Spirulina is a type of cyanobacteria, also termed as blue-green algae that grow in fresh water lakes, salty lakes, oceans, ponds and rivers in subtropical climates. Unlike other bacteria, it has chlorophyll and takes its energy from sunlight just like plants. Because of its nutritional power it is called ‘superfood’ and is highly recommended to vegetarians. It has been used for centuries for numerous medicinal purposes. It has the potential to overcome malnutrition and has been used widely in the third world countries to feed the starved people. NASA is already researching it as a food substitute for the astronauts. Spirulina is an excellent source of B-12, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium and protein; and it is available in tablet, powder and flake form too. This ‘miracle from sea’ is used to treat various diseases like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer and depression. Here are some incredible health and beauty benefits of spirulina.
Health Benefits of Spirulina
1. Protects from Cancer
Spirulina is packed with powerful phytonutrients that safeguard body against cancer. The blue-green color of spirulina is what makes it able to destroy cancer cells. This bacterium gets its color from chlorophyll, which prevents the formation of cancer colonies. Also, it is rich in powerful antioxidant called selenium that has the potential to fight cancer. Studies have shown that consumption of spirulina proved effective to treat breast cancer.
Spirulina is the only green superfood to contain a pigment called phycocyanin, which is anti-inflammatory in nature and is highly beneficial for arthritis patients. Include spirulina in your diet in the form of juice, pasta, salad, bread to get its extra nutrients.
3. Good for Liver
Spirulina protects the body against liver damage, liver failure and cirrhosis. It is a rich source of vitamin B, E, minerals like manganese zinc, iron, copper, selenium, and protein. Besides, it reduces inflammation and averts the buildup of triglycerides in the liver.
4. Healthy Eyes
Spirulina contains ten times more vitamin A than carrots and high amount of zeaxanthin, which protects eyes from any kind of damage. This makes it a potent nutrient to fight eye disorders like cataracts and macular degeneration.
5. Improves Digestion
Spirulina promotes good bacteria like lactobacillus and bifidobacteria in the digestive system while suppressing the growth of harmful bacteria like E. coli and Candida yeast. Thus, it boosts digestion by improving body’s ability to absorb the nutrients.
6. Body Detoxifier
Spirulina has a high concentration of chlorophyll and is one of the best natural detoxifiers. It lowers the toxicity of kidneys by removing heavy metals, harmful radiations, and pollutants.
Taking spirulina on a daily basis for about 6 months reduces allergy symptoms. Allergic rhinitis (seasonal) from pollen or perennial allergies from dust mites, mold, and pet dander can be treated naturally with the help of spirulina.
8. Prevents Diabetes
The presence of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and phycocyanins in spirulina helps deal with diabetes. It also contains Gamma linolenic acid that helps improve the lipid levels in diabetics. Taking spirulina twice daily for 2 months keeps blood sugar levels balanced.
9. Immunity Booster
Spirulina is an excellent immunity booster. The presence of polysaccharides in spirulina is responsible for improving the immune system, thereby preventing a wide variety of diseases.
Spirulina is rich in protein, satisfies hunger and doesn’t let fat accumulate in your body. So it is a preferred food for any weight loss diet combined with exercise.
11. Reduces Menopausal Symptoms
Taking a certain amount of spirulina daily for a few months reduces the symptoms of menopause like hot flashes, depression and anxiety. And women undergoing menopause will experience calmness and mental balance after taking spirulina.
12. Instant Energy booster
Spirulina increases metabolism and provides instant energy. Being rich in chlorophyll and phycocyanin, it absorbs energy from the sunlight to create carbohydrates that boost your energy levels. Since it builds stamina, it should be consumed before exercising or high intensity workouts for maximum benefit.
13. Heals Wounds
Spirulina has anti-biotic and anti-inflammatory properties which make it a perfect natural remedy to accelerate the healing of wounds by inhibiting the growth of bacteria, yeast and fungus.
14. Healthy Baby Development
As spirulina is full of nutrients, it is extremely helpful for those who can’t breastfeed. Spirulina contains gamma-linolenic acid, a compound found in human breast milk and is necessary for the healthy growth of your baby.
15. Prevents Alzheimer
Alzheimer disease occurs due to high concentration of amyloid-beta proteins which forms plaque causing memory loss. Spirulina reduces the levels of this protein and helps protect Alzheimer. Also, it protects the brain from free radicals thereby preventing its aging.
16. Mood Enhancer
Spirulina contains adequate levels of amino acid L-tryptophan, a component that is responsible for producing melatonin and serotonin, which enhances your mood and keeps you in good spirits.
Consuming spirulina prior to drinking reduces the effect of hangover. This is because spirulina boosts metabolism and removes toxins from your body thereby helping you get rid of the hangover.
Deficiency of iron is very common especially in women and children. Spirulina is one of the best natural sources of iron. It also contains vitamin B and anti-oxidants that help treat anemia successfully by increasing levels of hemoglobin.
19. Reduces Appetite
Spirulina makes you feel fuller by suppressing the appetite and reduces craving as well. Simple cells in spirulina dissolve in water digesting all its protein within minutes. Taking spirulina half an hour before meal satisfies your hunger and you naturally end up eating less.
20. Treats Warts
The chlorophyll content in spirulina is what makes it a suitable foodstuff for fighting bad odor. It freshens up the mouth with good odor. That is why it the chief ingredient in most of the commercial mouth fresheners available in the market.
22. Boost Cognitive Performance
Spirulina is a rich source of folate and vitamin B that plays a major role in improving the brain functioning. Sprinkle it on your favorite smoothie or have its supplement.
23. Promotes Sexual Strength
Since, it is loaded with ample protein and other essential nutrient and enzymes, spirulina improves sexual desire. Incorporate it in your diet to acquire noteworthy results.
24. Good for Dental Health
Spirulina contains abundant phosphorus and calcium that is essential for maintaining healthy teeth. A pinch of the green-blue algae can do wonders for your gums.
25. Reduces LDL Level
Regular consumption of spirulina lowers the low density lipoproteins levels in the body and normalizes cholesterol ratio. Besides, it enhances the absorption of the essential minerals.
Beauty Benefits of Spirulina
26. Tones Skin
The presence of vitamins A, C, E, K and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, zinc, copper, manganese, phosphorous, iron, potassium, selenium and calcium in spirulina makes it a wonderful food for toning skin as all these nutrients are essential for glowing skin.
27. Reduces Dark Circles
Detoxifying nature of spirulina helps reduce dark circles by removing darkness around the eyes. Being an iron-dense food, it brightens your eyes and gives them energetic look.
Spirulina contains vitamin E or tocopherol, tyrosine, and selenium. All of these nutrients are known for their anti-ageing effects. Prepare a facemask by mixing spirulina with water. Keep it for 20 minutes and rinse off.
29. Cleanses Skin
As spirulina improve the process of metabolism, it eradicates heavy elements and toxins from the body. High concentration of chlorophyll in it eliminates the free radicals and makes your skin smoother and softer.
30. Keeps Nails Healthy
Being rich in chlorophyll, iron, vitamin A and B12, spirulina makes a wonderful food for healthy nails and encourages nail growth. Fingernail ridges can also be treated effectively with the help of spirulina.
Consumption of spirulina leads to an enhanced metabolism which, in turn, removes flaky skin. Besides, the richness of antioxidants in spirulina effectively treats dandruff. Taking spirulina for 4 weeks helps you get rid of dandruff.
Hair loss is one of the most common problems people suffer with. Being rich in iron and copper, spirulina prevents excessive loss of your precious locks. Taking spirulina as powder, tablet or juice increases your nutrition intake deterring the further loss of hair.
33. Promotes Hair Growth
Fatty acids and beta-carotene in spirulina encourages hair growth. These nutrients can be supplied to hair either by consuming spirulina or by applying it externally as a mask.
The anti-bacterial nature of spirulina quickly eliminates the dead cells, and enhanced metabolism encourages the production of new cells. It protects your skin from acne breakouts by preventing the overgrowth of Candida bacteria.