Amazing Spirulina Benefits at Home – Spirulina is a blue-green alga that can be ingested by human beings and animals.
It is a biomass of cyanobacteria and it comes in three species namely Arthrospira fusiformis, A. maxima and A. platensis.
Spirulina is used as a whole food or dietary supplement. It has been introduced and incorporated in some foods and beverages that are sold commercially e.g. smoothies, popcorn, and energy bars.
It has – for centuries – been used as a food source in many countries.
Arthrospira as it is scientifically called is cultivated across the globe. This nature’s wonder is an important feed supplement for livestock farming and aquarium industries.
Today, spirulina is processed and served in tablets, capsules and it is also available in powder.
- 1 Healthy and Safety Use of Spirulina
- 2 Spirulina Health Benefits
- 2.1 1. Great Source of Important Nutrients
- 2.2 2. It has a Cholesterol-lowering Effect
- 2.3 3. Exhibits Anti-inflammatory Properties
- 2.4 4. Spirulina and Weight Loss
- 2.5 5. Lowering Blood Pressure
- 2.6 6. Spirulina Benefits for Hair
- 2.7 7. It has Anti-cancer Effects
- 2.8 8. Chronic Arsenic Poisoning Detox
- 2.9 9. Natural Remedy for Depression
- 2.10 10. Enhance Sexual Performance
- 2.11 Spirulina Side Effects
- 2.12 Spirulina Extracts Drug Interactions
- 2.13 When should I take Spirulina?
Healthy and Safety Use of Spirulina
Based on this study, we can rightly say that the concentration of an inorganic substance in most spirulina products sold at commercial scale does not exceed current regulation levels.
In the study, the authors acknowledged the rate at which spirulina has enjoyed a growing level of acceptance among the people worldwide.
Before the study [indicated above] there was less researches conducted with the sole aim of ascertaining the level of heavy metals present ‘particularly’ in spirulina.
As reported – the spirulina inorganic substances [in a particular study that was carried out] were to an extent lower than the RDI level [recommended daily intake] of heavy mineral substance (mg/daily).
As a result of this, spirulina extracts can be considered safe and fit for food.
Spirulina Health Benefits
Here we highlight 11 spirulina benefits you should expect by introducing this supplement in your list of recipes.
1. Great Source of Important Nutrients
Spirulina has an excellent nutritional profile. They are a great way to supplement vitamins and proteins in your regular diet.
Be informed that spirulina has more calcium content than what you would find in regular milk; in actual fact – it could be up to 26 times the calcium in milk.
If you ever wondered why spirulina is a common recipe among vegetarians; the reason may not be farfetched – spirulina products are excellent sources of iron; and it offers the digestive system ‘gentle and easy absorption’ of iron.
7grams of dried spirulina [almost equivalent to 1 tablespoon] is profiled as follow:
- Calories – 20
- Protein – 4.02g
- Carbohydrate – 1.67g
- Calcium – 8mg
- Iron – 2mg
- Fat – 0.54g
- Magnesium – 14mg
- Phosphorous – 8mg
- Potassium – 95mg
- Sodium – 73mg
- Vitamin C –0.7mg
Also included are: riboflavin, thiamin, folate, vitamin B-6, vitamin K and niacin
2. It has a Cholesterol-lowering Effect
You can’t make a list of spirulina benefits and not mention this particular function of Arthrospira.
Spirulina – according to this study – has been established through an experiment to contain serum cholesterol-lowering effect.
Whilst more studies may be required for emphasis, however, in this clinical study, it is also discovered that spirulina may be used to treat diabetes.
The study found a significant reduction in high-density lipoprotein.
All in all, the role of Arthrospira as a natural food supplement in addressing the issue of hyperlipidemia – added with other therapeutic means – should not be underestimated or overlooked.
3. Exhibits Anti-inflammatory Properties
The anti-inflammatory activities of spirulina have been shown to be pivotal; as it helps to halt the release of histamine from mast cell.
Mast cells are known to release histamine and other vasoactive molecules.
These elements often result in urticaria condition (hives).
In addition, when the mast cells are activated by antigen in deeper tissue; without an appropriate response from the immune system.
It could lead to angioedema and in other cases eczema or dermatitis.
Angioedema is areas across the body where swelling of the lower layer of skin and tissues just below the mucous membrane or skin is experienced.
4. Spirulina and Weight Loss
Speaking of spirulina benefits; here’s another that should not be overlooked.
Naturally, people tend to get rid of belly fat by a simple altercation of diets.
There is no doubt that –significantly reducing the number of calories consumed per day would have an impact on the overall body mass index. (BMI)
Spirulina is a low-calorie recipe that offers a great number of nutrients in just a small quantity.
This implies that by simply supplementing other ingredients rich in calories for spirulina, you would significantly lower your calorie intake without having to lose important nutrients.
According to study, people who were obese and consistently consume spirulina for 12 weeks showed improved BMI
5. Lowering Blood Pressure
If you are hypertensive there are indications that spirulina could also help to control or manage your blood pressure.
Here is a study conducted in 2016; it was shown that 12 weeks of regular intake of spirulina maxima would – in addition – to improving body mass index; also work on blood pressure.
6. Spirulina Benefits for Hair
Spirulina may just be a perfect natural remedy for individuals battling hair problems including thinning and baldness.
It is being used by many to promote and sustain hair growth.
The reason spirulina is beneficial for hair quality and growth is that it contains essential fatty acids.
Also, present in spirulina is amino acids, beta carotene, and vitamin A.
You probably know that all this combine for great hair health.
It is no surprise that spirulina is an important ingredient in shampoos and other conditioning treatments.
With the appropriate mix, this natural remedy when applied directly can help to speed up hair growth.
7. It has Anti-cancer Effects
Spirulina benefits are numerous and here’s another that is worthy of attention.
This study looked specifically at the effects of Arthrospira on oral carcinogenesis, in a particular case of leukoplakia.
It mentioned that 45% of the total 77 patients showed complete regression of leukoplakia following the administration of spirulina supplement for a period of 12 months.
Though, the result of the study appeared promising notwithstanding more clinical trials are required to sustain this fact.
8. Chronic Arsenic Poisoning Detox
It may interest you to learn that this natural supplement has the capacity to rid the body of arsenic poisoning.
According to a randomized trial, 41 patients who have consumed arsenic poison through water from local sources were selected for clinical trial [as it was shown that millions of people in Taiwan, India, Bangladesh are at risk of chronic arsenic poisoning from drinking water that has high concentration of arsenic.]
17 of them were treated with a substance that has no therapeutic value (placebo) and 24 were given 250mg of spirulina extract plus 2mg of zinc twice daily for 4 months.
They were then exposed to arsenic-safe drinking water through the installation of water filters in their respective homes.
Results showed that Arthrospira supplement may be beneficial for the treatment of arsenic poisoning.
9. Natural Remedy for Depression
Apparently, spirulina benefits are too numerous; with more studies and clinical trials directed at the benefits of spirulina extracts – we may not fully explore [on this page] all that this nature’s wonder offer.
Being a good source of folic acid, which is an essential nutrient for brain nourishment – spirulina extracts may be a perfect remedy for the treatment of depression.
10. Enhance Sexual Performance
Though subject to more studies, we reckon that the high deposit of protein in spirulina and other vital nutrients such as minerals, enzymes, vitamins, etc. are capable of improving sexual vitality.
Other benefits of spirulina supplement include:
- Improves cognitive and general brain function. This is due to the high presence of vitamin B-12 and folate.
- Enhance eye and dental health.
Spirulina Side Effects
You may want to talk with your health care provider before adding spirulina extracts to your recipes.
Common side effects may include:
- Allergic reactions
Spirulina Extracts Drug Interactions
Whilst it should be noted that there is yet to be a known report in scientific studies to indicate that spirulina extracts interact with any medication.
Nonetheless, it is possible that Arthrospira might meddle with drugs prescribed to suppress the immune system.
When should I take Spirulina?
Spirulina extract can be taken in the morning, or you could have the dose divided and use at intervals throughout the day.
However, it may not be advisable to consume spirulina supplements in the night as it may cause individuals to be hyperactive and thus preventing them from falling asleep.
Spirulina extracts offer a lot of benefits. That said, it is important to make sure that you do not take spirulina product that is contaminated with toxins or microcystins.
You can avoid this by buying extracts from trusted brands especially ones that have the backings of third-party organizations including; NSF International, Consumer Lab, or U.S pharmacopeia.
Spirulina extracts can be taken in capsules, tablets. You can mix your spirulina powder in smoothies and shakes for a nutritional boost.
This nature’s wonder is known as nutrient-packed food as it has a high deposit of essential body nutrients.
Spirulina benefits are great: Its antioxidant effects are important for protecting and preventing the body cells and tissues from damage.
But, all in all, before you incorporate spirulina extracts in your diet, do make sure to talk with your health care provider.