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HEALTHY EATING

What is Spirulina?

"Natural food supplement"
By: James BarramedaWhat is Spirulina?

Spirulina (Arthrospira spp.) is actually a type of alga or cyanobacterium that is considered “the most nutritionally complete” among all food supplements as it contains an array of essential nutrients including complex carbohydrates, iron, protein, and vitamins A, B complex, and K. It is also rich in fatty and nucleic acids, chlorophyll, and lipids. What is most notable about spirulina is it has very strong antioxidants in the form of 10 mixed carotenoids including yellow xanthophylls and the famous cancer-fighting beta carotene.

Did you know that the beta carotene found in spirulina is said to be 10 times more concentrated than the one found in carrots? Spirulina is also rich in copper, chromium, magnesium, zinc, iron, and selenium. About 60 percent of this blue-green alga is made up of protein, another essential nutrient for cell growth and regeneration. You can get up to 70 percent of your minimum daily iron requirement and about three to four times the daily requirement for vitamins A, B, D, and K in only 10 grams of spirulina.

And the list of health benefits doesn’t stop there. Spirulina has also been found to promote the growth of beneficial intestinal flora like bifidobacteria and lactobacilli for better digestion and regular bowel movement. You can also help keep cardiovascular diseases at bay with spirulina because of its reported ability to lower blood pressure and reduce bad (or LDL) cholesterol. Spirulina is also said to naturally detoxify the body by helping eliminate mercury and other harmful chemicals commonly absorbed by the body.

If you want to enjoy the benefits of spirulina, you can buy supplements commercially in powder or tablet form. Many coffee mixes also include spirulina as one of their ingredients. 

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