Scientific name: Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima
Other Name: Blue-Green Algae
Spirulina is a blue-green algae (cyanobacterium). It belongs to the family of several species of micro algae such as blue-green aphanizomenon and green algae (chlorella) and dunaliella. There are two species of blue-green algae, Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima.
Spirulina have the shape of spiral coils that grow best in low-alkaline conditions such as fresh water lakes, ponds and rivers. In some places, spirulina are cultivated at algae farms to preserve their purity. It also requires an abundance of sunshine and moderate temperatures. Spirulina has a completely digestible cellulose wall that can be digested with ease and can be immediately consumed.
It can be consumed by humans (and other animals) and used as a dietary supplement as well as a whole food. It is available in tablet, flake and powder form.
When choosing Spirulina, make sure to choose one that is organic and free from contamination and nitrate compounds.
Parts used: Algae
Spirulina is largely made up of protein and essential amino acids and is a good source of antioxidants. It is touted as the “most nutrient dense food on the planet” and it contains the following nutritional content:
Protein (Spirulina is considered a complete source of high-quality protein that is highly usable)
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-6 fatty acids
Iron (Spirulina is one of the best plant sources of iron and it has a highly absorbable form of iron that is gentle on the digestive system)
Calcium (Spirulina is very high in calcium with over 26 times the calcium in milk.)
Thiamin ( also known as Vitamin B1 is necessary for the digestion of fats and proteins; for increased energy, eye health, brain function and for improving nerve functioning.
Spirulina contains many pigments which may be beneficial and bioavailable.
Spirulina is one of the few foods with a natural GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid) that has anti-inflammatory properties.
Medicinal properties and uses:
1. Powerful Antioxidants that protect our cells from damage. It has phycocyanin, which is a potent anti-inflammatory.
2. Helps Remove Heavy Metals. Spirulina can bind with heavy metals (e.g. arsenic) and radioactive isotopes in the body and help remove them.
3. Improves HIV/AIDS
Studies show that CD4 cells (T-helper white blood cells that fight infection and are used to stage HIV) and HIV-1 viral load (another HIV biomarker) remained stable or has showed clinically significant improvement.
4. Eliminates Candida
Spirulina has anti-microbial agent that can inhibit Candida from thriving.
5. Helps Prevent Cancer
Phycocyanin can fight free radicals and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
6. Lowers Blood Pressure
Phycocyanin is a pigment found in the spirulina that scientists have discovered possesses antihypertensive effects. It also has been shown to prevent atherosclerosis and reduce elevated blood cholesterol levels.
7. Lowers Chance of Stroke
It can prevent atherosclerosis and subsequent stroke.
8. Boosts Energy
9. Speeds Up Weight Loss
Spirulina speeds up weight loss because it is high in nutrient-dense proteinand low-fat.
Those with PKU should consult with a doctor before taking.
Those on any type of anti-coagulation medicine should consult with a doctor before taking Spirulina.
People with autoimmune disease.
If you are pregnant, nursing or have any medical condition, check with your doctor first.
Contact your doctor/health care provider to confirm whether or not you should be supplementing with spirulina.
The information provided is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns about your health. Check with your doctor before beginning any supplement. Never disregard or delay seeking medical advice because of something you have heard or read in this article or the internet.