8 Health benefits of Spirulina

The word “spirulina” is a common name, and it relates to a spiral-shaped organism, or cyanobacteria, which owns the name. It develops naturally in freshwater lakes where the water temperature ranges from 20 to 40 °C at an average pH of 9 to 11. Through an inaccurate name, Spirulina is sometimes regarded as a microalgae. It is also quite often called blue alga, which is due to its high concentration of phycocyanin, which is a blue pigment.

The greatest interest in Spirulina comes from its composition: it consists of proteins of high order, vitamins, minerals, and trace elements all combined into one.

The most exciting thing is that Spirulina has no cellulosic wall, which is why its contents are more accessible to digestive enzymes.

Consequently, it is highly bioavailable for its active ingredient, thereby allowing faster absorption through the stomach wall lining. All of these facts make spirulina the right candidate for being called the perfect supplement to the modern and busy human’s diet.

 health benefits of spirulina

However, nutritional recommendations recommend consuming spirulina in small quantities so as not to cause digestive disorders.

Therefore, the benefits of spirulina are not necessarily those that online sales sites want you to believe. This article therefore covers all current nutritional knowledge linked to the real benefits of spirulina.

Latin name: Spirulina platensis.

Shape: spiral.

Green color.

Benefits of Spirulina

1. To fight against oxidative stress

The first plus which spirulina have is that they helps fight oxidative stress. The latter is a system imbalance of pro-oxidant and antioxidant molecules, which is mostly towards the former.

In simple words, it brings the issue of aging by speeding up the process when it concerns all of the body’s cells. Consequently, this pathogenic mechanisms is considered to be a key factor in many age-related diseases, including Alzheimer-type neurodegenerative disorders, vascular diseases, and cancers.

Muscular pumping is considered as one of the factors that can cause injuries and inflammation in athletes. Spirulina can play a quite beneficial role in this pathological condition since it is composed of numerous antioxidant molecules working in harmony: blue-green algae are a source of phycocyanin, copper, manganese and a compound called vitamins A, B2, C and E.

The fact that spirulina contains some essential nutrients implies that it obtains some from the consumed food stuff. with antioxidant enzymes to guarantee a proportional ratio between pro-oxidant and antioxidant molecules, despite the low factor (5 g).

Advice from the dietician-nutritionist:

-Commence with 1g per day, then progressively increase over a week to 5g per day.

-In addition to the preceding, other spices (e.g., turmeric, curry, garlic, mustard powder, and oregano) and aromatics can be utilized to provide a boost to the antioxidant intake.

-Eat fruits and vegetables at lunch and dinner that contain antioxidants.

2. For vegetarian populations

Spirulina does also include an essential level of nutrients that can easily be found in high portions in the composition of foods of animal origin by nature. Particularly, it is characterized by a higher quality of protein and iron.

In reality, the fact that iron in spirulina is very well absorbed by the leaves is very rare with the plants that are consumed (between 1 and 10%).

Also, the proteins in spirulina are of very good biological value; that is, they have all the amino acids (the structural units of a protein) necessary for protein synthesis.

Proteins of plant origin usually have a lower rate of digestibility compared to animal ones and are also not optimal by all means as they lack some amino acids.

This makes people who go on vegetarian and vegan diets very conscious of the cooperation among plant proteins so as to be sure that these proteins do not miss out on some of the amino acids. Spirulina, therefore, is a good reason why vegetarians and vegans can get enough iron and protein.

Advice from the dietician-nutritionist:

-Take 1g per day and start slow. Then build up to 5 grams per day over a period of a week.

-Integrate spirulina into the following preparations to optimize its intake: vegetables, salads, soups, fresh juice, smoothies, desserts, drinks, water, as well as dairy products such as yogurt, cottage cheese, etc. .

-The absorbed form of vitamin B12 is very rarely present in foods of plant origin, so you should supplement with it.

3. To reduce fatigue

Spirulina has the ability to efficiently treat iron-deficit-related fatigue. Iron is, in fact, the major player in delivering oxygen to cells.

It is limited by low iron intake, which makes oxygen transport difficult, resulting in fatigue and shortness of breath at rest. This dietary component has only little utilization by the body. Usually, the amount of iron absorbed from animal food varies in the range of 25 to 40%, whereas it is in the range of 1 to 10% for plants.

Nonetheless, even though the iron in spirulina is of plant origin, it seems to be very well absorbed by the body, mainly because it is in remarkable quantities (1. 4 g of iron for 5 g of spirulina = 10% of daily iron intake).

And above all, it consists of iron, vitamin C, copper, and zinc.

In this way, spirulina makes a key contribution to daily intake of iron and, in particular, reduces the risk of fatigue, which is especially high during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

These future and young mothers have a very high iron demand; thus, a deficiency of this micronutrient is one of the reasons for their fatigue.

Advice from the dietician-nutritionist:

Add 1 g of spirulina to your diet every day for the first week, and then add 5 g per day for the next week.

-Consume spirulina, preferably with foods rich in vitamin C, to optimize iron absorption: fruits, smoothies, as well as fruit juices.

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-Mix spirulina with acerola powder in different dishes (salads, soup, smoothies, dairy products, etc. ) because the latter has a lot of vitamin C.

4. To take care of your hair

Spirulina has not only curative functions but also preventive abilities. In fact, it is also a way to take care of your hair since it gets nourishment from proteins, iron, and copper.

This formula also includes nutrients that promote their growth, such as proteins, iron, zinc, and vitamin B5. This is very important, especially for the production of keratin, which is the major component of their nails and hair. It also delays the early graying of hair through its antioxidant action.

What is the best way I can use it?

Orally: Take 1 gram of spirulina powder daily, then progressively increase up to 5 grams a day. To save its unpleasant taste and to form iron-nutrient pairs, it is advisable to drink it with fruit juice or a smoothie.

Externally, Spirulina can be used as a shampoo or a mask. Based on this, 5 grams of spirulina can be added to everyday shampoo and masks, or alternatively, homemade spirulina shampoo and mask recipes can be made.

5. To take care of your skin

Spirulina contains many advantages for skin health, too. In fact, it is a great anti-aging ally due to its antioxidant components (phycocyanin, vitamins A, B2, C, and E), but also due to its amino acids that preserve the elasticity of the skin.

The first one stimulates the synthesis of collagen involved in the processes of microcrack healing, cell regeneration, and its preservation.

What do I use it for?

Orally: 1 g of spirulina per day is a good starting point, and then you can gradually increase up to 5 g per day. It is advisable to take it with fruit juices or smoothies, which are not only pleasant to the taste but also help with the absorption of certain nutrients like non-heme iron.

Externally: Besides, spirulina may look like a homemade exfoliant or anti-aging mask, such as an anti-acne mask. You can achieve this by incorporating 5 g of spirulina into a regular mask or by making homemade spirulina-based mask recipes.

6. To make a homemade energy drink

Spirulina might be incorporated into a drink targeting ultra-endurance exercise, which will be protein- and antioxidant-rich. This is how the powerhouses of the body get high-octane workouts.

In this case, during the effective efforts that last for more than 1h-1h30 (depending on the intensity), it is possible to use easy-to-assimilate proteins to provide energy; this is the case of BCAAs (branched chain amino acids = branched amino acids).

The blend of these BCAA’s includes valine, leucine, and isoleucine, but especially leucine, one of the “favorite foods” of muscle cells during long efforts.

First of all, it is widely known that spirulina has its own amino acid composition made of all the essential amino acids and includes some BCAA from the diet. This is why it can be a protein source in a homemade energy drink.

Advice from the dietician-nutritionist:

-Determine the limit of tolerance for spirulina in the homemade energy beverage, starting with 1 g of spirulina in the first session. The recommended daily dose should be started at 1 g and then gradually increased up to 5 g if the spirulina is well-tolerated.

-Join spirulina with a carbohydrate food that has a very high GI (glycemic index), such as honey or syrup, to get the nutrients needed by the body during the exercise.

-And don’t forget to pinch a bit of salt in it.

7. To encourage milk flow

Spirulina would be a galactogenic food, like fennel seeds, in an infusion.

Likewise, it is advisable to eat these seeds in unison with spirulina to enhance milk production. Moreover, research did show that, in general, spirulina improves milk quality.

Thus, it delivers the required nutrients to the mother and infant during breastfeeding (iron, copper, proteins, and vitamins B1 and B2).

Advice from the dietician-nutritionist:

-Commence with 1g per day and amplify this over a week to 5g per day.

-Intake of fennel as an infusion will facilitate maximum outcomes in milk production.

-Integrate spirulina into the following preparations to optimize its intake: salad, soup, fruit juice, smoothies, drinks, water, dairy products (yogurt, cottage cheese, etc.), and dishes.

8. An interest for the liver in the event of chemotherapy

The organism spirulina might act as a shield for the liver by lowering the damaging effects of certain chemotherapy drugs. The fact is that a study was conducted that revealed that spirulina, when taken as a pre-treatment for cancer, had very encouraging results.

Indeed, it seems that its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics would be those that could help prevent or reduce hepatotoxicity caused by widely used anticancer drugs.

Nonetheless, the dose of spirulina has not been clarified when chemotherapy is given. Moreover, bearing in mind the outcomes that drug interactions can have, it is advisable to inform your oncologist to know if it is possible to consume spirulina during or between chemotherapy sessions.

Advice from the dietician-nutritionist:

-Do not engage in spirulina therapy until it has been approved by the doctor or the oncologist you are working with.

-Work together if you find that the doctor or oncologist is in support of you.

-Prevention starts at 1 g per day, then increases to 5 g per day over a week.

-Integrate spirulina into the following preparations to optimize its intake: salad, soup, fruit juice, smoothies, bottled water, and dairy products (frozen yoghurt, cottage cheese, etc.) and dishes.

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