Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Benefits of Spirulina, One of the World's Most Nutritious Antioxidant Foods

Spirulina is one of the most familiar of the single-celled plants known as blue-green algae. They are usually found in warm and alkaline waters all over the world, predominantly in South America, Africa, and Mexico. The name "spirulina" is derived from the Latin word for "helix" or "spiral"; reflecting the physical configuration of the organism as it forms swirling, microscopic strands.
Blue-green algaes contain significant nutritional content, including polysaccharides, antioxidants, nucleic acids and peptides. Spirulina contains about 70 percent protein, vitamin E, vitamin C, beta carotene and B complex and chlorophyll. Spirulina also contain essential fatty acids, and minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and zinc.
Protein Content. Spirulina is the world's most digestible natural source of high quality protein, far surpassing the protein bioavailability of beef. The protein found in this algae superfood is complete, containing all eight essential amino acids, unlike beans and other plant foods that typically lack some of the essential amino acids.
Spirulina's predigested protein is absorbed almost immediately, without the energy-draining effects of breaking down meat protein, and its simple carbohydrates give you immediate yet sustained energy. Its protein-bonded vitamins and minerals, as in all whole foods, assimilate better than the synthetic variety. Spirulina is a great supplement for those who exercise vigorously, as evidenced by the many world-class athletes who use it.
Spirulina is the ideal food source for people looking to get more protein into their diets:
  • people on low-carb, high-protein diets like the Atkins Diet or the South Beach Diet.
  • people who workout vigorously or engage in strength training.
  • people who are frail, have trouble gaining weight, or who are generally malnourished.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA). Blue-green algaes--especially spirulina--are some of the best sources of gamma linolenic acid (GLA), an omega-6 fatty acid with many healthful properties that is missing in most people's diet. GLA has been shown to help prevent conditions such as heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and even cancer.
Health Benefits of Spirulina
Studies reveal some of the most common benefits of spirulina:
  • inhibits the infectious power of many viruses--including HIV, flu, mumps, measles, and herpes
  • helps diminish allergies such as hay fever
  • helps protect the liver from toxins
  • helps boost the immune system
  • reverses the signs of aging
  • helps reduce blood pressure and cholesterol
  • helps control symptoms of ulcerative colitis
  • exerts strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects
  • helps with weight loss
Spirulina has been found to have significant positive effects on people suffering from type 2 diabetes. Studies show that spirulina has the ability to reduce fasting blood sugar levels in the body after 6 to 8 weeks of intake.
Spirulina has long been established to have cancer fighting ingredients.
Spirulina helps support the healthy pH balance of the body. Western diets tend to be highly acidic, due to the heavy reliance on foods like animal proteins. These acidic foods can be effectively countered by the alkaline nature of spirulina.
Cleansing & Detoxification. If you engage in intense physical training, you'll find the chlorophyll in spirulina especially valuable. Anytime you put your body under stress, toxins and free radicals are released from your tissues. The chlorophyll in spirulina helps eliminate these waste products, and cleanses your liver, kidneys and blood. When the liver and kidneys are working more smoothly, everything else in the body works better, too.
This cleansing effect is also important if you're on any sort of low-carb diet (Atkins diet, South Beach diet, etc.) since such diets can place a heavy burden on the liver and kidneys. (Eliminating excess ketones puts your body under additional stress.)
The cleansing effect of spirulina is also of great benefit in protecting you against environmental toxins, air and water pollution, and other contaminants that you're being exposed to every day.
Spirulina is a Whole Food. Think of spirulina as a nutrient-dense green food, rather than a nutritional supplement. The more of it you can get into your diet, the better. You can't eat too much, and one tablespoon has the nutritional value of 5 or 6 servings of common vegetables. This is a great way to ensure that you get enough phytonutrients into your diet, especially if you avoid dark green leafy vegetables.
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