by Katleen Brown,
Due to its numerous health benefits, spirulina is considered to be a genuine superfood. This powerful sea vegetable has also taken Hollywood by storm, with many celebrities claiming that the secret to their beauty and health lies in the consumption of spirulina. Victoria Beckham, Miranda Kerr, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley are just some of a growing number of stars who are amazed by all the benefits of spirulina or, miracle from the sea. If spirulina isn’t part of your life now, this article will show you why it should be.
What Is Spirulina?
Spirulina is a blue-green algae that has been consumed for centuries for its high nutritional value and number of health benefits. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, carotenoids, and antioxidants which protect cells in our body from damage. Additionally, spirulina contains other nutrients like B complex vitamins, Vitamin E, beta-carotene, zinc, copper, manganese, iron, selenium, and gamma linoleic acid (essential fatty acid).
Due to a wide range of healthy components, spirulina can significantly improve our health. Let’s find out how.
1. Blood Sugar Control
Several animal studies have revealed that spirulina can lower blood sugar levels. In some cases, spirulina was more effective than some diabetes drugs, such as Metformin. Not all studies related to spirulina were conducted on animals. For example, a group of scientists from the Department of Foods and Nutrition at MS University of Baroda in India conducted a study which included 25 participants with Type 2 diabetes. Participants received 2 grams of spirulina a day for 2 months.
Results of the study, which were published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, showed that two-month supplementation with spirulina resulted in appreciable lowering of fasting blood glucose and postprandial blood glucose levels.
2. Muscle Strength & Endurance
Your fitness trainer probably mentioned spirulina to you or you have read something about it while you were browsing for tips about boosting your energy when exercising. We all know that feeling when, instead of feeling reenergized and refreshed after a workout, we feel fatigued instead. This fatigue is often caused by exercise-induced oxidative damage. Certain foods contain high levels of antioxidants which help us minimize that damage. Berries and other fruits and vegetables are great for this, but spirulina can be added to your routine even more easily. Spirulina’s effect on athletic performance was even scientifically proven by a group of scientists from the Institute of Human Performance and Rehabilitation, Center for Research and Technology from Trikala, Greece. The study included 9 moderately trained males who received either 6 grams of spirulina a day or a placebo for 4 weeks.
The findings of the study were published in the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise and they showed that spirulina supplementation induced a significant increase in exercise performance. Another study, conducted at the Guru Nanak Dev University in India, showed that spirulina increased muscle strength in participants.
With improved muscle strength and endurance you can reach your desired fitness level and body shape more easily, which is a great motivation to get to the gym and start exercising.
3. Effective Against Anemia
There are many types of anemia, but the most common one involves the reduction of hemoglobin, or red blood cells. Anemia is also associated with prolonged feelings of weakness and fatigue. It is widely believed spirulina is beneficial for hemolytic anemia and this was confirmed by a study conducted by a group of scientists from the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Clinical Immunology at the University of California. The study included 40 senior citizens with a history of anemia. The results showed that spirulina supplementation increased the hemoglobin content of red blood cells. Additionally, immune function was also improved.
4. Improves Symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis
Allergic rhinitis is indicated by the inflammation of nasal airways. This allergy is triggered by pollen, animal hair, wheat dust, and other environmental factors. Spirulina is a popular method for allergic rhinitis treatment and its positive effective on this allergy was documented in a study conducted by the Department of ENT at Eskisehir Osmangazi University Medical Faculty in Turkey. The study included 127 participants who received 2 grams of spirulina a day. The results showed that spirulina consumption significantly improved the symptoms and physical findings compared with a placebo. Spirulina was beneficial for relieving all symptoms of allergic rhinitis including itching, sneezing, nasal discharge, and nasal congestion.
The findings of the study were published in the European Archives of Otorhinolaringology.
5. Reduces Blood Pressure
The ability to reduce blood pressure is one of the most important helpful benefits of spirulina. High blood pressure is a factor that causes numerous diseases, including heart attack, chronic kidney disease, and stroke. Spirulina supplementation has the ability to lower blood pressure, which was documented in a study conducted by the Department of Internal Medicine at the Naval Hospital of Creete, Greece. The study included 52 participants (32 men and 20 women). The findings, which were published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, showed that spirulina supplementation of 1 gram a day has powerful hypolipidaemic effects. Basically, after a 3-month research period, levels of triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol were significantly decreased. It can be safely concluded that spirulina is beneficial for our heart health as well.
Finally, we can conclude that due to its numerous health benefits, spirulina truly deserves the title of superfood. Hopefully, you found all the amazing properties of spirulina listed above inspiring enough to include it into your diet as well.
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