What is spirulina?
Spirulina blue-green spiral saltwater algae (microalgae) has been used as a food source for more than a thousand years. The algae contains a variety of valuable antioxidant properties, contain 19 essential and non-essential amino acids and trace elements, and is the most concentrated source of protein known on Earth (up to 70%). Spirulina generally supports detoxification, muscle tone, vitality, strengthens the immune system, improves skin health, balances hormones, and supports the nervous system.
Top 6 health benefits of Spirulina
1. Source of antioxidants
A process called oxidation can lead to ongoing inflammation and damage to cells, which may over time lead to chronic disease and potentially cancer. Spirulina is packed with antioxidant compounds, one of which, phycocyanin, is responsible for spirulina’s dark blue-green colour – it also helps dampen oxidation and inhibit inflammation. Studies suggest phycocyanin has potential benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties, oxidative stress protection and neuroprotective qualities.
2. May reduce high blood pressure
A study examining the effects of a daily dose of 4.5g of spirulina for six weeks reported reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
3. May help in the management of cholesterol
Rich in compounds that have antioxidant properties, spirulina helps prevent damage to fatty compounds like cholesterol. It also appears to help manage total cholesterol, lowering the so-called ‘bad’ low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and elevating ‘good’ high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
4. May have cancer protective properties
In an article published in April 2019, Czech Republic scientists pointed out that, in addition to its ability to control blood cholesterol levels, “Spirulina is also rich in tetrapyrrolic compounds closely related to bilirubin molecule, a potent antioxidant and anti-proliferative agent.”
When tested on human pancreatic cells, these researchers discovered that, “Compared to untreated cells, experimental therapeutics significantly decreased proliferation of human pancreatic cancer cell lines in vitro in a dose-dependent manner.” Essentially, this proves that consuming spirulina appears to be a potential natural cancer treatment.
5. May alleviate hay fever
Spirulina appears to reduce the inflammation of nasal airways, which is a classical symptom of allergic rhinitis or hay-fever. In one study, it was seen to significantly improve symptoms such as sneezing, nasal congestion and itching.
Most of the studies that have been conducted to date have been either on animals or small human trials, so more research is needed before any health claims relating to spirulina can be confirmed.
6. Detoxes Heavy Metals
Chronic arsenic toxicity is a problem globally. According to the World Health Organization, the U.S. is one of the countries affected by inorganic arsenic that is naturally present at high levels.
“Millions of people in Bangladesh, India, Taiwan and Chile are consuming a high concentration of arsenic through drinking water, and thousands of them have already developed chronic arsenic poisoning.”
In fact, up to 3 percent of the entire nation of Bangladesh showed clinical signs of arsenic poisoning alone. As Bangladeshi researchers pointed out, “there is no specific treatment” for arsenic poisoning, which is why they evaluated alternatives like blue-green algae.
After giving 24 patients affected by chronic arsenic poisoning spirulina extract (250 milligrams) plus zinc (2 milligrams) twice daily, they compared the results with 17 patients who took a placebo and found that the spirulina-zinc combination worked. Ultimately, the participants experienced a 47 percent decrease of arsenic in their body. Spirulina against arsenic? Spirulina wins! Make it part of your heavy metal detox
Can everyone take Spirulina?
Those with the condition called phenylketonuria (PKU) should avoid spirulina completely as it contains an amino acid called phenylalanine, which those with this condition cannot metabolise. Anyone with an autoimmune condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or multiple sclerosis should also avoid spirulina.
Others who should check with their GP before taking spirulina include those taking prescription medication, pregnant or breastfeeding women, and anyone younger than 18.
Dietary spirulina is arguably the most nutrient-dense food on the planet. It’s why taking dietary spirulina supplements is essential to good health. Taken as an average of different spirulina species, just one ounce delivers the following nutrients:
- Calories: 81
- Protein: 39 grams
- Dietary fiber: 1 gram
- Sugars: 0.9 gram
- Total fat: 3 percent DV
- Saturated fat: 4 percent DV
- Omega-3 fatty acids: 230 milligrams
- Omega-6 fatty acids: 351 milligrams
- Copper: 85 percent DV
- Iron: 44 percent DV
- Manganese: 27 percent DV
- Magnesium: 14 percent DV
- Sodium: 12 percent DV
- Potassium: 11 percent DV
- Zinc: 4 percent DV
- Phosphorus: 3 percent DV
- Calcium: 3 percent DV
- Selenium: 3 percent DV
- Riboflavin: 60 percent DV
- Thiamin: 44 percent DV
- Niacin: 18 percent DV
- Pantothenic acid: 10 percent DV
- Vitamin K: 9 percent DV
- Vitamin E: 7 percent DV
- Folate: 7 percent DV
- Vitamin B6: 5 percent DV
- Vitamin C: 5 percent DV
- Vitamin A: 3 percent DV
“If you want to conquer limiting beliefs and fear, don’t sit on the fence and ponder about it. Go out and get help and get it done. - Zalina
It’s now up to each of us to protect and bolster our immune health and wellbeing...inch by inch...day by day using the most natural ingredients on the planet.
I invite you to start now on your health and wellness journey. I challenge you to try Spirulina for long life. It works like magic!
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