Why spirulina is the supplement you need to be taking
If you’re interested in health and beauty, and are not currently consuming spirulina on a daily basis - you’re missing out! Spirulina is among the world’s most popular ‘super supplements’ due to its potent and extensive health benefits. Here’s some of the top science backed reasons why you should start incorporating it today.
Spirulina is a type of organism known as a microscopic filamentous alga that grows in fresh and saltwater. It’s rich in proteins, vitamins, essential amino acids, minerals and essential fatty acids like linolenic acid. It’s commonly sold as a food supplement due to its nutritional profile, but it also has powerful therapeutic effects. These therapeutic effects have been outlined in a study published in the Journal of Applied Phycology and include everything from reducing cholesterol, boosting the immune system and improving gut health by increasing intestinal lactobacilli.
The nutritional profile of spirulina is the main reason why it’s one of the world’s most popular dietary supplements. Like fruit and vegetables, spirulina produces energy from sunlight via a process called photosynthesis, so is rich in a number of essential nutrients and minerals.
So what do you get in a single tablespoon?
A single tablespoon of spirulina contains 4g of protein, 11 percent of the RDA of vitamin B1, 15% of vitamin B2, 4% of B3, 21% of copper, 11% of iron, magnesium, potassium and manganese, and numerous other key nutrients.
Containing 4g of protein per tablespoon, spirulina is a great protein option for vegetarians and vegans. But unlike a lot of vegan protein sources that have low bioavailability, the protein bioavailability in spirulina is high and contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a high quality source of protein.
You’ll also be getting 1g of fat, omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids. These types of fat are vital in the diet and help cognitive development, to reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, improve cardiovascular functioning, and help weight management; as explored in a study published in Advances in Nutrition in 2012.
The main active component in spirulina is phycocyanin, which is the reason why it is green in color. Phycocyanin is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals. Free radicals cause oxidative stress, which can cause a number of health issues including premature ageing, DNA damage and an increased risk of developing disease, as outlined in a 2010 study.
One of the main outcomes of oxidative stress is chronic inflammation, which is at the heart of all diseases and illnesses in the body. A study that examined the benefits of spirulina for inflammation in the body found that it significantly promoted anti-inflammatory activity in the body.
This means that if it’s used orally in the form of tablets or a supplement powder, or if it’s used in the form of a spirulina shampoo or beauty product like a face mask; one of the main activities it will be completing will be decreasing inflammation. Inflammation can manifest as increased acne and breakouts; red, sensitive skin and rosacea, joint pain, stress or gastrointestinal complaints, amongst others, which will be decreased when spirulina in consistently consumed.
Spirulina has powerful benefits for your health and should be integrated into your diet if you are looking for optimal health and wellbeing.
- Emilina Lomas