For over a decade, nutritional scientists have been studying a unique blue-green algae found in both fresh and saltwater. It’s called spirulina. Their findings have confirmed that by consuming this unique organism as a nutritional source, it not only reduces appetite, but also boosts immunity and energy levels and greatly lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke, aside from providing many other miraculous benefits.
Spirulina is not new. It has been reported that the Aztecs regularly used spirulina and it was harvested by the Kanembu people of Central Africa as a food source. Today, it has been proposed by NASA to be grown in space and used as a nutritional source for astronauts.
So what’s in this “Miracle of the Sea?” Spirulina is a great source of calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, and zinc. It also contains a host of B vitamins — thiamine or B-1, riboflavin or B-2, nicotinamide or B-3, pyridoxine or B-6, folic acid or B-9 — and vitamins C, D, A, and E.
Vegetarians and vegans should be most interested in taking this supplement because spirulina is rich in protein content. By weight, it’s an amazing 50-70 percent protein and also contains all of the amino acids needed for a healthy lifestyle.
Weight Loss Effects
Hunger comes from an imbalance in the diet. The body craves nutrients and vitamins necessary to function to the best of its ability. Because spirulina contains a wide array of nutrients, vitamins, essential pigments, and an average of 60 percent protein level, those who regularly consume spirulina will be less hungry. Protein appeases hunger better than meats and fatty food — even better than carbs. If you take it on an empty stomach with water 15 to 30 minutes before a meal, your body will become satisfied and you will eat less.
Spirulina is easier to digest than meat tissue — usually within several minutes only. Spirulina contains only small amounts of essential fats like omega-6 and omega-3 and only 20 calories per tablespoon (about 7 grams).
The vitamin content and protein will give the body the energy boost needed to lose weight. With the extra elevation in energy levels, cardio workouts are more effective and the body will burn fat faster. Unlike other energy-stimulating sources which are temporary, spirulina, when consumed regularly, maintains a consistent effect.
The Department of Aquaculture in Taiwan conducted a study that concluded spirulina boosted the immune system significantly. Spirulina also contains over 26 times the amount of calcium found in milk. Calcium is needed to maintain strong bones and nourishes the heart muscle and nerves.
Spirulina contains phycocyanin which fights free radicals, inhibiting the production of inflammatory-signaling molecules. This provides an impressive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect.
Studies have shown that these antioxidants in spirulina are effective in lowering lipid peroxidation. This protects LDL cholesterol from becoming oxidized. Oxidized fatty structures in the body can lead to a host of diseases, including type 2 diabetes.
Another positive effect that spirulina offers is a decrease in blood pressure by increasing the production of nitric oxide, which encourages the blood vessels to relax and dilate. High blood pressure can lead to heart attacks, strokes and many other ailments and even death.
Every year, more tests and studies are being conducted on spirulina with surprisingly positive results. In addition to what has been mentioned, Spirulina has been proven to help with detoxifying the body, controlling blood sugar levels, and contains many anti-cancer agents specifically for oral cancers. Spirulina has also been successful in treating allergies and increasing hemoglobin in the blood, thus reducing anemia and its effects.
All of the benefits of consuming spirulina regularly have yet to be discovered. However, with what is already known, spirulina is definitely worthy of the title “Miracle of the Sea.”
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