September 24, 2013

Spirulina was first discovered and documented by the ancient Aztecs, they realised spirulina had amazing nutritional properties, and on top of this could be cultivated en masse, used and stored. One of the early production centres of spirulina was Lake Texcoco, in the in the Valley of Mexico. There is no doubting the powerful nutritional properties spiralling has.

Natural Organic Spirulina Powder

Spirulina is extremely high in protein and contains 22 identified amino acids, and all eight essential amino acids (essential means the body can't produce them they have to be ingested in some form or another). It has a wide spectrum of other vitamins and minerals that are essential for our bodies health.

Essentially, spirulina is a blue-green algae that grows fairly commonly around the world, but be aware not all blue-green algae is equal, some can be highly toxic. Over the years different marketing organisations and companies have made a lot of claims about the nutritional benefits that spirulina. Whether many of these claims are true or not has yet to be proven, but it is a fact and studies have proven that using spirulina as a nutritional supplement can benefit us.

Over the years spirulina it has been in and out of trend. Its point of highest popularity was around the 1970s when it was widely used, and publicised as the food which will 'save the world'. Unfortunately then this didn't turn out to be true, because of the high cost involved to cultivate the organism in high volumes.

But that was then, and this is now, and it is again being mooted in some corners that spirulina could be the food source that we all turn to in years to come. As the prices of food around the world continues to climb, the economics behind cultivating spirulina en mass start to improve.

Spirulina: A Nutritional Heavy Weight

The reasons why spirulina is becoming popular and a sought after commodity, is because of the amazing and dramatic health benefits it provide us with. Here are a few of the nutritional benefits of using the blue-green algae as a nutritional supplement:

  • Protein-containing roughly 63% protein, this protein is complete, and contains all essential amino acids, making spirulina the highest plant producing protein sources discovered to date.
  • Lipids-is a naturally occurring molecule that contains high levels of fats wax and steroids and typically vitamins A and D,E and K.
  • Vitamins-it yields high levels of vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin A, and vitamin E.
  • Minerals-contains by weight high quantities of potassium, calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, sodium and zinc.
  • Pigments-the pigments contained within spirulina are hard to come by from other sources, in the relative quantities there found within the blue-green algae. Beta-carotene, chlorophyll, oscillaxanthin, Xanthophyll and zeaxanthin are just a few. All of these pigments are known for their high bioavailability, which means they are quickly absorbed and digestive by the body with very little waste, this is a key factor in delivering nutrients in sufficient quantities to the body.

Spirulina Side Effects

The side effects of spirulina are predominantly positive, it offers concentrated nutrition, vitamins and minerals in an organic easy to digest form.

The large amount of nutrients vitamins and minerals that spirulina contains and the easy to absorb forms it delivers them in makes the algae stand head and shoulders above other nutritional supplements. It can affect many different parts of the body, the most common reported benefits are lowering blood pressure and boosting the bodies Immune system in general.

These two key advantages, in turn, have a positive 'knock-on' effect, on many other bodily functions. Reducing the risks of cancer, lowering the risk of strokes, helps the pancreas and aids liver dysfunctions to name but a few more. As in-depth research is carried out into the organism, we are learning more.

A major area of research is into the effects it has on the HIV and AIDS. Presently it is thought to help HIV carriers in two main ways, first by delivering effectively and efficiently nutrients to the body, boosting the immune system and better preparing the body to naturally fight the virus, and a second more direct effect being researched is that it actually stops the virus from developing, more can be read on this here.

The algae are also very beneficial to allergy sufferers, in those who suffer from seasonal allergies or common household allergies. Patients who regularly use OTC (over-the-counter) medicines report regularly using spirulina reduces the symptoms. This is important because many OTC allergy medications contain high levels of antihistamines, it is known that long-term use of antihistamines lowers the body's natural immune system, and in some cases, dependancies on these medicines can ensue.

High Cholesterol Sufferers

As we're all quite aware these days, having a high cholesterol level is not good for us, really not good. It can lead to many secondary illnesses and diseases. Thousands of people find themselves on cholesterol lowering medication each year. Unfortunately, these drugs don't come without their side effects and risks.

Cholesterol-lowering medication contain stating.

Stating is a drug that is used to lower cholesterol. Unfortunately, this drug has side effects and risks associated with it. Known side effects are:

  • Immune depression
  • Liver & pancreas damage
  • Cataracts
  • Increased cancer risk

There is no evidence to prove that taking statin will lower your cholesterol any more than actually taking control of your life, eating a nutritionally balanced diet and exercising regularly. However, if you are unable to maintain a nutritionally balanced diet and exercise regularly then these medications are your best bet.

Spirulina V Chlorella

Spirulina and chlorella are very closely related, they're both blue-green algae. However, spirulina is much older than chlorella, this means that is less developed as an organism, it has much-simplified cell structure that our bodies digestive system can break down and absorb quickly.

Although, they both have their unique qualities, Chlorella is great at breaking down heavy metals that build up within the body. Metals like Mercury for example. Mercury gets into the body by a whole variety of means, from eating seafood, dentistry and vaccinations. Heavy metal buildups poison us. Chlorella can break these heavy metals build-ups down. This article is focused on spirulina you can read more about chlorella here.


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