Spirulina is one of the world’s most popular superfoods, which is increasingly finding its way onto people’s diets.
These are blue-green algae belonging to the cyanobacteria family, which grow in warm freshwater bodies. It is interesting to know that gram for gram spirulina is the most nutritious substance in the world, and despite the fact that it has been around for billions of years, it became popular again when NATO announced that it will grow it for astronauts in space.
In the following, we review what the research says about the use of spirulina and explain how spirulina could be consumed.
Spirulina is very rich in nutrients.
Dried spirulina contains plenty of protein and all essential amino acids. It contains group B vitamins such as B1, B2, B3, B6, B9 and vitamins A, C, E, K. Minerals include iron, potassium, calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, sodium, zinc. It also contains health-promoting phytochemicals such as beta-carotene and chlorophyll.
Spirulina has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
The main active compound in spirulina is phycocyanin, which is a powerful antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties. Phycocyanin fights free radicals and blocks the production of molecules that promote inflammation.
Among other things, phycocyanin is also the component that gives spirulina its unique blue-green color.
Spirulina can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Heart disease is the most common cause of death in the world. Many risk factors are associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
Research has shown that spirulina has a positive effect on several heart disease risk factors. For example, consumption of spirulina can lower total cholesterol, LDL (or bad) cholesterol, and triglycerides, while increasing HDL (or so-called good) cholesterol levels.
According to research, consumption of spirulina significantly improved these markers in people with metabolic syndrome and related disorders.
in another, 2014 study of people with high cholesterol it was determined that 1g of spirulina per day lowered triglycerides by 16.3% and LDL-cholesterol by 10.1%.
Spirulina may have anti-cancer properties.
Although more research is needed, some evidence suggests that spirulina has anti-cancer properties.
Animal studies show that it can reduce the incidence of cancer and affect tumor size. (Study 1, Study 2)
More research has been done on the effects of spirulina on cancer of the mouth or oral cavity. Several studies have found that its consumption may have positive effects in the treatment of submucosal fibrosis (OSMF), a type of precancerous lesion in the mouth. (Study 3, Study 4)
in another, 2013 study , involving 40 individuals with OSMF lesions, 1g of spirulina per day had a greater effect on OSMF symptoms than pentoxifylline, a drug that promotes blood flow.
Spirulina can lower blood pressure.
High blood pressure is the leading cause of several serious conditions, including heart attack, stroke, and chronic kidney disease.
A review of five research studies found that taking 1-8g of spirulina per day can significantly reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, especially in people with high blood pressure.
This reduction is thought to be due to increased delivery of nitric oxide, a signaling molecule that helps blood vessels to “relax” and dilate.
Spirulina may be effective against anemia.
Anemia is a condition characterized by a decrease in hemoglobin or red blood cells in your blood. It has many possible causes, including nutrient deficiencies, genetic disorders, and chronic inflammation.
Among older adults, anemia is quite common and causes prolonged feelings of weakness and fatigue.
in one, 2011 study , involving 40 elderly people with anemia, spirulina supplements increased the hemoglobin content of red blood cells and improved the participants’ immune function.
Spirulina can increase muscle strength and improve endurance.
Oxidative stress to the body during exercise is the main cause of muscle fatigue.
Spirulina appears to be beneficial in alleviating oxidative stress, as several scientific studies suggest improvements in muscle strength and endurance. In one study, its consumption increased oxygen uptake during cycling, with researchers noting that spirulina may act as an ergogenic aid to improve athletic performance.
How to use spirulina?
This superfood has a unique taste that may take some getting used to at first – that’s why it’s good to start getting to know spirulina by mixing a teaspoon of the powder into a smoothie, for example.
Spirulina is best suited to smoothies, chia seed pudding, ice cream mixture when making ice cream or, for example, mixed with cold milk and whipped on top of coffee.
Of course, spirulina can also be added to baked goods or other types of food, but when heated, it loses its beneficial properties, and that is why we recommend using it in cold and raw foods.
How much spirulina should you consume?
The recommended daily amount is 1-2 tablespoons (10 grams), but if you are just getting to know spirulina, you could consume up to a tablespoon a day at first.
However, spirulina acquires a healing effect if you take more of it: 2-4 tablespoons. It is recommended for people who are already “on top” with spirulina and want to get the maximum benefits from it.
Make sure to prefer organic spirulina
This is important because consuming contaminated spirulina can lead to unpleasant side effects. When using non-organic spirulina, it may happen that it was collected from a body of water or grown in a pool that is contaminated with substances toxic to the human body.
Therefore, be sure to be careful and use only organic products!
You should also monitor yourself when using spirulina, and if you experience skin rashes, nausea or stomach pain, you should definitely consult a doctor. Care should also be taken in the case of autoimmune diseases, and in these cases it is better to be very careful with use and definitely consult a doctor first.
At Legefit, you can find spirulina in both powder and tablet form.
Depending on whether you prefer to consume spirulina in tablet or powder form, you will find the most suitable product in Legefit’s wide selection.