Spirulina- Overview, History, Benefits, Precaution, Dosage
What is Spirulina?
Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that was born on Earth more than 3.5 billion years ago and is supposed to be the beginning of all creatures and plants. In Latin, spirulina refers to a spiral and a twist. It gets its name from the way the cells are twisted in the shape of a cork opener. It is a microalga with a total length of between 0.3 and 0.5 mm and is a nutrient-dense green-blue variety.
Algae include red algae such as Asakusanori, brown algae such as kelp and wakame seaweed, green algae such as Chlorella and aonori, and cyanobacteria such as Spirulina. Unlike common algae that live in freshwater, Spirulina is characterised by the strong vitality that allows it to grow in harsh conditions with high temperatures, high alkalinity, and high saltiness. It mostly lives in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa, Central and South America, and the Dead Sea, a salt lake on the Arabian Peninsula.
Spirulina, which has survived the ice age and scorching heat, has a lot of nutrients that are good for health and beauty and has a very strong vitality. It has a lot of protein, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Their protein content, which ranges from 50 to 70 percent, is significantly higher than that of high-quality protein foods like meat and soybeans. Because it contains all of the essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own, it is an excellent source of protein.
Furthermore, β-carotene and B nutrients are additionally plentiful in protein, in any event, when contrasted with different food varieties. Spinach lacks beta-carotene by about 70 times. Moreover, it is said that the stomach-related ingestion rate is 95%, and it has the trademark that supplements are flawlessly retained in the body. Due to its high nutritional value and low cultivation water requirements, spirulina is anticipated to be a means of eradicating hunger and malnutrition.
History Of Spirulina
There is a record that the Aztec kingdom, which prospered in the highlands of Mexico in the 16th century, ate spirulina that grew naturally in salt lakes. In the Republic of Chad, which is situated in the eastern piece of the Sahara Desert in Africa, the native individuals residing close to the lake are said to have eaten spirulina, which fills normally in the lake, as a significant wellspring of protein in the desert where nomadism and development are impractical.
Dr Durpin, a German algologist, found spirulina in 1927 and gave it the name "spirulina."
Dr Clement of the French Public Petrol Foundation zeroed in on the bountiful supplements of Spirulina, conducted repeated research as a protein, and acquainted it with the world at a microbiological gathering held in Mexico. Reports that the protein-rich spirulina was identified as a potential future food source sparked an interest. As a health food, it is useful for people's health management and is being mass-cultivated in artificial ponds around the world. At the moment, research is progressing. Additionally, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is investigating its potential as a future food source in space.
Spirulina- A king of superfood
Spirulina is considered “The king of superfoods” because it contains many nutrients that are useful for building a healthy body. It is rich in more than 50 nutrients such as protein, vitamins and minerals.
At first, it is rich in protein, vitamins A, C, E and B vitamins, as well as minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc and selenium. Let's discuss this-
Nutrients Of Spirulina
1: Plenty of protein with a good balance of amino acids: Spirulina contains between 55% and 70% protein. For reference, the protein content of food sources that are supposed to be high in protein is 5% tofu, 3% milk, 23% handled cheddar, and 19% ground meat. Spirulina contains a lot of protein.
2: About 4-8% dietary fibre: Polysaccharides that are difficult to digest with digestive enzymes are referred to as dietary fibre. Dietary fibre in Spirulina is around 4-8%, and around 40% or a greater amount of it is water-solvent unpalatable polysaccharides.
3: Vegetable pigments like chlorophyll, carotenoids, and phycocyanin: Spirulina's pigments can be roughly broken down into three categories: chlorophyll (chlorophyll), carotenoid colours, for example, β-carotene and zeaxanthin, and phycocyanin, an extraordinary shade of Spirulina. Spirulina's unique dark green colour is produced when these three pigments are combined to form blue, orange-yellow, and green. Phycocyanin is utilised as a plant-derived blue pigment that gives blue to gum, frozen desserts, and other products due to its bright blue colour and the fact that it is known to have the nutritional function of vitamin A as provitamin A.
4: Provitamin A, also known as carotene, is a reserve vitamin A that the body converts into vitamin A as needed. A daily dose of 4g of spirulina, which is usually equivalent to 20 tablets, contains approximately 7mg of carotene, making it an excellent supplement for vitamins. Like vitamin A, beta-carotene does not have any known side effects when taken in large quantities. Spirulina also contains vitamins B1, B2, and B6.
5: Mineral: Spirulina contains approximately 90 milligrams of iron per 100 grams, and consuming 4 grams, or 20 grains, of spirulina can provide half of the daily requirement (6.5 milligrams). It contains around 1-2% potassium, and other minor components like calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and cobalt. Spirulina does not contain iodine, which is found in abundance in seaweed. As a result, individuals who are sensitive to iodine can consume it.
6: Gamma-linolenic acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid, in addition to linoleic and arachidonic acids. It has about 1.3% of this essential fatty acid, which is much higher than in other algae. The body metabolises linolenic acid into prostaglandins, which play an important role.
7: High absorbability and ingestion pace of 95%, simple to utilise content fixings. The healthy benefit of the food we eat possibly comes out when it is processed and consumed. Animal tests have demonstrated that Spirulina has a 95 percent digestion and absorption rate without the need to crush the cell wall due to its thin and fragile cell wall.
Benefits Of Spirulina
Spirulina contains more than 50 different health and nutritional components, including protein, dietary fibre, polysaccharides, and unsaturated fatty acids, in addition to vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. It has a lot of nutrients that work hard on the body and provide a lot of benefits. Additionally, due to its high absorption and low-calorie content, it is anticipated to offer numerous health and beauty advantages.
Antioxidant: Spirulina is rich in antioxidants. It created antioxidants to protect itself from the power of UV rays. It is rich in phycocyanin, chlorophyll, and carotenoids, which have antioxidant properties. Being antioxidant, it is great for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease associated with oxidative stress, type 2 diabetes mellitus, activation of antioxidant enzymes, decrease markers of oxidative damage and many more
Immune Enhancer: Spirulina consumption has been shown in clinical studies to activate lymphocytes and improve immunity. Its antioxidants help to boost the immune system of the body. Your body will be less likely to become infected with viruses and bacteria if your immune system is stronger.
Anti-ageing effect: Nucleic acid contained in Spirulina can rejuvenate cells. Each of the approximately 60 trillion cells in the human body has a nucleus at its centre. Nucleic acids are the fundamental parts of life activities, consisting of two sorts of DNA (deoxyribonucleic corrosive) that exists in the cell core and RNA (ribonucleic corrosive) that exists inside and outside the cell core. Although the body produces nucleic acids, ageing is said to reduce liver and kidney function, which in turn reduces the body's capacity to synthesise them. Spirulina's nucleic acids help speed up metabolism, delay ageing, and adjust the body by repairing damaged genes, among other important functions. Moreover, β-carotene, chlorophyll, phycocyanin (blue shade), L-ascorbic acid, and vitamin E contained in spirulina have cancer prevention agent power and are compelling in taking out dynamic oxygen in the body. A substance known as active oxygen damages the body's cells accelerates ageing, and contributes to lifestyle-related diseases.
Anti-inflammatory: Spirulina exerts anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting the release of histamine from stem cells. GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) exhibits anti-inflammatory properties by metabolising DGLA (dihomo gamma-linolenic acid). Ingested GLA has a negative inflammatory effect on arachidonic acid, potentially interfering with inflammatory activity. According to a study, spirulina with dyslipidemia reduced LDL cholesterol by 16%.
Blood Pressure & Cholesterol: Spirulina is great to lower high blood pressure and reduce the cholesterol level. It regulates blood pressure and manages hypertension. Cholesterol levels and blood pressure are linked to heart health. Hence, it is good for the heart patient and heart protection.
Anti-Diabetes: Diabetes is a well-known metabolic disease worldwide. Spirulina is good to lower glucose levels and slightly increase insulin. According to a study, two months of spirulina supplementation clearly showed a reduction in fasting and postprandial blood glucose. This antihyperglycemic effect is said to be caused by the decreased expression of NADPH and NADH, which are cofactors in fat metabolism. It is effective for people with type 2 diabetes.
Prevent Anaemia: Spirulina's abundant chlorophyll, also known as "green blood," is effective against anaemia because it is a component of the body's blood supply. It also has a lot of vitamin B12, which is needed for nucleic acids and red blood cells to work. Beef liver and other foods typically contain vitamin B12, but plant-based foods do not.
Prevent Obesity: Abundant dietary fibre contained in Spirulina improves bowel movement. Additionally, essential amino acids boost basal metabolism, activate the fat-burning enzyme lipase, and promote a healthy diet. It is great to support extra kilos and help with obesity.
Alleviate allergic symptoms: The active ingredient of Spirulina promotes the production of Y-linolenic acid, which is converted into a local hormone called prostaglandin in the body, which works to suppress inflammation and allergy symptoms.
Other Effects: Chlorophyll contained in Spirulina has the capability of sanitising poisons in the blood. In addition, It prevents headaches and fights allergies. Additionally, several effects have been identified, including a reduction in cholesterol levels, constipation, and improvement in bad breath and body odour.
How To Use Spirulina
Spirulina is available in a variety of forms, including powder, drink, capsules and many more. To involve it for cooking or use, we suggest the powder form.
You can easily incorporate it into food and use it if it comes in powder form. For instance, you can consume it naturally by incorporating it into a smoothie or by combining it with any fruit juice.
Spirulina has a beautiful green colour, it can also be used to create a beautiful colour for dressings and sweets while also improving the nutritional balance. Additionally, despite having a flavour similar to that of seaweed, it does not have a particularly strong flavour or smell. As a result, you can incorporate it into a variety of dishes and consume it frequently if you do not add a significant amount.
It is recommended to take it as a supplement for those who do not like to put it in cooking or who want to know the amount of intake firmly. Capsules and tablet forms are also available. The easiest way to consume spirulina is in capsules or tablets. Just consume it with water.
You can get a lot of nutrients without changing your diet if you drink at the same time every day.
Let's take in the excellent characteristics of Spirulina with the intake method that suits your purpose and lifestyle.
Spirulina is a blue-green algae. The right amount of spirulina is very important. According to the FSSAI(Food Safety and Standards Authority of India), the Recommended Dietary Allowance of spirulina is 500 - 3,000 mg/day at max.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), People have used about 19g/day for a maximum of 2 months and 10g/day for a maximum of 6 months. It is a day based on some study.
Well, according to our recommendation, you should go with FSSAI(Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) data. You should not consume spirulina more than 3000 mg per day. This is a maximum limit as per FSSAI(Food Safety and Standards Authority of India). If you exceed your dose, then there is a possibility of experiencing side effects in the body. The overdose is not linked to a better result
Spirulina has been used as a supplement. Hence, always speak to your healthcare professional before starting to use it. If you experience any changes in the body, after using spirulina supplement, immediately stop using it.
Precautions to Use Spirulina
When taken in the right amount, Spirulina rarely causes side effects or health problems. In uncommon cases, depending on your physical condition and constitution, side effects can be looseness of the bowels, diarrhoea, rash, and stomach discomfort might happen. Stop taking this medication right away if you start to experience side effects or symptoms that look like them.
- Spirulina worsens autoimmune diseases, so you should talk to your healthcare professional first.
- Photosensitivity may also be caused by a substance called pheophorwalt, which is made when spirulina chlorophyll is broken down.
- If you are taking warfarin, which prevents blood from clotting, for the treatment of an illness, taking spirulina simultaneously may cause a side effect that weakens the activity of warfarin, so caution is required.
- Patients with phenylketonuria or other amino acid disorders should avoid using spirulina due to its high amino acid content. It may cause side effects.
- It is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women, because there is no study till now. You should talk to your doctor first, if you are pregnant, thinking about getting pregnant or breastfeeding before having spirulina supplements.
- It is advisable to not share it with your children until you talk to their professional doctor.
- Spiruline sometimes can be contaminated with heavy metals like lead, etc, SO keep this in mind.
Frequently Asked Questions Of Spirulina
What functions does spirulina serve?
Spirulina is very beneficial for the body. It is rich in compounds that deliver antioxidants, reduce cholesterol, protect the heart, detox the body and many more.
What makes spirulina so abundant?
Spirulina is a kind of algae and rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants and many more. It is abundant in more than 50 nutrients and gives several health benefits to the body.
Is spirulina rich in vitamin B12?
Yes, spirulina contains vitamin B12 in adequate amounts, but it is a pseudo-B12.
What makes spirulina a superfood?
Spirulina is not only termed as a superfood, but it is the king of superfoods due to its high concentration of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein, amino acids and many other nutrients.
Is it great to eat spirulina regularly?
Yes, it is good to eat spirulina daily. According to FSSAI, the ideal dose of 500-3000mg per day is suitable.
Is spirulina beneficial to hair growth?
Yes, spirulina is beneficial for hair growth. It is widely used for hair growth, fighting hair problems like baldness, and thinning hair among men and women. It is rich in amino acids, fatty acids, protein, and beta-carotene which is a great nutrient for the hair.
Does spirulina make skin whiter?
Yes, spirulina may help to lighten the skin and brighten the complexion due to cell turnover. Spirulina support and rejuvenate the skin for better skin health
How much spirulina should I consume daily?
Being a dietary supplement, the right dose of spirulina is very important. According to the FSSAI, you can consume up to 500-3000 mg of spirulina in a day.
Is spirulina good for the skin?
Yes, spirulina is good for the skin. It boosts the overall health and radiance of the skin. In addition, it also supports rejuvenation of the skin. Spirulina is great for skin cells and reduces skin problems.
When to take spirulina morning or night?
Spirulina can be used in the morning or at night. But consuming it in the evening is too stimulating. You can have spirulina 20-30 minutes before dinner or evening snacking.
How to take spirulina tablets?
Spirulina tablets can be consumed with water. You can start with 2 tablets in a day. Always keep in mind, to not overdose on it.
What is spirulina in hindi?
Spiruline is hindi is called as स्पाइरुलाइना मेजर.
How much spirulina per day?
The ideal dose of spirulina per day is 500-3000 mg, as per FSSAI. You should not exceed your dose more than this. The overdose of spirulina is not good and can cause side effects.
How to grow spirulina?
Being algae, spirulina is only grown in water. You cannot use tap water. Get non-chlorinated, filtered water with a ph between 8 and 10. Keep this contained in the sunlight. It does not require too much sunlight. You can use a sunny window. Put some spirulina algae live culture into the container. Use fertiliser for better and faster growth. Keep checking the pH level of the water, it is important to grow spirulina at home.
How to use spirulina powder?
To use spirulina powder, you can prepare green smoothies with fruits. You can also use spirulina powder over the salad or soup. Another option, you can prepare energy balls with healthy ingredients. Vegetable juice is also a good option.
Is spirulina good for health?
Yes, spirulina is good for health. It is rich in vitamins and minerals with protein, amino acids, fatty acids and many more. It is one of the best superfoods to add to your routine.
Who should not take spirulina?
Phenylketonuria patients, autoimmune patients, pregnant, lactating women, children, etc should not use spirulina in any form.