Is Spirulina Really Good For You? 5 Health Benefits to

Is Spirulina Actually Good For You? 5 Well being Advantages to Know

Spirulina, a pure algae present in each recent and saltwater, has lengthy been known as a superfood due to its excessive focus of vitamins and antioxidants. Whereas the traditional Aztecs have been among the many original users of spirulina, at present it is a widespread ingredient in smoothies, juices and extra. NASA has even discovered a method to repurpose it, rising it in house to assist astronauts keep wholesome, as reported within the journal Marine Medication. 

Now, spirulina is among the hottest dietary supplements available on the market. Nonetheless, it’s best to nonetheless use warning, as analysis on its results continues. Earlier than you employ spirulina, that is what it is advisable to know.

Bright green smoothie in a glass jar. Bright green smoothie in a glass jar.

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Advantages of spirulina

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Spirulina is a sort of blue-green algae, considered one among Earth’s oldest life varieties. It’s a cyanobacteria that makes use of photosynthesis to create power, just like a plant. Due to its pure dietary content material, it has been known as a superfood for people, however how does it really have an effect on human well being? 

These are among the recognized well being advantages of spirulina.

It is filled with vitamins and antioxidants

Spirulina has many various vitamins that the physique wants to remain wholesome, together with nutritional vitamins equivalent to thiamin for wholesome metabolism and vitamin A for imaginative and prescient, in addition to minerals equivalent to copper and iron that assist improve immunity. There are additionally different vitamins, like omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids that combat irritation, and antioxidants like phycocyanin and beta carotene that assist cut back the danger of sure illnesses. With 60% protein content material, spirulina gives more protein than many greens and is a well-liked protein source for vegans and vegetarians.

In accordance with the US Division of Agriculture, one teaspoon of dried spirulina comprises 20 energy and the next vitamins:

Dried Spirulina (1 tsp)

Vitamin

Quantity

Protein

4 grams

Calcium

8.4 milligrams

Thiamin

14% of the Each day Worth (DV)

Riboflavin

20% of the Each day Worth (DV)

Niacin

6% of the Each day Worth (DV)

Copper 

47% of the Each day Worth (DV)

Iron

11% of the Each day Worth (DV)

Spirulina additionally comprises magnesium, potassium and manganese in small quantities. 

All of those nutritional vitamins and vitamins will help you meet your every day diet necessities.  

It may well assist wholesome ldl cholesterol

Spirulina has been found to decrease “unhealthy” and whole ldl cholesterol and triglycerides, whereas growing the great ldl cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL). This prevents the fats and ldl cholesterol in your blood from clogging your arteries, which, in flip, can put pressure in your coronary heart. One small study discovered that those that took 1 gram of spirulina every day had decrease ldl cholesterol after simply three months.

Sustaining wholesome levels of cholesterol helps forestall coronary heart illness, in addition to heart attack and stroke, per Harvard Well being. 

It might assist your immune system

Spirulina comprises nutritional vitamins and minerals which can be necessary for immune well being. Moreover, research has found that it increases production of white blood cells and antibodies, each of which the physique makes use of to combat sickness. Importantly, spirulina’s results on the immune system make it dangerous for these with autoimmune illnesses like lupus, per WebMD.

Spirulina’s anti-inflammatory properties may additionally profit folks with allergic reactions from widespread culprits together with mud, pollen and pet hair. It has been explored as an alternative treatment for allergic rhinitis signs, though extra analysis is required. 

It might decrease blood strain

Spirulina can enhance the manufacturing of nitric oxide, which relaxes the blood vessels and helps them dilate. A number of research have found {that a} every day dose of spirulina will help cut back each systolic and diastolic blood strain (the primary and second numbers on a blood strain studying). It has additionally proven positive effects for many who have hypertension. 

It may well assist eye well being

Spirulina can profit eye well being as effectively. It’s wealthy in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that the physique converts into vitamin A. Vitamin A has been proven to help prevent vision loss and promote higher eye well being, per the American Academy of Ophthalmology. 

In accordance with the Icahn College of Medication at Mt. Sinai, spirulina additionally comprises a high concentration of zeaxantuin, which might cut back the chance of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Some animal research has supported spirulina’s eye well being advantages, however extra analysis is required for larger insights into the way it may benefit people.

A spoonful of spirulina, on top of spirulina tablets. A spoonful of spirulina, on top of spirulina tablets.

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Dangers and disadvantages of spirulina

When discussing any superfood, it can be crucial to not focus solely on the hype and ignore potential dangers. This is what to remember with spirulina.

Lack of analysis

Spirulina has been round for a very long time, however scientists are nonetheless studying extra about its results on the human physique. Lots of its purported well being advantages are primarily based on animal analysis or restricted research.

For instance, one idea is that spirulina might assist forestall most cancers. It is wealthy in antioxidants which can be recognized to combat irritation, which might trigger most cancers. For instance, it comprises phycocyanin, which has been discovered to cut back irritation whereas stopping the expansion of most cancers cells. Nonetheless, research proceed to look at the precise correlation, if any, between spirulina and most cancers. 

Researchers are additionally finding out spirulina and the attainable prevention and remedy of the flu, herpes and HIV, however once more, extra research must be achieved. 

It isn’t regulated

Many spirulina merchandise exist available on the market at present, however train warning when buying. 

As with all dietary supplements, spirulina just isn’t regulated by the Meals and Drug Administration. Some spirulina merchandise have been found to comprise contaminants, particularly in the event that they have been harvested in wild areas rife with heavy metals. These contaminants can damage your liver with sufficient publicity. 

Moreover, some merchandise might comprise kind of spirulina than what’s listed on the label.

Unintended effects and security precautions

Spirulina is essentially thought-about protected at common doses, and the Dietary Dietary supplements Info Skilled Committee offers it a Class A safety rating. Nonetheless, some potential side effects embody issue sleeping, digestion issues, and symptoms together with nausea, vomiting, complications and dizziness. Some folks have reported allergic reactions. 

Spirulina just isn’t advisable for folks on sure drugs, equivalent to these designed to decrease blood strain, ldl cholesterol or immune system exercise. Moreover, it isn’t advisable for the next teams of individuals:

  • Pregnant girls
  • Youngsters
  • These with autoimmune illnesses
  • Those that are about to have or have simply had surgical procedure

Earlier than utilizing spirulina, at all times verify along with your physician about any attainable drug interactions, and purchase it from a good retailer to make sure its legitimacy and security. 

Clear capsules with green powder Clear capsules with green powder

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Tips on how to take spirulina

One of many perks of spirulina is its versatility. Bought at most well being meals shops, it’s obtainable as a pill, capsule or powder complement. It has a bitter taste, however mixing it into yogurt or a smoothie can disguise that.  

Dosages might differ. Earlier than you are taking spirulina, ask your physician how typically it’s best to use it and the way a lot it’s best to take. You may also convey it to your appointment so your physician can double-check the model and make sure that it’s protected so that you can use.  

Spirulina could be a helpful addition to your well being routine, however analysis is continuous to find out the way it impacts the human physique. Take note of the most recent research and purchase vetted merchandise from respected manufacturers. Spirulina just isn’t splendid for everybody, however your physician will help steer you in the appropriate route.  

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