Spirulina is the world’s first superfood and definitely one of the most nutrient-rich foods on Earth. This blue-green microalga is one of the oldest life forms on Earth and partly responsible for producing the oxygen on the planet billion years ago, allowing the first planet’s originating forms to develop.
Spirulina has between 55 and 70 % proteins, 8 essential and 10 non-essential amino acids, high level of gamma-linolenic acid, as well as beta-carotene, linoleic acid, arachidonic acid, iron, calcium, nucleic acids, RNA&DNA, chlorophyll, and phycocyanin. Spirulina provides a wide range od health benefits almost immediately after you start using it. In this post, we will mention some of the top healthy benefits from this amazing superfood.
1.Extremely high in nutrients
Spirulina is an organism that grows in fresh and salt water. It is a type of bacteria called cyanobacterium, often referred to as blue-green algae. Same as with the plants, cyanobacteria can produce energy out of sunlight via photosynthesis. Spirulina became very popular when NASA proposed that it can be grown in space and used by astronauts, however according to some researches even the ancient Aztecs were familiar with the power of this superfood.
One tablespoon of dried Spirulina powder ( 7 grams) contains:
Magnesium, potassium, and manganese
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): 11% of the RDA.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 15% of the RDA.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 4% of the RDA.
Protein 4 grams
Copper: 21% of the RDA.
Iron: 11% of the RDA.
One tablespoon Spirulina has 20 calories and 1,7 grams digestible carbohydrate. It contains a very small amount of fat (approximately 1 gram), including both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in about a 1.5:1 ratio.
Spirulina contains all the essential amino acids that the human body needs and the quality of the protein is more than excellent (compared to eggs).
2.Spirulina might help with fighting anemia
There few different forms of anemia. The most common is the one characterized by a reduction in hemoglobin or red bloods cells. Anemia is usually common with the elderlies, leading weakness, fatigue and sometimes prolonged feelings.
In a recent study of 40 older people with a history of anemia in any phase, the supplementation of Spirulina increased the hemoglobin content of red blood cells. In most cases the immune function was also improved.
3. Spirulina can lower Triglyceride and LDL levels
It is known that heart disease is currently the world’s biggest killer. Many measurable factors and termed risk factors are linked to an increased risk of heart disease. According to the studies done, Spirulina shown that can have beneficial effects on many of them.
One of the examples is the effect on lowering total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, while at the same time raising the “good” cholesterol – HDL. In a study of 24 people with type 2 diabetes, 2 grams Spirulina per day significantly improved these markers.
In a different study, people with high cholesterol taking 1 gram of spirulina per day lowered their triglycerides by 16.3 % and the LDL by 10.1 % .
4. May help with high blood pressure
High blood pressure has a big role as a driver of many killer diseases. This includes strokes, heart attacks, and chronic kidney diseases.
The dose of 4.5 grams of Spirulina per day has been shown to reduce blood pressure in individuals with normal blood pressure levels. Only 1 gram per day has shown to be ineffective. This is probably driven by an increased production of nitric oxide, a signaling molecule that helps the blood vessels relax and dilate.
5. Spirulina might have anti-cancer properties that could help fight oral cancer
According to few studies done recently, Spirulina have anti-cancer properties. Most of them were done regarding to cancer of the mouth or oral cancer.
One study in India looked at the of effects of Spirulina on 87 people with precancerous lesions called OSMF in the mouth (Oral submucous fibrosis). After using 1 gram per day for a period of 1 year, 45% of the group had a complete regression of lesions in the mouth, compared to the 7% in the control group.
When the group stopped taking the spirulina, almost half of them developed these lesions again the following year.
6.Spirulina has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
Phycocyanin is the main active compound in Spirulina. It has very powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in it. This is the substance that actually gives spirulina its unique blue-green color.
Oxidative damage can harm our DNA and cells a lot. The damage can bring to chronic inflammation which contributes to cancer and other diseases.
Phycocyanin can fight free radicals and inhibit production of inflammatory signaling molecules, providing outstanding antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.