What Is Spirulina? Health Benefits of This Blue-Green Algae Dietary Supplement
Spirulina (Photo Credits: Pixabay)

In order to fulfil the nutritional requirement, we often try out different food items and supplements. Most people fall prey to marketing gimmick of various companies which boast of providing protein and vitamins. We as a buyer should be aware of the product and its ingredients. Spirulina can enrich the body with vital nutrients and vitamins. Having said that, let us speak about spirulina, a blue-green algae, which can be consumed by both humans and animals.  Best Protein Supplements for Beginners: Guidelines to Follow Before Selecting the Correct Whey Protein Powder.

What is Spirulina?

Spirulina is an organism which grows in both fresh and salt water. It is a cyanobacteria, which belongs to the family of single-celled microbes that are often referred to as blue-green algae. During the 16th century, Spirulina was a food source for the Aztecs and other Mesoamericans who used to harvest in from Lake Texcoco in Mexico. It became popular when NASA proposed that it could be grown in space for use by astronauts. As per USDA Food Composition Database. a single teaspoon of spirulina (around 7 g) contains 4 g proteins, Vitamin B1 (11% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance) Vitamin B2 (15% of RDA), Vitamin B3 (4% of RDA), copper (21% of RDA) and iron (11% of RDA). The best part about spirulina supplement is that it provides proteins which are rich in all essential amino acids. In addition to this, it also contains a small quantity of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. How to Boost Sperm Count? Everything You Need To Know About Fish Oil Supplements and Improved Male Fertility.

Health Benefits of Spirulina 

1. Good Supplement to Overcome Malnutrition- According to the India Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Network, the government of the Indian state of Karnataka, in the year 2016, joined hands with JSW Energy, which framed a program where malnourished children were provided with spirulina supplements. The JSW website reports a 46 percent reduction in malnutrition cases among young children, pregnant women and lactating mothers.

2. Helps in Reducing Bad 'LDL' Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels- According to a study published in the journal of National Institute of Health in the year 2014,  people with high cholesterol confirmed that 1 gram of spirulina per day lowered triglycerides by 16.3 percent and “bad” LDL by 10.1 percent.

3. Reduce Blood Pressure- As per the study published in the journal of National Institute of Health in the year 2014, a high dosage of spirulina (4.5 g per day) can reduce blood pressure. Heart attack and chronic kidney disease are linked to high blood pressure.

4. Increase Endurance and Muscle Strength-  If you lift heavy weights and do intense training every day, it is ideal to include spirulina in your post-workout smoothie. Oxidative damage, which causes muscle fatigue, can be reduced by spirulina due to the presence of antioxidant properties.

5. May Aid in Weight Loss - According to a study published on the effects of spirulina on body weight in the journal of National Institute of Health in the year 2016, spirulina helps in losing weight. In the study, it was found out that overweight people who regularly ate spirulina for three months showed improved body mass index.

It must be noted that, spirulina supplement shouldn't be contaminated as it can lead to fatal health problems. Always ensure that you are buying an authentic product. Also note, the spirulina dosage differs for different purposes, like for muscle performance, dosage of around 7 g per day is recommended, for effects on fatty liver, a dosage of 4.5 g per day is ideal.  Likewise, the dosage will be different for blood pressure, cholesterol control, etc. Therefore, take advice from your doctor or dietitian regarding the dosage and usage of spirulina supplement.

(This article is written for an informative purpose and should not be substituted for medical advice. Kindly consult your doctor before trying any tips.)