Things to know about Spirulina
Most of us are well aware of the many health benefits that spirulina has to offer. After all, it has not earned the status of a fast emerging ‘superfood’ for nothing! In fact, a study has called it the nature's richest and most complete source of nutrition. Before we talk about the other important benefits of spirulina let us first know the basics about spirulina.
What is Spirulina?
Spirulina is basically a green-blue coloured algae and is a freshwater plant. It is microscopic and botanists consider it as a millenial algae. Due to its immense benefits the plant has become one of the most researched plants and also a fashionable ingredient in the recent years. The popularity of the plant lies in its powerful nutrition profile and its intense flavours. Spirulina is full of diverse minerals and vitamins. The plant grows in numerous locations across the world including Mexico, Hawaii and Africa, France as well as India.
Spirulina plants have intense earthy smell and taste and can be good for you in a number of ways. Studies and researchers have stated that spirulina can activate natural killer cells as well as other B and T cells. All these cells own antioxidant elements. Moreover spirulina is said to activate macrophages. Algae is also said to have neurological health benefits.
Spirulina is well blended with high protein and iron, a reason for which it is considered as a popular remedy for hair growth. The plant contains vitamin b6, vitamin E as well as vitamin C. As a result of the amalgamation of these elements the plant is rich in anti-ageing, nutritive, revitalizing and fortifying properties.
Important health benefits of Spirulina
Besides serving the hair and skin restoring issues spirulina has some other vita benefits for human health. A lot of us consider spirulina with spirulina powder benefits for hair. Let us explore those evidence based health benefits of spirulina.
1. Contains powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties:
Your DNA and cells could be harmed by oxidative damage. This oxidative damage can give rise to cancer and other diseases. Being a substantial source of antioxidants spirulina protects you well against any such damage caused by oxidatives. The major component of spirulina is known as phycocyanin. Due to this property spirulina possesses its vibrant blue-green colour.
Phycocyanin is powerful enough to combat radicals as well as hinder the fabrication of inflammatory signaling molecules thus offering powerful antioxidants.
2. Reduces blood pressure
Strokes, heart attacks as well as other kidney diseases are all a result of high blood pressure. Not all of us are well aware of this fact. Spirulina, besides being a healthy food for hair growth is also instrumental in reducing blood pressure. Doctors recommend that a dose of 4.5 grams per day of spirulina can control the levels of blood pressure. A higher production of nitric acid is said to be responsible for this attribute.
3. Has anti cancer properties
According to some evidence, spirulina has elements of combating cancer. Spirulina is said to be instrumental in fighting oral cancer. In a survey conducted, 87 people with oral cancer was made to take 1 gram of spirulina each day for a year, 45% of them saw major improvement. When the people stopped taking spirulina their condition deteriorated.
4. Improves indications of allergic rhinitis
Allergic rhinitis is a condition caused by the inflammation of your nasal passageways. Environmental allergens like animal hair, pollen and wheat dust give rise to such conditions. There is evidence which suggests that spirulina is an alternative treatment for the allergic rhinitis symptoms.
5. Effective against anemia
Anemia can be of different forms. The most common form of anemia is known as the one that is responsible for the reduction of red blood cells known as hemoglobin in your blood. Anemia leads to prolonged feelings of fatigue and weakness.
6. Improves endurance and muscle strength
One of the major contributors of muscle fatigue is the exercise induced oxidative damage. Antioxidant properties are present in certain plant foods. These plant foods help athletes eliminate the damage of muscle fatigue.
Some studies suggest that spirulina has properties of strengthening muscle and improving the endurance capability.
7. Controls blood sugar
Spirulina has been linked to lowering the blood sugar levels. There are cases where it has even outperformed in-demand diabetes medicines such as Metformin.
8. Protects the LDL cholesterol from oxidation
The fatty structure of your body is much more vulnerable to oxidative damage. One of the key components on the evolution of heart disease is the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Spirulina contains certain antioxidants that are very much effective in lowering the levels of lipid peroxidation.
9. High in nutrients
A standard dose of spirulina which translates to 1-3 grams per day is said to be quite an effective dietary supplement. The tiny algae is packed with so much nutrient that even a single tablespoon of dried spoon of spirulina powder is known to contain:
- VitaminB1- 11% of the RDA
- VitaminB2- 15% of the RDA
- VitaminB3- 4% of the RDA
- Protein- 4 grams
- Iron- 11% of the RDA
- Copper- 21% of the RDA
Subsiding amounts of magnesium, manganese and potassium is also found in Spirulina. This is a factor due to which spirulina benefits hair growth.
Besides having such qualities it is important to mention that spirulina is one of the major nutrient thick food on the planet. Along with the property of containing 65% protein it also contains amino acids. It is particularly rich in one such amino acid known as the acid gamma linolenic acid(GLA). Since it is not easy to find GLA in food sources therefore it is normally created by our body. This is another bonus point of spirulina, it is a rich source of GLA.
The plant also contains higher amounts of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is a substance that significantly eradicates all toxins from the body and as a result of which the immune system is boosted. More recent studies have found out that it blends with radioactive isotopes and can prove to be fruitful for radiation therapy.
Vitamin B-12 and folate which is present in spirulina stimulates an overall healthy functioning of the brain as well as the nervous system. As soon as you start ageing spirulina starts protecting the cognitive functions. While talking about the brain and the mind it is important to note that spirulina also cures depression. Since it is a good source of folic acid, therefore it supplies the brain with great nourishment as well as assists the production of blood cells and energy.
For sufferers of duodenal and gastric ulcers, the good news is spirulina acts as a good source of restoring healthy digestion.
Medical reports have also stated that it acts instrumentally to cure and prevent hepato cirrhosis and fatty liver. To notice best results the supplements should be taken at least once a month.
The high presence of a blend of vitamins and enzymes in spirulina tends to improve the sexual vitality of an individual.
But did you know that the external use of spirulina can actually accelerate hair growth? Besides consumption, this algae is used as an ingredient in shampoos and conditioning treatments these days as the proteins in it help reduce hair fall and hair thinning.
Spirulina offers a unique blend of nutrients that are highly essential in the promotion of hair growth. This strong blends mainly consists of iron and some amount of fatty acids. The best way to get the most of the benefits of spirulina is taking supplements formulated with this plant.
Now let us look at some amazing statistics. Just 3-gram serving of spirulina contains:
- 60% protein
- 280% more antioxidants than blueberries
- 2800% more beta-carotene than carrots and
- 3900% more iron than spinach
Recently a fes studies have also claimed that spirulina has properties that can cure the side effects of AIDS and HIV treatment.
The high content of iron in spirulina makes it beneficial during pregnancy.
Skin benefits of spirulina
Although it is widely known that spirulina benefits hair it is still important to mention that the effects and benefits of spirulina are not only confined to spirulina for hair regrowth. Therefore it is wise to explore some skin benefits of spirulina as well:
- Treats dark circles- Due to its rich contents spirulina is pretty effective in the treatment of dark circles. Your eyes gain new power and energy because of its detoxifying effects. Thus dryness and dark shadows are eliminated.
- A fine skin toner- The free radicals that is present in spirulina makes our skin look limp, flabby and tired. Spirulina supplements on regular basis works to a great extent for your skin. Your skin looks youthful, toned and vital.
- Fights ageing-Vitamin E, tocopherol as well as selenium these are the elements known to fight ageing. Together they make a strong combination of anti ageing components.
- Detoxifies skin- The cell turnover rate is increased by the spirulina. Skin metabolism is rather increased and all kinds of toxins are eliminated. It also prevents acne breakouts.
- Maintains healthy nails- Nail problems such as fingernail ridges are cured by the regular use of spirulina. This is because spirulina contains 70% high value proteins that are required by the body. Your nail problems will cease to exist if you continue it for 4 weeks at a stretch.
Hair benefits of spirulina
As we all know that there are more than benefits of spirulina for hair let us dive deep into the multiple advantages of using spirulina for hair growth.
- Treatment of dandruff- As Spirulina is high in antioxidants therefore we all are pretty aware that it makes our hair free of dandruff. Not only that it also makes your hair immensely strong and gives it great shine.
- Hair Loss treatment- Most of the cases of hair loss is associated with alopecia. Alopecia is an autoimmune disease. Alopecia is not only confined to hair loss in the head but also across other areas of the human body. This can result in bald spots. A large number of women are also affected by this disorder. Spirulina powder hair is an alternative treatment to dissuade further loss of hair and thus facilitate the renewal of hair.
- Promotes growth of hair- Your hair growth can be facilitated to a significant extent by the external use of spirulina powder hair growth. Spirulina is widely used in conditioners and shampoos. Sophisticated brands use spirulina for hair regrowth.
Products that use spirulina powder benefits for hair as an ingredient:
- Living Libations True Blue Spirulina Shampoo
- IGK Good Behaviour Spirulina Protein Smoothing Spray
- Bumble and bumble Bb.Seaweed Mild Marine Shampoo
- Bumble and Bumble Seaweed conditioner
- Together Beauty Promise Land Setting Spray
- Algenist Spirulina Microalgae- Vitamin C Probiotic Supplement
- Vital Proteins Spirulina Capsules
How to incorporate spirulina into your diet
A lot being said about the benefits of spirulina as a part of your diet, it is now time for us to shift our focus to know how we can include it in our diet. In the powder form we can add it to smoothies. This will turn the drink into green colour. You can also mix it with energy balls and have it along with the healthful ingredients.There is also an option of stirring a tablespoon into vegetable juices and fruits. It can also be taken as a dietary supplement in the form of tablets. Dried spirulina leaves are also available in the market. You will get it from online or health food stores.
Some medical professionals also state that there are some stark similarities between chlorella and spirulina. Irrespective of the similarities it is wise to say that both are different.
Spirulina is a plant that is multi celled and has no nucleus whereas chlorella contains a nucleus and is single celled. Chlorella is a purely green colored algae while spirulina is a blue-green one.
Although both are good sources of nucleic acids, Chlorella still has twice as much per gram. While spirulina is a great source of iron, GLA and protein, chlorella lacks this.
Spirulina can be taken from different sources. In the U.S there is no active industry wide legality of its production. As a result of which there is no such existence of enforced safety standards.
For people with phenylketonuria it is recommended not to intake spirulina in any form. Phenylketonuria is a thin on the ground disease that does not allow the body from metabolizing phenylalanine. This further builds up in the brain area and causes damage.
Spirulina was one of the foremost foods to be cultured in times of long term space missions. European Space Agency as well as NASA both recommended spirulina in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Spirulina have also been suggested as an alternative food for animals. Spirulina based foods can be fed upto 10% to poultry and less than 4% for quals. Rabbits and pigs can also receive up to 10% of the feed. If the content of spirulina is increased in cattle then this will result in the increase of yield in milk and will increase the weight.
Spirulina powder hair is relatively inexpensive and has a very strong flavour. Spirulina capsules are portable and small tablets popularly known as “EnergyBits”.
Whoa! Isn’t that totally incredible? All of the above mentioned nutrients have properties known to restore damaged hair and promote regrowth. They also make hair smoother and shinier while limiting hair loss and greying of hair.
Spirulina is therefore one of the most instrumental ingredients added on products and eateries that helps fight baldness and dull skin.
(n.d.). Kulshreshtha A. & Al. : Spirulina in health care management. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2008 Oct;9(5):400-5. Kulshreshtha A. & Al. : Spirulina in health care management. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2008 Oct;9(5):400-5.