Spirulina, a type of blue-green algae, may just be the solution to a myriad of health problems. The wonder algae contains high amount of proteins, vitamin B12, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients and is used for weight loss, cholesterol reduction, diabetes treatment, and many other things. Spirulina is commonly available in two forms – tablets or capsules and powdered form. It is more convenient to use the capsules or tablets. Spirulina was used in Africa and in South America as early as in the Ninth Century. The Aztecs in South America probably were the first spirulina cultivators. Spirulina grows naturally in tropical and subtropical lakes, with temperatures of 25 to 35 degrees Celsius. Though spirulina is not a medicne it has gain popularity from Health concious people & WHO has certifide spirulina as a COMPLETE FOOD.
The important benefits of spirulina include:
- Antioxidant properties. Spirulina is a very rich source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are responsible for destroying free radicals and therefore help in preventing cancer and premature aging, enhancing immunity, protecting from toxins and other infections, improving the health of AIDS patients, etc. Its benefits therefore include its disease-fighting property.
- Beta carotenes. Spirulina is the richest naturally available source of beta carotenes. It is converted to Pro vitamin A Carotenoids. Along with other antioxidant properties, it helps in protecting the vision and eases some symptoms of lupus and arthritis. This antioxidant helps to prevent lung cancer, oral cancer, etc. Other antioxidants in spirulina include zeaxanthin, cryptoxanthin, phycocyanin, and lutein.
- Vegetable protein. Spirulina is an excellent source of vegetable protein with most of the amino acids that help build muscle.
- Cholesterol reduction. Spirulina helps to reduce cholesterol in our body. Studies show that it helps to improve cardiovascular health by reducing the concentration of bad cholesterol (LDL) and increasing the level of good cholesterol (HDL). By reducing low-density cholesterol, it lowers the blood pressure and improves the condition of the heart and arteries. Different studies have established that spirulina health benefits include improved cardiovascular function and lowering of the “bad cholesterol” level.
- Weight loss. Researches in Germany and India have shown the weight reduction effect and cholesterol reduction effect of spirulina in humans. Spirulina is rich in essential amino acids and proteins, but has almost no fat and is cholesterol-free. It can be taken as a dietary supplement to help achieve weight loss. Spirulina does not act as an appetite suppressant but, if taken before meals, provides you with easy to digest nutrition. Many people eat less in the name of dieting & end with some other diseases as body is deficient to vitamins. They lose weight but feel weak to do every day work. 1Grm spirulina is equivalent to 1Kg. of Vegetables so you don't have to worry if you forgot/skip salads & complicated dieting programme. In my career i found that using Apple Cider Vinegar, Spirulna & Green Tea had effectively loose weight without going for extreme dieting.
- Diabetes Treatment. Diabetes mellitus is becoming a major health problem. Scientific experiments have shown that spirulina increases the activity of the hexokinase enzyme and the glucose-6-phosphatase activity, thus controlling blood sugar levels in diabetes patients. Thus, benefits of spirulina extend to diabetics. Spirulina is a very good source of GLA – Its health benefits include anti-inflammatory action that can help in relieving arthritis symptoms & also helps in preventing heart disease, among other benefits. Spirulina is highly rich in Vitamin B-complex, which is beneficial in maintaining cardiovascular health, According to WHO Spirulina is Complete Food.
- Six reasons to take spirulina daily
1. It’s probably the best source of vegan protein. Spirulina is about 60% complete protein. Compare this to beef or chicken, which have approximately 25% protein each. ‘Complete’ protein means that it contains all eight of the essential amino acids that our bodies require to thrive. It has 10 other non-essential amino acids that play important supporting roles in good health.
2. Spirulina is rich in essential fatty acids (omega 3, 6 & 9). Especially omega 3, which plays a key role in preventing heart disease, lowering bad cholesterol, reducing the severity of arthritis, osteoporosis, depression and diabetes and much more. Fish is often touted for its omega content, but what is overlooked is the fact that fish get their omegas from algae such as spirulina.
3. Spirulina is the highest known source of vitamin B12. It has approximately 3 mcg for every gram. Vitamin B12 is essential for the metabolism of every cell of the body, the production of red blood cells and the development of healthy nerve tissue.
4. It’s the highest known source of beta-carotene. Beta- carotene is a powerful antioxidant that our bodies convert into vitamin A. Vitamin A is important for healthy teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, mucous membranes, skin and eyes. High doses of vitamin A are toxic, but there is no known toxicity associated with beta-carotene when taken in whole food form.
5. Spirulina provides minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, iodine, magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper, chromium, and potassium. It is enriched with important phytonutrients such as gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), chlorophyll, c-phycocyanin and other carotenoids including the powerful antioxidant zeaxanthin.
6. It’s easily absorbed by our bodies. Spirulina is a microscopic form of life that does not have the tough cell walls that are normally found in plant life. This means that it is extremely easy to digest, making all of its nutritional compounds highly absorbable into the body.