Spirulina is a type of tiny, blue-green algae packed with nutrients, and is believed to be one of the most nutritious and nutrient-dense foods on Earth.
It was once consumed by the Ancient Aztecs who called it tecuitlatl and it came to public attention when NASA proposed it to be grown in space for use by their astronauts.
A 7 gram serving of dried spirulina contains-
Protein: 4 grams (The quality of the protein contained in spirulina is considered comparable to eggs)
Vitamin B1 (thiamine): 11% of the RDA
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): 15% of the RDA
Vitamin B3 (niacin): 4% of the RDA
Copper: 21% of the RDA
Iron: 11% of the RDA
It also contains essential amino acids,magnesium, potassium, manganese and small amounts of almost every other nutrient needed by the human body.
Spirulina also contains sunstantial amounts of vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, C, and vitamin E as well as boron, calcium, chloride, chromium, copper, germanium, iodine, iron, molybdenum, phosphorus, selenium, sodium and zinc.
Powerful Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Spirulina is a fantastic source of antioxidants, which may help protect cells against oxidative stress.
Its main active component is a substance called phycocyanin which can fight free radicals and inhibit the production of inflammatory signaling molecules in the body.
It has been well documented that Spirulina exhibits anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting the release of histamine from mast cells (source),(source) )
May help lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides
Spirulina may help lower total cholesterol, LDL(“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides, while raising HDL(“good” ) cholesterol.
Studies have shown that spirulina may help to significantly improve markers of type 2 diabetes. (source)
May help to protect LDL cholesterol ('bad')from oxidation
Fatty structures in your body are susceptible to oxidative damage.
This is known as lipid peroxidation
For example, one of the key steps in the development of heart disease is the oxidation of “bad” LDL cholesterol (15
Antioxidants in spirulina appear to be effective at reducing lipid peroxidation, a key driver of many serious diseases
In a study in 37 people with type 2 diabetes, 8 grams of spirulina per day significantly reduced markers of oxidative damage. It also increased levels of antioxidant enzymes in the blood. (source)
May help reduce blood pressure and reduce BMI
High blood pressure is a main driver of many serious diseases, including heart attacks, strokes and chronic kidney disease.
While 1 gram of spirulina is ineffective, a dose of 4.5 grams per day has been shown to reduce blood pressure in individuals with normal levels reduction is thought to be driven by an increased production of nitric oxide, a signaling molecule that helps your blood vessels relax and dilate. (source)
May help to improve symptoms of allergic rhinitis
Spirulina is a popular alternative treatment for symptoms of allergic rhinitis, and dust allergy. Studies have shown evidence that spirulina dosed at 2 grams per day may be effective in reducing the symptoms of allergic rhinitis like nasal discharge, sneezing, nasal congestion, and itching and may help control other inflammatory mucosal afflictions (source)
Recommended daily dose is 2-3 grams (1 tablespoon) daily
Supplements like spirulina may interact with medication and may not be suitable for people with certain health conditions. Talk with your doctor before incorporating it into your diet.
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