Spirulina may be the “most nutritious food” in the world! It is a blue green algae (cyanobacteria) and partly responsible for oxygen in the air. It is also amongst the world’s most powerful supplements. Spirulina was consumed by Aztecs in the 16th century, and came to light again after NASA proposed that it could be grown by astronauts in space. Spirulina can grow in extreme conditions and it is generally cultivated in natural or manmade lakes, harvested and freeze dried for use. Nutritionally, it has more protein than any other vegetable, it is an amazing source of beta-carotene, various minerals and essential fatty acids.
Dosage: 1-10 gram per day, it can be taken as 2-4 grams 2 times a day or a capsule which is usually 7 grams.
Major Health Benefits of Spirulina
- Powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent: Spirulina can protect against oxidative stress which is one of the main causes behind various diseases like cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, etc. Oxidative damage can harm DNA and cells inside the body. Phycocyanin is the main active component of spirulina which is a potent anti-oxidant and gives that blue green color to the algae. This component can kill the free radicals and cease the production of anti-inflammatory molecules, and provides magnificent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol and increases HDL (good) cholesterol: Many studies have suggested that daily supplementation of spirulina (2-8 grams) helps in reduction of triglycerides by 16 % and LDL cholesterol by 10 %. This is because fat in the body is more susceptible to oxidation which is known as lipid peroxidation. Spirulina with its amazing properties helps the body in protection against this.
- Effective against Anemia: A single tablespoon of spirulina (7 gm) has 2 mg of Iron which is nearly 11% of RDA. This can help in improving mean corpuscular hemoglobin, improves energy levels and oxygen carrying capacity.
- Improves Immunity: A number of researches suggest that spirulina increases the production of infection fighting proteins, antibodies, T-cells that help in improving immunity and save us from infections and chronic illness like cancer.
- Excellent source of protein and healthy fats: A tablespoon of spirulina gives just 1 gm of fat, both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. While the quality of protein is considered to be like eggs, it gives you all essential amino acids you need.
We hope you liked these facts on Spirulina. Do leave your thoughts in the comments below. For more on nutrition and healthy living, check out Healthy Reads or tune in to LIVE sessions by experts on GOQii Play.