Spirulina is good for health and preventing diseases. It is one of the most nutritious, concentrated whole foods known to humankind.
60% protein and an excellent source of vitamins A, K1, K2, B12 and iron, manganese and chromium. A rich source of health-giving phytonutrients such as carotenoids, GLA, SOD and phycocyanin.
2800% more beta-carotene than carrots.
3900% more iron than spinach .
600% more protein than tofu .
280% more antioxidants than blueberries ! Strengthened immune system,boosted energy level, supported cellular health, cardiovascular, eye and brain health…
Spirulina is a simple one-celled microscopic blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria). There are two species, Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima. The Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima species were once classified in the genus Spirulina. There is now agreement that they are in fact Arthrospira; nevertheless, and somewhat confusingly, the older term Spirulina remains in use for historical reasons.
Arthrospira is cultivated worldwide; used as a dietary supplement as well as a whole food; and is also available in tablet, flake and powder form. Under a microscope, spirulina appears as long, thin, blue-green spiral threads. The odor and taste of spirulina is similar to seaweed.
Spirulina can be found in many freshwater environments, including ponds, lakes, and rivers. It thrives best under pesticide-free conditions with plenty of sunlight and moderate temperature levels, but it is also highly adaptable, surviving even in extreme conditions. More than 25,000 species of algae live everywhere – in water, in soils, on rocks, on plants. They range in size from a single cell to giant kelp over 150 feet long. Macroalgae are large like seaweeds. Microalgae are microscopic. Ocean microalgae, called phytoplankton, are the base of the ocean food web.
Spirulina is often deemed the most nutritionally complete of all food supplements, containing a rich supply of many important nutrients, including
protein, complex carbohydrates, iron, and vitamins A, K, and B complex. It also has a high supply of carotenoids such as beta carotene and yellow xanthophylls which have antioxidant properties. It is also rich in chlorophyll, fatty and nucleic acids, and lipids. Thus, spirulina has countless uses as a supplement for maintaining good health and for preventing diseases.
Spirulina is the highest source of B-12, essential for healthy nerves and tissue, especially for vegetarians. Having said that, there does seem to be lots of evidence that the Vit B12 is in a slightly different form than that which can easily be absorbed by humans, so it is debatable how much good this B12 will do you. It seems to be only the B12 there is this absorption issue with though, and the rest of the nutrients do seem to be bio-actively available to the body.
Spirulina is the richest beta carotene food, with a full spectrum of ten mixed carotenoids. About half are orange carotenes: alpha, beta and gamma and half are yellow xanthophylls. They work synergistically at different sites in our body to enhance antioxidant protection. Twenty years of research proves eating beta carotene rich fruits and vegetables gives us real anti-cancer protection. Synthetic beta carotene has not always shown these benefits. Research in Israel showed natural beta carotene from algae was far more effective. Natural is better assimilated and contains the key 9-cis isomer, lacking in synthetic. As suspected, natural carotenoids in algae and vegetables have the most antioxidant and anti-cancer power.
Spirulina is an ideal anti-aging food; concentrated nutrient value, easily digested and loaded with antioxidants. Beta carotene is good for healthy eyes and vision. Spirulina beta carotene is ten times more concentrated than carrots.
Healthy Dieting with Spirulina
About 60% of dry weight spirulina is protein, which is essential for growth and cell regeneration. It is a good replacement for fatty and cholesterol-rich meat and dairy products in one’s diet. Every 10 grams of spirulina can supply up to 70% of the minimum daily requirements for iron, and about three to four times of minimum daily requirements for vitamins A (in the form of beta carotene), B complex, D,and K. By itself, it does not contain vitamin C, but it helps maintain this vitamin’s potency.
Spirulina is rich in gamma-linolenic acid or GLA, a compound found in breast milk that helps develop healthier babies. Moreover, with its high digestibility, spirulina has been proven to fight malnutrition in impoverished communities by helping the body absorb nutrients when it has lost its ability to absorb normal forms of food.
Spirulina also increases stamina and immunity levels in athletes, and its high protein content helps build muscle mass. At the same time, it can curb hunger that may develop during the most demanding training routines. Thus, it indirectly acts as an effective way to maintain an athlete’s ideal body weight.
The Disease Fighter
As well as beta carotene, Spirulina contains other nutrients such as iron, manganese, zinc, copper, selenium, andchromium. These nutrients help fight free radicals, cell-damaging molecules absorbed by the body through pollution, poor diet, injury, or stress. By removing free radicals, the nutrients help the immune system fight cancer and cellular degeneration. In some findings, spirulina has helped reduce oral cancer tumors in laboratory rats, and may thus provide a big medical breakthrough in cancer treatment.
Spirulina has the ability to reduce the bad cholesterol LDL in the body helps prevent the onset of cardiovascular diseases, such as hardening of the arteries and strokes. It also helps lower blood pressure. While not clinically proven, spirulina may also protect against allergic reactions and liver infection.
Supports digestive system
Research confirms spirulina promotes digestion and bowel function. It suppresses bad bacteria like e-coli and Candida yeast and stimulates beneficial flora like lactobacillus and bifidobacteria. Healthy flora is the foundation of good health and it increases absorption of nutrients from the foods we eat, and helps protect against infection. Spirulina builds healthy lactobacillus, aiding assimilation and elimination and relieving constipation.
In 1994, a Russian Patent was awarded for spirulina as a medical food to reduce allergic reactions from radiation sickness. 270 Children of Chernobyl consuming 5 grams a day for 45 days (donated by Earthrise Farms), lowered radionuclides by 50%, and normalized allergic sensitivities. Today we are subject to an onslaught of toxic chemicals in our air, water, food and drugs. Our bodies need to continually eliminate these accumulated toxins. Spirulina has a completely unique combination of phytonutrients – including chlorophyll, phycocyanin and polysaccharides, that can help cleanse our bodies.
How to Take Spirulina
Spirulina is now commercially available in tablet or powder form. Some health tonics contain spirulina as part of their ingredients. A simple daily regimen for spirulina involves taking a 500mg tablet four to six times daily.
Sources for these forms of spirulina are normally laboratory-grown. Harvesting spirulina from more natural settings has posed a challenge because of possible contamination from toxic substances that cannot be removed from the product. Hopefully, more eco-friendly and safer ways to cultivate the algae can eventually be developed and perfected.
This is a health and nutrient source for all !
How spirulina differs from chlorella?
Because they are both similar microalgae species, it’s easy to understand how scientists confused spirulina with chlorella back in the 1940s. In spite of their stark differences, people commonly mistake one for the other even today. Here are the four main differences that are important to understand:
First of all, spirulina is a spiral-shaped, multi-celled plant with no true nucleus. It’s blue-green in hue and can grow up to 100 times the size of chlorella. Comparably, chlorella is a spherical-shaped single-celled microorganism with a nucleus and is solid green.
2. How It’s Grown
Second, the growing conditions differ considerably. Spirulina grows best in low-alkaline conditions — particularly, fresh water lakes, ponds and rivers. It also requires an abundance of sunshine and moderate temperatures.
Chlorella, on the other hand, grows in fresh water typically occupied by other organisms, which makes it more challenging to harvest.
Third, the ways in which both spirulina and chlorella can be eaten are also very different. Because of its hard, indigestible cellulose wall, for instance, chlorella requires mechanical processing to make it worthwhile for human consumption. Otherwise, the body won’t be able break down and metabolize its nutrients.
The process can be quite costly, which explains why chlorella is usually more expensive than spirulina. On the other hand, spirulina has a completely digestible cellulose wall and can be immediately consumed and digested with ease.
Finally, although both are considered superfoods, spirulina and chlorella differ in their nutritional content. Arguably the healthier of the two, spirulina contains more essential amino acids, iron, protein, B vitamins, and vitamins C, D and E.
With that said, chlorella still holds an abundance of health benefits.