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Spirulina Review - Is It A Complete Food Source?

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We are sure that many of you might be familiar with spirulina. For all those who are new to it – Spirulina is a dietary supplement, which is primarily derived from two species of cyanobacteria known as Arthrospira maxima and Arthrospira  platensis. Today there are many spirulina supplements in the market and as many spirulina reviews too. People often get confused about which Spirulina review to believe upon and which to discard. This review on spirulina will give you a general idea about the product and introduce you to its pros and cons.

 

Overview

Spirulina is today marketed in the form of tablets, powders and flakes.  They are also used as feed for fishes and other water animals living in aquariums. Spirulina  is also used as  a potential poultry feed.

 

It is believed that the Spirulina was used as a dietary source by Mesoamericans and Aztecs until 16th century. They harvested it from the Lake Texcoco and marketed it in the form of cakes. The Aztecs believed that Spirulina was stones excrement.

 

In 1960, some French researchers found that Spirulina still grew in abundance in the Lake Texococo , but they failed to find any reference to it in the food form. Today scientists believe that people of Chad might be the oldest users of the supplement. They still use it to bulk their broths.

 

Ingredients
Spirulina is known to contain ingredients like vitamins like A, B1, B3, B6, B12, C, D, E, K, biotin, folate, beta carotene, pantothenic acid, minerals, omega-6 fatty acid, inositol, phytonutrients and cholorophyll. It is believed that NASA has conducted many trials to check its authenticity as a space food, and they found that about 1kg of Spirulina served same amount of nutrients as 1000 kgs of assorted vegetables.

 

Many scientists believe that the beneficial actions of Spirulina result from chlorophyll and phytonutrients. The blue-green color of spirulina comes from a phytonutrient called phycocyanin.

 

The people in some of the Asian countries like Japan, China, have already made Spirulina an active part of their diet because they know that spirulina is loaded with several antioxidants. 

 

Benefits

 


  • Boosts Energy: Spirulina is a nutritious supplement which is known to offer various health benefits. The supplement is known to be enriched with vitamin B and B-12, which is an important component for production of energy and to counteract fatigue.

 


  • Anti-cancerous properties: Spirulina is known to be rich in compounds and antioxidants like carotene which can combat the action of free radicals leading to cancer. During several studies it was found that carotene worked significantly in curbing the formation of oral carcinogens.

 


  • Boosts Immune System: Spirulina is known to boost the immune system and increase body’s ability to fight against diseases. Spirulina is enriched with gamma-linolenic acid, which is found in the breast milk. As breast milk is known to boost baby’s immune system, similarly Spirulina is also known to boost the immune system.

 

Side Effects
Spirulina is known to cause side effects if taken more than 1gram at a time. Some of the commonly observed side effects are facial flushing, allergies, impaired concentration, muscular pain, perspiration, and sometimes liver damage too.

 

Conclusion

Spirulina should be used very consciously if you are suffering on certain medications. It is not recommended for people suffering from phenylketonuria. It is also known to increase the calcium levels in the body, so it should not be used in combination with other calcium supplements. Spirulina is not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women. 

 

Image Courtesy: naturallygreen.co.uk

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1 Comment

Spirulina's picture
A wonderful article you posted Complete Food Source. That is so informatory and creative. Spirulina