Spirulina

summary about spirulina

Spirulina is a freshwater algae, also called “blue algae” or cyanobacteria. It is still a new supplement in the field of food (however, it is becoming more and more popular in some countries), it is very popular in Central America, Asia and Africa. It is in these regions that the culture develops more, mainly because of the favorable climate.

Very rich in protein, spirulina was already used as food by the Aztecs and other Mesoamerican civilizations since the 15th century under the name “tecuitlatl”. The source is believed to be, however, in the Kanem Empire, in Chad. Today seaweed is consumed in this part of the world in the form of so-called “dihe” biscuits.

The name spirulina is derived from its spiral shape. It is part of the Cyanobacteria species and genus Arthrospira . Only 36 species are edible among the 2,000 species of cyanobacteria identified. The best known is Arthrospira platensis whose main crop is grown in Hawaii and California. Other industrial forms exist in China, Cuba, India, Chile and several West African countries such as Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso.

Because of the presence of all the amino acids in spirulina, the alga is recognized by the United Nations (UN) as an important element in the sustainable development agenda.

main nutrients

Nutrients (effects and potential medical indications)Amount per 10 grams of spirulina
Proteins (for body building)50 a 70%
Calcium (for bone and tooth formation, growth, nerve transmission, blood clotting, muscle contraction)100 mg
Phosphorus (to stimulate memory and growth)80 mg
Other nutrients: magnesium , vitamins A , B1 , B2 , B3 , B5 , B6 , B8 , B9 , B12 , E , beta-carotene, omega-6 , chlorophyll.in smaller quantities 

 

number of calories

– It is estimated that 100 grams of fresh spirulina provides 26 kcal while the same amount provides 290 kcal when dried.

Main dishes, food and drinks

– Recipes with spirulina (see text below)

– With fruit juice to supplement vitamin C.

– Mixed with cereals or over salad.

– In the form of capsules, powders, pills, homemade pastes and tablets.

Importance to nutrition and health

Spirulina makes up for iron, vitamin A and B12 deficiencies. Absorption provides a gain in shape and muscle tone. It contains two and a half times more vitamin B12 than animal foods such as liver. Only three grams provide the daily requirement.
– For those who follow a low-calorie diet, food is an interesting alternative. In addition, the protein contained in it is easily digested, resulting in the regulation of the amount of sugar in the blood in addition to suppressing hunger. The high content of the amino acid phenylalanine reduces appetite. Spirulina consumed on an empty stomach produces a feeling of satiety, as it coats the walls of the stomach.

– In case of pregnancy, spirulina is a dietary supplement of choice. The high protein content is a considerable plus.

– The immune system is also among the recipients of the benefits of spirulina, particularly in allergic rhinitis and acne treatment .

– If you exercise, spirulina should be part of your diet. In fact, it contains gamma-linolenic acid, which stimulates protein synthesis. In addition, seaweed contains fibers that help regenerate muscles and tendons. Food also helps in the formation of hemoglobin. Recent studies show that spirulina gives energy to the athlete, reducing stress and fatigue .

– Spirulina is also an antioxidant that helps slow down the cell aging mechanism.

Simple recipes based on spirulina

Spirulina Pesto (serves 4)

Ingredients

– 120 g of pine nuts.

– 80 g of parmesan.

– 2 bunches of basil.

– 2 garlic cloves.

– 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

– 2 teaspoons of spirulina.

– Salt and pepper.

Preparation

– Heat the pine nuts for about 3-5 minutes.

– Remove the basil stalks and keep only the leaves.

– Grate the parmesan cheese. Crush the garlic cloves

– Mix the parmesan, pine nuts, garlic and basil leaves.

– Add with olive oil and spirulina. Mix well until you get the desired texture.

– Pass everything a second time in a blender.

– Salt and pepper.

good nutrition advice

– At the moment, there are no contraindications for spirulina. The only side effects we know of are possible allergic reactions and nausea. However, we recommend that you consult a doctor before starting any diet.

– People who eat few vegetables or who don’t like them can take spirulina because of its high nutrient content. In fact, just 5 grams of seaweed provide a significant amount of beta-carotene, iron and other nutrients.

– As spirulina is a food, it is better to ingest the powder instead of pills or capsules. In this way, the powder can be easily mixed with other ingredients.

– Spirulina can be consumed in dry form, which is a nutritional and medicinal advantage.

Interesting comments

– If you are bothered by the slight fishy smell of spirulina or by its green color, we suggest purchasing tablets or capsules. This presentation can be up to 3 times more expensive than the powdered form.

– Sometimes some industrial drying techniques reduce the nutritional value of spirulina. Therefore, it is better to take into account the production method and value more traditional techniques.

– World production of spirulina is currently around 5,000 tons per year. China is the largest producer, with a 50% market share, followed by the United States and India.

Did you know?

– Spirulina in the form we know today has existed for over 3 billion years.
– Many manufacturers incorporate spirulina into their products, such as smoothies and juices in snack bars and restaurants.
– Spirulina is grown all year round and requires only low water quality. The farmer does not need to use pesticides and most importantly, production is maintained for years.

– The amount of protein is 20 times greater than that of soy .

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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