If you have made a recent dash to the smoothie store or to one that serves a truckload of superfood that promises great health benefits to you, you are bound to have come across this blue-green powder, spirulina. And if you are wondering what spirulina does for you, read on to find out what exactly spirulina is and how it can contribute to a healthier you.
What is Spirulina?
Spirulina is a floating microalga that can be found in most freshwater lakes, natural springs and saltwater. It is highly nutritious and is one of the world’s healthiest and oldest food. In fact, it was reported that the Aztecs used spirulina as a food source in the 16th century.
Deemed as a nutritionally complete food source, spirulina was used to help relieve hunger and fight malnutrition back in the 70s and was also introduced as food for the astronauts and soldiers on missions and wars. Lightweight and easy to carry with them, spirulina helps to ensure that the out-stationed have sufficient nutrients, vitamins and protein to stay strong.
Today, apart from being a nutrient supplement, spirulina has many health benefits to offer modern society without frills. It can also help lower blood pressure, boost the immune system and even aid in accelerating weight loss.
Low In Calorie Count
Consuming one tablespoon of spirulina only set your calorie count back by 20. This reading makes it a low-calorie food type and can help you create a negative energy balance while enjoying similar nourishing benefits. This means that with the same amount of similar vitamins and nutrients found in other food sources can be provided for your body without the bulk of calories if you consume spirulina. If you will like to give it a go, try adding spirulina into your morning smoothies or juice today!
Studies have shown that spirulina possesses lipid-lowering properties. This means that consuming it in long run can help lower low-density lipids (bad cholesterol) and triglyceride levels and increases high-density lipids (good cholesterol) in your blood, thus, increasing the rate of fat mobilisation which is vital for your body to shed unwanted fat.
High In Protein
Spirulina contains about 60-70 per cent protein and other essential amino acids. Having spirulina in your regular diet can help you lose weight and shape up more effortlessly as protein takes longer to digest than carbs, keeping you fuller for longer, and help you build lean muscle mass. Regular consumption as a supplement can help increase your muscle power and endurance, which is vital especially if you are lifting weights for training.
Packed With Vitamins
Rich in vitamin A, B1, B5, B6, C and E, spirulina is a wonderful source of nutrients for supplementing any diet. Vitamin B for helping your body’s cell to convert the consumed carbohydrates to energy for your body to function. Vitamin B1 is necessary for the ease of muscle contractions. Vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid is crucial for your body to generate blood cells. As for vitamin B6, it is needed for proper brain development and helps your body to produce hormones serotonin for regulating mood and norepinephrine to help your body to cope with stress.
Spirulina can also boost your immune system with the high level of vitamin C and E that it contains. Vitamin C is responsible to keep the common cold and flu virus at bay while ridding toxins and free radicals from your body, thus forestalling signs of ageing. As for vitamin E, it aids in maintaining heart health, reduce inflammation, promote eye health and lower the risk of cancer.
Loaded With Minerals
Copper, zinc, manganese and useful enzymes can be ingested through spirulina, making it the perfect weight loss supplement. Combined with the vitamins as mentioned, consuming spirulina on a regular basis can help improve digestion, metabolism and preventing fat absorption. On top of that, spirulina contains phenylalanine, a type of amino acid that stimulates the secretion of cholecystokinin in your body that will act as an appetite suppressant. Hence, with this, you may find yourself losing unwanted weight a little less tedious.
Chlorella Versus Spirulina
Though chlorella and spirulina are both powerhouses of nutrients and vitamins, they are quite different when it comes to the provision of nutrients to boost your body and health. Chlorella’s rich green hue display its richer chlorophyll content than the blueish green colour of spirulina. Chlorophyll can flush out toxins that cause disease from your body and support the cardiovascular system while healing your body, nerve tissues and aid in cell production.
With that said, it does not mean that spirulina is at the losing end. In fact, spirulina is richer in protein, healthy fats like gamma-linoleic acid, which is essential to maintain and enhance heart health while boosting a sharp mind.
Just as chlorella is purported for being effective in detoxifying your body, spirulina is great for fighting symptoms of allergies. Hence with their difference in roles, it is clear that both will make a wonderful addition to a healthy diet or to assist one in attaining better health. Just be sure that you are not allergic to them. If you are in doubt, do seek a doctor’s advice before consuming the supplements.