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Spirulina: beneficial properties and contraindications

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Spirulina is one of the most unique and amazing plants in the world. Scientists say that this is the only plant that has managed to live on our planet for hundreds of millions of years, and the secret of such amazing vitality lies in its special biochemical composition.

Photo: Depositphotos.com. Posted by: nbiebach.

The nutritional value

In spirulina there are a lot of concentrated (about 2000 in total) minerals, vitamins and essential fatty amino acids for humans, and plant enzymes.

The author of a scientific review published in Modern Pharmaceutical Biotechnologies in 2008 called this blue-green alga "the most complete natural source of nutrition".

Another advantage: such a valuable set of nutrients is “hidden” under an edible, easily digestible membrane consisting of mucoproteins.

What really seems like a terrific nutritional fact is the concentration of protein in spirulina, which reaches 70%. And more bonuses.

  • A total of 10 g of healthy algae contains as much beta-carotene as 10 kg of dried carrots.
  • Only 1 tablespoon of blue-green extract can give a person 300% of the daily intake of vitamin B12.
  • In sum, the nutritional value of spirulina is several times higher than other useful products, for example: sturgeon fillets, red and black caviar, quail eggs, etc.

Healing properties of algae have already managed to adopt various medical centers. So, according to the Russian press, they started to grow it at Moscow State University. Lomonosov, observing environmentally friendly conditions.

At NASA, a study was conducted of spirulina as a potential basis for powering astronauts during flight conditions. After all, astronauts are extremely necessary products with high nutritional value, but taking up little space.

And 1 g of blue-green algae, according to scientists, contains as many nutrients as 1 kg of vegetable assortment.

What is the use?

The beneficial properties of spirulina stem from the healing power of its individual biologically active components.

  1. Arginine cleanses the blood of toxic substances, helps to remove slagging of the body, increases libido.
  2. Gamma-linolenic acid is a good tool for the prevention and treatment of arthritis. A rare natural ingredient that is also found in breast milk.
  3. Glutamic acid is considered an important food for brain cells, improves mental ability and reduces cravings for alcohol.
  4. Inositol is needed to treat the liver. He is involved in the elimination of carcinogens from the body, as well as an excessive amount of female hormones. Contributes to the normalization of cholesterol in the blood.
  5. Thiamine is recommended to enter into the diet with problems with the nervous system, increased fatigue, insomnia, heart rhythm disturbances, shortness of breath.
  6. Tyrosine has anti-aging properties. There are also medical grounds for suggesting that tyrosine prevents the appearance of gray hair. Scientists call this substance the "elixir of youth."
  7. Phycocyanin is a blue pigment, to which the scientific community is now paying close attention. According to some information, it is the only component found in nature that can inhibit the growth of cancer cells. In addition to spirulina, more phycocyanin was not found in any plant on our planet.
  8. Folic acid is needed for the formation of hemoglobin in the human body.
  9. Cystine plays an important role in the pancreas.

Spirulina treatment

It has a positive effect on people suffering from type II diabetes. Studies confirm the ability of edible algae to reduce blood sugar levels, with noticeable results appearing only after 6-8 weeks from the start of regular intake.

Spirulina treatment can be indicated for heart disease, arthritis and even cancer.

An introduction to the diet of this product will help maintain a healthy pH balance in the body. A daily diet based on high-acidity foods, such as animal proteins and grains, can and should be balanced with spirulina, which has alkaline properties.

Among the many medical indications of the use of blue-green algae in food, it is worth highlighting the following:

  • prevention of many viral infections, including HIV, influenza, mumps, measles and herpes,
  • reduction of allergies, including hay fever,
  • protection of the liver against toxins
  • reduction of blood pressure, getting rid of cholesterol plaques,
  • reduction of symptoms of ulcerative colitis,
  • increase immunity.

Heart protection

The authors of an article from the Journal of Medical Nutrition (2009) write that spirulina lowers blood pressure and the concentration of lipids, in particular triglycerides and low-density lipoproteins (abbreviated as LDL). These beneficial properties make blue-green algae an excellent aid in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular ailments.

Another research paper, published in the Journal of Nutrition Science and Vitaminology in 2010, also focuses on the use of spirulina in the prevention of atherosclerosis and the reduction of cardiovascular risk factors in animals.

Help and immunity

Helping the body in the production of antibodies, that is, proteins that resist infections, makes it possible to treat spirulina as a potentially powerful remedy for cancer and other chronic diseases.

Scientists believe that these wonderful algae can slow down the gradual weakening of the immune system caused by natural aging processes.

Allergy Bonuses

Spirulina reduces the production of histamine, a concomitant allergy substance responsible for many of the symptoms of the disease.

In addition to the antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, antitumor and anti-inflammatory properties, spirulina also has antihistamine properties.

The European Society of Otorhinolaryngologists confirms that taking supplements with blue-green algae can significantly improve the condition of patients suffering from seasonal allergies and reduce the manifestation of symptoms such as sneezing, itching, nasal congestion and allergic rhinitis.

Liver protection

Chlorophyll, which is so abundant in spirulina, helps to cleanse the liver, kidneys and blood of toxins, impurities and reduce the effect of free radicals.

Such detoxification is especially necessary if you stick to a low carbohydrate diet (for example, the Atkins diet or the South Beach diet), which are heavy for the liver and kidneys due to excessively intensive excretion of ketones.

The fact that it is often attributed to protection against toxins, air and water pollution is also in favor of spirulina, which is a common thing for a city man.

If you are familiar with the culture of nutrition in Asia, such as China and Japan, you probably already know about the beneficial properties of spirulina.

Dietary Supplements

Photo: Depositphotos.com. Posted by: Kesu01.

Spirulina can be purchased in the form of tablets or powder. The main advantage of the powder is a higher concentration of biologically active substances.

You can add the powder to various cocktails and fruit juices (1 tablespoon per glass), smoothies, salads, yoghurts and other cold foods.

The main condition is not to heat treat, since at high temperatures the lion's share of valuable substances is lost.

At the moment there are no clear data on the minimum effective dosage of the powder, although in clinical trials people are given from 1 to 10 g.

It is extremely important to buy spirulina only from reputable manufacturers, since it can be contaminated with heavy metals and toxic substances - microcystins.

Contraindications and drug compatibility

Admission is contraindicated in pregnancy and breastfeeding, with phenylketonuria and autoimmune diseases such as lupus, multiple sclerosis.

There is a negative interaction with suppressive drugs:

Spirulina powder may contain toxoids and heavy metals (mercury). To minimize the risk of toxin poisoning, do not exceed the dosages recommended by manufacturers.

Reviews: "Headache and dizziness passed"

Spirulina is an excellent remedy for dizziness and headache, it really helped me. Prior to that, he had suffered from severe bouts of dizziness and headache for half a year, Citramon had hardly reduced the headache, but he had added a very strong dizziness. After starting spirulina, headache and dizziness disappeared.

I took it for sight. Spirulina - a source of antioxidants, vitamins, heals the body, fills it with strength, fights against harmful substances. Indeed, this plant is superfood, and it is better to take proven, pure spirulina. Sometimes it happens that these algae contain heavy metals. Supplements should be purchased from reliable manufacturers.

I watched the program with Elena Malysheva, she spoke about Spirulina. I decided to try, because it's time to deal with obesity. And not sorry. An effective drug, after a couple of months I took off almost 8 kg, and noticed that in general, I began to feel better.

How to choose and store?

Spirulina algae must be properly selected and stored, as this product is not only a wonderful addition to your dishes, but also a very useful food additive. In order for it to bring as much benefit to the body as possible, spirulina must be of high quality. We suggest you take note of several recommendations that will help you with the choice of product.

  • First, find out from the seller whether he has quality certificates proving that the goods have passed the necessary checks.
  • Ensure that the store is in compliance with sanitary standards.
  • When choosing spirulina algae in powder, be sure to pay attention to the expiration date, which is indicated on the package. Also make sure that the pack is intact, and also not stored in case of unacceptable moisture values.
  • Fresh spirulina has a dark green color and looks like lettuce leaves. If you see dark spots on the surface of the product, the seaweed is strangely curtailed or withered, it is better to refuse such a purchase.
  • When buying algae in the form of flakes or tablets to use for treating certain diseases, make sure that the product is of high quality, having found out information about the supplier, as well as looking at the shelf life.

When choosing spirulina algae in fresh, dried, canned, or any other form, give preference to proven vendors. It is also better not to rush to buy a product that is sold at a discount, as it certainly will not be of high quality.

As for the storage of algae, it depends on the exact form you purchased this product. Spirulina powder, as well as tablets and flakes must be stored in an airtight container or bag, leaving in a dark and dry place. Preserved seaweed is best stored in the refrigerator and consumed within two days after opening the can. Fresh spirulina must be used for cooking immediately after purchase, as in this form the product has an extremely small shelf life and quickly loses its positive qualities.

Spirulina, chlorella and kelp - what's the difference?

Spirulina, chlorella and kelp are varieties of edible algae that have many similarities, making it easy to confuse products with each other. Nevertheless, they also have differences. In our article you can read them in order to be able to purchase exactly the alga that you need. We suggest for this to study a small but informative table describing each variety of algae.

Botanical description

Spirulina - a representative of the genus of blue-green unicellular algae (cyanobacteria), under the microscope has the shape of a coiled spiral. The alga has a rich dark green color and lives in the natural environment only in a few lakes - African Chad, Chinese Chinhae and South American Texcoco. Therefore, spirulina is actively cultivated, its large industrial producers are located in many countries, including the USA, India, China, Thailand, and Taiwan.

Energy value and calorie

In 100 grams of dry spirulina about 300 kcal. Despite the rather high caloric content, the product is considered dietary, because it is taken in small quantities. 100 grams of spirulina contains:

  • proteins - 60 g,
  • Fat - 5 g,
  • carbohydrates - 20 g,
  • fiber - the rest.
The nutritional value of this additive can not be overestimated, because one gram of it contains the same amount of useful nutrients as one kilogram of vegetable salad.

Use: medicinal properties

  • Chlorophyll boosts immunity and saturates all cells of the body with oxygen,
  • glutamic acid is responsible for the nutrition of the brain and its activity,
  • arginine helps to remove toxins from the body,
  • Inositol promotes normal liver function and healthy cholesterol levels.
  • Thiamine strengthens the nervous system and normalizes sleep,
  • gamma-linolenic acid has a good effect on the condition of the joints,
  • tyrosine slows down the aging process
  • high iron concentrations are beneficial for red blood cells,
  • saturates the body with most of the necessary amino acids for man
  • has a powerful antioxidant effect,
  • normalizes blood pressure, which improves the state of the cardiovascular system,
  • It has a positive effect on the digestive system, speeds up metabolism,
  • heals the skin, helps cell regeneration, has anti-inflammatory properties,
  • improves vision and memory, improves overall body tone.

In medicine

The main use of spirulina is a biological additive in food. Algae are usually consumed in dry form in tablets, powder or flakes. It helps in the recovery of many organs and body functions, rejuvenates it, enriching it with valuable vitamins, minerals and amino acids. The supplement does not cure any particular organ, it affects the entire body as a whole, supplying it with oxygen, increasing its protective functions and energizing. It is often prescribed for patients with type 2 diabetes: with regular use of spirulina, blood sugar levels significantly decrease. In addition, it is useful for arthritis, heart disease and is an excellent prevention of infectious diseases.

In cooking

Spirulina is widely used as an additive to healthy foods - bars, bread rolls and even ice cream. In addition, its extract has a fairly resistant pigment, so that it is popular as a natural dye of food. Spirulina is added to salads and sauces, while its peculiar smell is interrupted by garlic, parsley and various seasonings.

In cosmetology

Algae has found its application in cosmetology: make it nourishing and rejuvenating masks. And thanks to a pronounced anti-inflammatory effect, masks from this alga are used for acne and boils. It is necessary to mix one tablespoon of spirulina with a small amount of boiled (not hot!) Water, apply on the skin for 10 minutes, then rinse with warm water. With severe acne, time can be doubled. For falling out, damaged and thin hair, a regenerating mask with spirulina is recommended. You need to mix in the same proportions egg yolk, brandy, honey and add a tablespoon of dry algae. Apply the mixture onto hair for 20–30 minutes and then rinse with warm water. This mask nourishes the hair, returning them the natural shine and strength.

Slimming

Normalization of metabolism is one of the main qualities of this wonder algae. Two tablets with this component, taken half an hour before breakfast, will help you in the fight against overweight. Due to the high nutritional value and the presence of phenylalanine in addition to losing weight, the appetite decreases, a feeling of satiety and fullness of energy comes.

Procurement and storage conditions

Spirulina is the product that is extremely difficult to grow at home, because its growth requires the maintenance of a specific composition of water. The alga very quickly deteriorates, and in poor quality or overdue microcystins may be present, causing gastrointestinal disorders, and, in the long run, extremely serious liver diseases. In addition, there are cases of contamination of spirulina with heavy metals such as lead, mercury and arsenic - especially for cheap Chinese tablets and powders.

How to make a face mask at home

At home, you can quickly prepare a nourishing face mask with spirulina. To do this, you will need a tablespoon:

  • spirulina,
  • sour cream
  • oatmeal
Ingredients should be mixed and applied to cleansed face for 20-30 minutes, then rinse with warm water. For the effect of rejuvenation, you can add gelatin, egg white or yeast. This mask perfectly tones the skin, improves elasticity, eliminates wrinkles and removes redness. For more anti-inflammatory effect, you can add a decoction of chamomile or a little soda to the mask. Спирулина — это та пищевая добавка, которую обязательно следует приобрести, если вы планируете сбросить несколько лишних килограммов или привести в порядок свою кожу.And as a bonus, you will receive the recovery of almost all organs and systems of the body, a charge of vitality and a great mood.

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