Spirulina comes from bacteria that scientists call cyanobacteria. These are blue-green algae, mainly found in warm and necessarily fresh waters of Asia, Africa, South America and Central America. In the intercellular space of algae – a high content of hydrogen. In its natural form it looks like a thin cylindrical green thread.
This product belongs to the category of biologically active natural additives. Spirulina has become a trend and in the XXI century attracted the attention of adherents of a healthy lifestyle. You need to understand its beneficial properties and possible side effects when using it, because now this useful supplement is available to everyone.
What are the properties of spirulina? How is it useful? How to add it to the diet and not harm your health? About these issues in our article.
Everything you need for health
Spirulina is a complete source of protein, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. In addition, spirulina has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
As part of the “superfood” there is:
- Protein – 50-70 percent of spirulina by dry weight consists of protein, in particular, and essential amino acids.
- Carbohydrates – 15-25% of spirulina by dry weight consist of carbohydrates.
- Nucleic acids — 5% of spirulina consist of molecules necessary for the formation of DNA and RNA.
Vitamins and minerals.
- Beta-carotene – for the skin, eyes and immune system.
- Iron – helps prevent anemia.
- Vitamin K1 and K2 – promote blood clotting and strengthen bones.
- Calcium – for bone strength, heart and muscle function.
- B vitamins – for the health of nerves, brain and heart.
- Folic acid — can help prevent birth defects when taken by pregnant women.
- Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is an essential fatty acid.
Benefits to the body
Spirulina is suitable for anyone who wants to take care of their health and appearance. However, there are a number of special circumstances when spirulina will show its power.
Spirulina is an alternative to traditional anti-allergenic drugs. It can help reduce the symptoms of allergic rhinitis by “calming” the cell’s reaction to allergens. For example, pollen.
Cleansing the body
Spirulina contains chlorophyll, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin and phycocyanin, which are powerful antioxidants. They can neutralize oxidative damage caused by free radicals. By removing free radicals, we protect our body from the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Spirulina can help protect healthy cells from the negative effects of radiation therapy after cancer treatment. Its useful components save cells from the toxic effects of chemotherapy. But please note that if you are undergoing cancer treatment, consult your doctor before taking any supplements.
Normalization of cholesterol
High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease. Spirulina will help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. 1 gram of spirulina taken daily for 12 weeks can reduce total cholesterol by 16%. It also lowers triglycerides and “bad” cholesterol.
Type 2 diabetes is the main cause of heart disease, strokes, kidney disease and memory impairment. A person with type 2 diabetes can control glucose levels by monitoring their diet and exercise, and oral medications are often prescribed to a patient in need of further help. Spirulina can also be a useful addition to your daily routine.
Spirulina has anti-inflammatory properties and can help with any pain associated with arthritis. It reduces inflammation by reducing the level of COX-2 enzyme in the blood.
Spirulina can be used as a supplement to the daily diet. Modern technologies make it possible to choose a convenient way to use this product. The daily dosage is up to 5 grams of the product for an adult. It is better to consult a doctor, choose the goal and the optimal dosage:
- To improve muscle activity — from 2 to 7.5 g per day.
- To improve blood glucose control – from 2 g per day.
- To reduce cholesterol – from 1 to 8 g per day.
- To reduce blood pressure — from 3.5 to 4.5 g per day.
- To reduce liver fat — 4.5 g per day.
Spirulina Shake and Spirulina Powder are versions of the product in dry crumbly form. It can be stirred in water and drunk every day. It can also be added to a smoothie of green vegetables or freshly squeezed fruit juice. You might like to add it to a pancake mix, cookies, cakes, guacamole, popcorn, or homemade bread.
Spirulina Tabs are pills that you just need to swallow. So, you will not need to think about new recipes or come up with what time it is worth cooking a dish. Just wash down three tablets with a glass of water — and your daily allowance of vitamins is replenished.
Several possible side effects from the use of spirulina:
Increased body temperature.
After taking spirulina, your metabolism will increase, so you may feel a slight increase in body temperature.
Acne or skin allergy.
This side effect is temporary. Acne is just the result of cleansing the colon of toxins. Ultimately, taking this supplement will cleanse your skin.
Due to the high concentration of chlorophyll in spirulina, it may have a greenish tint.
Drowsiness or fatigue.
This is also a temporary effect due to the intensive work of the body. It will pass with further use of the product.
Be careful if you are allergic to seafood and certain proteins. In such rare cases, an allergy to spirulina may occur.
Regular consumption of spirulina does not mean that you need to give up other healthy foods. Remember that this is just a dietary supplement to supplement your daily diet.