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What is Spirulina and Why it is called Superfood?

Abstract

Spirulina is an algae. Today it is consumed as a nutritional supplement or superfood to increase the intake of vitamins and minerals in a simple and natural way. Spirulina has many good effects on our health, like it contains very easily absorbable energy, gives a feeling of satiety, and stabilizes blood sugar. But it is important to know why this Spirulina is called 'Superfood'. Discover the amazing properties and learn the best way to take advantage of this supplement in this article.

What is Spirulina?

Spirulina is a versatile dietary supplement that has quickly become very popular and has spread among thousands of users around the world, due to its properties and its almost magical content. This supplement belongs to the group of cyanobacteria which is a blue-green microalgae that is naturally found in warm, alkaline waters with low salinity. The name comes from its interesting spiral-like shape. The scientific name of Spirulina is Arthrospira platensis. It is one of the most complete and nutritious foods available, as NASA demonstrated in 1988 by including spirulina in its astronaut’s diet1.

spirulina, arthrospira platensis, algae, superfood

What does Spirulina contain?

Thanks to its high nutritional value, spirulina is very effective in treating various deficiencies as well as in improving ailments. Let's take a look at its composition:

  • First of all, it is one of the best vegetables for protein, which is of the highest biological value and easy to digest. The algae consist of 65-70% protein.[Source]
  • It is rich in chlorophyll - the green pigment that stands out for its great detoxifying potential. Chlorophyll is also good for strengthening the immune system as it is a powerful antioxidant. Chlorophyll can also counteract bad body odor and, bad breath.
  • It contains all the usual vitamins (except vitamin D) but has extra folic acid, vitamin B2 and vitamin B12. It contains minerals such as potassium, selenium, copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc.
  • Mycopolysaccharides (MP) which are easily digestible and complex carbohydrates. These carbohydrates, in combination with protein, help to strengthen the connective tissue in the body. It also lowers the blood concentration of fats and can have an anti-inflammatory effect.
  • It also contains iron, which the body can easily absorb, which is a great advantage, especially today when many people are deficient in iron. Spirulina actually contains 28 times more iron than liver and you get as much iron in 5 grams of spirulina as in 150 g raw beef liver! So you can just as easily eat spirulina and get the iron you need and get many good vitamins and minerals at the same time.

Furthermore, it contains digestive enzymes.

  • It stands out for its antioxidant properties, thanks to its natural pigment: chlorophyll, carotenoids and phycocyanin.
  • 7% of the content consists of essential fatty acids.

Benefits of Spirulina

Spirulina contains no less than 100 different nutrients. Spirulina is especially rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, and, the green dye chlorophyll. Taking spirulina is very beneficial for your health, so let see some benefits of Spirulina-

  • Helps you lose weight, so it is recommended for weight loss diets. This is because it makes you fuller, activates your metabolism and thus burns fat.
  • Promotes healthy bacterial flora and regulates as well as cleanses the intestines.
  • Reduces inflammation.
  • Improves joint pain.
  • Prevents osteoporosis.
  • Prevents and fights anemia without you taking iron supplements.
  • Has great cleansing powers that help with the natural elimination of toxins that accumulate in the body and cause diseases.
  • Improves your energy levels while reducing fatigue and stress.
  • Improves concentration and memory.
  • Helps digestion.
  • Strengthens the immune system and speeds up the recovery process during colds.
  • The antioxidant properties help prevent signs of aging and cell damage caused by free radicals, stress, etc.
  • Improves kidney function.

Why Spirulina is called "Superfood"?

Spirulina actually consists of a specific form of cynanobacteria called Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima that are harvested from non-polluted water bodies. It mainly consists of protein and essential amino acids.

Spirulina is the algae that is one of the most nutritious foods available! Spirulina has been consumed by humans for a long time in several parts of the world, including India, but has recently increased significantly in popularity. Due to the nutrient density of this algae, spirulina has been classified as a "superfood" and it has many health-promoting properties.Spirulina can have an intense and slightly different taste, but do not let that scare you!

Now we will take a closer look at some of the health benefits of Spirulina for which it is called Superfood.

Vitamin bomb that suppresses inflammation

The main active substance in spirulina is called phycocyanin, which also gives spirulina its unique blue-green color. Phycocyanin is a powerful antioxidant that is good at fighting free radicals and inhibiting the production of inflammatory signaling molecules, giving spirulina impressive anti-inflammatory properties.2

Rich in minerals and strengthens the immune system

Spirulina algae has a broad-spectrum mineral content and contains above all a lot of magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, manganese, iodine, chromium and molybdenum.

Something that is also specific for spirulina is immulina, which gives an immune-boosting effect. Here, too, the high content of phycocyanin in spirulina helps, by increasing the amount of interleukin 2, which is of great importance for functioning immune system.

Good source of vitamin B

Spirulina contains all the usual vitamins, except vitamin D, and has a lot of folic acid, vitamin B2, and vitamin B12, which makes spirulina a good ingredient for vegans and vegetarians for whom B vitamins are extra important. Some signs of vitamin B deficiency are low energy levels, fewer red blood cells, depression and memory loss.

Helps the body cleanse itself of toxins and heavy metals

Spirulina has properties that allow it to absorb toxins. This can be dangerous if grown in contaminated water but fortunately it is thoroughly tested before it is sold to detect any contaminants. When grown in a non-toxic environment, spirulina is a useful tool for the human body in the fight against toxins that we get in us through, among other things, like food and drink.

Chronic arsenic poisoning is a major global problem that affects many people. Sources of exposure are drinking water, crops irrigated with contaminated water and food prepared in contaminated water. Spirulina can bind to heavy metals in the blood and help carry them out.3

Spirulina lowers the level of LDL and triglycerides

High levels of LDL, the "bad" cholesterol and elevated levels of triglycerides are markers linked to cardiovascular disease.Even with small doses of spirulina, it is possible to see improvements in these markers. In a study done on people with high cholesterol, it was found that triglycerides were reduced by 16.3% and the bad cholesterol, LDL, was reduced by 10.1%. This was already done at a dose of only 1 gram of spirulina per day.4

Stabilizes blood sugar and promotes weight loss

Spirulina stabilizes blood sugar and also contains the amino acid phenylalanine which has an appetite suppressant effect. An intake of spirulina between 30 and 60 minutes before a meal provides both increased energy and a feeling of satiety. A 1986 study showed that both 2 and 4 grams of spirulina daily for a period of three months resulted in weight loss.5

May help counteract high blood pressure

High blood pressure is linked to a number of different medical conditions, including heart attacks and strokes.

Doses up to 4.5 grams can lower blood pressure. This is thought to be due to an increased production of nitric oxide which causes the blood vessels to relax and dilate.

The blood pressure lowering effects also apply to people who do not have problems with high blood pressure, which can be good to know. If you suffer from low blood pressure, you should be careful with higher doses of spirulina. Doses around 1 gram, however, were found to have no effect on blood pressure.

Balances PMS

Spirulina is easily digested and extra rich in proteins, GLA, SOD, beta carotene, iron and vitamin B12.GLA is an Omega-6 fatty acid found in spirulina and is effective against, among other things, chest pain and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It counteracts dry skin and eczema in both children and adults.6

Relieves allergic symptoms such as runny nose

Spirulina is a popular alternative treatment for allergic rhinitis, an inflammatory condition caused by an allergic reaction in the nasal mucosa.7

Spirulina thus has many positive health effects and all the nutrients in spirulina make it a food that works in many good ways. Enough because it contributes to a stronger immune system and provides our body with many necessary vitamins and minerals, but it also has a hormone-balancing effect. If you have problems with PMS, chest pain or eczema and dry skin, spirulina can help! It contains the Omega 6 fatty acid GLA, which has been shown to be effective against just this.

How to take Spirulina?

Spirulina is available as both tablets and powder, which makes it easy to ingest and consume despite its somewhat special taste.

Powder

The powder is popular to mix in smoothies or make useful nutritional shots from and we have seen it on countless social media with big influencers where they have shown spirulina in shots, smoothies, bowls or porridge. It also works great to use the supplement while cooking such as in soups, stews and dressings.

Spirulina tastes a little special, a kind of grassy taste, which is not liked by everyone. Many people think that you get used to it and can even start to like the taste after a while.

Tip - Mix in a little ginger and / or lemon, it removes a little of the algae taste.

Tablets

Many people who use the supplement have both spirulina powder and tablets at home to be able to easily vary if you want a quick intake of the dietary supplement in the form of a tablet or if you have a little extra time and can use spirulina powder in a smoothie or in cooking. It is thus possible to vary between the two forms.

Herbal Remedy of Spirulina

Planet Ayurveda is the herbal pharmaceutical company known for its highly effective and purely natural herbal supplements. All the supplements are prepared by using best quality of herbs and no additives, preservatives, dye, colors or fillers are used in it. Planet Ayurveda caters to the most effective herbal remedies articulating capsules by the name of Spirulina Capsules. These herbal Capsules contain excellent quality herbs and prepared rigorously following the ancient principles of Ayurveda. Spirulina Capsules of Planet Ayurveda are 100 percent refined, natural, and vegetarian. These are safe to use at any age. These herbal remedies are devoid of all kinds of side effects when taken as advised.

Product Description

Spirulina Capsules of Planet Ayurveda are prepared by using standardized extract of Arthrospira platensis. This Herbal formulation is prepared by pure vegetarian formula. These capsules also hold iron chelating properties and are beneficial for maintaining overall health of human body. These Capsules are helpful in maintaining strong immune system and healthy brain.

Dosage - Take 1 capsule twice daily with plain water after meals.

To buy Spirulina Capsules, please visit store.planetayurveda.com/products/spirulina-capsules.

Conclusion

Spirulina is an amazing therapeutic plant and has a good effect on our bodies. Our health is positively affected with all the health-promoting properties that the plant possesses. Spirulina is often classified as a superfood due to its extremely high content of nutrients. It contains large amounts of protein, healthy fats and vital vitamins and minerals. The high nutrient content has made spirulina a very popular supplement that many people use daily.

References

  1. https://ntrs.nasa.gov/citations/19890016190
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19299804/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16615668/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23754631/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7061888/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4975759/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18343939/

[Source] - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC283708/pdf/microrev00019-0101.pdf

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Reviewed By:

Best Ayurvedic Doctor in Mohali - Dr. Vikram Chauhan

Dr. Vikram Chauhan

MD (AYURVEDA)

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