Eat Your Algae:  The Potential Benefits of Spirulina

By Boris Nagoda

 

Since the 1990s, Spirulina has been commonly available as a nutrition supplement at health food stores and supermarkets.  Some sources consider Spirulina a “superfood” with remarkable health benefits.  But what is Spirulina, and is there evidence to support these claims?

 

Spirulina is a generic name for several species of Arthospira, spiral-shaped, single-celled organisms known as cyanobacteria.  Cyanobacteria (formerly called blue-green algae) are bacteria which, like plants, use photosynthesis to gather energy from sunlight.  They are found in fresh and salt water worldwide.  Although Spirulina organisms are tiny, they can grow so densely in warm lakes and ponds that they often appear as thick green mats on the surface of the water.

 

For centuries, Spirulina has been used as an important source of nutrients.  It was harvested from lakes and ponds, dried, and eaten as cakes.  In parts of Africa, writings about Spirulina date back to the 9th century, and in Mexico, 16th century conquistadors wrote of the Aztecs eating Spirulina cakes. 

 

Today, Spirulina is sold in pellet, powder, or flake form, dried or freeze-dried, and is eaten raw or mixed with foods or beverages such as smoothies.  Most Spirulina supplements are not wild-harvested, but are grown in indoor culture facilities or manmade ponds under controlled conditions.  This practice eliminates possible contamination; Spirulina intended for human consumption must be grown in clean water, since it can be contaminated by heavy metals in the water or by microcystins, toxic compounds produced by other cyanobacteria.  Numerous studies have shown that Spirulina itself is completely safe for human consumption.

 

Studies of Spirulina’s nutritional content have shown a very high protein content; Spirulina is composed of over 60% protein on average.  The high protein content is due to the fact that Spirulina is rich in amino acids, including all the essential amino acids.  Spirulina is also high in photosynthetic pigments called carotenoids, which are powerful antioxidants.  Spirulina contains high amounts of vitamin E, fatty acids, and important minerals such as manganese, zinc, selenium and iron.

 

The high nutrient content of Spirulina provides proven benefits.  Animal studies show that Spirulina consumption provides an immune-system boost, increasing the production of antibodies and other immune system components and strengthening overall resistance to disease.

 

In addition to enhancing immune system function, Spirulina may have other health benefits.  Animal studies have suggested that Spirulina acts as a natural antihistamine, improving allergy symptoms such as watering eyes and runny nose.  Compounds contained in Spirulina such as  calcium spirulan, cyanovirin-N, and microvirin, have been shown in test tube studies to inactivate infectious viruses and inhibit their growth within cells.

 

Finally, substances in Spirulina may even have anti-cancer properties.  One study in humans suggested that Spirulina supplements were responsible for reducing or removing precancerous lesions.  Spirulina’s antioxidants may be responsible; it contains a fatty acid called gamma linolenic acid, which has been shown to kill cancer cells without harming normal cells.  Research is ongoing in this exciting area.

 

While more studies of the health benefits of Spirulina in humans are needed, there is enough evidence from animal studies to suggest that the nutrients present in Spirulina have many beneficial effects.  In the coming years, researchers might discover even more health benefits from this humble pond scum. 

 

Spіrulina is a blue-grеen aӏgae. It is a оne celled mіcro оrganіsm that tһrіvеѕ in tһe heat and in аlkaӏine water, or ponds. Most people would assocіatе ѕomething like this with dіseаѕes, or germs, or just plain оld nоt gоod fоr you. But in faсt, spirulinа iѕ one of the mоѕt ѕterile foоds found in naturе.

 

Ρeople аre now beginnіng tо call spirulina one оf tһe ѕuperfoods. Іt is the оnӏy plant source loaded witһ vitamin B12. Normаlly, you can onlу get this vіtamіn from anіmal sources. But spіrulina haѕ 2.5 times the RDA in 1 teаspoon. It alѕo hаѕ a complete protein structure, meaning it has all of thе аmino acids required tо mаke a proteіn.

 

Τhe fаct thiѕ superfood can survive in the wаrm enѵironments iѕ the reason it is very ѕterile. At theѕe sorts of temperatures, tһere is no way for other thingѕ to lіve in tһe ponds that can infect this algae. Also, the fact it can surѵive in temperatures up to 160F makes it eхcерtionаӏ in tеrms of producіng. It cаn with stand most of thе һigh һeats needed to procеss this supplement. As we now from a raw food diet, tempеraturе can bеgin to deѕtrоy some of the vital eӏements of foods. But, thіs is not tһe case wіtһ spirulina.

 

 

 

How dо yоu takе it?

 

Thіs cаn be done a couple of ways. Yоu cаn buy a gоod whole food vitamin thаt haѕ spirulina in it. Thiѕ is a gоod stаrt. It wiӏl nоt give уou a vеrу largе amount, but a smаller аmount is definitely bеttеr than no аmount.

 

Anothеr way іѕ to buy it in capsule fоrm. Thіs is a very eаsy waу to takе tһіs. Мany peoрӏe not familiar wіth the tаste оf spirulіna wiӏӏ find taking the supplements by capsulе оr piӏl form to be much easier. Јust enѕure therе are no other additiѵes іn the sріrulinа tablets.

 

Thе last way іѕ in powder form. This, I believe, іs for the mоre hаrd core ѕmoothіe and health nutѕ оut tһere (lіke me). Wе add a teaspооn or mоrе to each of the smoothies wе mаke. But, here iѕ the thing. The more bland уоur smоothie ingredіents arе, the ѕtrоnger the spіruӏina will bе. Plus, the ѕpirulina turnѕ thе еntire drink grеen.

 

Juicing can promote great health advantages, but in the event that you are not certain what you're doing, it is possible to miss the opportunity entirely. There are

various things which you can discover concerning juicing to make sure that you are making the most of the final results as well as feeling fantastic from consuming a

far more nourishing drink, with one of these suggestions providing an outstanding method to follow along with.

If you're searching for something special as well as nutritious to enhance your current veggie juice, consider including some coconut. Coconut will certainly enhance your veggie juice by providing it a delectable flavor,as well as it can be a great resource for healthy  fat. You can shred it so ou can obtaina smoother drink.

To obtain the most from your drinks, you need to consume all of them before you decide to eat when your digestive system is empty. Your digestive system should be able to digest more of the nutrients within the juice if it's mainly empty. Additionally, you will really feel fuller right after enjoying the juice, which means you will certainly consume less food once you will have a meal. Potato juice is an excellent thickener, which enable it to increase nutritional value. Consider sweet potato or even purple potato juice to get a distinctive angle in flavoring and additional nutrition.Stay with fresh fruits which have increased water contents raher that the fruits and vegetables that contain low-water content and are significantly tougher to juice. In the event you insist upon utilizing fresh fruits for example avocados or even bananas, be sure to combine all of them initially inside a mixer, and then include all of them to your current juice machine along with other fresh fruits which has a greater liquid content.

Incorporating spirulina as well as chlorella while juicing provides you with lots of vitamin b complex Spirulina is an algae that has an very high B vitamin
composition. Include bothSpirulina and Chlorella in powder form to the juice extractor and provide yourself a fantastic vitamin B dose. Many typical vegetables and fruit usually do not naturally contain vitamin B so this particular action is very important for  those vegetarians out there that lack this important vitamin from their diet.

Juicing will lead you to more ingredients than simply produce! Try spices or herbs such as cayenne pepper or even sugar-cinnamon, next to the nutrition-packed additions such as spirulina. You may also place avery little honey and natural yogurt in every now and then to get a wonderful, soft treat. Make sure to only use non-fat, unsweetened dairy products to help keep the actual resulting produce balanced.

To get into juicing, you certainly have to make sure that you're conscious of the things which you may carry out, exactly what fresh fruits are fantastic to utilize, as well as exactly what advantages it is possible to obtain. Comprehend juicing much more and you will get your added benefits, with the suggestions of this short article priceless for your advancement.

Spirulina in it’s powder form comes in a dark green or blue green color , but we have to say from the beginning that it  comes together with a very “marine and chlorophyll ” smell added to this super food.

For us the regular consumer of processed foods  it is a little hard at the beginning to get used with this smell, it usually takes a various number of uses until it comes a normal and trusted nutriment on a daily diet .

For the vegetarians that are used with the green smell of chlorophyll it will be much more easier to start consuming the spirulina powder . It will also benefit them because the spirulina cell body contains vitamin B12 which is not found in other vegetarian nutritional supplement .

 The powder can be added to most of the  foods like salads , smoothies, sandwiches and practically you can become very creative in adding this super food   kick to any of your favorites recipes.

 

 Most lovers of spirulina powder will not wait the health benefits until the preparation of some time consuming recipes,  but will beat the conventional system of fast-food, in a positive way,  and they will consume spirulina just mixed with water , benefiting  from a faster absorption of the rich spectrum  nutrients found in spirulina, and usually the effects will be  in the high energy levels , visible almost immediately.

 

 We found that mixing spirulina with organic apple juiceso or homemade lemonade and honey  will be the best way to get used to drinking spirulina.

Spirulina not only is very high in proteins and minerals, it also has 25 times the calcium present in milk and so vegetarians (but not only)  can benefit from drinking spirulina adding a good amount of calcium to their meals.

The Aztecs used spirulina for centuries  in the name of the "techuitlatl" but only in the recent four decades it became an internationally known whole food .

Currently it is in any respected healthy nutrition food store  and more and more people  are becoming aware of the health benefits of spirulina power all around the world.

   

    Spirulina and Chlorella are whole foods  and most of the nutrition specialist refer to them as being  super foods cousins , that complete each other  .

    Eating Spirulina or Chlorella is like eating any other vegetable like apples, bananas or broccoli  .

   Chlorella cell has one of the  highest content  of chlorophyll and has been used to prevent cancer or in other problems that chlorophyll comes with a benefic effect .

   Chlorella is used to cleanse the body, it has an ability to bind to different toxins and helps eliminate them. Is also used to help with  rebuilding nerve damage. 

   In Japan, it was discovered that  patients with  ulcers and  wounds  finally were healed when the patients took oral doses of chlorella,  because  it stimulates the cell to reproduce at a more faster rate with that results in a faster building of new tissue. 

   Chlorella also contains an important  concentrations of  nutrients – proteins , enzymes and minerals but in a smaller quantity that spirulina. 

 Because of this chlorella  is sometimes confused with spirulina. But an important difference between this two superfoods  is that chlorella possess the hard cell wall. Most of the  nutritional experts notify that this hard cell wall needs to be broken before consumed and so the beneficial nutrients of chlorella can be easily absorbed. 

 Chlorella is an excellent mercury detoxifier , which most of us are contaminated with if we had received a vaccine, dental fillings ,  used certain types of cookware or eaten fish that lived in a polluted water.

  A unique component of the chlorella nuclei is the Chorella Growth Factor that is not found in any other food. This component effectively  helps in damaged tissue regrowth ,  helping with a faster regeneration of the cell , some patients are applying chlorella mixed with water as a paste to hep in a faster healing of small wounds.

 Spirulina is a natural whole aliment and there are no reported side effects related to consuming it on a daily basis, or as a supplement from time to time.

  It has been shown that taking 50 grams or less per day should be reasoned safe to add to our diet, although is very important to advance with a small amount at first, to observe how our bodies answer back to it .

  Another extremely important fact is that spirulina and chlorella products are being grown in clean waters that are not infested with heavy metals and toxins.

  The company that sells this super food must attest that their product is free of heavy metals (like mercury), pesticides and other toxins.

 Another good question is to find out in what country it was grown and in what waters therefore we can get a larger picture about the product that you are consuming.

 

Not being attentive at the quality of the product can bring upon the consumer some side-effects like:

 

-Stomach ache and gastrointestinal symptoms;

 

-Slight dizziness and nausea;

 

- Slight fever; 

 

  But we have to keep in mind that the health benefits of spirulina outnumber any side effect that we might find when consuming it. These side effects can be lowered to a very minimum if we are careful when choosing the source and the quality of the product.

  Furthermore these side effects we can find them related to the toxin removal that spirulina and chlorella will bring as an effect of absorbing them.

  The University of Maryland Medical Center website warns that if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or you have an autoimmune disease like lupus, or you have arthritis you shouldn't take any form of spirulina, and that this supplement may interact with some medication.

 

  Pregnant and breastfeeding women should consult with their physician first, but the safety of supplementing spirulina or chlorella to their diet is not attested.

  Some the immune system suppression medication or drugs related to autoimmune disease can interact with these blue green algae and so patients that are under a prescription should also consult their physician.

  If you are pregnant or breast feeding you should consult with your doctor before taking spirulina.

  To prevent constipation, when taking this super food, one should always increase the water intake so the absorption will be optimal.

  Therefore blue-green algae is a complete and a natural food source , even if we take too much of it, there should not be a problem , but still we should not waist this product but take it as recommended on the product prospect