The Known Benefits of Spirulina Algae
Spirulina alga or blue – green algae are commonly found in marine or saltwater. Unlike other algae, the spirulina alga has a spiral shape that is similar to cyanobacteria. According to webmd.com, the blue-green algae are used as a source of dietary protein, B-vitamins, and iron. They are also used for weight loss, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), hayfever, diabetes, stress, fatigue, anxiety, depression, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and other women’s health issues.
Spirulina grows in salty waters of South America and Africa. Spirulina maxima and spirulina plantesis are the two species that is commonly used for human consumption. In general, they contain essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals that are needed by the human body. Some of the vitamins found in this plant are beta-carotene, B-vitamins, and carotenoids while a high level of minerals includes calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and zinc.
Calcium is a mineral that is needed for strong bones and teeth. Almost all the calcium supply is stored in bones and teeth to support their structure. Dried spirulina is rich in calcium with about 120 mg in every 100 g serving.
Iron is an essential mineral that helps boosts the body’s energy level. It carries oxygen to the cells and other organs. It is also needed in the production of hemoglobin, a pigment that gives blood a dark red color. Spirulina is rich in iron for almost ten times higher than common iron foods making it an excellent source of iron.
Magnesium is needed for transmission of nerve impulses, energy production, detoxification and regulating body temperature. Dried spirulina is about 20 mg of magnesium per 10 grams.
Manganese helps boosts immune function and supports in building bones, blood, and other connective tissues. It has antioxidant properties that neutralize free radicals. This trace mineral is found in spirulina as well as in nuts, mussels, roasted soybeans, sunflower seeds, spices and herbs.
Potassium works in cooperation with sodium that acts as an electrolyte in the body. This trace mineral is needed for a healthy heart, brain, kidney, muscle tissues and other organs in the body. A 100 g of raw spirulina contains 127 mg of potassium while dried spirulina contains 1363 mg of per 100 g serving.
Protein is a macro nutrient that is present in most foods and dietary supplements including spirulina. It is composed of 60% – 70% protein making it a concentrated protein source.
It is also a good source of eight essential amino acids such as isoleucine (helps repair muscle tissues and boosts energy) leucine (supports muscle protein synthesis and aids in production of glucose for energy), lysine (assists in calcium absorption and maintains the nitrogen balance in the body), methionine (helps in metabolism and breaking down fat), phenylalanine (needed for the normal functioning of the nervous system), threonine (supports the production of 2 amino acids such as glycine and serine that are used in the construction of collagen and elastin), tryptophane (converts serotonin to melatonin and balances mood and sleep patterns), and valine (prevents the breakdown of muscle and supplies glucose during intense physical activity).
Written by: Jenny Travens
Jenny Travens is a chief editor and a wellness coach and fitness blogger for http://www.superfoodliving.com/categories. She loves to share her knowledge about the different ways of staying fit and healthy and helps people to conquer over health related issues and maintain their fitness regime.
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