Spirulina: Benefits of the Super Nutritious Diet Supplement and How to Use it
I was browsing through my local Walmart the other day when I came across a bunch of green supplements I didn’t recognize! I grabbed one, twirling it around to see what it was all about which then led me down a rabbit hole on the internet learning all about it. I needed to know what does spirulina do?!
Let’s just say that it’s been two weeks, and I’m hooked. These are the ones I buy and love: click here
You should try it.
What is Spirulina?
Spirulina is a form of cyanobacteria that grows in both fresh and saltwater and is commercially produced for use in food and supplements. It is highly nutritious – the quality of proteins it provides to consumers is fantastic. It contains magnesium, potassium, manganese, and a bunch of other nutrients we require for proper functioning in daily life.
Here’s a short (yet long) list of its fantastic benefits that are sure to make you pick a bottle on your next grocery trip:
It boosts your immunity:
Spirulina has antioxidant and anti-inflammation fighting properties that provide strength to our immune system. Since it is an excellent source of antioxidants, it protects our body against oxidative damage that drives cancer and other vicious diseases.
It helps reduce blood pressure:
High blood pressure leads to many health risks, such as cardiovascular problems, strokes, and kidney diseases. Consuming 4.5 grams of spirulina every day has been proven to reduce blood pressure in individuals to normal levels. This is because the supplement helps your blood vessels relax and dilate.
Are you already feeling a sense of calm?
It improves muscle strength and endurance:
Muscle fatigue is generally caused due to oxidative damage due to exertion and physical activity. Several plant foods contain antioxidants that help physically active individuals reduce and control this damage.
According to some studies, spirulina has contributed towards higher muscle strength and endurance, so its consumers can perform physically intense tasks for an extended period.
It controls diabetes and blood sugar:
There have been instances where spirulina has been more effective in lowering blood sugar levels than popular diabetic medicines, such as Metformin. This is welcome news for those people with diabetes who are continually searching for more organic inputs into their diet.
A two-month study conducted for the purpose discovered that spirulina led to an impressive reduction in the participants’ blood sugar level. However, some more research needs to be done in this area to validate these findings.
It controls symptoms of anemia:
Anemic individuals have a lower number of red blood cells or reduced hemoglobin. It is quite common in older individuals and can cause feelings of fatigue and weakness.
A study of 40 older adults found that their hemoglobin levels increased when they consumed Spirulina supplements, which boosted their overall immunity. Even though such medicinal benefits need further research to be ascertained, the research so far is certainly promising!
It protects against the oxidation of “Bad” LDL Cholesterol:
Fatty structures in our bodies are prone to becoming oxidized, known as lipid peroxidation. It can significantly increase our risk of developing severe diseases. For example, cardiovascular diseases are typically caused by the oxidation of “Bad” LDL Cholesterol.
The antioxidant properties of spirulina have proven to reduce lipid peroxidation in both humans and animals effectively, leading to a healthier, fitter heart.
It helps in losing weight:
When you’re a mother of two who barely gets time to exercise between work and home, this is excellent news.
Spirulina is a low-calorie food that significantly boosts essential nutrient intake and immunity. If people add spirulina to their daily diet, they will likely experience weight loss without reducing their calorie intake.
A study found that people who were obese and started to eat spirulina daily for three months showed tremendous improvement in their Body Mass Index (BMI).
That is not to say you shouldn’t work out –Fight the lazy germs and hit the gym for at least a half-hour stint for greater fitness!
It lessens allergy symptoms:
Several studies show that consuming spirulina can alleviate allergic symptoms, such as a runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, and itching.
So whether you’re allergic to dust, pollen, or pets – a little dose of spirulina may help!
It makes you happier:
Spirulina contains tryptophan, an amino acid that helps produce serotonin, an enzyme that is crucial to stabilizing our mental health.
The supplement can play a prominent role in treating depression and anxiety. Individuals who suffer from mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, have low serotonin levels. Adhering to experts’ advice, taking tryptophan supplements like spirulina can help boost serotonin levels in those suffering from such disorders and enable normal functioning.
But how do you actually use it?
Spirulina has two common commercially available forms: powder and tablets. Some protein and energy-boosting powder mixes contain spirulina to provide essential nutrients to individuals consuming them. Powders are also a lot easier to incorporate into different foods.
You could take the capsules like I initially did – or you could purchase the seaweed in powder form and have a little fun with it.
A typical way to have spirulina is to stir a spoonful of powder into water or any other drink you like and drink it straight. However, adding spirulinato your drink will change its color, and you are recommended to keep an extra glass of water to prevent a blue-green teeth situation (yikes!)
Sometimes, restaurants offer spirulina with sweet dishes or desserts. It is often added to raw chocolate brownies or truffle-style energy balls to improve taste and make you feel better after its consumption.
Apart from this, there are other options you can opt for to consume spirulina. Here’s how you can incorporate spirulina into your diet in the most delicious and convenient ways:
Vegan Spirulina Ice-cream:
You probably did not even know that you could make a Spirulina ice-cream for yourself just by using a handful of ingredients. Just throw some coconut milk, cacao nibs, agave syrup, and spirulina together in a blender and freeze the mixture.
Lo and behold, you’ll have yourself a tasty green vegan dessert in no time.
You can add spirulina to your Salad’s dressing. All you need is to prepare a vinaigrette with olive oil and vinegar and use one teaspoon of Spirulinapowder for each olive oil tablespoon.
If you find this too time-consuming, you can simply spread some Spirulina powder over your Salad before munching on the leafy greens.
When the avocado season arrives, the first thing we do is make guacamole. The delicious paste spread over fresh toast…divine!
Avocados are already rich in different vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. A mixture of spirulina and avocados will be the icing on an already tasty cake.
All you have to do is mix two teaspoons of spirulina per avocado in your recipe and then sprinkle it along with other spices. Eat it fresh, as a side, or on toast – it’s going to be amazing either way!
The easiest way to use spirulina is to add it to a smoothie.
Combine one cup of water, juice, or milk with one cup of leafy greens, one cup of frozen fruits, and two teaspoons of spirulina. Mixing Spirulina with sweet fruits like bananas and mangoes offsets its seaweed flavor.
Blend the mixture until the smoothie is ready, pour it out, and enjoy!
However, Keep an Eye Out
Spirulina might be contaminated with toxins if it grows in water polluted with bacteria and other harmful substances. The FDA approves commercially available forms of the supplement, so you don’t have to worry about that.
You should make sure you regulate your dosage depending on pre-existing health conditions and dietary restrictions. Spirulina might worsen certain auto-immune diseases, such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, or slow down your blood clotting if consumed inappropriately.
Some people are also allergic to the seaweed supplement and can face nausea, insomnia, and headaches upon consumption.
It is always best to consult a dietician before incorporating the supplement into a regular diet.
Rest assured, though, spirulina is generally safe and can help you cope with tons of different physical and mental health challenges faced in day-to-day life, without any side effects, when taken in the right dosage. So, go ahead and try it out!