What is Spirulina?
1974, the World Health Organization described spirulina as “an interesting food for multiple reasons, rich in iron and protein, and is able to be administered to children without any risk,” considering it “a very suitable food.”
Spirulina is an underwater plant. This algae grows in ponds and lakes of Mexico, Hawaii, Africa and many more exotic places around the world.
It has been labeled as a “super food” because this food has many properties that help us remain healthy. This super food is really high in chlorophyll, nutrition, especially vitamins and protein and hence is consumed by many vegetarians who do not get such protein as they do not eat meat or fish. Some studies have also shown that it eliminates candida and also improves HIV and AIDs! This blue green coloured plant is really popular for its taste and the nutrition it has to offer.
Spirulina offers many benefits to us, which help living a better healthier lifestyle.
Benefits of Spirulina
Protein: Spirulina has 50% to 70% of Protein in it. It is one of the foods that is very rich is proteins.
Vitamin B1:Also known as Thiamin, this vitamin helps in digestion of fats and protein and also improves nerve function. In 100g of Spirulina, there is around 3.5mg of vitamin B1.
Calcium: This plant is said to have 26 times more calcium than the calcium contained in milk. In every 100g there is 1000mg of calcium.
Iron: Spirulina is high in iron and hence considered very good for vegetarians.
Beta carotene: This vitamin is a precursor for vitamin A. Beta carotene has high antioxidant properties.
Spirulina is very rich in antioxidants. These anti oxidants not only neutralize the free radicals in our body to keep our cells healthy, prevent other diseases and prevent aging, but are also said to have properties, which prevent cancer.
Balances Blood Sugar
Anyone who suffers from type 2 diabetes, must try spirulina as it has lead to an impressive reduction in blood sugar levels. Do consult your doctor as it would not be suitable to all patients. But studies have shown that in some cases the plant spirulina has performed better than many drugs.
Muscle Endurance and Increase in Strength
Spirulina will improve the endurance of a muscle and also speed up its recovery. Muscle damage like fatigue can be caused because of oxidation. Hence many athletes prefer to consume food rich in antioxidants so that their muscles can recover faster. In some cases Spirulina has also increased muscle strength and endurance.
Reduces the Risk of Cancer
Studies have shown that chances of cancer increase because of free radicals in our body. Free radicals are nothing but atoms with unpaired electrons. These can actually be very dangerous to our body as it can damage vital molecules. Antioxidants reduce the risk of cancer by neutralizing these free radicals. Spirulina also increases the production of antibodies and infection fighting proteins.
Spirulina has shown to prevent atherosclerosis and reduce cholesterol. Cholesterol can be very dangerous and can cause heart problems. Spirulina reduces the fat deposits in the blood and reduces the cholesterol. A study also showed that it also reduced serum triglycerides and the total cholesterol also reduced.
Reduces Sinus Problems
This plant helps cure allergic rhinitis. It is commonly known as sinusitis. Spirulina reduces inflammation in the sinus and hence reduces any pain caused by sinus swelling. Spirulina is also useful for treating nasal problems like nasal itching, nasal discharge, sneezing and congestion.
Speeds up Weight Loss
Spirulina is really high in proteins and hence it helps in weight loss. Proteins also help maintain lean muscles and burn fat. Spirulina also increases the metabolism of the body and helps burn fats faster. Spirulina can also prevent hunger. This can be really beneficial to over weight people who should consume spirulina either in the morning or at midday.
Spirulina prevents atherosclerosis and hence reduces the chance of heart strokes. It is also known to block the damage done by strokes. It is a really useful food to keep the heart healthy and regular consumption of spirulina almost reverses the damage caused by a poor diet.
Removes Harmful Metals
Spirulina reduces toxicity by detecting heavy metals in the body, especially metals like arsenic. Arsenic poisoning is common in many countries like Bangladesh and even India. A study showed that when a portion of spirulina with zinc was given to few people, the arsenic poisoning in their body reduced a lot, almost half, compared to those who were treated with placebo effect.
How to Consume Spirulina?
There are many brands that sell spirulina tablets and it can also be availed in powder form. You can also consume it by preparing smoothies and mixing the powder in them.
Precautionary Measure Before Consumption
If you have any doubts regarding the consumption of spirulina please consult your doctor. Also those who suffer from PKU must consult the doctor before trying spirulina.