Looking for an energy boost? What about a natural seasonal allergy remedy? Spirulina may be for you! Spirulina is a blue-green algae that is a popular supplement. It’s also a common ingredient in many green smoothie powders. Here’s a look at spirulina nutrition and all of the amazing health benefits this algae has to offer.
Spirulina is a good whole food. It is a freshwater blue-green algae. Spirulina is more digestible and has better nutritional availability than other sea vegetables.
Spirulina is up to 70% protein. Unfortunately, people don’t consume enough spirulina to get adequate levels of protein from this whole food. The protein and the vitamin B12 found in spirulina have made it a popular supplement for vegans.
Looking at spirulina nutrition you will see high levels of many common nutrients. It’s rich in vitamin A, vitamin B12, and is a good source of iron, and vitamin K. The other important nutrients you’ll want to see in spirulina are Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), Zeaxanthin, Total Carotenoids, and Phycocyanin.
Because this is a sea vegetable you need to pay attention to radiation and high metal levels. You’re going to want to look for an organic spirulina because it should reduce the levels of radiation and mercury.
Phycocyanin is responsible for spirulina’s colour. It’s good for your heart, eyes, and brain. It also plays an important role for oxidative stress.
Spirulina Nutrition Health Benefits
Early studies are showing a potential benefit of spirulina on muscular endurance. It’s too early to show a clear benefit, but it looks promising. It is also important for preventing skeletal muscular damage and oxidative stress. Spirulina can be an important supplement for athletes, and anyone who is doing strenuous physical activity.
Besides being great for endurance, spirulina is also a great power source. Studies have shown that spirulina can increase power output by 20-30%. Spirulina supplementation induced a significant increase in exercise performance. This is especially great for people just starting out at the gym.
This natural supplement is also important for heart health. Spirulina has shown to reduce triglycerides up to 10-15% in patients with metabolic syndrome, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension. These blue-green algae have also shown to have a minor but positive effect on cholesterol. It raises HDL and lowers LDL. There is a more noticeable difference in patients with a fatty liver.
One study showed that spirulina is very effective at controlling allergies. It helps reduce common allergic rhinitis symptoms. It alleviates nasal discharge, sneezing, nasal congestion and itching. Further studies would need to be done to see if spirulina is also effect remedy for non-allergen related nasal congestion.
One study showed supplementing with 2g of spirulina lowered HbA1c. This is important with the rising rate of diabetes. The study was conducted on type 2 diabetics. For anyone at risk of type 2 diabetes, who is trying to improve their diet, spirulina may be a good option. It may help bring blood glucose levels to a more stable level. Further studies would have to be conducted to see if spirulina has any effect on type 1 diabetics.
Spirulina also decreases lipid peroxidation significantly. Lipid peroxidation is when free radicals steal electrons from lipids causing cell damage. This is because spirulina contains antioxidants. They supply free radicals with necessary electrons, leaving lipids whole and able to do their job. The reduction of oxidative stress reduces your risk of many diseases and inflammation.
Spirulina has also shown to be a good supplement for healing lesions in patients with oral cancer.
To better understand spirulina check out this video by natural health physician Dr. Joseph Mercola.
If you are looking to boost your energy, your brain, and heart health then consider spirulina. This is a good whole food worth taking.
Disclaimer: We are not medical professionals. Please consult with a doctor before adding/changing your dosage of any supplement in your diet. Take any supplements at your own risk.