10 Health Benefits of Spirulina and How Science is Proving Ancient Wisdom
Spirulina is blue-green algae harvested from warm freshwater. It's health benefits seem almost endless when you look at the evidence that science is uncovering to support why the ancients prized this green boon to mankind.
Ancient cultures possessed the healing wisdom to recognize spirulina as a superfood. The Aztecs and Africans on Lake Chad both harvested it according to the historical record. Today we are beginning to understand the significance of this superfood for ourselves.
There have been 1,200 peer-based scientific studies conducted on spirulina. This may seem shocking when all that comes to mind at the mention of algae is icky, green slime. However, this green slime is nutritionally invaluable. Gram for gram, spirulina contains high amounts of vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, B9 (folic acid), vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin A, and vitamin E. It also contains calcium, chromium, copper, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, sodium, and zinc. Spirulina is also a good source of protein and essential amino acids.
I'm sure you're beginning to see why spirulina is known as one of the most nutritionally rich foods on the planet. Here are 10 of spirulina's top health benefits according to numerous studies.
1. Spirulina Can Boost Your Immune System
According to a study done by the Department of Aquaculture in Taiwan, spirulina shows significant immune-boosting properties. They exposed white shrimp to seawater containing a hot-water extract of spirulina before putting them in seawater with a pH level of 6.8. The control group was not exposed to spirulina. The shrimp exposed to the spirulina seawater showed a faster recovery rate to the high levels of pH than those who were not given the dose of spirulina first.
2. Spirulina Can Reduce Arsenic Poisoning
Bangladesh researchers conducted a three-month-hospital-based study in which spirulina was given to 33 patients while 17 received placebo doses. 82% of those taking spirulina showed a remarkably tremendous improvement.
3. Spirulina Can Counteract Candida
Spirulina has been shown to encourage and support the growth of healthy bacterial flora in your intestine. This can help keep candida under control.
4. Spirulina Can Inactivate HIV and AIDS
Spirulina has been scientifically proven to inactivate the human immunodeficiency virus associated with HIV and AIDS. Perhaps this superfood poses help for these conditions in the future.
5. Spirulina Can Relieve Allergy Symptoms
Patients treated with spirulina reported relief of symptoms typically associated with allergic rhinitis such as nasal discharge, congestion, sneezing, and itching when given spirulina in placebo trials. Numerous studies show that the superfood does this by reducing the inflammation responsible.
6. Spirulina Can Regulate Blood Pressure
According to the Department of Biochemistry in Mexico, 4.5 grams of spirulina each day was shown to regulate blood pressure amongst both men and women from ages 18-65 years with no other dietary changes made.
7. Spirulina Can Lower Cholesterol
A study was done on elderly male and female patients ages 60-87 in which they were given eight grams of spirulina per day for 16 consecutive weeks. These patients showed lower cholesterol levels after those sixteen weeks than those who were given a placebo.
8. Spirulina Can Protect Your Brain
The results of a study conducted at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Technology in India indicated that a dosage of 180 mg/kg of spirulina had a protective effect on the brain and nervous system of rats exposed to high amounts of free radicals compared to rats not given spirulina before the experiment. The lab test is promising in that is shows that spirulina may help prevent the risk of strokes.
9. Spirulina Can Inhibit the Growth of Cancer Cells
A study was done in China which showed that selenium-infused spirulina inhibited the growth of MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Perhaps more studies in the future will determine if spirulina could provide the same results for other types of cancer.
10. Spirulina Can Help to Correct An Iron Deficiency
Vegans are typically recommended spirulina as a source of iron. Spirulina contains more protein than red meat, and if vegans take 2 tablespoons of spirulina a day it acts as a protein substitute for meat. All of the nutritional factors combined make it easy for the body to assimilate. There are vegan capsule options available as well.
There are several contraindications for spirulina that are very important. You should not take spirulina if you have a severe seafood or iodine allergy. As always, consult your doctor before taking spirulina if you are pregnant, nursing, have hyperthyroidism, or if you have any other questions or concerns.
As you read this information about the incredible nutritional benefits of spirulina, I'm sure you are wondering where you can get your hands on some. When you purchase spirulina, precautions must be taken to ensure that the algae have not been contaminated. The Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica brand has gone to great lengths to ensure that their spirulina does not contain any mercury or polluting substances. Because of this, their spirulina contains more nutrition per gram than any other spirulina on the market. Do your body a favor and take some spirulina today so that you can reap these potent nutritional benefits!