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Spirulina Nutrition Facts

How do you know you’re getting all of your essential nutrients? Lead a hectic life eating on the run? Don’t always have time to cook? Fill the gaps in your diet with this ancient blue green algae although called Spirulina. Nutrient loaded, it contains, among many more – vitamin B, A, E, D, iron, beta carotene, 60-70% protein and omegas 3 and 6. These are actually absorbed into your body as its a natural whole food. Why spend your money on synthetic multivitamins, expensive dieticians and nutritionist? Look no further than this all natural one stop shop.

Vitamins and minerals in spirulina

Spirulina protein

Spirulina is 60-70% protein. Most of it is absorbed because the algae is a whole food. Synthetic sources such as whey are not as easily taken up. Our body doesn’t recognise them as food. Spirulina protein is great for vegetarians and vegans.

This healthy algae is a ‘complete’ protein. This is because it contains the 8 essential amino acids in their proper ratios. According to this criteria, many vegetables are ‘incomplete’.

Spirulina-algae contains 18 amino acids. In fact, breast milk has the same amino profile. We don’t store amino acids. That’s why we need foods with easily absorbed amino acids. This algae provide the correct aminos.

The table below contains it’s amino acid profile.




Table 1. Amino Acid content

Amino AcidPercentageAction and Benefits
Essential Amino Acids
Isoleucine4.13%Supports physical and mental development. Balances nitrogen levels. Helps to process nonessential amino acids as well.
Leucine5.8%Stimulates brain activity and supplies energy to muscles.
Lysine4%Improves circulation, and production of cells and antibodies.
Methionine2.17%Helps metabolise fats and lipids required for peak liver function. Calms nerves as well.
Phenylalanine3.95%Improves metabolism by stimulating the production of thyroxin. This suppresses hunger which is great for weight loss!!
Threonine4.17%Improves efficiency of digestive system.
Tryptophane1.13%Helps us make good use of B vitamins. This improves nerve fibers. It also helps regulate emotion so you stay calm under pressure.
Valine6%Aids in muscle coordination and mental functioning.
Nonessential Amino Acids
Alanine5.82%Strengthens the structure of our cells.
Arginine5.98%Stimulates male semen production, which is approximately 80% arginine. Also cleanses the blood.
Aspartic Acid6.34%Involved in the conversion of carbohydrate into energy.
Cystine0.67%Maintains pancreatic health, which stabilises blood sugar levels. Combats allergies as well.
Glutamic Acid8.94%Along with glucose helps fire brain cells. Lowers alcohol cravings and regulates mental well being.
Glycine3.5%Boosts energy.
Histidine1.08%Enhances nerve conduction which can help with hearing.
Proline2.97%Involved in Glutamic Acid production.
Serine4%Helps maintain the fatty membrane around nerve fibers.
Tyrosine4.6%Slows the aging of cells. Regulates hunger. Helps maintain skin and hair colour. Wards off sunburn.



Antioxidants in Spirulina

Blue green algae is rich in antioxidants. Some of them are Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Beta Carotene. They slow aging by preventing cell degradation. They also counterbalance free radicals. This prevents disease.

Vitamins

Obviously, vitamins are essential to good health. Generally, they don’t need to be consumed in large quantity.

Some are obtained from fatty sources and are stored for long periods. These are Vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Others such as Vitamins B and C need daily replenishment. Spirulina contains both of these groups.

The following table displays the vitamins contained in this healthy algae.

Table 2. Vitamins in spirulina-platensis

VitaminDescription
B6/PyridoxineAssists in decomposing and absorbing proteins. Helps with cardiac health and minimises oedema.
BiotinDistributes carbon dioxide and helps absorb B complex vitamins
B12/CobalaminB12 is hard to get from vegetables. It’s key to iron intake. It also helps prevent nerve degeneration. That it’s hard to find is the biggest problem with the vegetarian diet. Spirulina contains B12 in abundance. Therefore, it’s a great solution for vegetarians and vegans.
Pantothenic AcidCombines with Vitamin C to regulate stress. It does this by secreting cortisone via the adrenal glands.
Folic AcidHelps generate red blood cells.
InositolMaintains health of our liver and helps to regulate cholesterol levels.
NiacinLowers cholesterol and helps to regulate mental health.
B2/RiboflavinGood for eye health. Also helps prevent eczema.
B1/ThiamineBalances blood glucose.
E/TocopherolMaintains cardiovascular function. Slows the aging process
CarotenoidsCarotenoids help the body produce vitamins. They regulate free radicals so the body can keep regenerating healthy cells.
Beta-CaroteneResearch suggests that Beta-Carotene prevents cancer. There are synthetic forms available though they’re not readily absorbed. Spirulina offers it in organic form. This makes it easier for the body to utilise it’s goodness. It is found in various vegetables – pumpkin, kale and spinach to name a few. However, Spirulina contains a much higher concentration.




Chlorophyll – Spirulina’s secret sauce

Chlorophyll provides this algae its deep green colour. When sunlight interacts with other enzymes in the algae, chlorophyll develops. Blue green algae is said to be collected sunlight. It is thought that it is a source of energy and growth. Indeed, studies have shown that it can bring dead organisms back to life. In humans, it has been successful in treating various issues. Examples include the treatment of duodenal ulcerations, gastric ulcers, and acne. Additionally, it can strengthen the heart muscles, improve immunity, and provide energy. There’s proof that it has antibacterial properties as well.

Minerals in spirulina

There are a multitude of health benefits of its minerals. They are summarised below.

Table 3. Mineral content

MineralAmount per KiloAction and Benefits
Calcium1,315mgFor teeth and bone strength. Encourages nerve conduction and acid absorption in the body.
Potassium15,400mgProduces electrolytes. Lowers risk of muscular and heart failure.
Zinc39mgContributes to healthy mental function, skin tone, prostate health, and wound healing.
Magnesium1.915mgHelps integrate Vitamins B and C and other proteins. Low magnesium is associated with muscle and heart problems.
Manganese25mgActivates enzymes when combined with zinc. Helps maintain blood-sugar balance.
Selenium.40ppmMakes the heart work properly. Filters out some types of toxicity. Can help slow our natural aging process.
Iron580mgPrecursor to hemoglobin which transports oxygen throughout the body.
Phosphorus8,942mgThe cells of the body generally all contain phosphorus. Combined with calcium it strengthens our bones, and helps digest carbohydrate.



Source of healthy fats

Healthy fat? Yes, this green super food contains the fatty acids omegas 3, 6 and 9.

Omega 3 stimulates brain function. It also fights cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, various cancers and more.

It’s important to have a 2:1 ratio of omegas 6 to 3. This is key to getting the benefits of omegas. It can be difficult to obtain this. Blue algae provides the correct omega 6 to 3 ratio.

Omega 9 aids in heart health, regulates cholesterol, and boosts immunity. Click here for more information about the omegas.

SUMMARY

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Health Benefits Of Spirulina

Spirulina contains all of our daily essential nutrients. This makes it effective for fill gaps we might have in our diet.

Some have survived off it alone for long periods. NASA acknowledges it as the primary food for their missions. The World Health Organisation says that it can sustain life during famine. They also believe it could be used to end world hunger.

It’s not a synthetic supplement. This means that the nutrients are readily available to the body. When we take synthetic supplements, most of the goodness is expelled in the toilet. Spirulina is a natural whole food. Like any food, it is most efficiently absorbed by the body.

Spirulina can replace meat for vegetarians and vegans. They can have difficulty getting sufficient iron, protein and B12. In fact, B12 enables the body to absorb iron and protein. These nutrients, essential to basic functioning, are abundant in this algae.

Weight-loss diets involve dietary restriction. This can trigger hunger cravings and pre-diet rebound eating. Weight-gain is more likely when this happens. Spirulina can suppress hunger because it is high in omega 3 and 6. This makes it a great adjunct to any diet.

An insufficient diet, stress, business, alcohol and junk food increases the chances of disease.

Even healthy foods can lack nutritional value. Often genetically modified, they usually contain high salt and preservative levels. Such additives can erode our health. Unfortunately, many organic alternatives are expensive.

Spirulina can help you overcome these problems. Organic versions are most common. It is not synthetic like many supplements are. Rather, it is an organic whole food. This ensures that its nutrients are absorbed efficiently.

Health Benefits of Spirulina

  • Detoxes heavy metals
  • Eliminates Candida
  • Improves HIV/AIDS
  • Helps prevent cancer
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces cholesterol
  • Lowers chance of stroke
  • Boosts energy
  • Speeds up Weight lost
  • Alleviates sinus issues

 

SUMMARY

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How does Spirulina cleanse the body?

When people just start taking it, some get loose bowels or gas. This is a sign that your system is being cleaned out. This effect is more pronounced as the need for detoxification increases. If you’ve been leading an unhealthy lifestyle this is more likely. It will simply provide maintenance to already healthy people.

It’s best to take it in powdered form. This method is more readily absorbed by the system. Granted it can taste awful. Some brands are better tasting than others. There are recipes that only the powder form can be used in. These can be a great way of taking it in powdered form. For some recipes you may want to visit AustralianSpirulina here or this raw food blog here.

Tablets, however, can be more convenient. Some don’t like the taste of the powder. It’s easier to just swallow the tablets. They don’t taste as strong as the powder.

Make sure you take it with plenty of water.

What is spirulina good for?

 

It combats HIV Aids

The US national Cancer Institute found that the sulpholipids in the glycolipid conent of blue-green algae were effective against the HIV virus during lab tests (1989) (1). Blue-green algae contains glycolipids and sulpholipids.

This finding was supported in a paper published in 1998 (2). It was conducted by the Laboratory of Viral Pathogenesis at the Dana Faber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School. It was carried out in conjunction with Earthrise Farms California. They found that water extract from Spirulina-platensis inihbited HIV-1 replication.

More recently in 2009, it was found to have positive effects on Africans suffering with HIV (3).

Improves allergies

Some Japanese researchers tested the effect of Spirulina-platensis on babies with allergies to cow’s milk and Soy based products. These babies maintained a healthy body-weight. They were able to maintain this at each long-term follow up (4).

In USA research, people with Hey fever became less sensitive to pollen after using the blue-green algae (5).

Prevents and slows the progress of Alzheimer’s disease

Dr. Gabriel Cousins has been interested in whether or not blue-green algae slows the progression of Alzheimer’s. In one patient it was reversed. It halted senility in another (6).

In one of his studies, the patient’s degeneration slowed and he remained stable while he took it for three years. After treatment was stopped, his condition got worse. When it was resumed he improved again.

Anaemia sufferers also benefit with a rich source of iron

Iron deficiencies are common to women. Those who drink coffee may fare worse. Pregnancy can exacerbate this problem further. It’s the most common mineral deficiency in the world. According to scientists, the solution may lie in Spirulina’s iron, chlorophyll, vitamin B12, folic acid and protein.

Rats fed Spirulina, absorbed 60% more iron than those fed another source of iron. These researchers concluded that the iron in this algae can be easily absorbed.

Fights Acne

Vitamins A, E, and chlorophyll can help ward off acne especially in teenagers. The algae contains these minerals in abundance.

Heavy metal detoxification

Dr. Loseva and colleagues found that Spirulina combats mouth infection caused by heavy metal poisoning. Their participants had lead poisoning. After they took the algae, this decreased by 30% on average.

Cholesterol, hypertension, and arteriosclerosis be gone!

Risk of heart attack, hypertension and arteriosclerosis increases with high cholesterol. German research has shown that low cholesterol aids with weight loss. In a Japanese study, no weight loss was observed as a result of low cholesterol. However, in both studies, participants who took Spirulina experienced lower cholesterol. Livestrong provide a good summary of the algae’s cholesterol lowering properties here.

Other health benefits reported

Taking the algae has many other benefits. It enhances pancreatic health, which reduces the chances of cancer. Vision may be improved. The chance of eye related disease is reduced. Gastric and duodenal ulcers may be prevented. Sexual function can be given a boost as well.

Spirulina weight loss

This natural supplement is low in calories and fat. It is easily digested as it is in its natural balance. German researchers found that people who took it, lost weight slowly but steadily. It contains a high level of appetite suppressant Tyrosine. It helps people eat less while providing all their essential nutrients. Combine with exercise for efficient weight-loss.

Improve your natural glow and look more beautiful

Spirulina improves skin glow. It can be used internally and externally (if turned into a paste). Beta Carotene, GLA, and Chlorophyll are involved in making this happen. There are other vitamins and minerals that will enhance your glow as well.

SUMMARY

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How to take spirulina powder

This blue green algae is available in powder, tablets, and capsules. It can also comes in balls and may be drank in smoothies. They all start out as powder. There are pros and cons for each. We will discuss these next.

Spirulina smoothie

 

It’s common for advertisers of spirulina-algae to use pictures of people with a green moustach. Presumably, these models have been drinking the blue green algae. How does it go so green? The powder is one form that the product comes in and it is water soluble. This form goes through the least amount of processing. As such it is the healthiest way to take it. Stored in a glass container, the powder is the healthiest and most potent form.

 

Spirulina powder or tablets

 

The tablets are basically compressed a compressed form of the algae, which reduces its purity. However, it is more pure than in capsule form. It tastes better than the powder, which makes it easier to take. If you want to unlock the algae’s full potential, go the powder.

 

Spirulina capsules

It is least pure in capsule form. This is because it takes longer to enter the blood stream. Also, it is interefered with too much to get it into the capsules. However, this is by far the most tasteless method. This is recommended for those who don’t like the taste of the powder of tablets. Make sure you purchase it in a glass container for best results. Plastic is okay. However, glass keeps it at optimum effectiveness.