There exists a super-food so complete that the United Nations named it “Best Food for the Future” . Spirulina has long been praised for its high nutrient content, but can it really help you lose weight?
What Is Spirulina?
The name comes from the Latin word “helix”, or spiral, is a blue green algae that grows in warm fresh water.
It’s a simple one celled organism, and one of the oldest forms of life on earth. Scientists believe that it was present over 3.5 billion years ago, and is responsible for producing much of the oxygen that was needed for earlier organisms to develop on the planet.
For over five thousand years, the Aztecs harvested the algae from Lake Texcoco, and turned it into cakes, one of their staple food sources.
It has also been used for centuries by the Kanembu people of Lake Chad in Africa. But it wasn’t until the 1970s that it began to be produced on a large scale and that its use in the Western world became more widespread.
A Complete Food - Spirulina Nutrition Facts And General Health Benefits
It wasn’t just the UN who was impressed by this super food’s high concentration of nutrients. In 1988, NASA suggested it should be cultivated as a primary food source during long-term space missions . And it’s no wonder! Spirulina contains and impressive array of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and protein.
Spirulina is a complete protein, with the Spirulina protein containing all the essential amino acids the body needs to function at its best. These include tryptophan, which can also boost your mood; phenylalanine, which triggers the release of an intestinal hormone that signals to your brain that you are full; and tyrosine, one of the building blocks of dopamine, our very own happy chemical that influences pleasure and alertness and can also decrease appetite.
Spirulina For Weight Loss
The nutrient content from this super food makes it a great supplement for weight loss. There are several ways it can help you to lose weight:
Reduces blood sugar levels
A diet high in processed foods and sugary snacks causes blood sugar levels to rise quickly. The pancreas releases the hormone insulin, which helps the cells absorb the glucose and store the excess as fat. If your blood glucose levels are elevated, you cannot lose weight. Balancing your blood sugar levels is essential for healthy weight loss.
A study published by the Journal of Medicinal Food found that regular supplementation of Spirulina (2g a day for two months) reduced blood glucose levels in Type 2 diabetics.
Studies have shown that not eating enough protein can lead to feeling hungrier . That’s why people on low fat diets tend to feel extremely hungry.
Spirulina is one of the best sources of vegetarian protein. It contains 60% protein, more than beef (28%), chicken (25%) and soy (16%). Taking it one hour before meals can help decrease your appetite, so you eat less and lose weight.
Spirulina is great as a workout supplement: it contains the B vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B5, which are essential for transforming food into energy. It also contains high levels of B6, which helps insulin to work effectively.
A study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology found that supplementing Spirulina (2.5g three times per day, for three weeks), in healthy individuals, increased endurance performance . More energy, more exercise, more weight loss.
Other Spirulina Health Benefits
Spirulina has many other beneficial properties, making it a great addition to your diet:
And that’s not all! Spirulina is also great for your gut flora. It promotes the growth of friendly bacteria, leading to better digestion. A healthier gut also absorbs more nutrients from food, so you’ll feel full of energy, and less likely to snack in between meals!
Spirulina contains the active compound C-phycocyanin, which has powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. C-phycocyanin has been proven to detoxify the body of heavy metals such as lead and arsenic.
Spirulina has powerful anti-oxidant properties , helping to protect your body from free radicals. They also boost your immune system, so you’ll suffer from colds and flues less often. Spirulina has also been shown to protect against certain cancers.
How To Take Spirulina
There are several ways you can include Spirulina in your diet. It’s available as powder, flakes or tablets. You can add the powder to juices or smoothies, or you can sprinkle the flakes on your salads or soups. You can also take it in tablet form, great for those who don’t like Spirulina’s slightly peculiar flavour.
Spirulina Side Effects And Dosage
The recommended amount of to take is around between 1g and 3g a day, but doses of up to 10g have been used in studies without adverse effects.
In rare cases, Spirulina can become contaminated during the manufacturing process by non-Spirulina algae that can be toxic to humans – this is a quality control issue. Always ensure you buy from reputable suppliers, and try to choose an organic brand such as Synergy Natural Organic Spirulina tablets (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Synergy-Natural-Organic-Spirulina-Tablets/dp/B002WCIWZO).
Notice: You are advised to seek the advice of a doctor before taking supplements, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, are taking medication or have a medical condition.
Organic Spirulina – Your Complete Supplement For Weight Loss
It’s no wonder it was hailed Best Food for the Future - Spirulina truly is a super-food. Not only will it give you an energy boost, it’ll also strengthen your immune system, improve your digestive health, decrease your appetite and detoxify your body.
Taken as part of a healthy diet, with an emphasis on natural foods rather than processed foods, Spirulina will help you lose weight, and be healthier overall.