A simple plant with a funny name, spirulina packs a lot of power when it comes to nutrition. Loaded with protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, spirulina deserves its growing reputation as a genuine super food.
Spirulina is a blue-green algae which grows in warm, mineral-rich bodies of water. With more protein than any other natural food and 100 nutrients, spirulina is a gift from Mother Nature. The concentration of essential nutrients is so complete that a person could likely survive on spirulina alone. Here’s a short list of the nutrients found in spirulina:
- Protein: 60-70% complete, high quality protein
- Vitamins: A, B1, B2, B3, B9, B12, D, E and K
- Minerals: Calcium, Chromium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Selenium, Sodium and Zinc
- Essential Fatty Acids: Gamma-Linolenic Acid
- Antioxidants: Beta–carotene, phytonutrients
Spirulina Health Benefits
Consumer demand for spirulina has skyrocketed over the last few decades, due in part to the many stories and claims about its health benefits. Spirulina has been credited with lowering blood pressure, reducing cholesterol and inflammation, boosting the immune system, curing anemia and cancer, speeding metabolism, helping people lose weight and fighting serious viruses.
While these claims have yet to be proven scientifically true, a number of credible studies have shown spirulina may indeed have super powers when it comes to specific health conditions. .
Spirulina and You
If you’re thinking of trying spirulina, here are some tips which will help you get the most out of your supplements:
- Spirulina is sold in tablets, powder and flakes. While some people add spirulina powder and flakes to cooked foods, you’ll get the most out of your supplements by taking them uncooked or alone with water. Avoid heating when possible.
- Spirulina easily absorbs bacteria and other pollutants while it grows; avoid problems with contaminated supplements by buying reputable, well-established brands.
- Some people experience side effects when taking spirulina; although not common, these could include fever, stomach upset and skin irritation.
- If you have a medical condition or are taking prescriptions, check with your doctor before using spirulina. This is especially important for people with diabetes, autoimmune disorders, issues with blood pressure, kidneys or liver and cancer.
Whether you take spirulina to improve your overall health or for a specific medical issue, be confident in knowing that your body will thank you for making a smart choice.