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Spirulina

Posted by Noble Savage on
Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) is a biomass of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) that can be consumed by humans and animals. Its specific nutrient and antioxidant composition have many potential benefits for the human body.
Spirulina was consumed by the ancient Aztecs but became popular again when NASA proposed that it could be grown in space for use by astronauts.

Nutrient-rich

A single tablespoon (around 7 grams) contains 11% of iron RDA, 21% of copper RDA, 11% of Vitamin B1 (thiamine) RDA, 15% of Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) RDA, 4% of Vitamin B3 (niacin) RDA, and 4 grams of protein!

It's also rich in potassium, manganese, and magnesium. There are traces of almost every other nutrient that the human body needs.

Gram for gram, spirulina may be the single most nutritious food on the planet.

Antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties

The danger of free radicals and oxidative stress are well known and researched - they lead to many health issues illnesses and diseases. While the body has mechanisms to protect itself from free radicals and oxidative stress, the modern nutrition and environment often leave us exposed to far more free radical risk than the body can handle - cigarette smoke, pollution, traces of pesticides/herbicides in the food, mycotoxins, radiation, etc.

It is always good to supplement with various antioxidants to help the body protect itself. Spirulina's main active component is called phycocyanin - a potent antioxidative substance that gives spirulina its blue-green color. It can also inhibit the production of inflammatory signaling molecules in the body.

May be effective against anemia

There are various forms of anemia, the most common one being characterized by a reduction in hemoglobin or red blood cells in your blood.

Anemia is relatively common, especially in adults, leading to prolonged feelings of weakness and fatigue.

A study has shown that spirulina increased the hemoglobin content of red blood cells and improved immune function.

May improve muscle strength and endurance

Oxidative damage caused by exercise is a major contributor to muscle fatigue. Certain plant foods have antioxidant properties that can help athletes and physically active individuals minimize this damage. Spirulina appears beneficial too, due to its antioxidative ingredient profile.

Other benefits

There are many other potential health benefits of spirulina, with many research underway. Some promising areas include lowering "bad" LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, protecting LDL cholesterol from oxidation, reducing blood pressure, improving the symptoms of allergic rhinitis and aid in blood sugar control.

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