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The Amazing Nutritional Benefits of Spirulina

January 20, 2014

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Spirulina, a type of blue-green algae considered to be one of the world’s oldest superfoods, can be traced as far back as the 16th century. Ancient Aztecs ingested the compound daily in cake form to increase their energy and stamina during long journeys.

These days, Spirulina is used all over the world for its antiviral and anticancer properties, helping boost the immune system and protecting against allergens.

Spirulina contains high amounts of protein, vitamins and minerals, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants. Here are just a few of the benefits of incorporating this super healthy, superfood compound into your lifestyle.

Protein- Spirulina is said to be a complete protein, containing between 55 - 77% protein and all nine essential amino acids, which makes it an excellent choice if you’re on a plant-based diet. Protein is essential for muscle repair, tissue growth, regulating hormones, and controlling your metabolism.

Beta-carotene- Research shows that the beta-carotene content in Spirulina is higher than any other plant on our planet and contains 10 times more of this compound than carrots. Beta-carotene promotes heart health by lowering cholesterol and may help protect against certain cancers due to their potency as an antioxidant.

Essential fatty acids- Spirulina has a range of essential fatty acids including gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is one of the rarest essential fatty acids. GLA helps reduce inflammation in the body and regulate the immune system.

Vitamins- B vitamins including B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (nicotinamide), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid) as well as vitamins C, D, and E are found in Spirulina. It also contains high amounts of vitamin B12, which is primarily found in animal products. B12 is essential for maintaining the health of our nervous system and energy production in the body.

Minerals- Spirulina is grown in shallow ponds that contain high concentrations of minerals including, but not limited to, calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, manganese, selenium, and iron. These minerals are essential in promoting optimal health and wellness.

Phytonutrients- Spirulina is extremely rich in chlorophyll, a natural chemical that helps detoxify the body and boost the immune system.

Spirulina is popularly consumed in either tablet or powder form. An easy way to incorporate it into your diet is adding a tablespoon into your smoothie or green juice.

Just be sure that the Spirulina supplement you purchase is high quality and organic because others often contain nitrate compound additives, which can cause abdominal pain, muscle weakness, and certain forms of cancers.

How do you incorporate Spirulina into your diet?