Spirulina is a blue-green algae that can be used as a nutritional supplement. It is considered a superfood because of its high nutritional value and health advantages. Spirulina powder contains a significant amount of protein and vitamins, making it an ideal nutritional supplement for vegetarians and vegans. It has antioxidant and inflammation-fighting capabilities, as well as the capacity to assist regulate the immune system, according to research.
This guide highlights eight potential health benefits that can be obtained by including spirulina in one’s diet.
1. Antioxidant-rich source
Oxidation is a process that causes persistent inflammation and cell damage, which can lead to chronic disease and cancer over time. Spirulina is high in antioxidants, one of which, phycocyanin, is responsible for the dark blue-green colour of the spirulina and also helps to prevent oxidation and inflammation. Anti-inflammatory capabilities, oxidative stress protection, and neuroprotective qualities have all been linked to phycocyanin in studies.
2. Diabetes management
Spirulina has shown potential in the treatment of diabetes symptoms. However, additional research is required before doctors can endorse it. Supplementing with spirulina dramatically reduced people’s fasting blood glucose levels, according to research. High fasting blood sugar is a common problem in people with diabetes types 1 and 2. This suggests that taking spirulina supplements can help with diabetes management. Spirulina may be effective in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, according to these findings.
3. Eliminates the risk of macular degeneration
Phytonutrients—plant-based substances known to give preventive health benefits—are also abundant in spirulina. Carotenoids are helpful for both ocular and immunological health, according to a Harvard University study. Lutein and zeaxanthin, two of the most common carotenoids, are found in the retina and may reduce your risk of macular degeneration by up to 43%.
4. Cholesterol Management
According to Jamie Hickey, a registered dietitian and certified personal trainer in Philadelphia, Spirulina fights cardiovascular disease by lowering hazardous LDL cholesterol levels while raising healthy HDL cholesterol levels.
Adults with high cholesterol who drank spirulina for three months saw decreases in their triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels, according to a study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. Participants reduced their triglycerides by 16 percent and their LDL by 10% after taking 1 gram of spirulina each day for 12 weeks.
According to another study, spirulina supplements can lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in the blood while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
5. Improves Mental Health
Spirulina may also benefit mental health, possibly even aiding in the treatment of mood disorders. The superfood contains tryptophan, an amino acid that boosts serotonin levels in the brain and may be useful in avoiding and controlling mental health illnesses like depression, bipolar disorder, eating and anxiety disorders, and schizophrenia, among others.
6. Aids Weight Loss
According to Walsh, spirulina can aid in dramatic decreases in body fat percentage and waist circumference. In a 2016 study, overweight persons who ate spirulina on a regular basis for three months saw a decrease in their body mass index.
7. Relief from Allergies
Pollen, animal hair, and dust allergies may benefit from the anti-inflammatory effects of spirulina’s antioxidants. Participants in a study reported a significant decrease in symptoms like congestion, sneezing, and itching, suggesting that spirulina could be a useful alternative to allergy medicines.
8. Boosting metabolism
Spirulina may aid in the acceleration of a person’s metabolism. A person with a greater metabolic rate feels more energetic. It may also help them lose weight by increasing the number of calories they burn each day. People who consumed 6 g of spirulina per day had positive metabolic effects, as well as weight loss and improved health-related quality of life, according to a study.
Because the participants in this trial had non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, more research is needed to establish if spirulina can help others who don’t have the disease.
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