Often referred to as a superfood, spirulina is a type of cyanobacteria formerly known as blue-green algae. Famous for its distinct flavor, spirulina has gained traction as a dietary supplement as it contains a wide range of minerals and antioxidants. Read on to learn about the advantages of incorporating spirulina into your diet.
Boosts the Immune System
Vitamins E, C, and B6 are only a few of the many vitamins and minerals abundant in spirulina. Studies have shown that spirulina boosts your body's white blood cells and antibody production, making it better able to ward off infections.
There is more research to be done to examine the benefits of spirulina on humans; however, laboratory studies reveal that it can prevent flu, herpes, and HIV.
May Help Prevent Cancer
DNA and cellular structure can be affected by oxidative stress. Such damage can trigger persistent inflammation, which has been linked to cancer as well as other conditions. Spirulina contains a high concentration of antioxidants, making it useful for preventing oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
Improves Cardiovascular Health
Spirulina contains a protein that has been shown to inhibit the body's cholesterol absorption, hence decreasing blood cholesterol levels. This contributes to the maintenance of clear arteries, which can prevent the kinds of stress on the heart that can cause cardiovascular disease and clots that lead to strokes.
Triglyceride levels are also lowered by the protein. The presence of these lipids in the blood raises the danger of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and pancreatitis. Spirulina also boosts nitric oxide production, which relaxes blood vessels. Researchers have found that doing so lowers blood pressure, improving heart health.
Provides Allergy Relief
Those who suffer from pollen, animal hair, or dust allergies can find relief with spirulina's anti-inflammatory properties. One study revealed that spirulina considerably reduced symptoms such as sneezing, itching, and congestion in participants, implying that it may be a useful alternative to allergy medicines.
Increase Muscle Power and Endurance
Muscle fatigue is largely caused by oxidative damage that occurs during exercise. The antioxidant properties in some plant foods can aid athletes and those physically active in reducing this damage.
Some research has shown that taking spirulina can increase muscle power and stamina. One study found that men who took a daily 6-gram spirulina supplement for four weeks had greater endurance during exercise.
Supports Mental Health
It has been suggested that spirulina may help with mental wellness and potentially play a role in treating mood disorders. The amino acid tryptophan, which is present in this superfood, has been shown to enhance serotonin levels in the brain, suggesting that it may be useful as a supplement in the prevention and control of a variety of mental health conditions.
The Bottom Line
Spirulina is a type of cyanobacteria that has been shown to have many health benefits. It can help boost the immune system, prevent cancer, improve cardiovascular health, provide allergy relief, increase muscle power and endurance, and support mental health.
However, additional research into verifying spirulina benefits is needed. Nevertheless, spirulina supplements should be taken with caution, and people with preexisting health concerns should check with their doctor before taking spirulina as a supplement.