Spirulina is a superfood with unparalleled health benefits. Its benefits are numerous: it boosts vitality and the immune system, among many other things. These health benefits have earned it international popularity. Here are the reasons why you should include it in your diet.
Health Benefits of Spirulina
Because of its unique nutritional characteristics, spirulina is considered a superfood. It is one of the best sources of vegetable protein, in addition to being an exceptional source of iron. Rich in essential minerals and vitamins, it is a food that is favored today to fight malnutrition in the world.
1. An excellent source of protein
Spirulina is rich in proteins. Indeed, amino acids make up between 55 and 70 percent of its total body weight on average. Due to its protein content, spirulina is a great alternative for vegetarians and vegans.
2. Rich in minerals and trace elements
Iron, copper, magnesium, and zinc are all minerals found in significant quantities in spirulina, and they are known to help with tiredness and recuperation. Sodium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and manganese are also all abundantly in spirulina.
All of these minerals and trace elements are beneficial to our body’s general wellness. Some work with red blood cells, while others help the immune system.
Spirulina is also characterized by its high iron concentration. It’s frequently mixed with a source of vitamin C to help the body absorb it better. Spirulina is positioned as one of the finest alternatives to animal-based meals due to its high iron content.
3. Rich in chlorophyll and phycocyanin
Spirulina gets its green color from it chlorophyll concentration. its nucleus is comparable to the structure of human red blood cells and draws harmful substances, making it ideal for blood detoxification. Chlorophyll is also responsible for the body’s red blood cell formation.
Although phycocyanin is an uncommon pigment in nature, it is abundant in spirulina. It’s a potent antioxidant that can help the body stay healthy and protect cells from oxidative damage.
4. Promotes nutritional balance
People who don’t consume meat or who don’t get enough critical minerals in their diet might benefit from spirulina.
Because of its high protein content, spirulina is a satiating food. As a result, it aids in the reduction of food consumption and the elimination of snacks between meals, which is an obvious benefit for people looking to shed a few kilos while receiving daily vitamin supplements.
5. A natural source of vitamin B12
Spirulina is high in vitamin B derivatives including riboflavin (vitamin B2), nicotinamide (B3), pyridoxine (B6), and folic acid (B9).
Even stranger, spirulina is one of the few plant meals that contain vitamin B12. Vegetarians appreciate this vitamin since it is mostly present in red meat and offal, whereas plant-based diets have less of it. Through numerous research, the vitamin B12 present in spirulina has been able to demonstrate its bioavailability and ability to complement protein consumption.
Please keep in mind that spirulina does not provide enough vitamin B12 for vegetarians and vegans. Supplementation remains necessary. Ask your doctor for advice.
6. Improves sports performance
Spirulina can help you improve sports performance. Research has shown that athletes who took spirulina achieved higher lactate levels, which gave more energy to the muscles during exercise and allowed them to continue longer.
Another advantage of spirulina is that recovery after a workout can be accelerated. Indeed, when exercising, you make small cracks in your muscles. They need to be repaired and proteins play a crucial role in this. Spirulina contains no less than 65% protein and is considered a complete source of protein, which means that it contains the amino acids that your body cannot produce itself.
7. Strengthens the immune system and detox the body
Spirulina promotes the detoxification of the body. As mentioned above, it is full of antioxidants and on top of that the substance that gives it that beautiful blue-green color, phycocyanin, has the unique property of binding to heavy metals, which prevent the latter from generate free radicals that can cause oxidative damage to DNA.
Studies show that the harmful effects of radioactive radiation significantly improve by taking only five grams of spirulina.
8. Eradicates nutritional deficiencies and lack of iron
Iron deficiency is a common nutritional deficiency. Iron is essential for the production of hemoglobin, a protein that transports oxygen throughout the body. Iron deficiency can eventually lead to anemia. Physical complaints of iron deficiency can be headaches, pale complexion, or feeling exhausted.
Spirulina can help fight iron deficiency. It contains no less than 28.5 mg of iron per 100 grams. A tablespoon of spirulina corresponds to the iron content of a kilogram of spinach. In addition, the iron from spirulina is absorbed much better by the body than iron from other nutrients.
9. An effective natural antioxidant
Antioxidants help our body fight against free radicals to prevent a wide range of diseases. They aid in the reduction of cholesterol levels and the risk of cardiovascular disease. They also aid in the prevention of cancer, the protection of the eyes, and the slowing of aging.
Spirulina contains phycocyanin, which is a strong antioxidant. Its anti-oxidant properties, in particular, assist to protect the skin and slow down the aging process.
10. Provides you with energy
Spirulina doesn’t just give you more energy. In fact, it gives you instant energy. It is the most complete dietary supplement in the world thanks to a combination of various nutrients, including all the essential amino acids. Amino acids are proteins that, among other things, provide a supply of energy to the muscles.
Spirulina has a very thin cell wall, so it can be absorbed quickly by our body and easily digested. So you get an immediate boost and the combination of all nutrients ensures that your energy level remains high.
11. Helps to stay or get back in shape
Spirulina is not a miracle weight loss potion. You will not lose weight just by taking it. A healthy and varied diet and regular exercise are necessary. Still, spirulina can stimulate weight loss, because thanks to its high content of protein, it ensures that you become saturated quickly and for a longer period of time, which makes you less likely to eat too much or snack between meals.
A high-protein diet is widely known for being satiating and so aiding weight reduction.
Spirulina has an advantage over other protein-rich foods like beef, chicken, and eggs in that its proteins are water-soluble and can be absorbed by the body considerably more quickly.
As a result, if you take spirulina about 15 to 30 minutes before meals, you will almost immediately feel less hungry – so you will eat less.
12. Helps build muscles
Growing muscle mass should be easier with spirulina, because of the amount of protein and vitamins it contains. Furthermore, the proteins in spirulina are of high quality, they contain all the essential amino acids. In that respect, very good for growing muscle mass.
Furthermore, spirulina helps reduce muscle stiffness and improve blood quality and circulation in general. In addition to a diverse diet, spirulina intake is particularly beneficial for bodybuilding.
13. Good for pregnant woman
During pregnancy, certain substances must be consumed more generously to meet the nutritional needs of the mother and the baby. This is the case, for example, with iron. Note that 20% of women have anemia – the result of iron deficiency – during pregnancy.
We must also mention calcium, vitamins D and B9 as well as omega-3s. These play an important role in the emotional balance of the mother and in the development of the nervous system of the fetus.
In combination with a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle, spirulina can help ensure optimal nutrient intake, especially thanks to its high concentration of iron and calcium.
Whatever its form (capsules, powder, or flakes), spirulina helps strengthen the immune system. Please note, like any dietary supplement taken during pregnancy, spirulina must be validated by a referring physician (gynecologist or general practitioner) to verify that there are no contraindications.
14. Good for your hair
Composed of proteins, spirulina facilitates the synthesis of keratin, one of the major constituents of hair fiber. Keratin is essential for protecting the hair from external aggressions such as the sun’s rays or wind. It also contains many amino acids such as cysteine and provitamin A which help to guarantee the resistance and flexibility of the hair, just like fatty acids.
Used in the form of a hair mask to be left on for at least 1 hour under a hot towel, spirulina helps stimulate hair growth and preserve its structure, while providing volume. You can pair it with yogurt or aloe vera gel for hydration and add vegetable and essential oils for a deeper care.
15. Supports liver functions
The high content of amino acids and vitamins also offers spirulina interesting properties for the liver. This plays a crucial role in maintaining our body’s balance, especially by eliminating toxins and wastes.
The liver produces bile, which helps digest fats and filters the blood to rid it of all harmful substances accumulated through food or an unbalanced lifestyle.
In case of overload, our body becomes imbalanced and various manifestations can occur such as fatigue, digestive problems, or the appearance of acne pimples. The immune system is also affected.
A powerful antioxidant, spirulina helps support the elimination functions of our body and fight against the formation of free radicals responsible for oxidative stress. Its consumption acts as a natural shield against oxidation and helps protect the liver from external damage.
Video – Spirulina Benefits
Spirulina side effects
Taking spirulina will give you more energy, but if you use too much of it it can also cause fatigue or headaches. It can also cause diarrhea or stomach problems. If you are sensitive to algae, it can also lead to allergic reactions, which can cause problems in the respiratory tract.
In addition, spirulina can possibly be dangerous for people suffering from an autoimmune disease. As your immune system gets stronger, the symptoms can get worse. It can also reduce the effectiveness of certain drugs.
Finally, inferior quality spirulina can sometimes be contaminated, which can cause it to contain traces of harmful bacteria, heavy metals, and microcystins that can damage the liver, among other things.
Spirulina also contains multiple vitamins, among which are vitamins A, E, D, K, B1, B2, B3, B6, B8, B9, and B12. Rich in iron, minerals, and essential trace elements, it offers nutritional benefits that are both complete and diversified. To complete it all, it offers essential fatty acids, chlorophyll, phycocyanin, and many other antioxidant compounds.
Mandell is currently working towards a medical degree from the University of Central Florida. His main passions include kayaking, playing soccer and tasting good food. He covers mostly science, health and environmental stories for the Scientific Origin.