What is Spirulina?
Spirulina is an aquatic plant-like organism. It can be found both in fresh and saltwater. Most people know it more as blue-green algae. Spirulina is a single-celled microbe, and since they are plant-like, they generate energy through the same process as real plants do-photosynthesis.
In ancient times, it was prevalent among the Aztec people. Its popularity began to fade with time until NASA discovered that it could be grown in space for astronauts’ use.
Of all the supplements in the world, Spirulina is among the most popular. As a supplement that it is, it is packed with antioxidants and numerous health-beneficial nutrients that can support the body and the organs therein.
Spirulina can be beneficial to humans in many ways. Some of these health benefits include; protection of the skin, protection of body organs, among others. The following are the scientifically-backed benefits of Spirulina;
Rich in Many Nutrients
One tablespoon of dried Spirulina contains;
- 4 grams of protein
- 10% of the required daily intake value of thiamin (vitamin B1)
- 15% of the required daily intake value of riboflavin (vitamin B2)
- 5% of the required daily intake value of niacin (vitamin B3)
- 20% of the required daily intake value of copper and
- 10% required intake value of iron
In other words, Spirulina is a hub of almost all the nutrients you need. A perfect dose of Spirulina is about 2 to 3 grams. However, taking up to 10 grams is not a bad idea as well.
In addition to these, the same one tablespoon of dried Spirulina contains 1.5 grams of healthy digestible carbs and 20 calories. It also contains a sizable amount of healthy fat -about 1 gram, of which the fat consists of both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
According to research, Spirulina contains equal amounts of protein as eggs and provides you with all the amino acids your body needs.
Considering all these facts about Spirulina, it is rational to say that it may be just the single most nutritious food on earth.
Packed with Antioxidants
A number of factors cause oxidative damage to the body. This oxidative damage can cause damages to vital organs of the body like the heart and brain and can also harm the cells and DNA. Oxidative damage is also known to trigger severe inflammation that could cause cancer and certain other diseases.
Spirulina is an exceptional source of antioxidants, which is effective at preventing oxidative damages.
It also consists of a compound known as phycocyanin, which gives it its unique color. This phycocyanin is also a form of antioxidant; its efficiency in combating free radicals and the reduction of inflammation in the body is second to none.
Lowers Triglycerides Level
Excess triglycerides level in the body coupled with other factors can lead to heart disease, and heart disease is one of the preeminent agents of death in the world. Spirulina has the capacity to beat down many of these heart-0disease causing agents. For instance, it can lower cholesterol levels. For people with diabetes markers, when Spirulina was added to their diet, it improved their condition and reduced the markers by a reasonable amount.
Prevents the Oxidation of Bad Cholesterol
Fatty acids, upon getting into the body, get oxidized. Consequently, when the bad cholesterol compound gets oxidized, it causes oxidative damage.
In addition, it also triggers a condition known as peroxidation, which is the cause of many other illnesses.
The first step that leads to heart damage is the oxidation of bad cholesterol in the body. When this oxidation is established, you are unfortunately on your way to developing heart diseases.
However, with Spirulina, the reverse is the case. It ensures the inhibition of the production and oxidation of bad cholesterol with its effective antioxidant compounds.
8 grams of Spirulina was administered daily to few people with type 2 diabetes and those who were at higher risks of developing heart diseases. After few weeks, there was a significant reduction in the markers of oxidative damage, as well as the improvement of antioxidants in the body.
Spirulina has been said to contain anti-cancer properties. It has properties that can inhibit the growth of tumors and cancer cells. Research holds that it is more effective in the treatment of oral cancer. Although it has been found to help in the treatment of other kinds of cancers like pancreatic cancer, especially in some parts of Asia.
In addition to this, it combats lesions, and when the research was carried out on people who had certain organ lesions, it was discovered that Spirulina worked effectively in combating it. Also, when those people stopped using Spirulina, about half of them began to develop lesion symptoms again, with the other half experiencing a total disappearance of lesions.
Improves Allergic Rhinitis
Most times, when your nasal passages get clogged, it is as a result of allergic rhinitis. Some of the triggers of allergic rhinitis are; animal hair, pollen, dust, and many other air pollutants.
Spirulina is an effective remedy for allergic rhinitis and can be a great eliminator of its symptoms. With just 3 grams of Spirulina daily, nasal blockages symptoms and condition become history.
Of all the different types of anemia, the most common one is the one that involves the reduction of the red blood cells in the body. Anemia is a common condition among older adults, and this explains the constant feeling of weakness and fatigue.
Spirulina improves the production of red blood cells or hemoglobin. It also boosts immune function and response.
Strengthens the Muscles
During physical exercises, some muscles get damaged. However, when this is recurring even after mild exercises, then there is a problem. This problem is majorly caused by oxidative damages. This is why physically active people and athletes are advised to add foods that are rich in antioxidant contents to their diets in order to prevent oxidative damage.
Spirulina is quite beneficial to the strengthening of the muscles, as well as improving the endurance of the muscles. Record also holds that it increases your endurance such that you tend not to get tired easily while engaging in physical activities.
Regulates Blood Sugar
Spirulina has been discovered by research to lower blood sugar. In most cases, it has proven to be more effective than some diabetes medications.
About 25 people suffering from type 2 diabetes were understudied and were made to consume Spirulina for about 2 months. At the end of two months, a significant reduction in blood sugar levels was discovered.
Benefits for the Skin
According to studies, Spirulina has what it takes to give the skin optimum protection. Spirulina extract provides antioxidant, moisturizing, and brightening effects for the skin. The skin benefits of Spirulina include;
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory contents in spirulina help prevent anti-aging. It combats free radicals that generate skin damage, wrinkles, and other age-related skin problems.
Spirulina contains some amino acids like glycine and proline, compounds that keep the skin firm and strong, which automatically support the production of collagen.
Spirulina has shown impressive tendencies in the absolute removal of toxins from the skin and boost skin support. It is also effective in the provision of sunscreen protection for the skin.
Eliminates Eczema and Acne
Creams containing Spirulina, when applied to the skin, helps to eliminate the skin defects in that area. The same thing goes for acne and eczema. In addition, it has also been discovered to prevent such skin conditions if applied on the skin at least once per day for about 2 to 3 days a week.
Spirulina paste can be used as;
- Face mask; when mixed with honey
- Cleanser; when mixed with any healthy essential oil
- Spot treatment; when mixed with jojoba or tea tree oil
In conclusion, Spirulina is a blue-green alga that is plant-like and feeds through the same process as plants do. It is quite healthy and contains numerous nutrients that can prevent a wide range of conditions and improve symptoms of some conditions. Spirulina also has a history of assisting in the treatment of major illnesses as organ damage due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Spirulina can be found in supplement forms and are available in stores, both online and offline.