Spirulina is the common name of an algae that is produced primarily from two species of cyanobacteria: Arthrospira platensis, and Arthrospira maxima.
Spirulina, a type of blue-green algae, is an incredible superfood that provides a concentrated source of protein, vitamins, antioxidants, and other nutrients. Nowadays, Spirulina is cultivated around the world. It is commercially grown in the US, China, India, and Thailand. These tiny blue-green algae were designed by nature 3.6 billion years ago and were the generators of the oxygen found in our atmosphere which allowed all higher life forms to evolve. They also contain every nutrient needed by life to evolve into the diversity of life seen on earth today.
After that, Spirulina has been described in literature since the 16th century. The alga has a long history of safe usage. The Aztecs consumed it in Mexico over five centuries ago. Spirulina was similarly harvested by natives of the Sahara Desert, where it was known as dihe, approximately 10,000 km away.
For the past 20 years, millions of people around the world have used Spirulina as a food supplement to their diets. Under the United Nation’s resolution ‘The Right to Food’, Spirulina has even been identified as a Super-Food to eradicate malnutrition around the world.
Spirulina, got its name from the Latin word for “helix” or “spiral” because of its spring-like physical characteristic.
Spirulina shows up as bright blue-green spirals under a microscope. It is a single-cell organism that is capable of turning sunlight into energy.
For a plant product, it contains high amounts of protein and Vitamin B 12. It has been suggested that the protein is of a particularly high quality and is ‘predigested’ by the plant allowing it to be easily absorbed. Proteins found in Spirulina are among others: amino acids, chlorophyll, essential fatty acids, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), Vitamin A, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin E , and Vitamin B complex, notably Vitamin B 12. Noteworthy is the presence of detoxifying chlorophyll (the green pigment in plants): a substance that helps cleanse the bowel and other elimination systems, such as the liver and the blood
Wild spirulina grows wild in the alkaline lakes of Mexico and on the African continent, although it is commercially grown and harvested all over the world. It reproduces quickly, and because the individual organisms tend to clump together, it’s easy to harvest.
Commercial production of spirulina is estimated to reach 220,000 tons by the year 2020. Japan is the largest producer of spirulina, as well as the largest consumer, however its use is growing in India, as well.
For instance, the organization Antenna India provides spirulina “sweets” to children at risk of malnutrition and offer low-cost spirulina to women in self-help groups, who can then sell the superfood for profit while raising awareness about malnutrition.
Research has shown that children who received a spirulina supplement daily five days a week for two months had better nutritional status and improved intellectual status compared to those who did not.
This food is so nutritionally dense, in fact, that NASA and The European Space Agency are researching the benefits of incorporating spirulina into astronauts’ diets on spaceships and on Mars.
Even beyond nutrition, spirulina offers multiple advantages to the environment and those who cultivate it. For instance, producing spirulina requires 10 times less water than other vegetables, and harvests occur year-round. And according to Antenna India, compared to soy, spirulina has a 20-fold greater harvest of protein per acre.
Health Properties
The health benefits of spirulina are vast and appear to impact virtually every area of your body.
* It contains all the essential amino acids. It contains Omega-3, -6 and -9s, and is especially high in Omega-3s.
* It is extremely high in chlorophyll, which helps to alkalize the body and remove toxins from the blood as well as boost energy levels.
* It helps to prevent heart disease, depression and diabetes.
* There are claims that it fights cancer due to its antioxidant qualities.
* It encourages weight loss and improves metabolism.
* It increases mental alertness.
* It lowers blood cholesterol and excess triglycerides.
* It helps to fight viral infections.
* It treats radiation sickness.
* It enhances the body’s ability to generate new blood cells.
* It improves blood sugar levels.
* It strengthens the nervous system and immune system.
* It contains anti-aging properties similar to green tea.
* It removes toxic metals such as lead and mercury from the body.
* It increases libido levels
When choosing Spirulina, make sure to choose one that is organic, as others can be contaminated or have nitrate compounds as additives.
Spirulina is available in a powder or capsule form. Although you can mix with water, many people find the taste a bit overpowering and prefer to mix the supplement into smoothies or other foods. Healthy individuals are advised to take 2 teaspoons per day.
If you have any current health concerns, you should discuss with your doctor prior to consuming spirulina. Otherwise, enjoy the health benefits!


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