Aztecs back in the 16th century in Mexico used this algae as a food source. French explorers in the 1960s found it in abundance in lakes. First major Spirulina production plant is established in the early 1970s. Great attention is attracted in the world.
Spirulina is a single-celled blue-green algae with the smell and the taste similar to seaweed. It can be found in many freshwater environments, ponds, lakes and rivers. Succeeds best under conditions without pesticides, with plenty of sunlight and moderate temperature levels; but also it is very adaptable, surviving even in extreme conditions.
There are several types of spirulina. Those most especially relevant used as dietary supplements are Spirulina maxima and Spirulina platensis.
Today millions of people around the world are discovering spirulina health benefits:
Most of all proteins. High protein concentration (50% -60%). It contains essential amino acids, and the highest values belong to leucine (10.8% of total amino acids), valine (7.4%) and isoleucine (6.9%).
Another benefit – Vitamins. It has a relatively high concentration of vitamin A and is a very rich source of vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin). It includes Vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (nicotinamide), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid), vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin D.
- Furthermore – Lipids. Spirulina contains 4-8% lipids.
- Minerals. Spirulina is a rich source of potassium, also contains chromium, calcium, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, selenium, phosphorus, sodium and zinc… The iron from spirulina has 65% better absorption that the iron sulphate.
- Carbohydrates. It contains about 12.6% carbohydrates, some of which are glucose, mannose, galactose and xylose.
- Nucleic acids. Spirulina contains 2.3% -3.6% RNA and 0.7% -1.2% of DNA.
- Pigments. It contains chlorophyll, xanthophyll, β-carotene (According to the conclusions of the National Cancer Institute in the US, a dose of 6,0 mg of β-carotene daily can be effective in reducing the risk of cancer.
When a virus attacks a cell it first attaches itself to the cell membrane. However, due to the presence of spirulina extract, the virus cannot penetrate cell membranes and occur inside the cell. He is stuck and not able to replicate. Natural defense cells of the organism eventually eliminate it.
Another studie shows that β-carotene, which is very rich in spirulina or its extracts, can prevent or inhibit the growth of cancer cells in humans and animals. Also some of the most common forms of cancer are thought to be the result of damaged DNA that causes uncontrolled growth of cells.
In one US study, extracts of Spirulina had reduced cell growth in oral cancer. The cancer cells were administered a solution of β-carotene in the mouths of mice, which had reduced the number and size of tumors, and some of them have totally disappeared. In India, people who chew tobacco take spirulina regulary. A study in Israel again showed that natural β-carotene is more effective than synthetic.
Spirulina is widely used and operated in different ways on the human body and its health:
1. Strengthens the immune system, improves durability and resistance
2. Purifies the body and destroys free radicals
3. Helps in regulating body weight
4. Improves heart function, regulates cholesterol and blood pressure
5. It improves digestion and work of the digestive system and restores intestinal flora
6. Increases mental energy and improves brain function
7. It rejuvenates the body and slows aging
8. It is used for menstrual problems, problems with gall bladder, liver, constipation, arthritis …
Spirulina is recommended for:
1. Athletes who need more energy and physical endurance
2. People in need of purifying the body of toxins, heavy metals, alcohol, smoking and excessive use of drugs
3. Pregnant women who have an increased need for protein, iron
4. Anemic individuals to improve blood counts
Spirulina tablets can be used by people of all ages. Adults can take 4-6 tablets a day with a meal or between meals, but not later than 4 hours before bedtime.
Spirulina can be used as a face mask:
1. If you have oily skin mash 2-3 tablets and mix with a little water and apply on face.
2. If you have dry skin, mash 2-3 tablets and mix with a little yogurt or sour cream and apply on face.
3. When the mask is dried on the face, about 15 minutes, remove it only with lukewarm water.
This superfood you can use as an adjunct in making the delicacy and shakes. It can be used as a food additive, crush 1-2 pills and add them when cooking as a spice. Remember, add it only at the end of the heat treatment, temperature less than 42C, in order to preserve all the ingredients of foodstuffs.
Despite its various medicinal uses, spirulina is not appropriate for everyone. If you have questions about whether you can take Spirulina or any other vitamin supplement, consult your doctor.
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