Spirulina is an algae, more precisely a microalga, consumed for centuries by its healing properties, but also for its outstanding nutritional qualities. It is a superfood made from blue-green algae that grow naturally in salty lakes in the subtropical climate, but also in the ocean. It has been linked to properties such as accelerating metabolism, lowering cholesterol, weight loss, and treating psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression, or attention deficit.
Nutritional values 7 g of spirulina
Calories: 20 kcal
Protein: 4 g
Vitamin B1: 11% of the recommended daily dose
Vitamin B2: 15% of the recommended daily dose
Vitamin B3: 4% of the recommended daily dose
Copper: 21% of the recommended daily dose
Iron: 11% of the recommended daily dose
Spirulina also contains magnesium, potassium and manganese as well as other nutrients that play an important role for the body.
What are the health benefits of spirulina?
Scientists have been doing a series of studies in recent years to discover what the actual properties of spirulina. These studies confirmed the following benefits of this superfood:
Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties – Being a rich source of antioxidants, spirulina protects the body from oxidative stress at the DNA level, but also at cellular level. Oxidative stress causes chronic inflammation, which contributes to the development of multiple diseases, including cancer. Therefore, the consumption of spirulina has a strong anti-inflammatory effect.
Blood triglycerides decrease as well as “bad” cholesterol (LDL) – In a recent study, 1 gram of spirulina per day can reduce triglyceride levels in the blood by 16.3% and cholesterol by 10,1%. Since triglycerides and cholesterol that go beyond normal parameters can cause cardiovascular disease, spirulina protects our heart’s health.
Candida albicans is found naturally in the body, in the mouth, in the gastrointestinal tract, and also in the vagina, but when imbalances occur, the bacteria multiply which can lead to candidiasis, a form of vaginitis. Spirulina is effective in treating candidiasis, having effective antimicrobial properties for this microscopic fungus.
Low blood pressure – Ficocyan, the substance that gives spirulina its blue color, has antihypertensive properties, helping people who have problems with high blood pressure.
Energizes the body – Spirulina has an energizing effect on the body. According to specialists, if we mix 1 teaspoon of spirulina with 350 g of lime, we will get an energy drink that can successfully replace coffee.
Accelerates weight loss – High-protein diets accelerate weight loss, “melting” fat deposits.
Relieving the symptoms of allergic rhinitis – Allergic rhinitis is characterized by inflammation of the nasal passages and is triggered by factors such as pollen, animal hair or dust. In a study conducted on 127 people suffering from allergic rhinitis, 2 grams of spirulina per day improved the symptoms of the condition, such as sneezing, nasal congestion and nose itching.
Other benefits of spirulina are: it increases endurance while practicing sports, fights fatigue, balances blood sugar, helps to detoxify the body and prevents anemia.
Spirulina can support mental health
A research paper of 2018 highlights the potential role that spirulina might have in treating mood disorders (affective). The theory behind this idea is that spirulina is a source of tryptophan, an amino acid that supports serotonin production in the brain. In turn, serotonin has an important role in mental health.
Patients diagnosed with certain mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety, may have low levels of serotonin, and administering triptophan supplements to maintain optimal serotonin levels may play a role in sustaining a mental state good. However, more clinical trials are needed to determine exactly what role spirulina has in mental health.