Due to its incredible beneficial properties, spirulina has become a concentrate of health that many now take without hesitation to take care of themselves in a completely natural way.
In tablets or in the form of foods, we can now find it on the market with a vast assortment of possibilities to choose according to your taste. But before going to our trusted retailer to stock up on spirulina, let's brush up on its functions, benefits and possible contraindications.
Then let's also take a look at the existing types for a more accurate choice.
Now is the time to find out everything about the seaweed of life, to make it a daily ally and take care of our well-being in a few simple steps. So let's answer the question: what is spirulina?
What is spirulina used for?
Spirulina, or Arthrospira platensis, is a single-celled organism of the cyanobacteria family. Its peculiarity is the blue-green color which makes it unique in its kind and which derives from the presence of chlorophyll inside it. It is precisely these pigments that give the much praised benefits which therefore assume a fundamental role for the human being.
It has a narrow and somewhat elongated shape and can be found in the freshwater lakes of Mexico and India, but now it also grows luxuriantly in the temperate lakes of many other countries.
But what is spirulina: is it or is it not an algae? Despite the appearance it seems not, but this does not matter in reality: it is still known as an algae of life and used on several fronts to ensure more health, more nutrients and fewer calories!
This superfood owes its name to its natural composition which is truly rich in nutrients that are important for the body. In summary, here's what they are:
- 65% of proteins and 22% of carbohydrates
- Mineral salts (magnesium, sodium, potassium, calcium, iron, manganese, copper, selenium, zinc)
- vegetable fibres
- fatty acids
- Vitamins, (A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, C, E, K and H)
- chlorophyll and glutamic acid
- carotenoids (including beta carotene)
- essential amino acids
Spirulina is used to stimulate the immune system, fight neurodegenerative diseases, reduce oxidative stress and even to lose weight. It helps maintain good muscle function and also has positive effects on the circulatory system, thanks to the vitamins it contains.
Spirulina: health benefits
The immune response, the energy charge, its nutritional strength: these are all elements that play in spirulina's favor and make it so loved in all countries of the world. The benefits and properties it naturally possesses have been studied over time and, although research is still ongoing, it is now clear that it is a powerful ally for global health and well-being.
Let's try to summarize all its effective benefits for humans to better understand how special it is and why it is worth taking it on a daily basis.
Among its substances that compose it there are several that have a very high antioxidant power. It is vitamin E, but also phycocyanins, also linked to its pigmented color.
Thanks to these elements spirulina is able to fight the oxidative stress that damages cells and accelerates the aging process. Furthermore, it allows to give greater protection against free radicals and considerably lowers the risk of the onset of neurodegenerative diseases and various tumors.
The phycocyanins mentioned above not only serve to reduce oxidative stress, but also help fight and decrease the production of inflammatory molecules.
Its anti-inflammatory effect brings benefits in cases of general inflammation and increases the body's defenses against external agents, protecting it from possible seasonal ailments and making the body stronger.
Lowers cholesterol levels
Spirulina has a great property that allows it to lower the levels of total cholesterol (LDL and triglycerides) by raising the levels of HDL, which as is known represent the so-called "good" cholesterol.
This benefit has a double importance, as it helps fight the risk of heart disease linked to too high values of "bad" cholesterol. The elements that help in this phase are essential fatty acids, such as Omega 3 and omega 6s.
Counteracts the lack of iron
Recent studies show that spirulina has incredible potential even in the case of anemia. In fact, given its high percentage of iron, it helps to reduce its deficiency, making significant improvements in cases of anemia especially in the elderly.
Obviously it must be pointed out that it does not cure anemia in its most serious forms, but only helps in cases of mineral deficiency in the body. Furthermore, increasing the amount of iron also reduces problems related to both physical and mental fatigue.
Strengthens nails and hair
The minerals and B vitamins that spirulina contains in good percentage are excellent for strengthening the health of hair and nails.
As far as the scalp is concerned, the benefits are immediately visible: the hair shines again, is stronger and also tends to break less. Even hair loss is noticeably reduced.
The antioxidant components also allow spirulina to counteract the persistent formation of dandruff.
Nails receive the same strengthening treatment. If they tend to chip, crack and look very brittle, taking spirulina helps rejuvenate and alleviate these rather common problems after the constant use of chemicals present in nail polishes and other new nail art products.
Activate the metabolism and accelerate weight loss
Perhaps not everyone knows that spirulina is also a panacea in diets, as it helps lose weight with more ease. It certainly doesn't make you fat because it doesn't contain any calories, but what has fascinated scholars in the sector is its ability to accelerate weight loss processes because it affects the metabolism.
It activates the metabolism, burns many more calories without taking away the necessary energy and gives that sense of satiety that prevents hunger attacks, enemies of every diet.
Lowers blood pressure
When blood pressure is above normal values, quite serious complications can arise, such as cardiovascular problems. Taking spirulina can help in these cases, because it brings these values back to the average in a completely natural way and prevents hypertension or hypotension.
Cardiac activity therefore remains normal and without taking drugs of any kind.
Improves the body's defenses
Spirulina has immunostimulating properties. This means that by itself it can strengthen the immune system, not only against the common ailments associated with the seasons, but also against possible forms of allergies.
In fact, the body tends to acquire greater resistance and maintain it over time, giving that load of energy that allows you to face the day with greater determination.
It has a detoxifying and purifying action
Spirulina alga also has the benefit of detoxifying and purifying the body. In particular, it manages to almost completely eliminate the absorption of heavy metals (mercury, lead) and all those toxic substances found in common insecticides and chemical products.
Unfortunately, foods are often soaked in them despite us and the body tends to absorb them if there is not something that absorbs them in our place and then expels them from our body.
Prevents forms of diabetes
With its ability to lower blood sugar levels it proves to be a valid ally in the prevention of diabetes.
Even diabetics can still use it without risking side effects or worsening: spirulina helps a lot to monitor blood sugar.
Cure for eyesight
Spirulina, in its rich composition, also contains vitamin A and carotenoids, very useful for eye health. The combined action of these elements allows the cornea to remain young and improves the performance of the retina.
Excellent protein source for the body
When we talk about spirulina, we cannot fail to specify the high protein content that it gives to the human body: it seems that it contains as much as 70% of proteins!
Like foods such as meat, known to be a protein source, spirulina has all 8 essential amino acids and 10 non-essential amino acids.
Strengthens bones and teeth with calcium
Finally, spirulina contains a lot of calcium. This mineral is known for its direct action on bones and teeth, which strengthen and stay healthy longer.
This property helps prevent bone fragility and cases of osteoporosis.
Can we define spirulina as a healthy food with no side effects? Taking advantage of the studies conducted to date, the answer is in its countless benefits and in its properties that act on almost the entire body.
After all, if there were any contraindications, pregnant or breastfeeding women certainly could not take it. Instead we know well that it does not pose a risk to their health or that of the child.
And for those who suffer from thyroid disease? These are the most common objections to the use of spirulina, because some think it can create problems in these cases due to the presence of iodine. We therefore want to reassure everyone that spirulina grows luxuriantly in lakes and not in the seas, therefore it does not have the percentages of iodine contained in algae and does not harm those suffering from thyroid disease.
It is therefore a healthy, complete and safe food. Obviously we must not exaggerate with the doses, otherwise like all things it could also have undesirable effects. So let's find out the recommended dosage to avoid reducing its beneficial effects.
Spirulina: how to take it daily
Based on the research carried out so far, the recommended dosage per day ranges from 4 grams up to a maximum of 8 grams.
The amount to be taken also depends on the person and his physical resistance. Specifically, if we are talking about people who are used to playing sports on a constant basis then you can reach the maximum of the grams allowed, otherwise it is better not to exceed 4 grams to avoid complications.
The type of spirulina does not matter (whether in capsules or in sachets): the dosage remains the same and must always be respected.
Speaking of spirulina and how to take it, it is necessary to clarify a point that is often underestimated and causes unnecessary annoyance. Spirulina is not a meal that can be substituted for the usual daily meal!
Given its very high nutritional value, someone gets confused and hopes to be able to use it as food, but doctors advise against such use as it can only serve as a supplement if you are following a rigid and low-calorie diet.
Types of spirulina: tablets, dried powder and foods
What is the ideal format for spirulina?
In fact, you are spoiled for choice, including tablets, dried powder and even spirulina-based foods to use as a snack during the day. The type must be chosen on the basis of your needs.
For example: for athletes it will be easier to carry it around in the backpack in the supplement formula, receiving the right amount of minerals and vitamins after training.
For those who consume it directly at home, it might be more convenient to use it in powder form and dissolve it in a glass of water.
This second type can be ideal if you choose to add it to your dishes in the kitchen. There are many recipes that make extensive use of it to give the body an extra boost and that slightly particular taste that makes the difference.
Curiosity about spirulina
In conclusion, we want to give you some curiosities about spirulina and its uses around the world.
First of all, it is the ideal superfood for tackling world hunger. As a nutrient concentrate, it is ideal for making up for the food shortages that men, women and especially children of the Third World often experience.
According to the UN, in some declarations dating back to 1974, spirulina is the food of the future.
With its innovative charge, it has also intrigued NASA! It seems that it is already used by astronauts when they go into space for long periods.
Another gem on spirulina is linked to Chernobyl: its powerful purifying action brought the micro algae to this unhealthy place after the radioactive disaster, allowing children to be detoxified.
In short, what to add? We have now understood what spirulina is and above all that it is an element already projected into our future, which seems to offer benefits that go beyond our most ambitious expectations.