Views: 12 Author: Joe Publish Time: 2019-12-03 Origin: Site
Spirulina is incredibly good for you.
It is loaded with nutrients that can have powerful effects on your body and brain.
Here are 5 evidence-based health benefits of spirulina.
1. Spirulina is Extremely High in Many Nutrients
Spirulina is an organism that grows in both fresh and salt water.
It is a type of bacteria called cyanobacterium, which is often referred to as blue-green algae.
Just like plants, cyanobacteria can produce energy out of sunlight, via the process called photosynthesis.
Spirulina was consumed by the Aztecs back in the day, but became popular again when NASA proposed that it could be grown in space and used by astronauts.
A standard daily dose of spirulina is 1-3 grams, but doses of up to 10 grams per day have been used effectively.
It is actually quite amazing how nutritious it is.
A single tablespoon (7 grams) of dried spirulina powder contains:
· Protein: 4 grams.
· Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): 11% of the RDA.
· Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 15% of the RDA.
· Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 4% of the RDA.
· Copper: 21% of the RDA.
· Iron: 11% of the RDA.
It also contains decent amounts of magnesium, potassium and manganese, and small amounts of almost every other nutrient that we need.
This is coming with only 20 calories, and 1.7 grams of digestible carbohydrate
Gram for gram, this means that spirulina may literally be the single most nutritious food on the planet.
A tablespoon of spirulina contains a small amount of fat (around 1 gram), including both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in about a 1.5:1 ratio.
The quality of the protein in spirulina is considered excellent, comparable to eggs. It contains all the essential amino acids that we need.
It is often claimed that spirulina contains vitamin B12, but this is false. It contains pseudovitamin B12, which has not been shown to be effective in humans.
2. Spirulina Has Powerful Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Properties
Oxidative damage can harm our DNA and cells.
This damage can drive chronic inflammation, which contributes to cancer and other diseases.
Spirulina is a fantastic source of antioxidants, which can protect against oxidative damage.
The main active component is called phycocyanin. This antioxidant substance also gives spirulina its unique blue-green color.
Phycocyanin can fight free radicals and inhibit production of inflammatory signalling molecules, providing impressive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
3. Spirulina Can Lower LDL and Triglyceride Levels
Heart disease is currently the world’s biggest killer.
It is known that many measurable factors, termed risk factors, are linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
As it turns out, spirulina has been shown to have beneficial effects on many of them.
For example, it can lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, while raising HDL (the “good”) cholesterol.
In a study of 25 people with type 2 diabetes, 2 grams per day of spirulina significantly improved these markers.
Another study in people with high cholesterol found that 1 gram of spirulina per day lowered triglycerides by 16.3% and LDL by 10.1%.
Several other studies have shown favorable effects, but with higher doses of 4.5-8 grams of spirulina per day.
4. Spirulina Protects LDL Cholesterol From Becoming Oxidized
Fatty structures in the body are susceptible to oxidative damage.
This is known as lipid peroxidation, which is known to be a key driver of many serious diseases.
For example, one of the key steps in the pathway towards heart disease is LDL lipoproteins in the blood becoming oxidized.
Interestingly, the antioxidants in spirulina appear to be particularly effective at reducing lipid peroxidation. This has been shown numerous times, in both human and animal studies.
In a study of 37 individuals with type 2 diabetes, 8 grams of spirulina per day significantly reduced markers of oxidative damage. It also increased levels of antioxidant enzymes in the blood.
5. Spirulina Appears to Have Anti-Cancer Properties, Especially Against Oral Cancer
Some evidence suggests that spirulina can have anti-cancer properties.
For example, some research in test animals shows that it can reduce cancer occurrence and tumor size. Spirulina has been particularly well studied with regard to oral cancer, which is cancer of the mouth.
One study looked at the effects of spirulina on 87 people from India with precancerous lesions called OSMF in the mouth.
After using 1 gram per day for 1 year, 45% of the spirulina group had a complete regression of lesions in the mouth, compared to only 7% in the control group.
When they stopped taking the spirulina, almost half of the responders developed these lesions again the following year.
In another study of 40 subjects with OSMF precancerous lesions, 1 gram of spirulina per day led to greater improvement in symptoms than the drug Pentoxyfilline.
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