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:
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.