Arthrospira platensis, popularly referred to as Spirulina, is a uni-cellular microalgae which grows in fresh water.
It also grows in salt water, as well as in brackish bodies of water.
Also, the green blue algae grows best in highly alkaline environment of pH10-12.
Amazingly, it has been used as food source for centuries and its consumption is increasing in this age and time.
According to reports, spirulina has helped sustain people in famine as food for over a month.
Some persons refer to it as a superfood because of the diverse concentration of nutrients in it.
This nutrients concentration makes it an ideal food for people of different ages and lifestyle.
Nutritional Composition Of Spirulina
It is about 60% highly digestible protein and it is all essential amino acids.
It has more beta-carotene (provitamin A) than any other whole food.
Spirulina is the best whole food source of gamma linolenic acid and it is rich in B vitamins, minerals trace elements, chlorophyll and enzymes.
It also contains in abundance nutrients like carotenoids, sulfolipids, glycolipids, phycocyanin, superoxide dismutase, RNA and DNA.
Due to its high nutrients and health benefits which people have reported, it has been hugely researched on.
A 2010 study stated that in 1974, the United Nations name Spirulina one of the best foods for the future.
Also, scientists are the US Space Program at NASA have studied the algae as a potential food source for space travel and settlement of space stations due to it nutrient profile.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Spirulina?
Stop and take a good look at the list below and see the nutrients in spirulina.
Indeed, you will find that it is far more than what you will find in other foods.
Based on the above and other research reports, the health benefits are listed below.
1. Immune Booster
Truly, there is no other time we need to boost our immune system better than the time we are in.
Unfortunately, the world has continued to battle COVID-19 and the situation is demanding more from everyone.
One area that you should look at is boosting your immune system.
Our immune system helps keep our body safe from diseases and viruses.
A 2005 research highlighted that Spirulina has antioxidants that make it capable of removing antibodies including heavy metals from your body.
The researchers wrote: “Spirulina enhance rate of production of Red Blood Cells and White Blood Cells by enhancing the formation of blood cellular component.
“Spirulina also shows direct effect on both innate and specific immunity. It activates macrophage and NK cells. It induces production of the antibodies.
“Spirulina also activates T-cells”.
2. Anti-viral Properties
Also, the 2010 study cited a research, saying that researchers found spirulina to be effective against a variety of viruses.
It inhibits the replication of enveloped viruses such as herpes simple type 1, human cytomegalovirus, measles, mumps, influenza A and HIV-1.
According to the study, Spirulina selectively inhibits the penetration of virus into host cells.
Interestingly, researchers concluded that consumption of Spirulina could help prevent HIV infection.
Apart from preventing the infection, it could also prevent viral loading of those that are infected.
Polysaccharide in Spirulina and some other components are active against the viruses.
Read more of this research here.
3. Could Prevent Certain Cancers
Again, in 1987, researchers at Harvard University’s School Of Dental Medicine published a finding from a research. really, you should know about this finding.
They stated that a combination of Spirulina and Dunaliellas microalgae extracts induced the regression of tumors in the mouths of rodents by 30%.
Also, in 1995, a research examined the chemo-preventive activity of Spirulina in reversing oral leukoplakia (oral cancer).
Basically, researchers found complete regression in 45% of the 44 subjects consuming Spirulina.
According to the research, the polysaccharide in Spirulina has chemo-potential adjunct to cancer therapy.
Moreover, further researches have showed that a compound – phycocyanin – is a non-toxic fluorescent protein pigment with potential antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
Interestingly, this compound is only found in Spirulina and other species of blue green algae.
4. Spirulina Lowers Cholesterol Level
A high cholesterol level could trigger heart diseases, researches have said.
This is why it is good to put the cholesterol level in your body under control.
Most importantly, Spirulina has a compound called niacin which is great in lowering bad cholesterol (Low Density Lipoprotein).
According to Dr. Eze Ugochukwu, at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, cholesterol level in the blood results when droplets of fat go into the arteries.
This clogs the arteries and slows the flow of blood, requiring that the heart will work excessively to ensure flow.
Therefore, maintain a good cholesterol level is great for several reasons including maintaining a good heart.
5. Improves Heart Health
Also, the blue green algae is great for the heart. In fact, it is referred to as a preventive tonic for the heart and cardiovascular system.
According to the 2010 study, it may help prevent heart diseases.
This is a function of the anti-oxidants it contains.
Basically, these anti-oxidants lower blood pressure, plasma lipid concentrations, especially triacylglycerols and also lower bad cholesterol (LDL) level.
Also, while it lowers bad cholesterol, it also increases the high density lipoprotein (good cholesterol).
Furthermore, the amino acids and fatty acids GLA in spirulina help prevent cholesterol from concentrating in the body.
6. Spirulina Boosts Eyesight
Assuredly, the eyes are the light of the body and you should do your best to keep them sharp and functional.
Arthrospira platensis is very high in vitamin A, B vitamins and other nutrients that are beneficial to the eyes.
Also, zeaxantuin, which is in this superfood is also very helpful for great eyesight.
In fact, some persons refer to beta-carotene which it contains as eyebright.
7. Great Kidney Health
For a great kidney health, everyone needs a considerable amount of B vitamins, folic acid, niacin and other compounds.
Fortunately, Spirulina is rich in B vitamins, niacin and folate.
These compounds make it a good food for improving kidney health.
You could see that indeed it is a super food.
Dosage And Usage
From clinical researches, participants took between 1 gram to 5 grams of the compound.
Since it is natural, staying within 1 to 1.5 grans when you consume it is a good idea.
Also, you can add spirulina in water and drink or add to other things like yoghurt, orange juice and pineapple juice.
Some persons have also added it to lime juice to boost immune system.
HERE IS WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT A MIRACLE FRUIT