Food is one of the basic needs of mankind, and is essential for survival. Unfortunately in recent decades, the need for food has been replaced by the craving for food. In this generation, people eat not because they need to, but because they want to. As a result, people take in more of the harmful substances from food, and focus less on the nutritional benefits of eating.
No wonder, numerous diseases have affected populations, primarily in the United States where fatty foods and meals are consumed at huge amounts. In fact, illnesses such as hypertension and type 2 diabetes are becoming more prevalent not only across the country, but the entire world as well. Such health conditions are results of eating excess fat, salty, and sugar-rich foods – the tastiest foods available today.
In order to battle risks of these diseases, people should begin to take more of the healthy food, and less of high-risk foods. One way to get most of the nutrients that people lack is by eating ‘super foods’ such as spirulina.
What is Spirulina powder and where does it come from?
Spirulina is a species of blue green algae that has survived on earth since the dawn of time. It was discovered and named by scientists early in the 1900’s, and since then it has become a popular alternative to most foods.
What separates spirulina from other sources of food is that it is very rich in nutrients and minerals, and in huge amounts. This makes it an ideal replacement for most meals because it can supply more than the daily nutrient requirement needed by the body.
If you are having a difficult time eating the right kind of food, you can have a regular intake of spirulina and still obtain the complete nutrients you need.
What are the characteristics of Spirulina?
It is amazing to consider the fact that spirulina can be found in nature, and is 100 percent natural. It is not the result of any chemical process, but it is among the few ‘super foods’ that can immediately spell a difference in a person’s health.
In case you are wondering what composes this blue-green algae, here are some of its mineral contents:
Protein – This is the nutrient that is needed by the body in order to increase muscle mass and strength. People who take in high amounts of protein are generally stronger than those who don’t. In spite of its form as a plant, spirulina has very high protein content, making it a great alternative to meat and beans.
Chlorophyll – When you look at the different spirulina capsules, tablets and powder that are being distributed today, you will notice that this ‘super food’ has a natural green color. Like most plants, the green color in spirulina is chlorophyll, a natural substance that helps the plant manufacture its own food. However, chlorophyll also provides a ton of benefits for human beings.
Iron – This nutrient is essential in giving the blood its red color. Spirulina is also rich in iron, which is often found in seafood, and some vegetables. Research shows that 100 grams of spirulina has the equivalent of 158 percent of a person’s daily iron requirements.
Essential fatty acids – One of the most popular fatty acids is Omega 3, although there are also Omega 6s and Omega 9s that can help in promoting a healthy heart.
Calcium–Aside from the nutrients mentioned above, it is surprising that spirulina also has calcium, which is perfect for the bones and teeth. Studies claim that the calcium content of spirulina is 26 times more than the calcium found in milk.
Several micronutrients – Micronutrients are other substances that the body needs in order to function properly. Some of these elements than can also be found in spirulina include potassium, zinc, chromium, manganese, selenium and phosphorous.
Discovering the benefits of spirulina powder
Now that you are aware of the high nutritional content of spirulina, it is also good to know the benefits it has on your body. Taking in spirulina has become easier through the years, and now it is available in either powder or capsule whichever the individual prefers.
In fact, there are physicians who are already recommending the intake of spirulina in order to compensate for the nutrient deficiencies that a lot of people are suffering from.
- Reduces cholesterol – Several studies have shown that taking in spirulina daily enables the body to slowly flush out excess cholesterol that may be harmful to one’s health. Aside from lowering cholesterol levels, spirulina also helps in lowering sugar levels, thus improving the health of individuals who have type 2 diabetes.
- Lowers blood pressure – Another benefit of taking spirulina is it lowers the blood pressure, which, when left uncheck, can lead to cardiovascular diseases. Japanese scientists discovered that spirulina has phycocyanin, which has anti-hypertensive effects to the human body.
- Boosts energy levels – One of the key benefits of spirulina is that it allows the body to increase the rate of metabolism. This simply means the food you eat is quickly burned and turned into energy.
- Helps in detoxification – Chlorophyll and other pigments in spirulina are agents for detoxification, which helps in flushing out toxins, waste and other harmful substances from the body.
- Helps in losing weight – As mentioned earlier, taking spirulina will increase your metabolism rate. When this happens, the food you eat is digested much faster, preventing it from turning to fat. Spirulina weight loss is now being advertised as an easier way to get back in shape.
These are only the top five benefits of spirulina. Aside from these, this super food also helps prevent and fight certain diseases. Several studies show that regular intake of spirulina can help fight several chronic diseases such as HIV and AIDS, as well as some forms of cancer. Its properties also help prevent the occurrence of stroke especially among the elderly.
Spirulina is indeed an amazing super food that can do almost anything for your body. If you have had problems in choosing to eat the right kinds of food, you can correct everything by taking a spirulina tablet, or by mixing spirulina powder in your drink every day.
Possible side effects of Spirulina
Spirulina may naturally be found in nature and it does not contain any synthetic ingredients, but there are cases wherein people who take it report a few side effects. Most of these side effects are not dangerous and only cause discomfort so there’s no need to worry.
- Fever – Because metabolism is now at a higher rate, there may be a slight increase in your temperature. Do not worry because this is merely an adjustment of your body.
- Over fatigue – The spirulina will help cleanse your colon and flush out toxins and other waste materials. As a result of this cleansing process, you may feel sleepy or tired because your colon and other excretory organs are working overtime.
- Green-colored bowel movement – This may not be considered a side effect, but a mere result of spirulina intake. The chlorophyll in this algae, like what is found in other vegetables, help in cleansing the digestive tract but retains its natural green color.
- Irritation or allergies – Allergies, irritations and even pimples may appear after initially taking spirulina. This is because the body is working to excrete all the toxins from within, and so some of them may be released through the skin.
As mentioned above, these side effects are only temporary, and are initial reactions of the body as spirulina does its thing in cleansing and detoxifying the body. It is also important to point out that there are dosages in the intake of spirulina. Generally, it is recommended to take 1 to 8 grams of spirulina each day, and studies show that these amounts provide positive effects to the body.
How to avail Spirulina detox
Learning the numerous benefits of spirulina is one thing, but applying it and slowly including it in your daily meals is another thing. After it was discovered in the early 1900s that the algae possess a wide range of nutrients and minerals, several countries have begun growing the algae in freshwater.
As a result, a number of companies and retailers are capable of supplying large amounts of spirulina to different countries. The question now is where to buy spirulina. Fortunately, there are a few trusted online sellers that deliver overseas. If you are located in Australia, there are also a number of online businesses that offer spirulina powder and tablets at affordable prices.
So, is spirulina good for you in spite of the possible side effects? Of course it is! These symptoms are only temporary and are results of what the super food is doing inside your body.
Indeed, these blue-green algae are nature’s answer to mankind’s excessive intake of unhealthy foods and treats. If you want to keep your body healthy and prevent any kind of serious illness, then you should not miss taking spirulina powder or tablet each day.