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Top 4 Health Benefits of Spirulina

Potentially the most nutritious, concentrated and natural whole-food source on the planet - Spirulina is a sustainable and eco friendly blue micro-alga packed with an array of essential micro- and macronutrients. Made famous by NASA, Spirulina is now among the worlds most popular superfoods for all the benefits that this ingredient offers to our health. Below are a few highlights for why Spirulina is such an excellent source for your daily nutrient needs.

 

 

1. Helps to Boost Your Immunity

Spirulina has potent antioxidant1–5 and anti-inflammatory activity1–5, vital to maintaining strong immunity due to their function in protecting our bodies against oxidative stress and DNA damage. Phycocyanin is the main compound in Spirulina responsible for such activity and is also the leading cause for Spirulina's unique deep green colour1–5.

 

2. Helps to Support Energy Production

Spirulina is rich in B Vitamins, including B1, 2, 3, 5,6, 96. Each B Vitamin uniquely contributes to optimal body function and their combination is crucial for maintaining energy levels and reducing fatigue7. Due to their function as a co-enzymes in metabolic processes7, B Vitamins are essential for releasing the energy stored in the food we consume. B Vitamins help break down glucose into important molecules called ATP, which is the driving power for all cells operations.

 

3. Excellent Source of Protein 

Protein is the essential macronutrient necessary for muscle growth8,9, maintenance and repair10,11. Spirulina is an excellent source of protein, with at least 57grams found per 100grams6 and all essential amino acids1! Not only important for muscle health, protein is a major component of skin, bone, and organs; supplying the essential building blocks for the formation, repair, and function of all cells and tissues12–15. As a component of cells, protein has roles in supporting nutrient transport, cell signalling, body composition, hormone regulation and digestion13.

 

4. Great Source of Iron

Iron is the essential mineral vital for carrying oxygen throughout your body16 and to your working muscles. Spirulina includes a great source of iron, with at least 28.5grams found per 100 grams6! With roles too in metabolism and the production and growth of new cells16, iron is important for physical growth, immunity, energy production, and cognitive function. Despite being a powerful and essential nutrient, there is such a thing as too much iron and excess consumption can be toxic16. Therefore, unless under the guidance of a qualified health professional, iron consumption is best optimised with natural concentrated sources such as Spirulina where excess consumption is rare.  

 

Spirulina is a true superfood offering exceptional health-promoting benefits, and recently suggested to assist in the reduction of blood pressure and cholesterol17–19. With such a powerful contribution to overall health, Spirulina has a specific advantage in supporting athletic performance and recovery, which is exactly why we have included a massive 2.5 grams in our Ultimate Post-Workout Smoothie; to best promote your recovery.

 

 

References:

  1. Capelli, B. & Cysewski, G. R. Potential health benefits of spirulina microalgae*. Nutrafoods 9, 19–26 (2010).
  2. Finamore, A., Palmery, M., Bensehaila, S. & Peluso, I. Antioxidant, Immunomodulating, and Microbial-Modulating Activities of the Sustainable and Ecofriendly Spirulina. Oxid. Med. Cell. Longev. 2017, (2017).
  3. Shih, C.-M., Cheng, S.-N., Wong, C.-S., Kuo, Y.-L. & Chou, T.-C. Antiinflammatory and antihyperalgesic activity of C-phycocyanin. Anesth. Analg. 108, 1303–1310 (2009).
  4. Farooq, S. M. et al. C-phycocyanin confers protection against oxalate-mediated oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunctions in MDCK cells. PLoS One 9, e93056 (2014).
  5. Romay, C., González, R., Ledón, N., Remirez, D. & Rimbau, V. C-phycocyanin: a biliprotein with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. Curr. Protein Pept. Sci. 4, 207–216 (2003).
  6. USDA. FoodData Central. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170495/nutrients.
  7. Huskisson, E., Maggini, S. & Ruf, M. The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Energy Metabolism and Well-Being. Integr. Med. Insights 2008, 277–289 (2007).
  8. Pasiakos, S. M., McLellan, T. M. & Lieberman, H. R. The effects of protein supplements on muscle mass, strength, and aerobic and anaerobic power in healthy adults: a systematic review. Sports Med. 45, 111–131 (2015).
  9. Pasiakos, S. M. & Mcclung, J. P. Supplemental dietary leucine and the skeletal muscle anabolic response to essential amino acids. Nutr. Rev. 69, 550–557 (2011).
  10. Waskiw-Ford, M. et al. Leucine-enriched essential amino acids improve recovery from post-exercise muscle damage independent of increases in integrated myofibrillar protein synthesis in young men. Nutrients 12, (2020).
  11. Wolfe, R. R. The role of dietary protein in optimizing muscle mass, function and health outcomes in older individuals. Br. J. Nutr. 108, 88–93 (2012).
  12. Bonjour, J.-P. Dietary Protein: An Essential Nutrient For Bone Health. J. Am. Coll. Nutr. 24, 526S-536S (2005).
  13. Yu, Y. & Fukagawa, N. K. Chapter 2 - Protein and amino acids. Present Knowledge in Nutrition (Elsevier Inc., 2020). doi:10.1016/B978-0-323-66162-1.00002-0.
  14. Van Goudoever, J. B., Vlaardingerbroek, H., Van Den Akker, C. H., De Groof, F. & Van Der Schoor, S. R. D. Amino acids and proteins. World Rev. Nutr. Diet. 110, 49–63 (2014).
  15. Wolfe, R. R., Cifelli, A. M., Kostas, G. & Kim, I. Y. Optimizing protein intake in adults: Interpretation and application of the recommended dietary allowance compared with the acceptable macronutrient distribution range. Adv. Nutr. 8, 266–275 (2017).
  16. Abbaspour, N., Hurrell, R. & Kelishadi, R. Review on iron and its importance for human health. J. Res. Med. Sci. Off. J. Isfahan Univ. Med. Sci. 19, 164–174 (2014).
  17. Mazokopakis, E. E., Starakis, I. K., Papadomanolaki, M. G., Mavroeidi, N. G. & Ganotakis, E. S. The hypolipidaemic effects of Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) supplementation in a Cretan population: a prospective study. J. Sci. Food Agric. 94, 432–437 (2014).
  18. Ismail, M., Hossain, M. F., Tanu, A. R. & Shekhar, H. U. Effect of spirulina intervention on oxidative stress, antioxidant status, and lipid profile in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients. Biomed Res. Int. 2015, 1–7 (2015).
  19. Park, H. J. et al. A randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study to establish the effects of spirulina in elderly Koreans. Ann. Nutr. Metab. 52, 322–328 (2008).

 

 

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