Spirulina - A Plant Rich in Antioxidants and Carotenoids
What is Spirulina?
Thriving in warm, fresh water bodies, spirulina is a one-celled algae that is shaped in circular microscopic strands. It is identified by its blue-green color. Health advocates have called it the "food of the future" as it is almost 71% protein (beef has only 22% protein) and has essential amino acids. It has the ability to synthesize high concentration food.
Other nutrients that Spirulina is known to provide are chelated minerals, trace elements, enzymes and natural plant sugars. Although it is a one-celled organism, spirulina can be 100 times bigger than most algae.
Because of its antioxidant properties, there is good reason to promote further research into spirulina supplements. An article in Nutra Foods points to the cardiovascular benefits of spirulina making it a "strong buy" as a healthy blue-green supplement.
Benefits of Spirulina
There are many benefits of taking a healthy greens powder that contains spirulina. Spirulina stimulates the immune system. This is proven by its ability to help the body fight infection and its influence on the formation of red blood cells (hemopoieses). It also acts as an anti-viral agent, as noted in simple water extracts and dried bomass. It fights viruses effectively, thanks to its polysaccharides and other elements. Research studies show that it has excellent cancer-fighting properties.
This plant has also been identified as a heart booster as it helps to decrease blood pressure and de-concentrate plasma lipids. Consuming spirulina can help in lowering the amount of triacylglycerols and lipoprotein cholesterol.
Spirulina - Long Term Potential
In the past 10 years, studies on spirulina were carried out and researchers feel encouraged in promoting its numerous health benefits. Some of these studies were performed on extracts of spirulina, while some were done on isolated compounds from spirulina. The spirulina movement has gained momentum since the 1970s. Some researchers are focusing on the pigment C-phycocyanin (the blue-green pigment found in spirulina) for its health properties.
Volume 9, Pages 16-26
"Potential health benefits of spirulina microalgae"