What is Spirulina?
Spirulina is a microscopic spiral shaped blue-green vegetable algae which grows in mineral-rich freshwater and saltwater sources. Often lauded as the next great “Super food,” one that some researches think can help alleviate malnutrition and starvation in poverty and draught stricken countries.
The reason why Spirulina is reported to have so many health benefits is due to its high concentration of nutritional properties. However, it must be said that these same nutrients can be found in other food sources but you would need to eat large quantities across a broad spectrum of food types to attain the same levels of nutrition that a small, singular amount of Spirulina will provide.
Protein - Spirulina contains about sixty to seventy percent high quality protein which contains all the essential amino acids that cannot be synthesized by the human body. Even though it has reduced amounts of lysine, methionine and cysteine, it is still regarded as a complete protein.
Vitamins - One of the nutritional properties of Spirulina that is often referred to is that of Vitamin B12 but many sources that refer to this fail to mention that the particular kind of B12 that is abundant in Spirulina is pseudo vitamin B12 and of little use to humans. So, if you are considering using it as a means to supplement your B12 intake then be forewarned that it will not provide much benefit. However, it will provide you with a rich source of essential Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B9, D, E and K.
Minerals – Spirulina contains high concentrations of Calcium, Chromium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Selenium, Sodium and Zinc.
Essential Fatty Acids - Spirulina lipid content is 7 percent by weight and contains essential fatty acids which are inherent in vegetable oils such as gamma linoleic acid sometimes independently marketed as a dietary supplement credited with treatment of inflammation problems and auto-immune diseases.
Health Benefits of Spirulina:
Increased Brain function - Spirulina contains vital amino acids, including tryptophan and leucine, which promote optimum brain chemistry by supporting premium neurotransmitter function. It is also accredited with combating stress and helping to calm nerves.
Increased Body functions - Spirulina aids the reparation damage tissues, increases organ function and energy levels, while also helping to aid digestion by increasing intestinal flora such as lactobacillus and bifidus.
In addition, Spirulina is alkalizing and because many foods ingested during modern times are highly-acidic, choosing alkalizing Spirulina will counteract acidic levels, thereby supporting a more robust and effective immune system.
Cell Damage - Spirulina is also an excellent source of powerful antioxidants, which slow down cell damage. Examples of antioxidants found in Spirulina include beta-carotene, vitamin E, Chlorophyll, Zeaxanthin, Superoxide dismutase and phycocyanin.
Weight loss - Spirulina is not a weight loss product (although marketed as such in the US), however, due to the high concentration of nutrients you can diet safely while still receiving abundant nutrients which are free of excess calories. In essence you can eat less without feeling hungry while still providing your body with the essential vitamins, minerals and protein that it need to function.
To get the most benefit from Spirulina for weight loss it is recommended that you take it one hour before eating.
In addition to the above mentioned benefits research studies have shown that Spirulina helps lower blood cholesterol, inflammation and also cleanses the body of toxin build-up and can help reduce incidences of chronic fatigue, anemia, low blood sugar and ulcers.
Spirulina Powder v’s Spirulina Tablets:
Once you choose and organic, pure and tested form of Spirulina then there is little difference in regards to quality. The only real difference is in the absorption rates (the time it takes to enter the blood stream) and the quantity that you need to take.
Powder forms are by far the quickest to absorb and provide you with a more concentrated dose. Therefore this form is preferred by those who are using Spirulina as a diet aid or for those who need an instant hit of nutrients to the blood stream. The latter usually being people who use Spirulina for pre or post work-out nutrition.
In addition, some forms of Spirulina powder may dissolve more readily in water than others do. Since all products of this type are typically ingested after being mixed with pure H20, it’s important to check product details before you buy in order to find a Spirulina powder that blends smoothly into water thus giving you the most instantaneous nutritional value.
Try this recipe with our Spirulina Powder....
Spirulina Breakfast Booster Smoothie by Anton Leyland – “Smoothie chef”
This highly nutritional smoothie breakfast, will power-up your morning. It’s easy to make to make – A blender is required.
- One cup of Apple Juice
- 125 Grams of Probiotic Yogurt
- Kiwi Fruit – 80 Grams peeled and diced
- Peaches half cup – peeled and sliced
- Apricots – around 100 grams
- Walnuts 30 grams – soaked overnight
- One Teaspoon of honey
- Two Teaspoons of Spirulina
- Half a cup of ice cubes
1. Put ingredients into a blender
2. Give a little pulse at the beginning
3. Mix on high for two minutes
All the above is general advice and information, please consult a health professional for information relating to your specific needs. General information is only provided in this listing.