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.
A Healthy Heart
The Department of Biochemistry in Mexico ran a study(1) 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.
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(3) 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(4). 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(5) (an organization dedicated to combating malnutrition for rural women and children) offers spirulina-based food to the malnourished. Studies(6) 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%(7) 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%(8)).
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(9) 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.
***This article is intended to provide information and general education only - please don’t use this information to diagnose, treat, or cure any illness or medical condition, or as a substitute for medical advice.***
That’s it for now.
To your health,
-Chris Ford - Director of Health Research
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