Spirulina is micro-algae, more specifically, an aquatic plant less than one inch long, which has a blue to green color. Botanists categorize it as a hybrid of bacteria and plant.
Spirulina- A Healthy Superfood
An Ancient Remedial Plant: For millions of years, it has grown spontaneously in the tropical warm lakes of America and Africa. Spirulina was first used in the 8th century by an ancient African civilization living in the territory currently called Chad. Several centuries later, it was discovered being used thousands of miles away in Central America by the Aztecs. They used sophisticated methods to harvest the spirulina from the surface of lakes and prepared medicine from it to treat health conditions. In 1962, spirulina was rediscovered by the Europeans. It is considered one of the oldest organisms on our planet with amazing beneficial effects for the human body.
Spirulina is a small green power plant with an impressive density of nutrients beneficial for all ages. Spirulina stimulates the growth and memory development in infants. Spirulina is approximately 65 to 71 percent protein, with eight essential amino acids, making it excellent for physical and mental endurance. For the elderly, spirulina can help prevent diabetes and sclerosis. Also, naturopathic doctors use spirulina to treat sclerosis, hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, stomach infections and intestinal problems. It is recommended for its detoxification, purifying and cleansing properties and as a digestive aid.
Active Ingredients: At a cellular level, spirulina has over 280 compounds beneficial to the body, including essential amino acids (organic acid from proteins), unsaturated fatty acids such as Omega-3 and Omega-6, and a high-quality protein content. Spirulina contains an abundance of nutrients including Vitamin B1, B2, B6, B12 and beta-carotene (a beneficial compound also found in carrots and pumpkins).
Spirulina is distinguished by its chlorophyll content, which is up to one thousand times more than levels existing in other plants. In addition, large amounts of the nutrients phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, selenium, iron, zinc, iodine and enzymes (organic catalysts) are found in spirulina.
Benefits brain, body, stamina and more
- Regeneration: By stimulating the blood flow in the skin, spirulina favors the regeneration of skin cells and also repairs scarring. It is used in a wide variety of beauty and skin care products for its cleansing properties and to stimulate regrowth of skin cells. (Related Article: Nature’s Secret For Glowing Healthy Skin)
- Weight Loss: Spirulina is approximately 65 to 71 percent protein, depending on the growing conditions. Protein helps curb the appetite as there aren’t the sugar spikes and troughs that occur when eating carbohydrates, and it keeps you full for longer. When dieting, spirulina should be eaten with other foods to ensure a complete and healthy diet. Spirulina has only 7 percent lipids, making it an excellent weight loss tool.
- Stamina: Spirulina boosts stamina because of its high nutrient and protein makeup. World-class athletes and Olympians in China and Cuba use spirulina to boost their athletic performance.
- Purification: As a natural detoxifier, spirulina can help tone and cleanse the body. People with digestion problems can use spirulina because it is easily absorbed by the body.
- Developmental disorders: With its high protein concentrate, eight essential amino acids and ten non-essential amino acids, spirulina is an excellent brain food. It is recommended for children over 3 years for nervous system and cognitive function development. In the case of skeletal and endocrine disorders, it can also prevent delays in maturation.
Fights Illness And Promotes Immunity
- Gastritis: This form of algae protects the gastric mucosa and it slightly reduces the acid secretion of the stomach. In this way, the symptoms of gastritis are counteracted with the use of spirulina.
- Flu: Studies in Japan found that spirulina effectively combats the viruses causing flu. Spirulina stops the virus replication and it stimulates the immune system to fight infection.
- Asthma: The plant helps protect against allergic reactions by strengthening the immune system. It also inhibits the release of the chemical histamine, which triggers allergy symptoms such as nasal congestion, watery eyes, hives and allergy-related asthma. Many asthma sufferers find that their symptoms are considerably lessened by taking spirulina. A recent study found that the frequency and intensity of asthma attacks were lowered and the lung function improved for 45 percent of those who consumed spirulina daily.
- Type II diabetes: Studies have shown that as little as 3 grams of spirulina a day will lower the blood sugar level by up to 15 percent. As a high protein and low-fat food, it can also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Immune system: Many studies have demonstrated how spirulina activates the immune system, and increases the production of antibodies. A recent study found that a 72-hour course of spirulina increased the immune response of the body by up to 13 times the baseline. Patients who are susceptible to suffering from chronic microbial infections are great candidates for spirulina treatment. Compared to pharmacological treatments, it is all natural and has very few side effects.
Potential Side Effects
- Digestive disorders: About 3 to 4 percent of people have some form of digestive disorder after consuming spirulina. Bloating and rapid transit generally occurs when first exposed to the algae, this goes away in a few days. (Related Article: Ease Your Digestion With These 5 Home Remedies)
- Headaches: Fatigue and a rash may appear at the beginning of the spirulina treatment. Again, these symptoms tend to disappear after a few days. (Related Article: Suffering From Headaches? These 6 Things Could Be Triggering Them)
- Neurotoxins: Traces of neurotoxins have been detected in samples of commercially prepared spirulina, according to a 2008 study published in Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. There has also been a case of rhabdomyolysis — a life-threatening condition in which muscle tissue breaks down — after ingestion of a dietary spirulina supplement.
- Liver sensitivity: In rare cases, patients may experience unusual liver sensitivity although spirulina is among the most popular non-toxic and natural detoxifiers. (Related Slideshow: 6 Herbs Your Liver Will Love)
Spirulina is widely regarded as a superfood. It is an excellent low-fat source of protein, full of essential vitamins and nutrients. With its eight essential amino acids and ten non-essential ones, it is an excellent brain food and is good for physical stamina. Spirulina helps to treat and prevent health conditions including diabetes, heart disease, asthma, gastritis and to boost the immune system. As an all-natural super crop that has been used since the 8th century, these microalgae can be an excellent addition to anyone’s diet.