Spirulina Nutritional Facts. Is it worth it?
Do you wonder what are spirulina nutritional facts? With over 100 nutrients, Spirulina nutritional value is incredible and this is why this blue-green algae is often described as the most complete food in the world. And you can reap all the benefits with only 2 tablespoons per day!
Gram per gram, Spirulina has the highest concentration of nutrients and a greater variety of nutrients than any other food in the world. This is probably why the NASA did so many research on spirulina. So you’ll have to eat less to have the same benefits, but of course not many people will eat 1kg of spirulina per day. The daily recommendation varies between 2 and 20 gr per day, depending if you are just starting or are a nursing mother or an elite athlete!
Here are just a few Spirulina Nutritional Facts:
• Spirulina has 3900% more beta-carotene than carrots
• Spirulina has 2300% more iron than spinach
• Spirulina has 300% more calcium than whole milk
• Spirulina has 375% more protein than tofu and 200 % more than meat
Three grams of Spirulina have more antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity than five servings of vegetables. Comparing phytonutrient levels, Spirulina is 31 times more potent than blueberries, 60 times more potent than spinach and 700 times more potent than apples
The variety of nutrients found in Spirulina is truly amazing, just like the benefits you’ll get from them. There are literally hundreds of different vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, amino acids, enzymes, all of the essential fatty acids (those that the body can not produce) and phytonutrients found in quality Spirulina products.
Spirulina Nutritional Facts = Real Superpowers?
A few claims are touted on a regular basis about spirulina, but are they real? Let’s look at the most common claims.
1. Spirulina Has Powerful Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Properties
Spirulina is one of the best antioxidant you could give your body.
The reason spirulina is so powerful to fight oxidative stress is the impressive list of pigments that it contains:
- carotenoids and Beta-carotene,
- superoxide Dismutase,
One recent study (1), looked into spirulina because they noticed that athletes from China and Cuba who ate spirulina daily and before competitions got great results (read, better than other athletes with similar training regiment). The scientists found very interesting results (but quite technicals) : the activity of blood superoxide dismutase (SOD) was significantly raised; both GPx and LDH levels were significantly different between spirulina and soy protein supplementation and the lactate (LA) concentration was higher in the spirulina trail.
What does it mean? Simply that, if you eat spirulina everyday, you will reduce the damages from oxidative stress. And we all know how this can help with aging!
(1) Read the full research here: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00421-006-0263-0
2. Spirulina Can Lower LDL and Triglyceride Levels
This is called lipid peroxidation, which is known to be a key driver of many serious diseases (2, 3). We just talk about the anti-oxidative abilities of spirulina and several studies, in both human and animal studies (4, 5), have shown that spirulina is particularly effective at reducing lipid peroxidation.
3. Spirulina Appears to Have Anti-Cancer Properties
Spirulina has been studied in several clinical and animal research for its anti-cancer properties (6, 7). Some studies showed that after using 1 gram per day for 1 year, 45% of the spirulina group had a complete regression of lesions in the mouth, compared to only 7% in the control group (8). When I was working in the spirulina farm in the Bahamas, I had several talks about spirlina anti-cancer properties at the Bahamas Cancer Society. I’ll try to dig up a photo or two 🙂
4. Spirulina helps with allergies.
Spirulina has great anti-inflammatory properties and also boost the immune system. These nutritional facts give it the ability to be an effective treatment for allergies. One study found that 2g daily decreased levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-4 in people who suffered from nasal allergies. Other researchers looked at the long-term clinical effects and found that taking 2g a day led to significant reductions in symptoms of nasal allergies for the six-month duration of the study, with the effect growing stronger over time. So, assuming you commit to taking it every day, spirulina can help.
5. Spirulina is Effective Against Anemia
Yes! this one is pretty obvious. One of the incredible spirulina nutritional facts is its very high content in iron.Spirulina is an incredible help to prevent and even reverse anemia. It works by increasing blood levels of hemoglobin. Spirulina is actually very close to our own hemoglobin. Two teaspoon a day is enough to boost not only your level of iron but also your immune system in incredible ways! Did you know that Aztecs were already giving Spirulina to their warriors? Spirulina is one of the most ancient food that we are still eating today.
6. Spirulina improve Muscle Strength and Endurance
Indeed, new research shows that time to fatigue after a 2h run was significantly longer (+24%) after spirulina supplementation compare to a placebo. Researchers also demonstrated that ingestion of spirulina significantly increased fat oxidation rate (by 10.9%) compare to a placebo! They conclude by saying that “Spirulina supplementation induced a significant increase in exercise performance, fat oxidation, and GSH concentration and attenuated the exercise-induced increase in lipid peroxidation” (9).
These are just a few of spirulina nutritional facts. This is why you should eat spirulina every single day to make sure you are in top health! And why not try to grow it yourself? It’s easy and much more cheaper than buy supplements. If you can’t grow it yourself, make sure you know which spirulina to buy.