohydrates.
Helps Lower Blood Pressure
A Japanese study documented that another of the many spirulina benefits included a reduction in blood pressure. The results of the study suggested that the long-term introduction of phycocyanin, found in spirulina, can lower systemic blood pressure.
Another addition to the list of spirulina benefits is its tendency to eliminate foreign bodies from the GI tract, especially candida. An Egyptian study indicates that the carotenoids, phycocyanin and polysaccharides in spirulina can enhance the human immune response to microbial infestations, such as candida.
Rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and antioxidants, cancer prevention is another of the top ten spirulina benefits to be considered. The University of Maryland shows that being a complete protein, spirulina helped to produce the amino acids necessary to produce anti-carcinogen support.
Heavy Metal Detox
The last on our list of spirulina benefits includes the detoxification of heavy metals from your body. A Bangladesh University study deduced that mixing spirulina with zinc was effective at removing arsenic poisoning from the bloodstream.
A Note of Caution
Spirulina is rated as being possibly safe for most people. In the cases where it is considered unsafe, it is because the product has become contaminated by mycrocystins and other forms of contamination. In cases where it is contaminated, spirulina can cause:
- liver damage;
- stomach pain;
- rapid heartbeat;
Spirulina is not recommended for those with auto-immune diseases because it boosts the immune system and worsens such conditions as MS, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, those suffering from phenylketonuria should avoid spirulina as it contains a chemical called phenylalanine. Researchers showed that this ingredient worsens phenylketonuria.
Wrapping It Up
Besides its ability to give you a good energy boost and enhance your immune response, because it is nutrient dense, spirulina benefits you in a number of different ways. Our list of the top ten spirulina benefits can help increase your general wellness as well as help to reduce the risk of or eliminate potentially serious illnesses. One of the world’s first biological organisms is still providing life and health.
Images from depositphotos.com.