Spirulina is a cyanobacterium (also called blue-green algae). It is taken as a dietary supplement because it has high protein and vitamin content. Spirulina is found naturally in lakes and oceans. It has excellent nutritional content and health benefits. Vegetarians consider spirulina as the best source of protein supplement. As spirulina is a cyanobacterium, it contributes the oxygen in the atmosphere. Spirulina is said to be the oldest life form on the earth.
Arthrospira platensis, A. fusiformis, and A. maxima are the three main species of spirulina. It is commonly considered as the dried biomass of A. platensis. Spirulina is cultivated in a warm climate with other favorable conditions. It is a superfood for most people as it offers many health benefits.
Spirulina is high in nutrients and is considered a good immunity booster. It has antioxidant and inflammatory properties that keep diseases away from your body. Vegans find spirulina as a good protein supplement as it can even match the protein level of meat and eggs.
Spirulina is available in tablet or capsule form and powdered form. It is also available in the form of juice. You can make your own juice or smoothie by adding spirulina powder. As spirulina is a house of nutritional content let’s see some of its health benefits
Benefits of Spirulina
1. Immunity and metabolism booster
The immune system is a defender of our body that defends against various foreign bodies. It is made up of cells and proteins. The immune system produces antibodies to encounter enemies of the body such as viruses and bacteria. Spirulina stimulates the production of antibodies and cytokines. It activates B and T cells and other immune cells which helps the body to function well. Spirulina also works on innate immunity and improves the functioning of NK cells.
Spirulina helps in boosting metabolism which makes a person feel more energetic. It increases the metabolic rate of a person. And, the greater the metabolic rate the greater is the number of calories burned.
2. High in Nutrients
Spirulina is fully packed with many nutrients. As spirulina is a kind of blue-green algae, it contains many nutritional values. You can add Spirulina to your diet for the need for proteins and vitamins. Spirulina contains riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, and vitamins B6, A, and K. A tablespoon (approx 7 gram) of dried spirulina contains
- 20 calories
- 4.02 g – proteins
- 1.7 g – carbohydrates
- 0.54 g -fat
- 2 mg – iron
- 0.3 g – fibers
- 95 mg – potassium
- 73 mg – sodium
Spirulina contains almost every essential amino acid; therefore it has best quality of proteins in it. It is essential fatty acid like omega 3 and omega 6.
3. Antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties
Spirulina is the best source of carotenoids which is known as the most powerful antioxidant. The antioxidant is very necessary to fight against free radicals which can cause cancer and another disease. Phycocyanin is present in spirulina which fights against free radical and inhibits inflammatory property. Spirulina has all its antioxidant properties and can protect the body from oxidative damage.
4. Reduces blood pressure
Spirulina works wonder to control blood pressure. Spirulina relaxes the artery (vasodilatory process) which can help in lowering blood pressure. Spirulina is considered to stimulate a process, which releases nitric oxide. Nitric oxides help to maintain healthy blood pressure.
5. Manage blood sugar level
Spirulina supplements work amazingly in controlling blood sugar levels. Phycocyanin which is found in spirulina stimulates the body’s insulin function. Also, spirulina improves the peripheral tissue’s insulin resistance and controls glock-lipid metabolism. Consuming 2-gram spirulina for type 2 diabetes patients can reduce the blood sugar level. It also reduces glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels.
Spirulina Health Benefits
6. Weight loss
Spirulina is rich in nutrients and low in calories which works amazingly to lose weight. Spirulina reduces appetite and increases the energy level. Spirulina is high in protein and protein takes a long time to digest. Therefore, it keeps the person full, when they consume spirulina. Spirulina also contains vitamins and dietary fibers which help in metabolism and proper digestion.
7. Reduces allergies
In allergies, the nose becomes irritated and causes itchiness, pain, and runny nose. Allergies happen because of pollen, dust, mold, etc; it affects the mucous membrane of the nose. Spirulina helps in reducing sneezing, nasal discharge, and itchiness.
8. Lowers cholesterol level
Cholesterol is an unhealthy fatty substance present in the blood. Cells need cholesterol to function but high-level cholesterol can cause severe health issues. Spirulina can lower cholesterol that is “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. And it also increases “good” HDL cholesterol. Spirulina contains antioxidants property help in reducing lipid peroxidation.
Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that is found in salty lakes and oceans. It provides so many health benefits. Spirulina cleanses the toxin of the body and other impurities that can cause illness. Spirulina is rich in proteins, vitamins, dietary fibers, etc. It improves the immune system, helps in weight loss. Spirulina may help in reducing blood pressure and blood sugar level.