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  • Food
  • A Beginners Guide To Spirulina

    6th April 2021

    6th April 2021

    By Shivraj Bassi

    If you're looking for a quick way to up your vitamin intake, you've come to the right place. Spirulina has been around since before dinosaurs walked the earth and is regarded as one of the earliest life-forms on Earth. More recently, it's been garnering huge amounts of interest for its nutritional profile and health-promoting properties.

    Superfoods such as Spirulina are a great way to integrate naturally-occurring and beneficial ingredients into your diet. Boosting your mood, well-being, immunity and energy levels, the benefits of Spirulina are much more extensive than you may think. 

    What is Spirulina?

    Spirulina is a natural blue-green algae that grows in both salty and fresh water. The main active component of spirulina is a compound called phycocyanin and is what's responsible for spirulina's characteristic blue/green colour. It's also an impressive antioxidant that helps fight free radicals and could inhibit the production of inflammatory signalling molecules.

    Slightly unsightly, spirulina is often likened to pond weed due to the dark colouring of this superfood. This algae provides a wealth of benefits accompanied by a unique, earthy taste to kick-start your day with a bang. 

    Take a spoonful of Spirulina and pop it into your morning smoothie or a glass of water to introduce this powerful nutrient into your routine and start experiencing the benefits of this classic superfood. Spirulina is an active ingredient in lots of powder formulations, making it easy to introduce this product into your daily routine seamlessly.

    Background

    Spirulina may be the single most nutrient-dense food on Earth. High in protein, and a source of antioxidants and other important nutrients, new research supports the notion that spirulina has benefits that range from enhancing the immune system to reducing cholesterol, and even assisting with overall health and fitness.

    Packed full of nutritional content such as protein, antioxidants and immune-boosting goodness, integrating Spirulina into your diet is great for a host of people with specific dietary requirements such as vegetarianism, veganism and those with weakened immune systems.

    Spirulina Health Benefits

    There is a great body of evidence that links Spirulina to improving lipid and glucose metabolism, with further research stating that the superfood ingredient aids in reducing liver fat and protecting the heart.

    Spirulina benefits don't stop there, as research also suggests that the superfood can help people with diabetes, hyperlipidaemia and hypertension by reducing triglycerides by up to 10-15%. The dietary supplement could also play a role in helping to prevent muscle damage that can happen when you're training.

    A Great Anti-Inflammatory

    Aside from these general benefits, Spirulina possesses great anti-inflammatory benefits. One ingredient found in Spirulina: Phycocyanin, are a great assistance in protecting our cells from harm, reducing the risk of inflammation, pain and a drop in our energy, productivity and happiness levels. 

    Blood-Sugar Regulator

    For many sufferers of diabetes, regulating your blood sugar is a daily battle. A high fasting blood sugar is a real problem for those with diabetes, and it's incredibly important to keep these levels under control.

     A research study published by Medical News Today has suggested that Spirulina is a particularly promising food ingredient to support those suffering from Type 2 diabetes, assisting in the management and regulation of blood sugar levels.

    Prevents Muscle Damage

    As well as reducing inflammation, Spirulina can play a key role in the prevention of muscle damage. Exercising and workouts can take a huge toll on our muscles and for this reason, it's important to properly prep, maintain and warm-down from exercise. A great way to do this is to integrate Spirulina into your pre or post-workout routine. 

    Aside from muscle protection, Spirulina has also been found to greatly enhance energy levels to aid you throughout the day from work to play.

    Mental Health Benefits

    Taking care of your mental health is the key to physical health - a healthy mind means a healthy body. With everyday stressors like work, relationships and everything in between, natural remedies and mood boosters are a great way to keep yourself in good health when dealing with the trials and tribulations of everyday life. 

    A study has shown that an active ingredient in Spirulina: Tryptophan, can increase Serotonin levels in the body: the hormone responsible for stabilising our mood. 

    Summary

    Spirulina is purported to have a huge range of health benefits offering, amongst other things, cholesterol reducing, immune system support, anti-inhibitory and neuro-protective effects. 

    Adding natural remedies into your daily routine can be a great way to boost your mood, enhance your performance and elevate your daily productivity levels. Due to the Spirulina's health benefits, we've included this superfood as one of the ingredients in The Detox Booster, which is recommended for those looking to cleanse, detox and improve their overall health. 

    References

    • 10 Health Benefits of Spirulina. (2021). Retrieved 6 April 2021.Click here.
    • 6 Proven Benefits of Spirulina For Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. (2021). Retrieved 6 April 2021.Click here
    • Demelash, S. (2018). Spirulina as a main source of tryptophan for mental illness: Improving level of serotonin through tryptophan supplementation. Global Journal of Medicine and Public Health, 7(2), 1-5.
    • Deng, R., & Chow, T. (2010). Hypolipidemic, Antioxidant, and Antiinflammatory Activities of Microalgae Spirulina. Cardiovascular Therapeutics, 28(4), e33-e45. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-5922.2010.00200.
    • Karkos, P., Leong, S., Karkos, C., Sivaji, N., & Assimakopoulos, D. (2011). Spirulinain Clinical Practice: Evidence-Based Human Applications. Evidence-Based Complementary And Alternative Medicine, 2011, 1-4. doi: 10.1093/ecam/nen058
    • Khan, Z., Bhadouria, P., & Bisen, P. (2005). Nutritional and Therapeutic Potential of Spirulina. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, 6(5), 373-379. doi: 10.2174/138920105774370607
    • Lu, H., Hsieh, C., Hsu, J., Yang, Y., & Chou, H. (2006). Preventive effects of Spirulina platensis on skeletal muscle damage under exercise-induced oxidative stress. European Journal Of Applied Physiology, 98(2), 220-226. doi: 10.1007/s00421-006-0263-0
    • Pabon, M., Jernberg, J., Morganti, J., Contreras, J., Hudson, C., Klein, R., & Bickford, P. (2012). A Spirulina-Enhanced Diet Provides Neuroprotection in an α-Synuclein Model of Parkinson's Disease. Plos ONE, 7(9), e45256. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0045256
    • Park, H., Lee, Y., Ryu, H., Kim, M., Chung, H., & Kim, W. (2008). A Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study to Establish the Effects of Spirulina in Elderly Koreans. Annals Of Nutrition And Metabolism, 52(4), 322-328. doi: 10.1159/000151486

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