Spirulina Health Benefits - An Effective Alternative to Fish Oil

What is spirulina?

Spirulina is blue green algae that are being greatly used as a nutritional supplement like other green foods such as flaxseed oil and fish oil. If you are aspiring to lose weight, then Spirulina is an ideal diet for you. It offers a variety of health benefits. It is rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals and many other nutrients. It can be used as a cheap snack that gives energy instantly.

List of nutrients in organic spirulina

List of nutrients present in organic spirulina supplement include (uncooked spirulina is found to be more nutritious):

- Vitamins - A, K, B1, B2, B12 and B3
- Minerals - Iron, calcium, Magnesium, zinc, manganese, copper, sodium, potassium and chromium.
- Phytonutrients- sulfolipids, chlorophyll, carotenoids polysaccharides and phycocyanins.
- Antioxidants
- Essential fatty acid- linoleic acid, arachidonic acid, alpha-linoleic acid and gamma-linoleic acid.


Health benefits of using this nutrient rich wonderful algae

1. Anti-platelet agent: The phycocyanins present in organic spirulina inhibit the release of free radicals from activated platelets. This in turn prevents the platelet aggregation. Hence, it is used and to treat cases of arterial thromboembolism and also as an anti platelet agent.

 

2. Eliminates Dioxins: The dioxins which are toxic byproducts of industrial processes increase the risk of cancer, birth defects, infertility and certain types of neurological disorders. These dioxins enter our body through the food, air and water we intake. The antioxidants present in spirulina help in removing dioxins from our body. Mix spirulina powder in your smoothie and save yourself from the toxic effects of these dioxins.

3. Improves protein absorption: Phycocyanins present in spirulina that act inhibitors of free radicals aid in protein absorption. Thereby organic spirulina boosts the immune system.

4. Alternative to fish oil and flaxseed oil: Many vegetarians hate to take fish oil. If you are one among them, then spirulina is a god’s gift to you. It has the essential omega-3 fatty acids present in the fish oil and flaxseed oil . The best part is that it is easy to digest, free of side effects and provides a whole lot of nutrients. Generally, fish oil is found to cause allergic reactions in many people and provides only fewer nutrients. Save yourself from the nasty odor and allergic reactions of fish oil by swallowing a tiny organic spirulina pill.

5. Serves as an antihistamine and anti-inflammatory chemical: spirulina prevents allergic reactions by preventing the release of histamines from the mast cells. Thereby, it prevents the effects of histamine such as blood vessel expansion, muscle contraction and stomach acid production.

6. Anti-carcinogenic agent: apart from the anti-oxidant property, spirulina serves as an anti-cancer agent by promoting the release of factor alpha. This acts as tumor necrosis factor killing the cancer cells.

7. Anti-viral agent: By preventing the entry of the viruses into the cells, it protects the body from many viral infections. It is found to fight against even the most powerful virus HIV that causes AIDS. However, the anti-viral nature of these organic algae is yet to be studied further.

8. Weight loss Therapy: The good amounts of vitamins and proteins present in spirulina aid in losing weight. It reduces the food intake by suppressing appetite. It provides all the required nutrients without the unnecessary carbohydrates.

9. Helps to improve heart health: It helps to reduce the levels of triglycerides and cholesterol. Thus, it indirectly helps to maintain a healthy heart and lose weight.

10. Unique source of gamma linoleic acid: Gamma-linoleic acid which is present only in mother’s milk is present in Spirulina. It is an essential fatty acid needed for the proper functioning of the brain and for maintenance of heart health.

11. Anti-aging agent: The anti-oxidants present in spirulina fight against the causes of aging. Regular intake of spirulina is found to reverse the signs of aging.

 

Spirulina Super Food

Due to these overwhelming benefits offered by spirulina it is also termed as the super food. A tablet of spirulina equals intake of about two servings of fresh vegetables. You can get all the required nutrients, fiber and antioxidants with just a small pill. Isn’t this an amazing food?

 

Spirulina Production

In view of the benefits offered by spirulina, it is being manufactured widely. The production of Spirulina is done in open-channel ponds where water is agitated with paddle-wheels. Water purifying and filtering systems are used to eliminate toxins and heavy metals released by the contaminant algae or industrial wastes. These organic algae are commercially produced in countries such as India, China, Japan, United States, Thailand and Chile. Among all, Japan is the largest producer and consumer of Spirulina. It is available in various forms such as the organic spirulina powder, pills and tablets.

 

Dosage

If you are planning to use spirulina powder , follow the recommended dosage given by the manufacturer. The general recommended dosage of spirulina is 5000 to 10,000 mg/day for adults. However, the dosage varies with the form of the supplement and the manufacturer. Hence, read the tiny label cautiously. Do not forget to consult your doctor before taking the spirulina as it is reported to cause side effects in certain people. Pregnant and breast feeding women should not take spirulina without consulting the doctor as its side effects in them are not yet reported.

 

Side effects of using spirulina

In most of the cases, the side effects are caused by using poorly cultivated and harvested spirulina. The toxins liberated by the contaminant algae are the culprits. Some side effects include dizziness, thirst, constipation, gastrointestinal disturbances, headaches, muscle pains, liver damage due to use of improperly cultivated spirulina. It is also reported to interfere with the action of certain drugs used for treating blood pressure, diabetes, immune disorders, antihistamines and blood thinners. It is found to be toxic to use spirulina with weight loss and cancer treating drugs.

 

Where To Buy Spirulina?

Want to buy spirulina? Then, the best way to obtain spirulina is through online stores. It is available in various forms such as the spirulina powder , flakes and tablets. Being a nutritious supplement , it is also found mixed with other diet supplements. Some of the renowned online stores for obtaining spirulina are the drugstore.com and the vitamin Shoppe. However, compare the price, quality and dosage details before purchasing. Generally, the price of 100, 500mg spirulina tablets varies from $7 to $10 depending on the brand. You can obtain even at a lower price by grabbing attractive deals. Give this wonder food a try, you will definitely love it.

19.10.2010. 01:50

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