The number of people who eat healthy foods is increasing. Not only are people starting to avoid eating processed foods, but they are turning to more healthful sources in order to improve their daily eating regimen.
People are getting to know holistic foods that have not been the focus of attention. Nevertheless, it seems that people no longer restrain themselves from trying out new foods that may reshape their body and mind.
Almost all of these foods taste good, but, what is more, important, they bring about numerous health benefits. Spirulina, a dietary supplement, is one of those superior food choices.
A lot of people are surprised at the very mentioning of spirulina. However, as they are learning about its health benefits, they start to realize that these algae can be said to be on the top of a pond.
Being an alga, spirulina needs to be adapted to the human needs, i.e. it has to be prepared and safe to eat. Only in such case will it be completely useful and all its health benefits will come along.
In the form of algae, spirulina is a spiral-shaped type of algae and has dark blue-green color. It is a very specific type of algae in its final form, and one of the benefits that makes this alga different from others is the amount of protein that is found in it.
As for the similarities to other sea vegetables, the nutritional profile of spirulina matches the one of chlorella or kelp. This type of algae is often found in warmer climates such as South America or Africa where it is harvested from lakes.
On top of that, some grow and harvest this type of algae on their own. You may have a presupposition that algae cannot taste good, but you are wrong. Algae as a food source will not only improve your eating habits, but they can also add a different and tasty flavor to your healthy diet.
Not only is spirulina packed with proteins, but it is believed to have healing powers for a variety of medical conditions, as well.
The History of Spirulina
You may wonder how come once a completely unknown alga has evolved into one of the most valuable food sources. This did not happen overnight.
Actually, it took centuries for spirulina to be accepted and enjoyed as food. Our ancestors were puzzled with its potency, even though they could not prove its benefits. They could not explain how it worked, but that did not stop them from coming to some revolutionary findings of spirulina.
Spirulina made them feel good, and, back to the fourteenth century, the Aztecs were the first people to find that out.
Beside the Aztecs, certain peoples living in Africa and surrounding regions used spirulina in their diet. Though they were ignorant of its nutritional profile, they recognized it as a fulfilling and satisfying food.
Throughout the history, people became aware of its capability to provide energy and nourishment. Though it was used by some, this type of algae was still unknown to the broad masses of the population.
In 1974 at the World Food Conference, spirulina was declared as one of the best foods for the future. It was not until 1974 that spirulina gained popularity when it comes to fighting malnutrition in certain parts of the world.
Spirulina would eventually become a substantial part of the diet programs that NASA used for their astronauts in space. People gradually became aware that spirulina was easy to prepare, serve and eat, and yet, it provided them with the nutrition they wanted.
Because of the fact that NASA utilized spirulina for its benefits, people started to acknowledge it on a large scale. Ever since then, spirulina has been continuing to gain “fans” and has grown into one of the best superfoods of the time.
Spirulina Health Benefits For Skin
Spirulina has been reported to cause numerous health benefits for your body due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Its healing powers are the reason why spirulina is essential for skin rejuvenation (source).
It is one of those algae that contains all eight essential amino acids.
Because of these potent nutrients, spirulina is capable of maintaining a fabulous, glowing and healthy look of your skin.
Spirulina Heals Skin Cells
The true enemy of the good-looking skin is free radicals, which are present throughout your entire body and are responsible for skin deterioration.
Getting rid of free radicals means eliminating toxins from your skin and increasing skin metabolism.
By incorporating spirulina into your diet, you will boost the recovery and healing of skin cells, thus promoting that fresh skin look (source).
Overall, spirulina will provide you with the skin that is hydrated, detoxicated, and healthy.
Spirulina Prevents Skin Tumors
Due to its potent anti-inflammatory properties, this alga is capable of preventing skin tumors.
It is no surprise that many people are susceptible to skin tumor growth. This is because people are exposing themselves to UVR on a regular basis, and these rays are harmful to your skin cells. A long-term exposure to UVR leads to skin cells deterioration, thus tumors.
One study that was conducted on mice showed that mice that were given spirulina exerted antitumor effects against UVR irradiation in the skin. It was thanks to spirulina and its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that skin cells were not harmed (source).
Spirulina Protects Women From Vulvar Cancer
In the today’s world, an increasing number of women suffer from some sort of cancer. Typically, it is breast cancer or vulvar cancer. On top of that, cancer death rates in women are increasing and many feel hopeless in those circumstances.
However, the recent findings show that spirulina is effective in protecting women and their vulva from cancer. The results showed that patients had no difficulties with radiotherapy and that the tumor gradually disappeared with a proper dosage of spirulina. The patients were not reported to have experienced adverse effects on their general health nor skin (source).
How To Take Spirulina?
Now that you have come to know the health benefits for skin that spirulina causes, you might want to take it, but you are wondering how.
If you are taking spirulina orally, know that the taste is not as magnificent as the alga itself. Therefore, mixing it into things is the best thing to do for a start.
The options are many: preparing a smoothie, adding spirulina to soups, dips or some traditional dishes are some of them. This way, you will take the right amount of spirulina per day and will not be experiencing that pungent taste of it every time you eat it.
Moreover, you can take spirulina topically, that is, incorporate it into masks and powders. There are many different face masks on the internet. Everything you should do is follow the steps and you will successfully prepare your own spirulina face masks.
However, another thing to consider when consuming spirulina is the price. Namely, spirulina is fairly expensive, therefore, a substantial investment into your healthy lifestyle. Despite the price, spirulina is a worthwhile investment for sure.
When it comes to dosage, there is no general agreement on what dosage is the best to get positive effects from spirulina. Some studies say it is 1-2 teaspoons per day, which is just enough to mix into the daily eating regimen.
Though physical exercise is good for your health, overtraining is bad. Such is the case with having too much of spirulina.
Adding it to your diets in high dosages may cause counter effects, which is something you might want to avoid. So, the proper dosage of 1-2 teaspoons per day is the first step towards getting the best of spirulina. Getting over the recommended dosage may cause an upset stomach.
Also, make sure to be familiar with the spirulina growing environment. For example, if spirulina grows in contaminated water, you may expose your body to harmful and potentially toxic substances. One of those substances may include lead, which is harmful to children as well as adults in the long term.
Another thing to be aware of is making sure if spirulina is a completely natural product. Blends that are often sold at trade markets include substances other than spirulina’s, which often reduces their potency and quality. Therefore, choosing an organic brand will be a guarantee of the highest quality product.
Moreover, visit a doctor to ensure you are not allergic to spirulina or seafood. In case you are, you might want to avoid spirulina for it can cause an allergic reaction.
If you have any other problems but those are not major ones, take spirulina in small dosages. This high-protein superfood might be effective for someone, which does not necessarily mean it will be effective for you.
Consuming this unique type of algae is a great way to promote a healthy life. Not only will it make you feel better and eliminate the chances of skin tumors and cancers, but you will also have your skin glowing and radiating, just like you wanted it to be.
Incorporating spirulina into your daily eating regimen is a great step forward when it comes reaching a happier and more beautiful life both on the inside and the outside.