Spirulina is known by some as a superfood, and for good reason. It is a green microalga full of highly nutritious goodness, which may offer many health benefits. This plant thrives in hot, sunny climates and in alkaline waters around the world. Among its valuable nutritional components are essential fatty acids (which may be beneficial for lowering inflammation), vitamin B12, (needed, especially by vegetarians, for healthy red blood cells). Other nutrients include; iron, a high level of protein, essential amino acids, and the nucleic acids RNA and DNA, along with chlorophyll, and phycocyanin, a blue pigment that is found only in blue-green algae. Glowing skin is one of the many benefits some report noticing after taking a heaped teaspoon of its powder mixed with water everyday. Let’s take a look at some of the other health benefits we may notice when adding this unusual tasting green superfood to our daily health routine.
Spirulina is a naturally digested food that may aid in protecting the immune system, lowering cholesterol, and also help our body with mineral absorption. Because it supplies nutrients needed to help cleanse and heal, while also curbing appetite, it is considered beneficial for people who are fasting. A person with hypoglycemia may benefit from using this food supplement between meals, because its high protein content helps stabilize blood sugar levels.
Chlorophyll (which spirulina is rich in) is the substance that makes plants green. Chlorophyll is known for its ability to have anti-obesity and anti-diabetic effects. Chlorophyll may assist the body in cleaning out any foreign substances such as anaerobic bacteria, yeast and fungus. Our own immune system creates complexes that attack any foreign substances in our bodies, and chlorophyll assists the body in doing this. Chlorophyll helps remove unwanted residues and helps activate enzymes. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory and it is nutrient dense. For years, chlorophyll-containing plants such as spirulina and chlorella have been an essential part of the healing armament in traditional Chinese Medicine and other Eastern practices.
LOWERS BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS
In a study of patients with type 2 diabetes, 2 grams of spirulina helped these patients reduce their blood sugar levels.
SPEEDS UP WEIGHT LOSS
Protein-rich foods seem to promote weight loss. It takes more energy to metabolize protein, which helps maintain lean tissue and contribute to fat burning. It may also help curb appetite. Spirulina is a low calorie protein. One tablespoon (7g) of spirulina contains only 20 calories. The other reason it may help with weight loss is that this green superfood contains an amino acid called phenylalanine, which is considered to stimulate the secretion of cholecystokinin (that helps to suppress your appetite).
Recent studies have shown that after an 8 week trial LDL (bad cholesterol) levels decreased in the group adding the superfood to their diet. In the same study, it was noted that serum triglycerides and total cholesterol were also reduced. Low levels of (bad) LDL cholesterol is considered to be healthier for cardiovascular disease.
According to researchers, due to its effective antimicrobial agent, it has been shown to promote the growth of healthy bacterial flora in the intestines, thus helping with the elimination of candida. Healthy gut bacteria - according to the Harvard Medical School - may improve many health conditions from heart disease to arthritis.
HOW TO ADD SPIRULINA TO YOUR DIET
Add a tablespoon of its powder into your . Stir it into a glass of water. Add it to your healthy pancakes, raw bliss balls, healthy cakes and energy bars. If you dislike the taste, as many do, you might like to have a look at the tablets.
There are some possible side effects such as liver damage, stomach pain, nausea, rapid heartbeat or thirst. It is essential to check with your healthcare provider to confirm if spirulina is suitable for your body’s specific needs. If you have an allergy to seafood or suffer from hypothyroidism, it is best to avoid it.
Written by Nicola Makim
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.