Spirulina is a non-toxic, easily produced cyanobacteria or blue-green algae. It grows in salt as well as fresh water and has been used as an ingredient in superfood beverages, natural supplements, and energy bars.
Being nutrient-dense and owing intense flavor it is considered as a superfood that revitalizes and restore health.
Nutritional analysis of Spirulina:
Spirulina contains a high amount of chlorophyll. It is a rich source of proteins. Proteins present contains all essential amino acids. The net protein utilization rate is between 55 to 70 Percent. Spirulina is also dense in bio-iron, Omega-3, Omega-6, Omega-9, antioxidants, vitamin B-complex especially vitamin B-12, phosphorus, and calcium. It also contains vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin A, Sodium, potassium, magnesium, copper, iron, chromium, copper, zinc, and selenium. As nutrients and proteins present in it are bio-available, they are easy to absorb.
Health benefits of Spirulina:
- Anti-inflammatory- Spirulina contains gamma linolenic acid (GLA) which is present in only a few food sources and is normally created by the body. It contains phycocyanobilin that mimics bilirubin and inhibits (NADPH) oxidase enzyme to provide anti-inflammatory effects and anti-oxidative effect.
- Keeps anemia at bay- Being rich in bio-available iron spirulina prevents anemia. It is a better substitute to iron supplements that causes constipation.
- Radiation therapy- Spirulina has a property to bind itself to the radioactive isotopes thus may be of great help in radiation therapy.
- Healthy liver – It improves metabolism of lipid and reduces liver fats.
- Detoxify heavy metals, especially arsenic- Spirulina binds with heavy metals and helps to remove them from the body. The combination of spirulina and Zinc works like wonder in patients with Chronic arsenic poisoning.
- Powerful antioxidant- Due to the presence of the active component Phytocyanin that gives blue-green color to it spirulina is a good source of antibiotics. Antibiotics fight against free radicals and prevents oxidative damage.
- Protects heart- Research shows that spirulina lowers the level of bad cholesterol and raises the level of good cholesterol. It prevents the formation of plaques in blood capillaries. It reduces blood pressure by relaxing and dilating blood vessels and prevents heart diseases and stroke. Also, it reduces lipid peroxidation and prevents many serious diseases.
- Reduces risk of cancer- Research shows that spirulina exhibits anti-cancer properties. Intake of spirulina shows effective regression in mouth lesions in the case of oral cancer.
- Strengthening muscles- Muscle fatigue is caused due to the oxidative damage that is caused due to exercise. Spirulina enhances the muscle strength and increases improve endurance.
- Controls blood pressure- Research shows that spirulina lowers the blood sugar level and thus reduces the risk of diabetes and deaths related to diabetes.
- Allergic rhinitis- Owing to its inflammatory properties spirulina is effective in reducing the symptoms of rhinitis. Rhinitis is characterized by the inflammation of nasal airways and is triggered by allergens such as dust, pollens, and wheat dust.
Besides the above benefits, Spirulina is very useful for tooth mineralization regimen as it contains phosphorous. During exercises, it increases fat burning. The standard dose of spirulina for an adult is 1 to 8 gram per day.
The following individual should consult doctor before taking Spirulina:
- Those who have any medical conditions.
- Are on anti-coagulants
- Have PKU.
- Pregnant ladies.
- Nursing mothers.