A SUPERFOOD you may have never heard of could give you huge health benefits.
Despite its off-putting origin, the product is loved by health fanatics worldwide.
Spirulina – a form of algae that is technically ‘pond scum’ – is touted by health fanatics like football star Cristiano Ronaldo as a fantastic protein substitute which can replace meat and eggs.
Spirulina is thought to be one of the oldest forms of life on planet earth.
It’s a form of microalgae that thrives in water, and is typically sold as a powder or as a tablet supplement and mixed into a drink or added to food.
The food used to be eaten by the Aztecs during the 13th century to treat various diseases and sustain their marathon runs, and now it’s becoming popular as an ingredient in healthy smoothies.
Nasa astronauts are said to be big consumers of spirulina after studies identified the green stuff as a nutrient-dense food that was also practical and convenient.
So, what are the health benefits of spirulina?
1. It’s a powerful antioxidant
People are always raving about the antioxidant effects of blueberries, avocados, salmon – and now you can add spirulina to that list.
“Antioxidants have this wonderful ability to go in and beat up on free radicals, which are essentially poisons that we come in contact with in our everyday lives,” registered dietitian Beth Czerwony said.
The substances can also reduce inflammation in the body, which can decrease the chance of developing a whole host of nasty diseases, the expert told The Cleveland Clinic.
Chronic inflammation has previously been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, heart disease and cancer.
2. Reduces cancerous tumours
One study, published in 1995 found that spirulina can be used to shrink tumours in people living with oral cancer.
They experts found that just one gram of spirulina per day for a year reduced cancerous tumours in 45 per cent of research participants.
3. Relieves your seasonal allergies
For those who suffering from hay fever, the green stuff could help quell some of the unpleasant symptoms.
One study has shown that regular use of spirulina may help relieve a runny nose.
4.Improves dental health
The algae with seemingly endless benefits also has anti-bacterial properties.
This means it can kill off harmful germs.
Some scientists put it’s antibacterial strength to the test by creating spirulina-laced mouthwash.
People who used the mouthwash saw a significant reduction is dental plaque and gingivitis, both of which are linked to gum disease.
Despite its benefits, there are some people who shouldn’t take spirulina, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
These include pregnant or breastfeeding mothers, those with immune system issues, people with diabetes or blood disorders, people who are allergic to shellfish or seafood, and those with an iodine intolerance.
Spirulina fast facts
- Commonly sold as a powder or tablet
- Rich in iron and protein
- Powerful antioxidant
- Can help fight inflammation
News Source: https://www.thesun.co.uk/health/22404033/superfoods-spirulina-benefits/amp/