Blue Spirulina: Have you ever heard about a type of algae which is edible and nutritious? Well, there are many and one of them is spirulina. It’s blue green algae and is known as one of the oldest life forms on Earth.
Blue Spirulina was first employed by Aztecs for the purpose of endurance-booster. In general, blue spirulina is considered to be a super food. It’s a great source of nutrients. Its protein level is often compared to that of an egg.
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What Is Blue Spirulina?
In the past, there are various reports that suggest that the Aztecs used them to treat a number of diseases and ailments. The modern medicine has also researched a lot about blue spirulina along with its benefits.
If you look at the taste of spirulina, it’s bitter. Due to this people often like to mix it with juices, yogurts and various smoothies to improve the flavor. Today, you can get hold of blue spirulina in the form of a supplement at health food stores.
Nutritional Information of Blue Spirulina
Take a look at one tablespoon of blue spirulina below:
- Calories: 20
- Protein: 4 grams
- Fat: 1 gram
- Carbohydrates: 2 grams
- Fiber: 0 grams
- Sugar: 0 grams
In addition to the above, blue spirulina is a great source of the following:
- Thiamine ( vitamin B1)
- Riboflavin ( vitamin B2)
- Niacin ( vitamin B3)
In addition to the above nutrients, spirulina also contains magnesium. This mineral is crucial as it helps supporting normal and daily functioning of your heartbeat and muscles.
The mineral is also responsible for creating energy and producing protein in the body. It’s because most people don’t get the same in their usual diet.
Blue Spirulina Benefits
Without any doubt, blue spirulina happens to be a potential source of nutrients as it is rich in a plant based protein known as phycocyanin.
According to the research, phycocyanin has loads of antioxidants having brain-protective, anti-inflammatory and pain-relief properties.
The above antioxidant in blue spirulina with other nutrients is directly linked with a number of health benefits.
Anti Cancer Properties
Research says that many antioxidants in blue spirulina are rich in anti-inflammatory properties. Sometimes, chronic inflammation invades that may lead to cancer and other diseases.
The reason why spirulina is blue in color is because of the presence of a plant based pigment Phycocyanin. This very pigment gives it blue-green color. This pigment has several health benefits.
Phycocyanin is not only able to block the growth of tumor cells and killing cancer cells but also reduce inflammation in the body.
Currently, scientists are studying about the immune-enhancing protein found in blue spirulina along with its potential towards the treatment of diseases like cancer.
As per the research, it has been found that proteins found in blue spirulina can potentially body’s absorption of cholesterol along with lowering down your cholesterol levels. And this helps reduce strain on your heart by keeping your arteries clear.
In doing so, it can reduce the risks of a number of heart diseases and strokes.
The protein found in blue spirulina very much reduces your triglyceride levels. These are also known as bad cholesterol. They are actually categorized as bad fats in your body that can block arteries and make them hardened.
Over the time, the above act can become the cause of various chronic diseases like pancreatitis, diabetes, and heart diseases.
Spirulina is also known to produce the level of nitric oxide which helps relaxing your blood vessels. Various studies conducted in this regard show that it can potentially reduce your blood pressure and lowering the risk of any type of heart disease.
Spirulina has antioxidants which produce anti-inflammatory effects. The blue-green algae can really help people fighting with allergies that can be caused due to a number of reasons like pollen, dust and animal hair.
Another study confirms that blue spirulina is known to reduce the risk of itching, sneezing and congestion. And so, it clearly suggests that it can pose a great alternative to allergy medications.
Immune System Support
Without any doubt, Spirulina has a wide range of vitamins and minerals that are quite essential for maintaining your healthy immune system. Some of the vitamins include vitamins B6, C and E.
Another fact is that spirulina has the capacity to boost the production of White Blood Cells (WBC) along with antibodies. And this helps to fight with any sort of infection (bacteria, virus) in your body.
Lab study shows that spirulina can fight with some diseases like HIV, Flu and Herpes. At the moment, more research is being conducted to get a breakthrough in this regard.
Spirulina Maintains Eye and Oral Health
If spirulina is mixed with a plant based protein called zeaxanthin, it may reduce the risk of cataracts along with vision loss due to age.
The bacterial properties of this algae promote oral health. As per a study conducted, spirulina-enhanced mouthwash can help reduce your dental plaque. It’s also beneficial for the risk of developing gingivitis.
Another study suggests that blue spirulina helps lower down the risk of disease like oral cancer in people who have a habit to chew tobacco.
Potential Risks of Spirulina
As spirulina is a superfood and rich in nutrients, you first need to consider a doctor before using it in any form. The blue-green algae may pose risk to some people including:
If spirulina is cultivated in the wild, it may be contaminated with several toxins including bacteria and heavy metals. If any of these are in high amounts, they may become a cause to damage your liver or produce stress.
Well, there is not enough proof to ascertain that blue spirulina is safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
It’s mainly because of the risk of toxins. Due to this, doctors never recommend to use it for pregnant ladies.
As blue spirulina can potentially help reduce blood clotting, it may therefore enhance the risk of bleeding and bruising in people having certain bleeding conditions.
As per a study, blue spirulina might affect your blood sugar levels to an abnormal level. And so, people who have diabetes need to monitor their blood sugar levels while taking it.
One research says that spirulina can ideally support your immune function. But it can also worsen the symptoms in some specific people suffering from auto-immune diseases like arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus and more.
It’s recommended to first talk to your doctor before adding blue spirulina in your diet, especially if you are suffering from any of the above auto-immune condition.
At times, it has been shown that the health benefits of blue spirulina may interact with or counter certain medications’ effects.
This may include those used to treat diseases like blood thinners, immunosuppressant, and diabetes.
It’s a well known fact that blue spirulina contains excessive amounts of vitamin B12. Bu the problem is that its content is not actually absorbed by the body.
So, if you are a deficient in vitamin B12 (most common in people who are based on plant based diet), you need to supplement it with another source.