This article was originally written in Spanish by Elena Martinez Blasco and has been approved by doctor Karla Henriquez on May 31, 2019
What is Spirulina?
Spirulina is not a miracle supplement. Therefore, it should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment for any disease or discomfort.
Spirulina is an algae that has become popular in recent years, as it has many benefits. It is believed that it could provide us with nutrients, as well as fill some deficiencies of our current diet.
However, although spirulina may represent a functional food with possible beneficial effects on human health, more research is needed to evaluate the effect of spirulina-containing foods.
What are the health benefits of Spirulina?
Spirulina, whose scientific name is Spirulina maxima, is a microscopic greenish-blue algae, obtained from chlorophyll and phycocyanin.
This supplement offers a wide variety of nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, protein and nucleic acids, which are also positively digested and assimilated in the body.
However, remember that it is a supplement and in no way replaces a balanced diet with quality food from all groups. We recommend always consuming spirulina with organic certification, to ensure that it does not contain toxic substances that can be harmful to your health.
7 health benefits of Spirulina
1. Balances your weight
Spirulina is believed to help balance weight based on when you take it:
Individuals who need to get more fit ought to consistently take it before suppers, to upgrade its satisfying impact. Individuals who need to put on weight ought to consistently take it after dinners, to improve and include the digestion of supplements.
On the other hand, in this study, the subjects were divided into two groups: obese and non-obese. In this latter group, supplementation with spirulina showed an important reducing effect on the concentration of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol and a significant increase in the total antioxidant level. Be that as it may, these impacts were not seen among the obese group.
2. Provides Energy
Thanks to its high content of nutrients, including vitamin B12 and iron, which in this case is easy to assimilate, spirulina could serve as a support in cases of anemia. This same property affects our energy levels and helps us combat states of tiredness, exhaustion, and stress.
There is evidence that microalgae, especially spirulina, are nutritious functional iron fortifiers that can supply intestinal iron.
3. Delays Aging
Its high content of antioxidants of various types prevents cell aging caused by free radicals, not only at the brain level, but also in terms of skin, vision, hair, etc. health.
According to some research, Spirulina has great potential for various health applications, including reducing premature skin aging.
4. Bolsters your immune system
It is a supplement that could be taken during the seasons, to prevent colds, flu, and allergies, since spirulina is believed to boost the body’s immune function.
5. Supports heart health
Spirulina could be used to support cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension, cholesterol, high triglyceride levels, etc. If we have a genetic predisposition to suffer them or we want to improve our heart condition, we could take this algae along with the recommendations of our doctor.
6. Protects bones and joints
Its wide range of minerals, which complement each other, makes this seaweed a good supplement for those who suffer or may suffer joint and bone diseases, such as arthritis or osteoporosis.
In this study, it was concluded that spirulina is capable of slowing down the changes produced by induced arthritis. The suppressive effect of spirulina could be attributed, at least in part, to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-angiogenic properties.
7. Improves your mood
Its content in nutrients, including tryptophan, positively affects our nervous system, so it could help us improve our mood.
Cocoa, for example, is also rich in tryptophan. In addition to its role in protein formation, tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin.
How do you take Spirulina?
We can find spirulina in powder, or capsules or tablets. The recommended daily dose is between 3 and 5 grams. However, it can be increased if we need it, although we always recommend consulting a doctor. We can start with this amount and gradually increase it.
Pay attention to the body’s response. Also, you must not forget that it is not a miracle supplement. Therefore, it should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment to treat any disease or discomfort.
If we are not bothered by its taste, we can also buy it in powder, which is much cheaper. You can add it to smoothies, vegetable creams, juices and all kinds of recipes that come to mind.