Considered a superfood, it is known as a microalgae, but spirulina is actually a cyanobacterium with many benefits for the body. Discover more about this superfood and its benefits.
Spirulina has been used for centuries by the Aztec people, according to Spanish records of the conquerors – it grew in Lake Texcoco, Mexico, where it was called tecuilati by the Aztecs. It can act as a prebiotic, helping the growth of other beneficial bacteria in the intestine. Spirulina contains chlorophyll, which helps body tissues to become more alkaline (optimize pH levels).
Today, it is even considered by NASA to be one of the best foods for astronauts due to its benefits to the immune system and muscles. It’s a super food, no doubt.
Spirulina contains the following vitamins and minerals:
- Zinc – important for skin health, memory function and a strong immune system.
- B complex vitamins – important for the nervous system and heart health. A great option for people who consume a vegetarian diet, where the level of vitamin B12 usually falls below the ideal. Daily spirulina supplements can provide up to 60 % of the daily vitamin B12 recommended (RDA).
- Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) – an essential fatty acid found in many vegetables. This is an omega-6 oil with anti-inflammatory benefits.
The antioxidant power of spirulina
Spirulina’s compounds contain powerful antioxidants that can neutralize the oxidative damage caused by free radicals, a major cause of chronic diseases. It cats as body protection and by being a part of our diet plays a major role in preventing disease.
Our collection MARIALMA® Cosmetic Algae, healthy bed sheets & loungewear, which contains seaweed powder into the fabric’s fibers, also provides the skin protection from free radicals.
Spirulina, helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure
We know that high cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease. If changes in diet and increase of exercise are not enough to lower cholesterol levels, spirulina can help with that. A 2014 study showed that one gram of spirulina, taken daily, can lower total cholesterol by 16% when taken for four months. Spirulina also reduces triglycerides (fat) and LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Some studies have shown that spirulina can be useful in controlling blood sugar levels and preventing diabetes-related complications, such as diabetic kidney disease. Spirulina can also be useful in the treatment of diabetic injuries. However, more research needs to be conducted before it becomes commonly used.
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There’s no end for the many benefits of Spirulina. It even has anti-inflammatory properties and can help with all arthritis-related pain. Many studies also explored the medicinal power of this super food to treat diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cataracts, fibromyalgia, among others.
However, because it contains iodine it can affect the effectiveness of some treatments, especially the thyroid. It is not recommended for people with seafood’s allergies and autoimmune diseases, because Spirulina can stimulate an increase of activity and it can worsen the symptoms of some diseases.
It is important to emphasize the importance of consulting a specialized professional who will evaluate the needs of each individual and may indicate the correct dose.
Source: Eric Madrid MD, ABIHM.
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