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General Health

Superfood Spotlight: Organic Spirulina

Many of us are looking for the next great superfood, and organic spirulina – one of the most potent ingredients in our Zupafood Elite supplement – may just be it.

Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae which was once found in Lake Texcoco, a body of water in the Valley of Mexico that served both the Aztecs and Mesoamericans. The algae were harvested and shaped into cakes that provided nutrients first to the populations that surrounded the lake, and later to the soldiers led by the conquistador Cortes after they invaded and destroyed the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan.

But the public didn’t take any real interest in spirulina until it was used by NASA as a dietary supplement for astronauts on space missions.

Now, with everyone trying to come up with a new superfood, this 16th century classic is again taking center stage for its nutrient-dense composition.

Not only is spirulina rich in protein, it also includes essential amino acids including the natural fatty acid gamma-linoleic acid which can support your body’s healthy management of inflammation, as well as iron, multiple B vitamins including B12, B2, B3, B6 and B9, vitamins, A, C, D and E as well as potassium, calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium and zinc.

Spirulina’s nutrients: A closer look

The nutritional benefits of spirulina are undeniable. The algae can help boost the immune system, potentially speeding recovery from illness and improving wound healing, while helping to flush waste from your system.

Here’s a closer look:

Potassium
While runners often grab a banana after a race, they might try spirulina instead. The potassium-rich food may help support muscles including the heart. Healthy heart function may help blood flow, which in turn supports healthy blood pressure. Potassium may also help protect against bone loss.

Protein
Protein is used by every cell in our bodies, and it not only helps us build and repair muscles when we exercise, it also aids in the production of enzymes and hormones. When we include protein with every meal, we slow the digestive system, reducing the risk of blood glucose spikes, and keeping us feeling fuller for longer, aiding in weight management. (Ref. 1)

Calcium
While calcium is best known for supporting healthy bones and teeth, it also helps boost metabolism, manage the symptoms of PMS and support heart health. Spirulina has around 26 times as much calcium as milk.

Vitamin A
The beta carotene found in plant sources such as spirulina helps promote a healthy immune system and normal cell growth and rejuvenation. It also acts as an antioxidant, helping your body manage free radicals and the damage that they can cause.

Iron
Iron not only helps our bodies metabolize protein, it is also vital to the production of both red blood cells and hemoglobin, which carry oxygen throughout our bodies, feeding cells and muscles for optimum health.

Magnesium
Magnesium helps promote metabolism and bone development and plays a role in muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control and heart and blood vessel health. (Ref. 2)

Manganese
Manganese is critical to bone health as well as the production of collagen for healthy, supple skin. It also plays a role in supporting healthy blood sugar and acts as an antioxidant to help manage free radicals.

Copper
Copper is a antioxidant and can play a role in the production of collagen, one of the key proteins that keep skin smooth and supple. It also plays a role in blood health by supporting healthy balanced cholesterol levels.

Phosphorus
Phosphorus is required by every one of the cells in our body, and helps us use carbohydrates and fats for fuel and encourages the repair of cells and tissues. It also plays a vital role in muscle contractions including the heart and supports the ability of nerves to signal pain – or pleasure. (Ref. 3)

Omegas 3, 6 and 9
Spirulina contains these essential fatty acids, which support brain and heart health and function. (Ref. 4)

Chlorophyll
The chlorophyll in spirulina may help remove waste from your system.

The science behind spirulina

While studies have shown that spirulina may help avoid nutritional deficiencies in third-world countries – just as it did for NASA astronauts and the soldiers who decimated the Aztecs – more recent studies have looked at the potential for spirulina to improve health.

“Spirulina has potential for being a wonder food supplement, and the number of indications where spirulina is being utilized as an ideal dietary supplement is growing,” wrote researchers from the Department of Human Genetics and Faculty of Biomedical Sciences, Technology and Research at India’s Sri Ramachandra University. (Ref. 5)

Researchers there reviewed numerous case studies in an effort to determine the effectiveness of organic spirulina as a nutritional supplement, and found that the claims made by NASA in 1974 – which called spirulina “the best food of the future” – could be on the cusp of coming true.

Their research appeared in the Dove Press’s Journal of Nutrition and Dietary Supplements.

References:

  1. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/protein/
  2. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/
  3. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/minerals/phosphorus/
  4. http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/omega-3-fatty-acids-fact-sheet
  5. Ravi, Maddaly, et al, The beneficial effects of spirulina focusing on its immunomodulatory and antioxidant properties, 2010, Nutrition and Dietary Supplements

5 Comments

  • “Many people use many medicines for energy or for improving their health but they do not know what exactly that supplement or medicine contains similarly, Spirulina is one of the best superfood available on earth but many people do not know it. There are many spirulina forms available like Organic Spirulina Tablets, Organic Spirulina Capsules etc.Your post will make them aware of it. Thanks for the post!”

    Aniket Jahav January 24 2019

  • “Organic Spirulina vs Chlorella, which you recommend? and why?”

    Sonia May 16 2015

  • “Stick with the top 10 list—real food, no processed stuff. Eat from that list and track the contents, you’ll get all and more that spirulina offers. Notice the word "may" is used often. Cause no reputable studies on this processed powder.”

    Mike May 15 2015

  • “Hi Sonia, Thank you for your question. Both spirulina and chlorella are effective detoxifying ingredients. They are also alkaline and help with overall body functions including things such as body odour and bad breath. We recommend taking them together and that is why we have our organic spirulina and chlorella mixed with organic barley grass and wheatgrass in our Zupafood GREENZ. We believe that taking them in combination provides faster and better benefits than taking them individually. In good health, Madelynn ”

    Xtend-Life Expert June 17 2015

  • “If going for Spirulina then Marcus Rohrer is the expert to look for! He also has the most potent brand in the market due to special container it’s in which activates solar energy keeping it fresh longer plus it’s grown in saw water not tap water  when it comes to chlorella Sun chlorella is the real deal! I have tried many brands and that Japanese  brand works best. The main difference is chlorella is good for detox  and was used for radiation in Chernobyl by a famous Russian  doctor who treated sick children with it. Spirulina is great for nutrition plus keeping your body more alkaline and reducing acidity, in my case it cured my chronic heartburns that I had for over 7 years and had no success with meds  ”

    Alex May 19 2015

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