Plants

Spirulina health benefits

Despite being known as an alga, Spirulina is actually a species of bacteria that has the ability to carry out photosynthesis, called cyanobacteria.

It is extremely nutritious and can bring many health benefits, so much so that currently there are thousands of scientific articles about it. And the studies don’t stop: scientists are often doing new research and proving its benefits.

Nowadays, this bacterium has been widely consumed and disseminated by health professionals, athletes and healthy living enthusiasts. It is even known as a superfood, because of its properties and nutrients.

In this article, we’ll talk a little more about each of the benefits that can be obtained through its consumption, what are its indications, contraindications, prices, where to find it and other important information for those who want to know more!

SPIRULINA ALGAE?

For a long time, spirulina was classified and advertised as an alga because of its blue-green color. However, this classification is not correct.

In reality, it is a cyanobacterium (a bacterium capable of carrying out photosynthesis) that forms right on top of algae.

Now that you know exactly what spirulina is, let’s get to know the properties that made it so famous!

SPIRULINA PROPERTIES

Increases satiety: Spirulina contains a substance called phenylalanine, which has the ability to increase satiety, making the person feel less hungry.

Rich in proteins: one of the great highlights of this superfood is its large amount of proteins, which are essential amino acids for the formation of the body’s tissues.

Rich in antioxidants: in addition to the high level of protein, it is also popular for having antioxidant properties, due to a substance called phycocyanin.

Rich in calcium: the high content of calcium found in this food makes it an ally in strengthening bones and teeth.

It has omega 6: because of that, it helps control cholesterol and triglyceride levels, favoring heart health.

Rich in beta-carotene: another very important nutrient for the maintenance of our health that can be found in spirulina is beta-carotene, also found in carrots in smaller amounts. It acts on different parts of our body, such as eyesight, skin and hair.

Rich in iron: this cyanobacterium contains considerable amounts of iron, which is an extremely important nutrient for strengthening our body and preventing diseases such as anemia.

Rich in magnesium: this mineral is very important for our health, as it acts on the nervous system, muscles and heart health

Rich in Zinc: Another nutrient found in large amounts in this supplement is zinc. It acts directly on the immune system, strengthening it and helping the body to protect itself from various diseases.

SPIRULINA BENEFITS

Above, we know what are some of the main properties that this food has. Now, let’s find out what benefits we can get from these properties and how they work in our body!

DECREASES HUNGER AND SUPPRESSES APPETITE

One of the properties that spirulina is most famous for is the fact that it can help you lose weight. This is because it has phenylalanine, a substance that works by inhibiting appetite. It turns into a kind of gel inside the stomach, reducing hunger and aiding in weight loss.

LARGE AMOUNT OF PROTEIN

It is estimated that spirulina has a very high value of proteins in its composition, reaching around 60%. These proteins are very similar to those found in milk, and are very important for building muscle. Therefore, its consumption is highly recommended for people who adopt vegetarian diets and also for athletes and practitioners of intense physical activities.

ANTIOXIDANT ACTION

Due to a substance called phycocyanin, it has antioxidant action, which is essential to fight free radicals that attack our cells. The result is the prevention of premature aging and even cancer.

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY ACTION

Another benefit brought by antioxidants is their anti-inflammatory action, as they act directly against the body’s inflammatory processes.

STRENGTHENS THE BONES

In this product we find a large concentration of calcium. This is a very important nutrient for strengthening bones and, thus, helping to prevent diseases such as osteoporosis, which mainly affects the elderly.

IMPROVES HEART HEALTH

This superfood is very indicated by specialists for people who have problems or tendency to develop heart problems. That’s because it has a substance that helps lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides, while raising HDL (good cholesterol) levels.

PROTECT THE VISION

Spirulina has a surprisingly high amount of beta-carotene, even having higher levels than carrots. This nutrient, when ingested, turns into Vitamin A in the body, which is essential for protecting eye health.

HELPS PREVENT ANEMIA

Its high iron content makes this supplement help in preventing and also treating diseases such as anemia. However, it is important to observe the nutrient’s daily requirements and, if necessary, supplement it in other ways.

HELPS FIGHT TIREDNESS

Another benefit that can be achieved due to iron is the reduction in the feeling of tiredness, physical exhaustion and indisposition, which often arise due to the deficiency of this nutrient in the body.

IMPROVES BRAIN FUNCTIONING

Magnesium, mineral present in this cyanobacterium, acts on our nervous system, bringing very important benefits for its functioning.

CAN HELP FIGHT CANCER

Some studies that have been carried out in recent years are linking the consumption of spirulina with the prevention and fight against certain types of cancer, especially mouth cancer.

HELPS LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE

Some experts also believe that its consumption can be beneficial for people who suffer from high blood pressure. This is because it has a substance that acts directly on blood vessels, dilating them and improving circulation.

IMPROVES IMMUNITY

Immunity is our body’s ability to defend itself from viruses, bacteria and other types of contamination that can cause us illness. When it is low, we get sick more easily. Spirulina is rich in zinc, which is a mineral that helps to strengthen our immunity and make us more resistant.

DOES SPIRULINA REALLY LOSE WEIGHT?

One of the main benefits that made this product have the fame it has today is the fact that it helps you lose weight. But does it really help? The answer is yes! This can be a great ally for those who want to lose weight.

The main reason for this is because it has a substance called phenylalanine, it has the ability to control appetite. This way, people who are on a diet can eat less and lose weight without going hungry. And best of all: in a healthy way!

Let’s learn next what is the best way to consume this supplement to take full advantage of all its properties.

SPIRULINA BENEFITS: HOW TO TAKE

There are several ways to take this supplement, which can be found in both powder and capsule form. It will all depend on what the desired benefits are.

However, the most recommended is to consume it before meals, especially for those who want to take it to help with weight loss. That’s because, at that moment, it will help to suppress your appetite. Furthermore, its nutrients and properties will be better utilized during the digestion of the food that will be consumed next.

The amounts will also depend on your nutritional needs as well as your goals. For a more accurate recommendation, it is ideal to consult an expert.

SPIRULINA WHERE TO FIND

This supplement can be found in different types of stores, such as:

  • Supplement stores
  • Natural food stores
  • Pharmacies
  • manipulation pharmacies
  • Virtual stores

SPIRULINA PRICE: CAPSULES

The price of this supplement can vary greatly depending on the region where you live, the store where it is purchased, the brand and composition. However, searching online stores, we can find a package with 60 500mg capsules starting at R$45.

It is also possible to buy the capsules in compounding pharmacies, where the price is usually cheaper. The recommended dosage is 500mg to 2000mg per day.

SPIRULINA POWDER: PRICE

A 100g pot of the powdered version can be found on the internet for around R$50.

SPIRULINA AGAINST INDICATIONS

Despite being a supplement full of health benefits, there are some groups of people who should not consume it, as they may have unwanted reactions. Among these groups are:

  • pregnant women
  • Kids
  • People allergic to seafood

In case of doubt, always consult your doctor.

Spirulina is, without a doubt, a gift from nature, rich in several essential nutrients for our health, its consumption can bring us countless benefits. It’s definitely worth investing in if you’re looking for a healthier life!

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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