Spirulina: What Should You Know About This Superfood

By: Niharika Choudhary

Spirulina has made an amazing mark in the world of superfoods. It has become the new favourite dietary supplement of dietitians and fitness freaks across the world.

Spirulina is a cyanobacterium (blue-green algae) that is edible. It is used as a dietary supplement as well as a whole food. It grows both in fresh as well as in salt water.

Spirulina supplements are available in a tablet, flake or powdered form.

Spirulina is a power-house of nutrients and contains about 60% (51-71%) of protein. It is high on protein and essential amino acids. Spirulina has a very low content of methionine, cysteine and lysine as compared to other protein sources.

However, spirulina is thirty times more expensive than the other easily available and more popular protein sources like dairy and meat.

Despite of its nutritional values, a normal adult should not consume more than 4 grams of spirulina in a day.

Therefore, in today's article, we are sharing some of the amazing health benefits of this good algae. Make sure you try a glass of a spirulina punch or a spirulina shake the next time.

Spirulina Is Loaded With Nutrients

It might interest you to know that a single spoon of spirulina can fix your nutrient requirements for the day.

Spirulina has a high content of protein, iron, copper and vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and vitamin B3 (niacin).

It is very low on calories and has good amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.


High On Antioxidants And Anti-inflammatory Properties

Phycocyanin, an antioxidant, is the main active ingredient found in spirulina.

Phycocyanin gives spirulina its fantastic blue-green colour.

Phycocyanin fights against the free radicals present in our body and protects the body from oxidative damage.


It Lowers The Risk Of Oral Cancer

According to some studies, spirulina has anti-cancer properties, particularly against oral cancer.

Many experiments conducted in these studies have shown improved signs of recovery in people suffering from oral sub mucous fibrosis (OSMF) precancerous lesions, which is a common oral mucosal disease.


Spirulina Protects From Heart Diseases And Lowers Bad Cholesterol

Spirulina has significant effects against heart diseases.

Spirulina is said to lower the bad cholesterol (LDL) level and triglycerides and may raise the level of good cholesterol (HDL), thus improving the heart health.


Helps In Controlling Blood Sugar Level

According to studies, spirulina is very effective in lowering the blood sugar levels.

According to studies conducted on type 2 diabetic patients, spirulina showed effective results in lowering the blood sugar levels.


Keeps A Check On Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is the root cause of major chronic ailments like heart attacks or kidney diseases.

Studies have shown that spirulina has a significant role in bringing down the blood pressure level in individuals.


Helps Fight Anaemia

The high content of iron in spirulina makes it a very effective agent in combating anaemia.

Studies have shown that spirulina supplements increased the haemoglobin content of red blood cells.

Spirulina also improves the immunity function of the body.


Effective Against The Symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis is caused by inflammation in the nasal airways, this might be a result of allergies caused by pollen, dust or animal hair.

According to studies, regular consumption of spirulina reduces certain symptoms like sneezing and itching in people suffering from allergic rhinitis.

It also gave a good relief from nasal discharge and nasal congestion as per the study conducted.


Improves Muscle Strength And Endurance

In some studies, spirulina supplements showed effective signs of improvement in people suffering from lesser endurance and muscle strength.

Spirulina is also beneficial for people who get tired very quickly due to fatigue.


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Read more about: antioxidant, minerals, nutrients
Story first published: Monday, March 7, 2016, 19:00 [IST]
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