If there is a perfect food concerning health benefits, we have not found it yet. And the one we have now is not new; the Aztecs knew how good it was for them and frequently ate it. We are talking about a blue-green algae form of bacteria called spirulina that grows in fresh and salt water.
When taken in either powder or tablet form, a 7-gram dose provides the following nutrition:
- 4 grams of protein
- 1 gram of fat
- Vitamins B1, B2 and B3
- Magnesium, potassium, manganese and trace amounts of almost every other nutrient we need
At 20 calories per serving and 1.7 grams of complex carbohydrates, gram for gram, it is the single most nutritionally complete food known to man today.
One of the significant benefits of taking spirulina is its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory response. Free radicals produced as a waste of cellular energy production can cause many health issues, including cancer, diabetes, and various cardiovascular, pulmonary and neurological diseases. Spirulina neutralizes free radicals, thus lowering your risk for these diseases.
One of the ways spirulina helps prevent heart disease is by lowering the bad LDL cholesterol and raising the good HDL type. This is because free radicals can cause LDL lipoproteins in the blood to oxidize, called lipid peroxidation, which can lead to heart disease. But numerous studies have shown the antioxidant properties of this superfood keep oxidation in the blood at bay.
Some studies have shown that spirulina can fight some types of cancer. For example, just 1 gram daily reduced lesions in participants’ mouths by 45%. However, within one year of not using spirulina, 55% had lesions back in their mouths.
Muscle Strength and Endurance
Athletes are discovering what spirulina can do for them too. Exercise-induced oxidative damage is a significant cause of muscle fatigue. When taken as a supplement in two different studies, spirulina enabled athlete participants to go significantly longer and further before the onset of muscle fatigue.
Health Benefits for Women
Spirulina has effectively reduced some of the unique health issues in women. For example, with it being one of the leading sources of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), it has been proven to reduce the symptoms of PMS.
And with 26-times the calcium of milk, its high density of iron, and gram-for-gram more protein than beef, poultry or fish, it is a food of choice for pregnant women. However, please check with your physician before taking it.
The health benefits of spirulina go on and on; enough to fill a book. What is encouraging about this food is that it is all natural with no known side effects, yet beneficial in so many ways.
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