Vegetarians have celebrated the nutritional value of spirulina for years. In recent years, however, others interested in creating healthier lives through diet are finally discovering it to be a rich food source offering energy and protein to all who partake of it. A blue-green algae, spirulina is able to rival beef in terms of its protein content. Although it is related to kelp, spirulina is not actually a sea plant, as it also grows in alkaline waters, such as lakes and freshwater ponds.
Despite encountering hot temperatures as it is processed for consumer use, where other plant forms sometimes lose their nutritional potency in these stages, it is remarkably able to retain all of its nutritional value.
Spirulina Nutrition Benefits
In addition to being a rich natural protein source, it provides the following nutrients:
- Trace elements
- Rhamnose sugars
- Chelated minerals
- Amino acids
Spirulina Health Benefits
As a complete protein source, which is also rich in other minerals, spirulina health benefits often used in natural cures and home remedies highlight that it:
- Acts as an antiviral
- Has anticancer properties
- Fuels the immune system by increasing antibodies
- Provides allergy protection by halting antihistamines
- Fights herpes
- Fights HIV
- Fights influenza
- May provide help in curing liver disorders
Spirulina side effects are not common, but they do exist. Specific precautions concerning the potential danger of spirulina include:
- It can become contaminated with toxic substances, as well as absorb any heavy metals that may be present in its surrounding waters. Therefore, consumers are advised to only purchase this algae from a most trusted source.
- Individuals afflicted with phenylketonuria (also known as PKU) should not take spirulina, as this condition renders them unable to metabolize the phenylalanine amino acid, which is one that is quite prevalent in spirulina.
- Also, those with lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis are advised against taking spirulina, as the stimulation it provides to the immune system may intensify these conditions.
- Those who are taking medications to suppress the immune system should also avoid spirulina, as it will have the opposite effect on immunity.
Out of all of the blue-green algaes, spirulina is probably the most researched. The benefits of spirulina are plentiful and come highly recommended for both folk remedies in treating common ailments and in support of continued vitality in healthy individuals. When used correctly over time, people realize that the powerful nutrients it provides guarantee that it will continue to thrive at the top of the list of the most potent supplements to be found in nature.