15 Health Benefits of spirulina you must know

Many people are not aware of the Health benefits of spirulina. People are not even aware of what is Spirulina. But, this amazing food has many benefits on our health and let us explore it soon. People of olden days used to be very healthy and fit. They used to eat all natural foods and they never ate any processed food.

People of ancient times did not suffer from environmental pollution, chemicals, etc. Life was very simple then and people were not stressed. They were satisfied with whatever they had. So, they were very relaxed, calm and healthy.

Nowadays, the world has become really very competitive. We are highly stressed and anxious always due to high workload and the demands of the modern day society. We are exposed to all sorts of chemicals, pollution. The food that we eat is not pure. We have low immunity levels and are becoming susceptible to various health ailments.

We need to improve our lifestyle to prevent diseases. We need to eat healthy food and exercise regularly. Even if we are not aware of many healthy foods, we need to start exploring various foods which are extremely helpful for our health. We always need to keep an open eye to find such healthy foods and spirulina is one of them.

health benefits of spirulina

What is Spirulina?

what-is-spirulina

I am going on speaking about Spirulina. But, at first, let me tell you what is spirulina. You might feel astonished to hear what it is. But, I hope you will surely try it out after reading about all the health benefits of spirulina. It is a blue-green algae or cyanobacterium.

The scientific name of spirulina is Anthrospira. It is cultivated worldwide for feeding animals. It is also used to produce Spirulina supplements which are available in the form of tablets and also powder. [1]

Spirulina has numerous health benefits due to its rich nutritional profile. We always need to prefer foods which are highly nutritious and avoid foods which are processed and also fast foods.

Spirulina Nutrition facts:

Spirulina is a rich source of dietary fiber which eases constipation. It contains polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids or fats which help us improve our health. It is a rich source of many proteins and amino acids like Tryptophan, threonine, isoleucine, etc. In fact, Spirulina contains more than 15 amino acids.

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It contains antioxidants like lutein zeaxanthin and beta-carotene which function similar to vitamin A. It contains vitamin B1 or Thiamine, Riboflavin or vitamin B2 in quantities sufficient to meet our recommended daily intake.

Spirulina also contains vitamin B3 or Niacin, vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid, vitamin B6 or pyridoxine in good amounts. It also has vitamin E and vitamin K. Many essential minerals like calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, sodium and potassium are also a part of spirulina.

Health benefits of spirulina:

1. Spirulina treats candidiasis:

spirulina-for-candidiasis

Candida albicans is a fungus that causes an infection called candidiasis. Candidiasis can occur in the vagina, mouth or it can even spread throughout the body. It causes white plaques or patches in the mouth and vagina. Spirulina has been proved to treat systemic candidiasis as per a recent research study. [2]

Spirulina enhances our immune system and helps in the production of certain cytokines called TNF or tumor necrosis factor and INF or interferon gamma. These immunomodulatory substances stimulated by spirulina help in controlling candida infection.

2. Spirulina has antibacterial activity:

Spirulina has many substances which kill bacteria. According to a study, spirulina was able to kill many bacteria and fungi including candida and pseudomonas aeruginosa. Pseudomonas is a deadly bacteria and people suffering from this infection can definitely benefit from spirulina supplements. [3]

While killing all the harmful bacteria, spirulina is capable of promoting the growth of various helpful intestinal bacteria like lactobacilli and bifidobacteria as per a research report. [4] Some substances called sulfolipids present in spirulina platensis have shown to inhibit the growth of HIV virus.

This study has also shown the beneficial effects of spirulina platensis extracts on inhibiting the growth of various viruses like herpes virus, cytomegalovirus, influenza virus. Spirulina extracts have also shown to stimulate the activity of infection-fighting cells in the body like macrophages, B lymphocytes, and T lymphocytes.

3. Good for lactating mothers:

spirulina-for-lactating-mothers

Spirulina diet is really good for lactating or breastfeeding mothers. It is really beneficial for the baby as it reduces the inflammation in the brain. This is mainly due to the antioxidant effects of spirulina. [5]

Spirulina contains gamma linoleic acid, a type of omega 6 fatty acid. It promotes the development of brain and IQ in the child. It also boosts the energy of the nursing mother helping them to take care of their baby.

But, if the spirulina you are taking is contaminated with microbes, it can lead to many side effects like vomiting, diarrhea, palpitations, etc. If it’s contaminated with substances like mercury, it can damage your brain and also liver.

So, if you have any doubt that spirulina is contaminated, it is better to avoid taking spirulina for the sake of your baby’s and your health.

4. Health benefits of Spirulina as antioxidant:

Spirulina contains many substances which act as antioxidants. Oxidative stress leads to many types of heart disorders like atherosclerosis, heart failure, and uncontrolled hypertension. So, spirulina with its antioxidant activity prevents the development of these diseases.

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Substances like phycocyanin and beta-carotene are the main substances regulating the antioxidant activities of spirulina. [6] Spirulina scavenges the free radicals very efficiently and protects our body.

It also prevents the damage of the skeletal muscles caused by free radicals. In addition to antioxidant properties, spirulina also has potent anti-inflammatory action too.

5. Spirulina protein content is high:

spirulina-protein-content

Spirulina contains more than 15 amino acids which are a part of proteins. It is the richest source of proteins originating from microbes. The protein content of spirulina is equal to high protein foods like soybeans and meat. [7]

Many studies are being conducted to study how to extract the proteins out of spirulina to a maximum extent in order to address the shortage of high protein food sources. Proteins are the building blocks of the body.

So, the health benefits of spirulina can be seen in all aspects of our health as it enhances the formation of all enzymes, hormones and cell walls which are made of proteins.

6. Spirulina protects the liver:

Spirulina has good hepatoprotective abilities. It can protect the liver from toxic metals like lead according to a research study. [8] According to another study, low levels of proteins in the body delays the growth and development of bones. Low proteins levels also lead to accumulation of fats in the liver.[9]

Intake of spirulina as a rich proteins source helps in the bone growth and prevents fat accumulation in the liver which damages the liver.

7. Treats anemia:

Anemia is caused due to the deficiency of iron which diminishes the formation of hemoglobin. Spirulina is a rich source of iron. So, the health benefits of spirulina on treating anemia are very well understood. A study was conducted to study the effects of spirulina on treating anemia and also on immune function in elderly people.

The researchers noticed that after a 12-week supplementation of spirulina, a significant improvement was seen in hemoglobin levels and the immunity in these elderly people. [10] According to another study, spirulina supplements improved hemoglobin levels in rural women. [11]

8. Boosts energy levels:

spirulina for energy

Spirulina is very effective in boosting the energy levels in the body. The vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids present in spirulina help in maintaining the energy levels in the body. It also relieves pain in the muscles and helps us in getting rid of fatigue and tiredness very well.

9. Health benefits of spirulina on cholesterol:

Cholesterol is linked to many health ailments like heart diseases like heart attack, atherosclerosis, peripheral arterial disease, stroke, etc. LDL cholesterol and triglycerides are implicated in causing such diseases and they are called harmful fats.

Intake of spirulina has beneficial effects on reducing the levels of cholesterol in the body and prevent such diseases.

10. Flushes out the toxins:

Various toxins accumulate in our body and damage vital organs like kidneys and liver. We need to detoxify our body once in a while to remain healthy. Spirulina helps in detoxifying the body very well and thereby protecting our kidneys and liver.

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11. Helps people with allergic rhinitis:

spirulina-for-allergic-rhinitis

Health benefits of spirulina on allergic rhinitis are still in the testing phase. But, many people advocate the use of spirulina supplements to control allergic rhinitis. This condition causes symptoms like coughing, sneezing, runny nose, watering and red eyes, sore throat, etc.

Allergic rhinitis is caused due to exposure to allergens like pet fur or animal dander, pollen, dust, environmental pollution, etc. Intake of spirulina can alleviate allergic rhinitis symptoms to some extent.

12. Health benefits of spirulina for diabetes:

Spirulina contains many compounds which enhance the production of insulin. It also helps in increasing the sensitivity of the cells of the body to insulin. Due to its beneficial effects on insulin, spirulina can lower the levels of blood sugar very well.

According to some studies, spirulina has even proved to be superior to the most commonly used oral hypoglycemic drugs. If you are suffering from diabetes, try to take spirulina supplements regularly.

13. Prevents cancer:

Spirulina contains potent antioxidant effects due to phycocyanin and also due to vitamins like vitamin C and E present in it. These antioxidants prevent the abnormal proliferation of the cells which leads to cancer. Certain studies in animals have shown the efficacy of spirulina supplements in preventing oral cancer or carcinoma.

14. Improves eye health:

spirulina-for-eye-health

Spirulina has substances like lutein zeaxanthin and beta carotene which act similar to vitamin A. Vitamin a is absolutely essential for maintaining healthy eyes and vision. So, regular intake of spirulina helps you to improve your eyesight.

Spirulina also contains substances called xanthophylls and anthocyanins. They help in preventing eye disorders which affect vision like cataract and macular degeneration.

15. Health benefits of spirulina for weight loss:

Spirulina is packed with fibers. They help in adding bulk to your stools and help in relieving constipation. Fiber also helps in secretion of bile from the liver which helps in excreting excess cholesterol.

The fiber content of spirulina helps you remain satiated or full for a long time and avoids hunger pangs. You also need to eat a healthy diet and do exercise daily to accentuate the weight loss benefits of spirulina.

You have seen all the health benefits of spirulina. Start using spirulina regularly either in tablet or powder form. But, try to find good and reputed brands of spirulina. If not, you might end up buying contaminated spirulina which has many side effects on our health.

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