Spirulina is a bluegreen algae, first consumed regularly by space pilots because of its high nutritional content, and since then it has become famous worldwide. It has an incredible protein content (70%) and also contains many vitamins and antioxidants (such as chlorophyll). Did you know that there is a plant that has a higher protein content than meat?
Even the Aztec civilisation consumed dried seaweed. Spirulina is also available in dried powder and extract form. Dried seaweed can be added to dishes, smoothies, protein shakes, and it will significantly increase the nutritional value of the food.
In addition to its high protein content, it is particularly high in vitamin B12, beta carotene, vitamin E, gamma linolenic acid and chlorophyll.
Gamma linolenic acid, beta carotene and vitamin E are powerful antioxidants that protect against free radicals that damage cells. Because free radical damage (oxidative stress) is at the root of many diseases, they reduce the chances of developing many different diseases. This reduces the risk of developing a wide range of diseases. These active substances also have cholesterol-lowering effects.
Gamma lipolenic acid is one of the Omega 6 fatty acids most of these fatty acids have anti-inflammatory effects, but gamma linolenic acid is an exception: on the contrary, it has anti-inflammatory effects.
Chlorophyll, a green pigment, plays a key role in photosynthesis. Chlorophyll is responsible for the absorption and transmission of light energy. Chlorophyll has traditionally been used to alleviate body odours and bad breath, and in Asia it has been used for centuries, chlorophyll extracted from the droppings of silkworms. Chlorophyll has a wide range of different compounds that break down in the body and can therefore have a wide range of effects. Some chlorophyll derivatives are able to combine with carcinogens to form a complex, which causes the carcinogen to lose its structure and no longer has the ability to cause cell damage. One of the derivatives of chlorophyll, called phytanic acid, can indirectly stabilise blood sugar levels.
Spirulina also has a high fibre content, dietary fibre is indigestible by the body, like phytanic acid it helps to stabilise blood sugar levels and helps to moisten the stool by its water-binding capacity - a natural remedy for constipation. Fibre can be fermented by 'good' bacteria in the gut, providing nutrients for these beneficial bacteria. So because of its fibre content, spirulina can help stabilise blood sugar levels and support gut health.
In addition, regular consumption of spirulina can improve various allergies by inhibiting the production of the hormone histamine, which is responsible for allergic reactions.
Spirulina consumption is, according to studies, generally considered safe, as spirulina has no cellulose cell wall and is therefore easily digestible. Doses used in studies also vary widely, with 1-8 grams of spirulina generally considered effective. Doses used in studies:
- To achieve effects on cholesterol levels: 1-8 grams per day
- To stabilise blood glucose levels: 2 grams per day
- Against fatty liver: 4.5 grams per day has been shown to be effective
So spirulina is a true superfood, it is an immune booster due to its antioxidant and vitamin content, it supports digestion due to its fibre content, it stabilises blood sugar levels and it may also have cholesterol-lowering effects.