Discover Spirulina: The Superfood and its Health Benefits
Have you ever heard of this superfood before? Spirulina is a blue-green, super healthy pond algae (aka cyanobacteria). It is a freshwater organism that is now one of the most researched and most talked about superfoods today. Grown around the world (including countries such as Mexico, Africa, and Hawaii), spirulina is famous for its intense green flavor and amazing nutrition profile. Hence it being called a superfood.
Based on the Scholars’ Journal of Applied Medical Sciences, this supplement has greater amounts of nutrients compared to other foods:
- It has 670% more protein than tofu
- It has 3100% more beta-carotene than carrots
- It has 5100% more iron than spinach
- It has 180% more calcium than whole milk
- It has more antioxidants than five servings of fruits and vegetables
Researchers have proven that there are several health benefits of spirulina.
1. Acts as an Antioxidant
When exposed to stress, toxins, and chemicals, our body continuously produces free radicals. Free radicals are molecules with one or more unpaired electrons that can damage other cells such as DNA, lipids, and proteins.
Our body has the ability to repair itself; but when free radicals exceed the antioxidants in our body, there can be oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is associated with a number of health conditions, including cancer. We can reduce oxidative stress by lowering our exposure to environmental pollutants and by increasing the antioxidants in our body.
Taking spirulina daily can combat oxidative stress. This supplement contains selenium, tocopherol, and other antioxidants which can neutralize the free radicals present in our body.
2. Regulates blood sugar
Diabetes has become a prevalent disease. When a person has diabetes, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin – the hormone that regulates the blood glucose level.
High blood glucose level, aka hyperglycemia, can cause serious damage to the blood vessels and vital organs. Diabetes can cause life-threatening complications if left untreated. These conditions include cardiovascular disease, retinopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy, and other disorders.
One of the health benefits of spirulina is the management of diabetes. This superfood has a hypoglycemic effect, regulating the amount of sugar in the blood.
3. Lowers bad cholesterol
According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, approximately 2,200 Americans die of cardiovascular disease daily. A common form of coronary heart disease is called atherosclerosis where plaques of cholesterol build up in the arteries. Thereby restricting the circulation of blood to vital organs.
Spirulina has bioactive components including carotenoids and phycocyanin which can lower cholesterol. A combination of high potassium and low sodium in this food supplement is also recommended to reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
4. Prevents Anemia
Anemia has been a common disorder of women and children. It is characterized by the inadequacy of red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood, resulting in the insufficient supply of oxygen to the rest of the body.
Spirulina enhances the ability of the body to generate new blood cells. It is rich in iron and vitamin B12 which are essential to the proper formation of hemoglobin.
ALSO READ: Vitamin B12 Deficiency, A Silent Epidemic
5. Boosts the Immune System
Spirulina naturally strengthens the immune system. It accelerates the production of cytokines and antibodies that protect our body from infection. It can also protect the body from the effects of radiation and heavy metals because of its metallo-thionine components.
Aside from those mentioned above, there are other health benefits of spirulina including relief from body pain and arthritis, improvement of eyesight, prevention of skin diseases, stimulation of energy and stamina, and achievement of weight loss.
If buying spirulina in powder or tablet, make sure it comes from a reliable, non-contained source. I love spirulina powder because it can easily be added to smoothie or juice. If, however, you are not a green smoothie lover you could opt for high-quality spirulina supplements instead.