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Spirulina: Top 5 health benefits!

What is Spirulina?

Spirulina is a blue green algae that grows in both fresh water and salt water. It is known for its intense flavour and powerful nutrition profile.

1- Powerful nutrition profile

Spirulina is very nutrient dense and contains all essential amino acids. It is approximately 65-71% protein, and therefore a complete protein source.  Just a teaspoon of dried spirulina contains the following:
  • Protein: 4 grams.

  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): 11% of the RDA.

  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 15% of the RDA.

  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 4% of the RDA.

  • Copper: 21% of the RDA.

  • Iron: 11% of the RDA.


It also contains decent amounts of magnesium, potassium and manganese, and small amounts of almost every other nutrient that we need.

One teaspoon only contains 20 calories, and 1.7 grams of digestible carbohydrate.

Gram for gram, this means that spirulina may be the single most nutritious food on the planet.

2- Detoxes heavy metals, particularly arsenic

According to the World Health Organisation chronic arsenic poisoning is a global problem, particularly in the far east and especially in Bangladesh. Since this identification there has been recent research studies.

One study gave 24 patients affected by chronic arsenic poisoning spirulina extract (250 milligrams) plus zinc (2 milligrams) twice daily, they compared the results with 17 patients who took a placebo and found that the spirulina-zinc combination reduced the amount or arsenic in the body. Ultimately the participants experienced a 47 percent decrease of arsenic (1).

3- Lowers Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can have a significant impact on the rest of the body, and is a major contributor to many conditions such as heart attacks, strokes and kidney disease.

It has shown that by consuming spirulina it can help lower your blood pressure, this occurs in two different ways:

Phycocyanin is a pigment found in spirulina that scientists have discovered possesses antihypertensive effects (2). Japanese researchers claim that this is because consuming the blue-green algae reverses endothelial dysfunction in metabolic syndrome. 

The second way it helps lower blood pressure is by increasing the production of nitric oxide, which is a signalling molecule that helps blood vessels dilate and relax (3).

These two studies are very promising in showing how food can have a significant impact on our health.

4- Lowers Cholesterol

High cholesterol can contribute to many health conditions, significantly heart disease. Its main markers are total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL – The bad) and High density lipoprotein (HDL – The good).

Recent studies have shown that by consuming 2g of Spirulina per day significantly improved the above markers (4).

Another study in people with high cholesterol found that 1 gram of spirulina per day lowered total cholesterol by 16.3% and LDL by 10.1% (5).

These are some very promising results and shows that spirulina can help lower cholesterol.

5- Improve muscle strength and endurance

When we exercise we put oxidative stress on our muscles. This stress is the major contributing factor to muscle fatigue.

Certain plant foods have antioxidant properties that can help athletes and physically active individuals minimise this damage.

Spirulina appears to be beneficial, with some studies showing improved muscle strength and endurance.

Two studies have shown that spirulina supplementation significantly enhanced endurance, increasing the time it took for people to become fatigued (6,7)

Another study completed on college athletes showed that, spirulina supplementation significantly increased muscle strength, however did not have any effect on endurance (8).

Anything else?

There are many other health benefits of spirulina. However we have touched on the top 5 and backed it up with evidence. From our literature review we know that spirulina has major antioxidant properties, can help improve muscle strength and endurance and significantly improve heart health by reducing cholesterol and blood pressure. We have added spirulina to our Pure Greens blend and developed it so people can harness the powerful benefits. Pure Greens is nutrient dense, plant based and organic, and developed so that people can live a healthier life through natural sources.

Thank you for reading!

References

1- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15530935

2- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23684441

3- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19298191

4- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12639401

5- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23754631

6- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20010119

7- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16944194

8- http://journals.sfu.ca/ijmbs/index.php/ijmbs/article/viewArticle/51


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