For an all-round superfood, you can’t get much better than Spirulina, which is fully established in the health-food world as a must-have supplement. Try it in your juices and shakes for an instant health boost!
What is Spirulina?
Spirulina is commonly described as a blue-green algae…but it is actually a blue-green cyanobacterium! The difference? Well, cyanobacteria, like other bacteria, don’t have the same nucleus structure of single-celled organisms like algae. Spirulina contains large amounts of chlorophyll, which is also found in plants and is responsible for their green colouring.
As in plants, spirulina uses chlorophyll to convert the sun’s energy into fuel to feed itself. Spirulina can grow in vast quantities in fresh water; to such a high volumes in fact, that in countries like Chad in Africa, it is harvested from the water and condensed into cakes; here, it is a valuable food source, rich in nutrients. It was also believed to have been a stable of the Aztec diet, as the Spanish observed when they first arrived in South America.
Today in Western culture, Spirulina has become a popular dietary supplement sold in tablet or liquid form, with wide-ranging health benefits and an army of fans who swear by its nutritional value.
So, should you take Spirulina? What can this tiny algae-like organism add to your diet that can be of value?
Spirulina is Rich in Antioxidants
If there is one thing we are fans of, it’s the incredible restoring and healing power of antioxidants. If you’re not familiar with antioxidants, this is how they work: Every cell in your body carries out endless chemical reactions everyday, as they go about their individual functions.
These chemical reactions could include, for example, converting sugars to energy, processing waste materials, fighting infections, and an unimaginable wealth more. When these reactions take place, they can result in free radicals, which are molecular particles that are intensely energetic. In simple terms, these free radicals whiz around a cell like it’s a pinball machine, and cause huge amounts of damage to it.
This is what is thought to produce the aging of cells, and as a result contributes hugely to your aging process. Antioxidants act like huge sponges, soaking up these free radicals, and limiting the damage caused. They are so effective, that they are thought to help prevent heart disease, cancer and many other illnesses that free radicals are often responsible for.
Spirulina Can Boost Your Immune System!
Spirulina is absolutely packed full of vitamins and minerals that can help keep you in top condition. These include vitamins B and E, manganese and zinc. It is thought that spirulina can boost your immune system to such an extent that it becomes effective at battling bacteria, fungi and viruses that invade our bodies, like flu, measles and thrush. Preliminary research also shows that Spirulina may also be a useful weapon in the battle against the HIV virus.
Spirulina Can Help Keep Anemia at Bay:
Spirulina is high in iron, which makes it a great natural source of the mineral for those who suffer from low iron levels, or anemia. Healthy iron levels mean plenty of energy and a revived immune system!
Bye Bye Allergies!
A study conducted by the medical center at the University of Maryland has shown that spirulina can be effective at preventing allergies, by limiting the release of histamines in the body that prompt an allergic response. At this stage, research has only been conducted on animals, but personal testimonies are already showing that the research may be reliable for humans!
What the Press Says:
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What People on the Web Say:
I add a teaspoon full to my power shakes. It definitely packs a punch. I used to be anemic. This must have an incredible amount of iron in it. My hb has been normal since I started using this. I also don’t have the unpleasant side affects as I do with iron supplements.
Spirulina is great! One of the best super foods out there! Numerous amounts of nutrients in just one table spoon – Absolutely fantastic! The flavor might not be the best, you might want to mix it with juice, but it is better with water to have all the nutrients absorbed by your body in a matter of minutes.
Over the years I’ve built up an increasingly annoying allergy for dust. And also a little hay-fever. I read about a small scientific study with promising results in which spirulina reduced the symptoms of people with hay-fever. After 1-2 months of consistent use I can say that I now don’t have any allergy symptoms at all anymore. Even after the first week I noticed the effects. But I wasn’t taking it regularly so sometimes I’d have a runny nose in the morning again. But since I take 3g daily in the morning after waking up and don’t skip a day. Bye bye allergy!