One of the oldest plant forms on the planet may not be in every household, but it is certainly a key component of many celebrities’ diets including Oprah Winfrey, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Kate Winslet.
Spirulina is blue-green algae that has been part of our world for 3.6 million years. While its main purpose was to produce oxygen for the earliest microorganisms to develop, it is also a nutrient-rich, natural superfood.
Spirulina benefits extend beyond everyday occurrences to fighting chronic diseases.
What is Spirulina
So why is algae that is found in warm freshwater lakes, rivers, and ponds so good for us? Aside from its natural processes, spirulina is packed full of vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids.
It contains the most beta-carotene of any food and has between 55 to 70% protein components. That’s more than any poultry, beef, or soybean product.
Of the 20 amino acids our body needs to maintain good quality health, spirulina contains eight essential and 10 non-essential amino acids.
It also boasts high levels of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), linoleic acid, arachidonic acid, iron, calcium, phosphorus, nucleic acids RNA and DNA, and phycocyanin.
It is a wonderful natural detoxifier with its high levels of chlorophyll.
It has been used for centuries by people all over the world for its amazing health benefits. Researchers have discovered the Aztecs used the algae from Lake Texcoco in Mexico as a food source as did native tribes in Chad, Africa from nearby region lakes.
Today it can also be found in man-made reservoirs created just for the cultivation of the algae.
15 Benefits of Spirulina
1.Improve Immune System
It is shown to boost your immune system function by cell regeneration effects. This speeds up recovery time for illness and surgery. Spirulina taken regularly can ward off viruses such as the common cold and flu.
2.May Help Fight Oral Cancer
Using spirulina in treating and preventing reemergence of precancerous lesions was deemed a success in one study.
With the high levels of gamma-linoleic acid, it is the best natural anti-inflammatory we have. The phycocyanin not only give the spirulina its blue-green color but also attacks and helps prevent inflammatory molecules.
It helps to absorb key nutrients from our food and allows for a smooth transition of the waste through our body.
5.Keeps Eyes Healthy
With the highest amount of beta-carotene of any food in existence, spirulina offers 10 times the concentration of vitamin A gram per gram that carrots provide.
6.Fights Allergy and Sinus Problems
Studies have shown it is useful in combating nasal congestion, sneezing, and itching symptoms.
Spirulina has the properties needed to increase the levels of essential HDL cholesterol while lowering the bad LDL levels.
8.Keep Brain Active
It’s been noted that using spirulina regularly increases brain function by keeping it sharp and focused. As well, it protects against degeneration brought on by Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
9.Protects Against Anemia
Red blood cells’ hemoglobin content has been known to increase with use of spirulina. Patients have reported a reduction in their fatigue and weakness symptoms.
The antioxidant components have been shown to help with muscle fatigue and strength endurance in some athletes.
11.Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
Can drop blood sugar levels to significant levels over time, helping patients with high levels.
Chronic liver issues such as cirrhosis and liver damage can be treated with spirulina to protect damaged cells, and rid harmful metals.
13.Promotes Weight Loss
The high protein and fiber amounts in spirulina can fill hunger and make you feel full longer.
14.Gives Healthy Skin Glow
Eliminates toxins with the essential amino acids and increases your skin metabolism for quick recovery and an amazing glow.
15.May Lower Arsenic Levels
Millions of people are affected every year by high arsenic levels in their water. By taking spirulina and zinc together, one study shows participants reported a 47% decrease of arsenic in their systems.
Healthy Spirulina Recipe
The goodness of spirulina comes at a price for some as the taste is something most people could do without.
If you do not want to take it in its purest form of powder or pills, it is recommended to sprinkle it on your favorite food or drink, or mix it in a morning smoothie.
We found a great way to help you get the most out of this nutrient enriched natural supplement, courtesy of Nutrex Hawaii.
- 1 packed cup of fresh basil leaves
- 3-5 tablespoons of virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons of spirulina powder
- 2 ounces of pine nuts, macadamia nuts, almonds or walnuts
Blend all ingredients and toss onto your favorite pasta or salad.
Side Effects of Spirulina
Depending on your current health, there are some side effects you may want to be aware of when incorporating spirulina into your lifestyle diet.
Fever – As your core body temperature rises with a metabolic increase, you may have a slight fever.
Change in bowel movements – Flushing your body of toxins will have an effect on your bowels as well as the color of them.
Irritated skin – You may experience a temporary change in your skin tone or complexion as the toxins are flushed out of your system.
Fatigue – Temporary sleepiness may occur in response to your colon being cleansed.
Note that those with sensitivity or allergies to iodine should not take spirulina as it contains iodine.
Spirulina is one of the world’s first natural superfoods comprising of most of the essential nutrients we need to maintain overall good health.
The fact that it treats and prevents diseases and illness is icing on the cake, which you could also mix your daily dose of spirulina into as well.