Sunday, November 27, 2011

Spirulina: An Aquatic Superfood?

spirulina.jpgYou may have heard of spirulina before and wondered what this health supplement is all about.

Spirulina is rare blue-green algae that is a powerhouse of health. It is said to have all the health benefits of multiple fruits and vegetables, yet packed into an algae that is normally fed to fish!

Complete Protein: It contains all the amino acids necessary for health. This makes spirulina a great food or supplement for vegetarians and vegans, or for those who eat less meat. However, with the recommended daily dose of 1 teaspoon, you will only be getting 2 grams of protein.B12: One of the few plant sources. Spirulina does not produce B12, but, rather it is a byproduct of animal contamination. No need to worry about contamination and toxicity as long as you are getting your spirulina from a reliable source. In addition, the type of B12 found in spirulina is questionable. We are still unsure if it gets absorbed by the body or not. So, vegetarians and vegans should continue to supplement in other ways.Trace amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, iron, copper, and manganese in one teaspoon of dried spirulina.Chlorophyll: A pigment found in spirulina that gives it a green color. Can help to improve digestion, improve the circulatory system, and heal the liver. Serving size: 1 teaspoon There isn't any concrete scientific evidence about what spirulina can be used for, but here are a few possible health claims: Alleviate PMSReduce depression, anxiety, and other mood disordersIncrease energyWeight lossBetter blood glucose controlImprove skin toneDecrease inflammation and arthritisReduce cancer riskYou can buy spirulina in a pill or powder form. But, please remember to buy from a well known brand, and do not take excessive forms of this supplement as it is not well researched.

Spirulina seems to be a superfood and a highly digestible source of protein. But, it is still fairly new on the market, so I would recommend caution when consuming it by only taking the recommended daily dose.

Have you tried spirulina, and if so, have you noticed any health benefits?

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