In this article you will see all the information about the properties and health benefits of spirulina as well as the nutrients it contains and other curious facts about this superfood.
What is Spirulina?
Spirulina is a cyanophyte, that is, a microscopic bacterium, although it is commonly called “spirulina algae” and not “spirulina bacteria.” It is green or greenish blue and is found in freshwater lakes, ponds and primitive rivers. It owes its name to the spiral or helical shape of its filaments. It owes its green color to the high presence of chlorophyll and the bluish color is obtained from the phycocyanin pigment.
This organism contains within its cells a single DNA molecule or nucleic acid. On the periphery are the thylakoidal membranes that contain chlorophyll thanks to which they perform photosynthesis. In addition, they have granules of polyphosphate, glycogen and cyanophyllin that are responsible for the high protein content of this cyanobacterium. All this makes spirulina a superfood and a nutritional supplement with such extraordinary properties. Before delving into its properties and healthy benefits, comment that if you want to buy spirulina look at this article where we give you the keys to choose the best quality and buy it at a good price.
It is true that for many people spirulina is unknown in restaurant recipes, but there are others who use it to supplement their diet or diet due to the large number of health benefits it offers.
“Spirulina is basically an ideal supplement to delay the effects of aging, since it has a large number of essential nutrients for the body”.
In addition, it should be noted, the ease of digesting it because of its high level of beta carotene.
What Nutrients Does Spirulina Algae Have?
This seaweed has high protein content, up to 65%, which is digested up to 5 times before meat or soy protein. It also contains vitamins B-1 (thiamine), B-2 (riboflavin), B-3 (nicotinamide), B-6 (pyridoxine), B-9 (folic acid), Vitamin E and vitamin K1 and K2, minerals such as iron, potassium, chromium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium and zinc and is rich in phenolic acids , tocopherols and gamma-linoleic acid which makes it a product with a high nutritional value. With the current lifestyle, it is difficult to have a varied diet that provides us with all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that our body needs every day. In this sense, spirulina can help us by providing us with what we need to complete our diet. Spirulina algae reduces anemia and helps in pregnancy due to its high content of assimilable iron and folic acid. It also has an antioxidant capacity four times higher than that of blueberries, helps reduce cholesterol etc. It is believed that spirulina is a superfood that can end hunger in the world for its great nutritional contribution. However, it must be taken into account that it is not complete and must be completed with other foods that provide the rest of the essential vitamins and minerals.
List of Properties of Spirulina:
- Iron assimilable with beta carotene, vitamin B12 and linoleic acid in quantities greater than other foods.
- Vitamin-A: preserves the tissues related to sight.
- Vitamin-E : which is beneficial for aspects such as improving the circulatory system provides antioxidant and ocular properties, prevention of Parkinson’s, regulates cholesterol levels, helps hair growth and prevents dementia in elderly people.
- Vitamin-B12: helps keep neurons and blood cells healthy. In addition, it contributes to the elaboration of DNA. It also prevents a type of anemia, megaloblastic anemia, which causes tiredness and weakness in people.
- Calcium: essential for the growth and formation of bones. It helps in the treatment and prevention of osteopenia and osteoporosis as well as improving the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
- Phosphorus : helps keep teeth and bones healthy. The importance of phosphorus is such that without it calcium would not be enough to keep the bones firm and healthy.
- Magnesium: helps fix calcium and phosphorus in bones and teeth. Prevents osteoporosis and tooth decay.
- Low in saturated fat.
- It provides the essential fatty acids that are not found in meat, eggs and dairy.
- Low in calories, about 290 per 100 g.
Health Benefits of Spirulina:
Because this micro algae is 65% vegetable protein , super digestible and that offers our body the eight essential amino acids in the appropriate proportions, it is considered by many as a supplement to our diet, aimed at most of the public. It has a large amount of tryptophan, one of the 10 essential amino acids that the body uses to synthesize the proteins it needs and that helps the nervous system, relaxation, rest, sleep and against depressive states. It is also an excellent source of minerals (potassium, calcium, zinc, magnesium, manganese, selenium, iron and phosphorus) as well as vitamins (of the entire vitamin B complex, and of vitamin E).
Within B Vitamins, it also Contains:
- B3 or Niacin
- B6 or pyridoxine
- B9 or folic acid
These vitamins help us generate energy and increase the production of red blood cells, so this seaweed is highly recommended for athletes. Now that we know what spirulina is and what properties it has, all of them fundamental to our body, the time has come to see what benefits it has for our health if we consume it as a food supplement.
List of Health Benefits of Spirulina Algae:
- The consumption of this microalgae is very effective in cases of anemia, exhaustion and demineralization.
- It helps us to recover the physical form, increasing our energy and vitality.
- Detoxifies our body.
- Promotes strengthening and improving the health of our nerves and tissues.
- Regenerates our intestinal flora.
- It also provides nutrients and protects the liver and kidneys.
- It increases our muscle mass because it contains a high level of protein. It is a perfect supplement for people with great physical or intellectual wear.
- Due to beta carotene, our body produces melanin, an essential element to protect us from sunlight.
- It has anti-inflammatory effects for diseases such as arthritis.
- It increases our level of immune system.
- Reduce insomnia.
- It promotes weight loss in dietary processes, due to phenylalanine. Element present in spirulina that reduces our feeling of hunger.
Currently, the scientific community is basing part of its research on finding and experimenting with foods other than usual to alleviate the lack of nutrition in various areas of the world. Animal studies indicate that spirulina may increase antibody production. It is a series of proteins that help fight certain infections and other cells that prevent diseases such as cancer. Comment that is currently being tested only in animals. Other research shows that spirulina can protect us against allergic reactions by inhibiting the release of histamines, which are the cause of runny nose, hives or watery eyes.
Other studies, we remember that only tested in animals, show that spirulina can improve or come from the following:
- Reduce the activity of herpes.
- Fight against the HIV virus.
- Chronic liver disorders.
- Minimize the risk of cataracts.
Side Effects and Contraindications:
There are few cases in which the consumption of spirulina is contraindicated, and they are not contraindications in themselves, but rather the fact of consulting with the doctor in case of pregnancy and thyroid problems. Regarding this topic and about the side effects we recommend you read this other article contraindications and side effects of spirulina where we have expanded the information and we give you the guidelines on how to take it safely.
Spirulina for Hair:
Many people are continuously worried about their hair. Little by little they see how their hair deteriorates, becomes thinner and falls more and more easily. To prevent hair loss, hair needs two fundamental things:
- A good diet
- And not have stress
In a society like the one we live sometimes it is impossible to be able to live without stress and have a good diet. That is why this is often the trigger for hair loss or discomfort.
Nutrients for your Hair:
To cover these nutritional deficiencies, spirulina seaweed is wonderful because it is the superfood that has more properties and that more things will bring us. Many of these vitamins are great for hair and that’s why our hair will be nourished from the inside, with all the benefits and nutrients it needs. Thanks to its large amount of Vitamins and minerals, we will make our hair and skin look much better. We will prevent the fall by up to 70% and we will not feel much better, because if you remember, one of the properties of spirulina is that it gives us much more vitality and vigor.
As for stress, thanks to its richness in B vitamins, it will help us counteract stress levels and regulate our central nervous system. Do not hesitate, I take it throughout the year and I feel that it is going very well. Many studies on spirulina have been done and more and more things are discovered about its properties. Especially for the hair, I can attest that it works wonderfully. It is not a miraculous food, but it is highly recommended if you have problems of this type.
Origin and Use of Spirulina Throughout the Centuries:
3.5 billion years ago, a photosynthetic organism first converted carbon dioxide from the air into oxygen. The organism was called cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae. The blue-green algae, spirulina, was discovered by Dr. Clément of the Petroleum Institute of France (IFP) in 1962. She was very interested in the surprisingly strong and healthy people of the Kanembu tribe on Lake Chad Africa. Although they lived in a very simple environment without many farms or wild animals, fish or cereal crops as food sources, the height of the people who lived there was much better than the modernized population. A subsequent investigation found that the Kanembu tribe often collected blue-green algae floating on the surface of the lake, dried them under the sun and mixed them or cooked them in soup. The blue-green algae were spirulina.
Use in Different Civilizations:
Also on the other side of the Atlantic, the Aztecs in Mexico considered spirulina as part of their daily diet. Spirulina used to float around the lakes that surrounded the massive Aztec city of Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City). It gave the lakes a green-blue color, especially Lake Texcoco. Spirulina has served as a food resource throughout the history of man and it is believed that its human consumption began with the Aztecs of Lake Texcoco in Mexico and with the Kanembu tribe on Lake Chad in Africa. Although it is from the twentieth century when its consumption begins to spread, and in the twenty-first century it is experiencing a boom, and the cultivation of spirulina has spread. Naturalistic movements, organic food, and new age trends have contributed to its dissemination. There is even an Intergovernmental Institution for the Use of Spirulin Microalgae against Malnutrition, the IIMSAM. Help us spread this article on social networks, share it if you think it may be of interest to other people. Below you can see the buttons to share, thanks! And you? Do you take spirulina? Leave us a comment and share your doubts or what benefits it has brought you to take this supplement.