It is already a well-known fact that spirulina is a real powerhouse, containing high levels of enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Due to its pretty much amazing nutritional profile and the fact that it resembles the super-healthy chlorella and kelp, spirulina has a lot to offer in terms of healing powers for countless medical conditions.
Spirulina is a natural alga, often referred to as blue-green algae due to its color.Most of these pigments, including chlorophyll-a and beta-carotene are highly beneficial and bioavailable. As for the shape, it is spiral-shaped type of algae.
Spirulina can be found in literally all aquatic and terrestrial habitats, such as bare rock and soil, fresh water, damp soil, Antarctic rocks, and oceans. While many people are put off by the idea of eating a pond scum, the truth is that the final form of spirulina products is clean and completely safe to eat. Most spirulina products like pills, powder, and flakes offered on the American market are obtained from shores of South America and Hawaii.
Benefits of Spirulina
Spirulina is abundant in protein, containing up to 60 percent protein which makes it an amazing and healthy alternative to meat. It is quite unique in its makeup, which is the reason why the final product is packed with so much protein you can benefit from. It also contains vitamin B12, a vitamin that many vegetarians are deficient in. Spirulina is also an excellent source of healthy lipids like omega 3, omega 6, and DHA .It is abundant in other vitamins as well, including B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (nicotinamide), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid), vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin E.
As for minerals, it is a solid source of chromium, copper, phosphorus, manganese, calcium, potassium, zinc, selenium, and sodium.
Gram-per-gram Spirulina contains:
- 280% more antioxidant potency than blueberries
- 600% more protein than tofu
- 3,100% more beta-carotene (Vit. A) than carrots
- 5,500% more iron than spinach
- It lowers the risk of cataracts and age- related macular degeneration/ keeps the eyes healthy
- It possesses powerful anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties
- It possesses antiviral activity against HIV, herpes, and hepatitis
- It improves insulin resistance
- It eases PMS symptoms
- It controls high blood pressure
- It regulates cholesterol levels
- It protects against cancer
- It protects against chemotherapy-induced liver damage
- It alleviates allergy symptoms
- It boosts the immune system
- It helps the body detox naturally
- It contains four times the antioxidant ability of blueberries
- As already discussed, it is an excellent source of protein: gram per gram more than soybeans, fish, poultry, and beef
- It is packed with bioavailable iron, which makes it useful for those with pregnancy or anemia
How to Use Spirulina
The simplest way to use spirulina is to take it in the form of a pill or add ¼ to a teaspoon of powder isolate into a smoothie/ juice. Given that it has quite strong flavor which most people find not-so-delicious, it is recommended to start with small amounts and give yourself time to adjust to its flavor.