Author: Dr Ranjeet Singh
Loaded with nutrients, Spirulina is one of the most sought after super foods today. It is now available in the form of tablets, capsules and even powder that you can add to smoothies. Spirulina is the blue green algae that are in fact partly responsible for the presence of oxygen in the atmosphere, which eventually allowed other small organisms to develop on earth billions of year ago.What is really fascinating is that it is an edible algae, and can truly be an effective vitamin supplement.
History of Spirulina
Being the oldest life form on earth, it is interesting to note that spirulina was used by Aztec people in Mexico in the 16th century. Later it was cultivated in Chad, which is surrounded by Libya, Sudan and Nigeria. However, it did not become a major part of the diet of the people till the 1960s. By the 1970s it had attained worldwide production and was on its way to becoming the most nutritious food source.
Taste of Spirulina
It tastes slightly bitter thus is usually mixed with fruit juice or yoghurt to improve the taste.
Health Benefits of Spirulina
Spirulina is considered to be an “all in one” source of nutrients. In fact, it even has the potential to overpower meat and eggs as protein sources in years to come.
Dr. Anju Sood, a renowned nutritionist, suggests a list of benefits of Spirulina-
Excellent source of protein
Due to its high source of protein content, spirulina is frequently referred to as the “lean, green, protein machine“. In order to keep our health and well- being intact, a certain amount of protein is required by the human body. While non-vegetarians gains this protein through meats and eggs, spirulina is an excellent alternative for vegetarian.
Spirulina consists of 60% proteins, most of which are plant based. Proteins are essential to enhance the functioning of the heart as well as improve our hair health.
Helps build immunity
The immune system is made of T cells, B cells and natural immune cells. Spirulina consists of certain elements that improve the functioning of these cells and hence, build the immune system.
Spirulina contains amino acids that provide digestive enzymes, which facilitates healthy digestion. It also helps fight intestinal infection as it has immune cells, which flight off virus and thus promote digestion.
A great source of Anti-oxidant
Carotenoid is the world’s most powderful anti-oxident, and spirulina is a rich source of this. An increase in free radicals in the body tends to aid wrinkling, bad skin and could also lead to cancer and hearth diseases. Anti-oxidants works wonders to fight against free radicals.
Good for growing children
Spirulina facilitates healthy growth of children due to its numerous nutrients. It improves eye sight, helps build concentration, builds muscular growth as well as enhance tissue development.
Increases energy levels
One gram of protein gives the individual 4 kilo calories of energy and since spirulina is loaded with proteins, it works as a great energy booster.
Spirulina contains phycocyanin, which helps fight free radicals. This substance gives spirulina its great anti-inflammatory properties.
(Please Note: Spirulina as a vitamin supplement must only be consumed after consultation with a doctor or a specialist.)