Have you heard about spirulina? Spirulina is a single-celled form of blue-green algae made famous for its health benefits. This algae is power-packed with B vitamins, beta-carotene, vitamin E, manganese, zinc, copper, iron, selenium, linolenic acid (an essential fatty acid), other minerals and antioxidants, and exists as an excellent source of protein! Its ability to protect against infection, disease and cancer are amazing.
Spirulina can relieve typical seasonal allergy symptoms – a runny and congested nose, watery eyes, sneezing and itching – commonly caused by pollen, ragweed, dust, mold, pet dander and other environmental contaminants. While prescription and over-the-counter drugs may have many undesirable side effects, spirulina can be a natural remedy for your seasonal battles and the common cold. Who can deny the benefits of an all-natural immune boost!
Spirulina, having a protective effect on the brain and nervous system, can balance blood pressure, preventing premature death from a heart attack or stroke. Spirulina can help the body normalize cholesterol naturally, dismissing the “need” for cholesterol-lowering medication. That said, those on blood-thinning medications should avoid or consult their doctors before taking spirulina, as its very high vitamin K content can interfere with certain medications prescribed to prevent blood clots and strokes.
Spirulina is a great vegetarian source of protein, beating out beef, lentils, nuts, beans and soy products! Not only is spirulina rich in protein, it is a great source of essential amino acids and minerals easily utilized by the body. Spirulina is also a strong detoxifier and aids the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. The algae aids proper immune function, as spirulina “increases production of antibodies, infection-fighting proteins, and other cells that improve immunity and help ward off infection and chronic illnesses such as cancer.” (1)
Consider purchasing spirulina from a trusted, reputable brand, in capsules, tablets, powders or flakes and start by dosing at 3 to 5 grams a day.
Despite the immense health benefits of spirulina, it is advised to avoid the algae in the case of seafood or iodine allergy, and if you are pregnant, nursing or have hyperthyroidism, consulting with your doctor is recommended. Also, because spirulina can absorb heavy metals from the water where it’s grown, it is very important to buy from a trusted, reputable source.
Beyond its health benefits, spirulina is also being considered a sustainable food source with the potential to end world hunger! Spirulina is able to survive extreme temperature variations and neglect and still thrive, while most plants need to be cultivated and nurtured under favorable conditions. Loaded with vitamins, nutrients and protein, this survivor algae is a great candidate for further research in feeding the starving populations around the world, a true super-food!
Have you tried spirulina and noticed any health benefits? I’d love to know, comment and share!
University of Maryland Medical System http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/spirulina-000327.htm