Spirulina is an alga with a blue-green color, considered one of the oldest living things on Earth.
The first time it was employed by the Aztecs for their endurance, the spirulina plant was considered a superfood that is a complete source of nutrients, including protein levels comparable to eggs.
The Aztecs also utilized spirulina to treat various illnesses, and legends claim that the kingdom messengers used the algae for their marathons. Recent research has confirmed some of the claims of consuming spirulina. However, it also continues to investigate its potential to treat ailments.
Spirulina is bitter tasting which is why many people mix it into juices, yogurts, and smoothies to enhance its taste. Spirulina is usually sold as a supplement in health food shops.
How to Use Blue Spirulina
Blue spirulina has an unassuming taste that individuals may find slightly sweet, claims Keri Gans, a certified dietitian nutritionist from New York City. She suggests adding spirulina to your smoothie of choice, sprinkling it on soups and salads, or mixing the powder in your breakfast oatmeal. There’s plenty you can achieve with the powder Gans claims. It can be incorporated into an ice cube or glass of water and then drank by itself. You can mix blue spirulina powder with water, smoothies, lattes, baked goods, breakfast foods, sweets, and other beverages.
Blue Spirulina Benefits
Blue spirulina has been linked to myriad health benefits, from heart health to blood pressure reduction to weight loss. But, Gans notes it’s not a miracle pill. Could it be able to accomplish all the fantastic things claimed? Yes. However, it’s only one aspect of the process, She says.
Here’s a glimpse of the health benefits that spirulina may bring.
Blue spirulina supplementation can considerably lower cholesterol levels in total, high-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and triglycerides following a study published in Diabetes Metabolic Disorder and Obesity Therapies and Targets. However, participants consumed anything from one to 19 grams of spirulina each throughout the two to 48 weeks before the scientists concluded that the spirulina could be able to have a “favorable effect” on these tests of cardiovascular health.
Another study suggests blue-green algae, such as spirulina, can be beneficial natural alternatives to improve blood cholesterol levels, stop oxidative and inflammation, and prevent cardiovascular diseases. Experts attribute the benefits of spirulina for cardiovascular health to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Spirulina combats heart disease by decreasing the harmful LDL cholesterol levels. Indeed, the study released in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found that those with excessive cholesterol who took the supplement spirulina for three months experienced a decrease in their triglyceride levels, LDL cholesterol, and overall cholesterol levels. Further studies suggest that supplements with spirulina may effectively lower the stories in the plasma of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides and boost HDL (good) cholesterol.
More research indicates that supplements containing spirulina reduce the plasma levels of LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides. They also boost HDL (good) cholesterol.
Spirulina can be a catalyst for significant weight loss as well as waist circumference, claims Walsh. When overweight individuals often ate spirulina every day for three months during the study 2016 and saw an improvement in their Body Mass Index.
The anti-inflammatory effects triggered by spirulina’s antioxidants could aid sufferers of allergies caused by the hair from animals, pollen, or dust. In addition, the participants’ symptoms such as nasal congestion, sneezing, and itching significantly decreased, indicating that the spirulina plants could be a viable alternative to allergy medications.
Immune System Support
Spirulina is a rich source of minerals and vitamins essential to maintaining the health of your immune system, including vitamin C C, E, B6, and E. In addition, studies have found that spirulina increases the creation of white blood cells and antibodies, which fight off bacteria and viruses within your body.
Research has shown that spirulina can fight herpes flu, herpes, and HIV. However, it is necessary to conduct further research to study this effect on humans.
Regarding fitness and exercise effects, spirulina can help enhance the strength of muscles, endurance, and performance. For example, a study found that males who took a spirulina 6-gram supplement each day for four weeks experienced longer durations of exercise and were less fatigued than the ones who did not.
Anemia or the absence of healthy cells can cause extreme fatigue. Spirulina has been proven to combat anemia in certain instances. In a research study focusing on older people suffering from anemia, for example, Spirulina supplements increase the amount of hemoglobin in red blood cells. They are explicitly benefiting older women.
Young says spirulina can boost one’s metabolism, making people feel more energetic. In addition, they will burn more calories daily, which may aid in weight loss.
Spirulina could also aid in maintaining mental health, possibly playing an essential role in treating mood disorders. This superfood is rich in tryptophan. It’s an amino acid that can increase serotonin levels in the brain. Therefore, it could provide a beneficial supplement to preventing and treating specific mental health issues like bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and schizophrenia, among others.
Potential Risks of Spirulina
Since spirulina is rich in nutritional activity, you must consult with your physician before using any other supplements. In addition, it can be a health risk for specific individuals, for example:
Spirulina taken from the wild could be contaminated by heavy elements and bacteria. In large quantities, the toxic substances can cause damage or stress to the liver.
There isn’t enough evidence to conclude that blue-green algae are suitable for nursing or pregnant women. However, due to the potential for toxins, doctors suggest that pregnant women stay clear of spirulina.
Since spirulina is a natural ingredient that can aid in reducing bleeding, It can also increase the chance of bruises and bleeding among people suffering from certain bleeding disorders.
Spirulina can alter blood sugar levels. Therefore, people who have diabetes must keep an eye on their blood sugar levels while using spirulina.
Studies have shown that spirulina may help boost the immune system’s function. However, it could also aggravate symptoms for people suffering from auto-immune disorders like lupus, multiple sclerosis, or arthritis. Consult your physician before adding spirulina into your diet if you suffer from an auto-immune disease.
The benefits of spirulina for health could interfere with or neutralize the effects of some medications, for instance, those used to treat immunosuppressants, blood thinners, and diabetes
There is a common belief that spirulina has high amounts of vitamin B 12; however, the content isn’t absorbed in the individual’s body. So if you suffer from B12 deficiency, common among those who consume a plant-based diet, ensure you’re getting your B12 from an alternative source.
The effects of blue spirulina Allergy rhinitis, European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences: Effects on body weight, blood pressure, and endothelial functions in overweight hypertensive Caucasians: A double-blind placebo-controlled, randomized trial.