Usually, we say green is healthy. Do you want a green powder that will delight you with its pervasive benefits? Check out these incredible health benefits of spirulina! This original green supermanship is 3.5 billion years old. It grows in sweet, alkaline lakes. Its content will leave you speechless.
• 6 times more protein than eggs
• 7 times more calcium than milk
• 50 times more iron than spinach
• 10 times more potatoes than most fruits and vegetables
• 4-6 times richer in iron than raw bovine liver
• contains a multitude of antioxidants in one teaspoon.
What is spirulina?
Spirulina is a spiral-shaped microalga that grows naturally in the wild in warm, freshwater lakes. It can grow in both fresh and salt water. These blue algae is a type of bacteria called cyanobacterium.
Cyanobacteria can produce energy out of sunlight like the plants via the process called photosynthesis.
Spirulina was popular and taken by the Aztecs back in the day. It became popular again and came in the front page when NASA proposed that Spirulina can be grown in space and used by astronauts.
That is usually consumed either in powder form or as a supplement with the daily meals. It is o as a supplement to the diets of both omnivores and vegetarians.
Health Benefits of Spirulina
Natural Anemia Treatment
Have an anemia problem? Spirulina can fix it! Spirulina is incredibly rich in iron and vitamin B12, and has been found in older subjects to ameliorate anemia and immunosenescence. Another study found that spirulina helped increase blood haemoglobin levels by 1.32 g/dl (11.65%) in a group of young anemic girls aged 18-22 years old. It is clear that the mass amounts of chlorophyll, iron, protein and other nutrients found in micro-algae help overcome anemia and other iron-related blood issues.
Improves Immune System
Adding spirulina as a food or as a supplement improve the activity and effectiveness of some important cells in our immune system. Researchers proved that Natural Killer Cells are significantly improved with the supplementation of spirulina. Which find and destroy cell tumors and linked to the early stages of cancer.
Some early studies suggest that defense against viral infections may be assisted with Spirulina supplementation.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Thanks to the presence of a pigment called Phycocyanin in Spirulina, it can help lower blood pressure naturally. This same substance can also help reverse the effects of metabolic syndrome, preventing it from turning into heart disease, diabetes or even help prevent strokes.
Many studies have been done with cancer and spirulina. Because of the extent of studies, I’ll basically wrap up what they say in a paragraph or less (and provide you with sources here, here and here). Phycocyanin in spirulina helps fight free radicals and inhibits the production of inflammatory signalling molecules, which is a major factor involved in cancer.
The antioxidant activity of spirulina, specifically beta-carotene, vitamin C, phenols, amines and phospholipids from this algae is particularly powerful. Studies have been conducted that found spirulina to be effective in reversing oral leukoplakia in pan tobacco chewers in Kerala, India. Complete regression of cancer was seen in 57% of subjects – when they discontinued taking spirulina, 45% of them developed recurrent lesions.
Yup, spirulina also helps reduce cholesterol! A handful of studies (1, 2, 3) have found that spirulina is effective in reducing bad (LDL) and increasing good (HDL) cholesterol. Spirulina has a high concentration of GLA fatty acids that prevent accumulation of cholesterol in the body. It reduces serum cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic subjects, and has been found to decrease the amount of fat deposits in the arteries.
Metabolic Balance and Weight Loss
Although spirulina won’t bring around weight loss on its own, it provides the right conditions in the body to help achieve this goal. Spirulina is one of the richest natural sources of Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA). GLA helps regulate blood sugar levels and helps prevent cravings. It also contains phenylalanine, which satisfies your appetite and helps control the appetite control centre of the brain.
Diabetes and Hypertension Reduction
Full of nutrients, it’s no wonder that spirulina can help diabetics and reduce high blood pressure. Studies (1, 2, 3) have found that supplementing with spirulina lowers fasting blood glucose and improves long-term glucose regulation. With regard to lipids, triglyceride levels also lower significantly. The combination of these results show that spirulina is great for controlling blood glucose levels and actually helps improve the lipid profile of patients with type 2 diabetes.
Delays Aging of skin
Tyrosine, vitamin E or tocopherol, and selenium are known and famous for their anti-aging effects. Spirulina contains all these elements as well.
It is known that Tyrosine slows down the aging of the skin cells. One of the benefits of spirulina is the antioxidants present in this algae eliminate the free radicals that are responsible for skin aging and wrinkles.
How to use spirulina as a face mask:
Make a smooth paste with some spirulina and water and apply on the face. Rest for 20 minutes and wash it off with normal water.
This amazing mask will make your skin soft and prevent all the signs of aging like wrinkles, scars and dark spots. It has properties that can help to lighten the skin and as a treatment for skin pigmentation.
Spirulina is a great anti-ager. Because of its high concentration of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, it makes it one of the best superfoods to fight any signs of aging. Antioxidants attack free radicals that roam throughout the body and damage the structure and function of DNA (which, ultimately, leads to aging of the body). By decreasing DNA damage, increasing DNA repair, and improving immune function of the body, spirulina is a must-have in your daily routine.
Spirulina Prevents Arsenic Poisoning
In another study proved that the people who intake Spirulina, 47% decrease in the heavy metal in their body who was affected by chronic arsenic poisoning.
Heart Health And Can Lower LDL and Triglyceride Levels
One of the great benefits of spirulina is it prevents atherosclerosis and reduce blood cholesterol levels and this invariably improves our heart health. At the same time, they can also increase the level of good cholesterol(HDL), which is again required for a healthy heart.
Studies have shown that 4.5 grams of spirulina a day could lower the blood pressure levels helps the blood vessels to relax and dilate.
Digestive health is improved when you start consuming spirulina. In The Colon Health Handbook, Robery Gray describes spirulina as a ‘metabolic activator’, which acts directly on the body and helps burn up mucoid plaques that get stuck in the pockets of our colon.
Research in Japan (Effects of spirulina on caecum content in rats. by Y. Tokay, et al. 1987) has also shown that laboratory rats eating spirulina have higher levels of lactobacillus and B-vitamin absorption from the diet. Spirulina is also high in niacin, which supports enzyme function, controls your appetite and support healthy digestion.
Kidney and Liver Detoxification
The antioxidant effects of spirulina have been well documented on studies related to liver or kidney injury (unfortunately on rats). Spirulina improved the antioxidant status of the liver and kidneys in this study, and improved the biochemical parameters of the liver and kidneys back to normal values of the control group. It also reduces the toxicity of the liver, kidney and testes. Individuals suffering from long-term kidney disease also usually have low immunity, and are prone to getting colds and infections. Consuming spirulina daily will improve immunity, and also the health of your liver and kidneys.
Improves Symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis
Allergic rhinitis which is called inflammation in the nasal area, triggered by environmental allergens, such as pollen, animal hair or any other particles in the air.
Studies have shown that Spirulina is a popular alternative treatment for symptoms of allergic rhinitis and dramatically reduce symptoms like nasal discharge, sneezing, nasal congestion and itching.
Boosts Hair Growth
The protein properties in spirulina reduce the extreme hair fall and hair thinning. It can be used as an external mask and consumed in a daily dose.
Spirulina is used as an important ingredient in shampoos and hair conditioning treatments.
Spirulina Fights Inflammation
Spirulina is highly rich in powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Phycocyanin, the active component of spirulina, prevent the production of inflammatory signaling molecules – and this means they help to fight against inflammation.
Spirulina was also found very effective against arthritis. Treatment with spirulina can effectively protect against cartilage destruction and other inflammatory markers.
The surge in candida-related illness has been alarming over the past decade and much of it is related to our high-sugar, processed food diets. Spirulina has has been a shining light here too, as an effective antimicrobial agent, promoting the growth of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract and eliminating the overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria like Candida.
Detoxes Heavy Metals
Chronic arsenic poisoning doesn’t sound like something an average person could get, but this illness is more common than you think. This occurs in areas where drinking water is laced with discarded arsenic. Studies have shown that taking Spirulina extract and zinc together can drain the body of heavy metals like arsenic by up to 47%. Now that’s impressive in anyone’s language.
Algae is an incredible anti-viral. It has been found in multiple studies (here, here and here), to inhibit replication of viruses, and thus halt the spread of viruses like herpes simplex type I, human cytomegalovirus, measles virus, mumps virus, influenza A virus and HIV-1. Spirulina inhibits the penetration of viruses into host cells, and literally inhibits protein synthesis of the virus itself (without suppressing host cell protein synthesis – aka. it leaves healthy cells alone).
Slowing & Improving HIV/AIDS
A study of 11 HIV patients showed that those consuming 5 grams of Spirulina and 5 grams of alga per day stabilized the spread of the disease in their bodies after 3 months. After 10 months, an actual improvement was seen in one volunteer participant who decided to continue the study.
Reduces Risk Of Stroke
Spirulina has also been proven to lower the risk of stroke in rabbits who were fed 5 percent Spirulina in their diets over 12 weeks. In fact, during this period they were even fed a high cholesterol diet, and improvement as much as a 48% reduced risk was seen.
The blue-green algae can effectively improve our skin’s metabolism.
The antioxidants in spirulina help the body to fight against free radicals and flush out the body’s toxins. It has a direct impact on our skin health.
Spirulina promotes the fastest elimination of dead skin cells. They also promote the growth of new skin cells and recovers any damage to the skin and prevent acne scarring.
According to Dr. Oz, Spirulina mixed with lime is one heck of a great drink! Combined they pack a powerful punch that can actually unlock sugar from our cells.