Spirulina is a blue-green microalgae of one of the oldest forms of life on Earth, which helped produce oxygen for millions of years, so other forms of life can appear. Characterized as a “superfood” spirulina is so rich in nutrients that a diet based on water and the algae can support the proper functioning of the body. At first, spirulina was in hot alkaline lakes in Africa and South and Central America, being consumed, among other peoples, the Aztecs, who have confirmed food safety and beneficial effects on the body for centuries. The name comes from the spiral form of the algae, freshwater lakes is specific, although it may be encountered in salt water springs.
Spirulina is a natural and a good source of antioxidants, B-vitamins and other nutrients. When harvested correctly from non-contaminated ponds and bodies of water, it is one of the most potent nutrient sources available. It is largely made up of protein and essential amino acids, and is typically recommended to vegetarians for its high natural iron content. It is often touted for its high B-12 content.The high concentration of protein and iron also makes it ideal, after surgery, or anytime the immune system needs a boost.
Spirulina has a great penetrating power of the skin, with soothing, regenerating, refreshing, smoothing wrinkles, reducing dilated pores, removing blemishes and skin irritations; Regular use restores skin youth and freshness.
Spirulina creams are recommended for prematurely aging skin. The treatment is done 2-4 times per week, after a warm shower made previously to be removed dead cells, so that they can take effect spirulina. Supples spirulina cream skin and accelerates regeneration processes at this level.
- A great source of nutrients
Spirulina contains vitamins B-1(thiamine), B-2 (riboflavin), B-3(nicotinamide), B-6 (pyridoxine), B-9 (folic acid), vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin A and vitamin E. It is also a source of potassium, calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, sodium and zinc. Spirulina contains many pigments which may be beneficial and bioavailable.
- Helps Prevent Cancer
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, “A number of animal and test tube studies suggest that spirulina increases production of antibodies, infection-fighting proteins, and other cells that improve immunity and help ward off infection and chronic illnesses such as cancer.”
In an article published this past April, Czech Republic scientists pointed out that, in addition to its ability to control blood cholesterol levels, “Spirulina is also rich in tetrapyrrolic compounds closely related to bilirubin molecule, a potent antioxidant and anti-proliferative agent.”
When tested on human pancreatic cells, these researchers discovered that, “Compared to untreated cells, experimental therapeutics significantly decreased proliferation of human pancreatic cancer cell lines in vitro in a dose-dependent manner.” Essentially, this proves that consuming spirulina can help prevent developing various cancers!
- Reduces Cholesterol
Spirulina can to prevent atherosclerosis and reduce elevated blood cholesterol levels.
A recent animal study published in The Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology took rabbits, fed them a high cholesterol diet (HCD) containing 0.5% cholesterol for four weeks, and then fed them a HCD with 1% or 5% spirulina for an additional eight weeks.
After the eight-week trial was complete, LDL levels decreased by 26% in the group eating 1% of spirulina and 41% in the group eating 5% spirulina, which heavily suggests that the more we eat the more benefits we will receive! Serum triglycerides and total cholesterol were also significantly reduced.
- Body fat & weight loss
By eating nutrient dense foods like spirulina, you’re giving your body the raw materials it needs to keep you healthy and trigger the secretion of the satiety hormone leptin to helps keep your appetite in check. You feel good, stop craving low quality food, and your body begins to burn more body fat naturally. I’d say it’s an epic win-win situation for you there.
- Anti-aging effects
Spirulina is incredibly rich in antioxidants that protect against DNA damage and the premature aging of your cells.
- Eliminates Candida
According to researchers, “Candida species belong to the normal microbiota of an individual’s mucosal oral cavity, gastrointestinal tract and vagina.” In fact, leaky gut syndrome and improper digestion are directly connected to microfloral imbalance. Not only is invasive candidiasis the leading cause of mycosis-related death in the United States, candida overgrowth has become the hallmark sign for most autoimmune diseases today.
Thankfully, spirulina can help. Several animal studies have shown that it’s an effective anti-microbial agent, particularly for candida.
Specifically, spirulina benefits have been shown to promote the growth of healthy bacterial flora in the intestines, which in turn inhibits Candida from thriving. Additionally, the immune-strengthening properties of spirulina will help the body eliminate Candida cells.
- Alleviates Sinus Issues
Known as allergic rhinitis, spirulina benefits the body by reducing the inflammation that causes people to experience sinus problems, according to numerous studies. Compared to placebo trials, spirulina is effective at reducing itching, nasal discharge, nasal congestion and sneezing.
- Lowers Blood Pressure
Phycocyanin is a pigment found in the spirulina that scientists have discovered possesses antihypertensive effects (it lowers blood pressure). Japanese researchers claim that this is because consuming the blue-green algae reverses endothelial dysfunction in metabolic syndrome.
Is extremely promising because metabolic syndrome has rapidly become one of the main causes of preventable disease today, as it raises one’s risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
- Sport Performance
It seems spirulina may also help you get the most out of your workout. Researchers found that moderately trained males taking a daily 6 gram dose of spirulina for 4 weeks benefited from significantly longer times to fatigue while running in addition to increased fat oxidation rates.
What’s more, intake of 7.5 grams of spirulina per day for three weeks diminished exercise-induced muscle damage, thereby increasing endurance and, once again, prolonging the time it took for people to become fatigued during exercise.
Finally, spirulina may also help you gain some muscle mass! A study looking at both trained and untrained individuals showed that supplementation with 2 grams per day for 8 weeks was effective in increasing muscle strength.