Is Spirulina Really the Most Nutrient Dense Plant on Earth?
Spirulina had been a relatively unheard of substance until NASA successfully used it in astronauts’ diets. Containing a vast array of nutritional benefits, easy to cultivate, easy to harvest, spirulina is drastically growing in popularity because of its extremely versatile nature and nutrient-dense properties.
So What is Spirulina?
Spirulina offers a benefit for several aspects of the human body. Who would have guessed that one of the healthiest, most dynamic superfoods grows in the form of bacteria in bodies of warm, alkaline-rich, freshwater?
Found in Hawaii, Mexico, and Africa, spirulina is a blue/green algae-like cyanobacteria named after its coiled shape.
As of now, Japan is the number one producer of spirulina with India not far behind, and experts say that by 2020, the market will produce approximately 220,000 tons of spirulina for its many nutritional and medical benefits: Heart Health, Stroke Prevention, Potent Nutritional Supplement, High in Protein, & Allergy Relief.
A Healthy Heart
Regulates Blood Pressure:
Hypertension (high blood pressure) can lead to severe heart health issues. Spirulina has been shown to be a great agent against cardiovascular disorders with a higher antioxidant content than spinach or blueberries. The Department of Biochemistry in Mexico ran a study giving both men and women a small amount of Spirulina, resulting in the production of nitric oxide (which helps blood vessels relax) successfully regulating blood pressure.
Similar studies have also been made with spirulina to regulate cholesterol as an alternative to tricky cholesterol meds - which have been known to lead to other problems like anemia, sexual dysfunction, cataracts, and even an increased risk of cancer. A study involving elderly patients given 8 grams of spirulina a day for 16 weeks straight resulted in lower cholesterol compared to patients given a placebo.
If your brain is cut off from air for too long (and a few seconds is too long) the result can be a stroke or other brain damage. Studies of rats with high levels of free radicals in their systems were administered a dosage of spirulina and compared with those not given spirulina. All subjects who received spirulina showed increased protection of the brain and nervous system compared to the subjects who did not receive the substance.
Concerned with precious storage space on shuttle crafts, this superfood was used by NASA as space food because it is so jam-packed with nutrients per weight. Spirulina is simply loaded with Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B12, Vitamin E, copper, iron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and a bunch of protein. In fact, Antenna India (an organization dedicated to combating malnutrition for rural women and children) offers spirulina-based food to the malnourished. Studies have shown that children who received spirulina supplements five days a week had much better nutritional levels and improved cognitive functions compared to those who did not receive spirulina.
High Source of Protein:
There are 4 grams of protein per 7 grams of dried spirulina powder. It’s about 59-65% protein per weight, (about twice as dense as protein in red meat). And because this substance lacks a cellulose wall, this is considered a pretty digestible type of protein, too (up to 90% digestible, with a net protein utilization coming in at up to 62%).
Relieves Allergy Symptoms:
If you suffer from allergies - seasonal or otherwise - natural remedies will often help you out more than drugs that may make you dependent. Tests show that symptoms of allergic rhinitis such as runny nose, congestion, and sneezing can be relieved with spirulina without the risk of common side effects from antihistamines like drowsiness, dry mouth, or nausea.
With all that spirulina has to offer - the list of benefits simply goes on. The following are other significant ailments the superfood has been researched for:
Is it right for you?
Spirulina is a powerful detoxifier. It may be a good idea to start out small and see how spirulina reacts
with your body.
That is it for now!
To your health,
Chris Ford - Director of Health Research
***This article is intended to provide information and general education only - please do not use this information to diagnose, treat, or cure any illness or medical condition, or as a substitute for medical advice.***
1. Antihyperlipemic and antihypertensive effects of Spirulina maxima in an open sample of Mexican population: a preliminary report.
2. A randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study to establish the effects of spirulina in elderly Koreans.
3. Neuroprotective effect of Spirulina in cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury in rats.
4. 10 Health Benefits of Spirulina
5. ANTENNA INDIA: A STRONG NETWORK
6. Effect of Supplementation of Spirulina on the Haematological
Profile and Intellectual Status of School Girls (7-9 years)
7. SPIRULINA NUTRITION
8. Nutritional and toxicological aspects of Spirulina (Arthrospira)
9. The effects of spirulina on allergic rhinitis.
10. Inhibition of HIV-1 replication by an aqueous extract of Spirulina platensis (Arthrospira platensis).
11. Role of Spirulina in the Control of Glycemia and Lipidemia in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.
12. Enhancement of antitumor natural killer cell activation by orally administered Spirulina extract in mice.
13. Radioprotective effect of extract from Spirulina platensis in mouse bone marrow cells studied by using the micronucleus test.
14. Efficacy of spirulina extract plus zinc in patients of chronic arsenic poisoning: a randomized placebo-controlled study.
15. The hepatoprotective and hypolipidemic effects of Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) supplementation in a Cretan population with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: a prospective pilot study
16. A spirulina-enhanced diet provides neuroprotection in an α-synuclein model of Parkinson's disease.