What is Spirulina? Discover Everything You Need to Know About Spirulina – How to Use and Store It, Spirulina's Multiple Benefits for Your Skin, Plus, the Best Spirulina Products Available in India (2021)

What is Spirulina? Discover Everything You Need to Know About Spirulina – How to Use and Store It, Spirulina's Multiple Benefits for Your Skin, Plus, the Best Spirulina Products Available in India (2021)

If you have not heard about the superfood spirulina and its numerous benefits for your health in general and your skin in particular then this BP Guide is definitely for you. This guide will explain everything you need to know about this wonderful supplement from its usage and storage, multiple benefits for your skin and health, to preparing spirulina dishes the correct way. We have also curated a list of the best spirulina powders currently available in India.

Understanding the Superfood, Spirulina

If you are looking for one plant-based solution that will provide you with most of the protein requirements, prevent allergies and reinvent your immune system, spirulina can be the best among many. It is a natural alga (cyanobacteria) primarily obtained from two species – Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima. Spirulina generally grows in the form of blue-green algae in both freshwater and saltwater in the wild areas.

How to Use and Store Spirulina

Spirulina is used as food and supplement, and it is available in the form of powder, tablets and flakes. Not only humans use it, but it's also used in aquariums, aquaculture and poultry industries. You might need to buy spirulina commercially as it is mostly available easily in the market in two forms – tablets and powder. It is also used in some energy-boosting powders.

Using Spirulina: You can mix spirulina as suggested in a glass of water or juice and drink it straight. You might even find spirulina in some desserts in health food restaurants – it's also sometimes added to raw chocolate brownies or truffle-style energy balls with the addition of puréed dates, coconuts, nuts and other natural ingredients. If you like juice, try to mix it in natural orange or pineapple juice.

Is Spirulina Good for You?

Spirulina boosts your health with iron, protein, amino acids and antioxidants like beta-carotene. 1 tbsp spirulina contains 20% calories, 4 gm protein, 1 gm fat, 2 gm carbohydrates, without fibre and sugar. It is a good source of vitamin B1, B2 and B3, copper and magnesium. Spirulina helps in providing a potent source of nutrients and antioxidants. It may also have pain relief, anti-inflammatory and brain-protective properties. It reduces strain on your heart which causes heart disease and blood clotting.

Probable Side Effects of Spirulina

Although it is said that spirulina contains 60% of protein by weight, you should take spirulina as suggested. Too much intake can cause indigestion and you should avoid it at bedtime. There can be some more side effects of spirulina apart from having toxins. It may interfere with blood clotting, which is necessary to prevent excessive bleeding and bruising. If you are allergic to spirulina you should talk to your healthcare provider for conducting a prescribed non-invasive sensitivity test.

Health and Beauty Benefits of Spirulina

Due to the busy lifestyle, it isn't easy to track the nutrition you intake through your food every day. Spirulina is a type of seaweed which grows in freshwater environments like lakes, ponds and rivers. In today's range of health supplements, spirulina is considered the most preferred one due to its benefits. As a dietary supplement and wholefood item, it helps to provide several beneficial nutrients to your body. Along with providing a healthy and natural boost to your body from inside, this superfood also makes sure to maintain your skin's well-being.

Detoxifies the Skin

The 3 internal organs - liver, colon and kidneys are involved in detoxifying your body due to your natural detoxifying system. But it does not hurt to boost that system by using spirulina, a natural product. For a detox diet to truly work, you will need to maintain these organs by nourishing your body with the proper nutrients. Spirulina is such a nutrient which is full of antioxidants and also aids the liver in detoxifying. Its necessary elements help in maintaining a healthy functioning immune system and the nervous system. It alkalizes the body which boosts the liver function, and it removes heavy toxins from the blood. It eliminates toxins, wards off free radicals, and increases skin metabolism. It facilitates faster cell turnover, which helps the skin to detox and heal rapidly. It removes heavy metals and pollutants from the blood. It reduces candida overgrowth, which causes acne breakouts and increases skin's metabolism.

Tones the Skin and Fights Acne

Spirulina has a superior quality to rejuvenate and brighten the skin. It also treats dark circles, moisturises the skin, delays the signs of ageing and has anti-inflammatory properties. It has skin enhancing properties too which makes it highly suitable for skincare and increased radiance. Spirulina has many overwhelming ingredients like calcium, iron and vitamins, which makes it apt for skincare and toning products. It tightens and whitens the skin, maintains the youth factor and also fights acne by clearing bacteria. It's healing properties treat the root cause of acne rather than only dealing with the problem. There is no such proof that a high-protein diet can benefit acne directly, however there is no harm to take care of your skin with some natural supplements.

Increases Elasticity, Softness and Suppleness

Spirulina naturally beautifies your skin by reducing fine lines and wrinkles and improving its elasticity. It gives a rosy glow to the skin when taken internally and also when used as facial masks. It contains amino acids, vitamins and trace elements necessary to slow down the ageing process and boost collagen production. Collagen is found naturally in your body and is responsible for the elasticity and suppleness of your skin. If the collagen decreases, then you get sagging skin, fine lines and wrinkles. When you apply spirulina as a mask, it increases the collagen level and promotes elasticity of the skin. If your skin collagen rises, then it looks soft and supple naturally.

Contributes in Regeneration

Spirulina is an antigen of oxidant and inflammation, and it has a protein which contributes to the regeneration of the skin. A pigment known as phycocyanin is responsible for the blue-green colour of spirulina and it has anti-inflammatory properties. It regenerates the skin and limits skin inflammation. It contains high chlorophyll, which helps retain moisture in the skin – the bio-active effects of spirulina help regenerate skin wounds by its antioxidant properties. Spirulina has bio-active effects which can positively regenerate skin wounds while applying the effects of antioxidant that eases the cells that have been exposed to excessive ROS by phagocytosis and also inflammation. It accelerates the regeneration rate of skin wounds.

Reduces Ageing and Makes the Skin Glow

The first grey hair or the first wrinkle on your skin can be considered a landmark in your life. Spirulina has antioxidants like phytonutrients, and carotenoids which help your skin and body defend from free radicals. Taking spirulina as a supplement will ensure a younger-looking and healthier skin. Spirulina has high amounts of vitamins A, E and B-12, calcium, phosphorus and iron, all essential nutrients for a healthy skin. If you take a spirulina supplement daily, it will work as a miracle for your skin, making it look youthful, toned and vital. It contains vitamin E or tocopherol and selenium with tyrosine known to be beneficial for anti-ageing effects. Tyrosine slows down the skin cells' ageing process, and the antioxidants eliminate the free radicals responsible for skin ageing. Try some good spirulina facial masks which help in preventing the premature ageing of your skin and also fight acne. Make a paste by mixing a little spirulina with water and apply it to your face for a rejuvenating effect. The spirulina effect makes your skin smooth and soft and prevents signs of ageing like wrinkles and fine lines.

Rejuvenates and Whitens the Skin

Spirulina has so many essential vitamins and antioxidants which make it apt for use in the skincare routine. You can use spirulina for toning your skin regularly. It helps to oxygenate the skin from inside out. It also decreases the damage your skin receives due to heat and sun exposure. It tightens and lightens the skin and also helps to maintain the youthful factor in your skin. It is excellent for all skin types. It tones, moisturises, treats dark circles and keeps your skin healthy. It cleans the skin from inside and exfoliates from outside, making your skin look healthier and brighter. The brighter and cleaner the skin looks, the more it glows and the whitening effect increases.

Fights Inflammation and Irritation

Spirulina is a free-floating microalga which grows in water bodies. It has potential benefits in cardiovascular diseases and anti-inflammatory activities. Spirulina contains phycocyanin, one of the main active components that prevents the production of molecules that produce bacteria. It has anti-inflammatory properties of the algae as it is a good source of GLA - gamma-linolenic acid. It is also sometimes used as a treatment against arthritis. It protects the cartilage from destruction and other inflammatory problems. The powerful plant-based protein and other antioxidant properties make it a reliable product to prevent irritation and inflammation.

Tips for Using Spirulina

With numerous health benefits, spirulina is incredibly nutritious. This dietary supplement is used in many foods and daily-use products.

Spirulina as a Food Product

Spirulina comes in the form of powder and tablets and many commercially available energy-boosting and protein powder mixes. You can add a spoonful of spirulina powder to juices, smoothies, or even plain water and drink it. A large amount of spirulina will change your drink's colour to deep blue-green or almost black, so use it sparingly. You might need to brush your teeth if you get a stain from sipping spirulina drinks. It is a safe, natural food with numerous beneficial elements and not many known side effects. It is suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets. As suggested from research data and scientific evidence, a daily intake of 1–5 gm of spirulina can provide many benefits to your skin and overall health. Some of you can take up to 10 gm three times a day. You can take spirulina as a snack between meals, or add it as a seasoning in your dishes, fruits, bread or salads.

What Not to Do with Spirulina

Try not to use spirulina in boiling water and never put it in the microwave. It would be best if you do not cook spirulina as this will affect the algae. Never keep spirulina-added dishes outside for a long time, and try to use it as a freshly prepared dish. If you cannot consume spirulina right at the time of preparation then keep it refrigerated. For those of you with auto-immune conditions you should take advice from a doctor before taking spirulina to strengthen the NK cells. It is sometimes linked with auto-immune responses, affecting skin and muscles, although the side effects are rarely known.

Best Spirulina Available in the Market

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If you are a real health freak or planning to make a healthy journey, you might have already considered adding spirulina in your diet. There are some great brands in the market from which you can get the best spirulina for yourself.

Earthrise Spirulina Natural Powder is manufactured from spirulina grown in southwestern California. It ensures the delivery of the highest quality products and it is also certified by internationally recognised standards. It does not use unnatural chemicals like herbicides or pesticides and is grown under a controlled environment. This nature’s green superfood gives antioxidant protection, improves cardiovascular, eye and brain health, provides immune defence and has a lot of antioxidant benefits. This ecologically cultivated product improves cellular health which is important to live a healthy life.

Urban Platter Pure Spirulina Powder is an all-natural and mineral-rich detoxifying supplement. It is a high nutrition supplement with low calories, low fat and low cholesterol. It is rich in iron which improves your haemoglobin level and builds immunity while reducing fatigue and boosting stamina. It contains 65% protein mass in every spoonful, which is easily digestible. It promotes liver health and is a perfect natural detoxifier. It has more oxygen generation ability which is easily absorbed by the body. It is pale green in colour and comes in the form of both tablet and powder.

Healthy Hey Organic Spirulina Powder is a micro superfood rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals. It has multiple health benefits and supports heart health. It is a 100% vegetarian and gluten, soy and GMO-free product. It contains raw organic spirulina which is entirely pure, natural and health-friendly. It has 60% protein serving and essential amino acid. It supports cholesterol health, allergic health, blood pressure, and provides several other health benefits in each serving.

Conclusion

As spirulina may have certain drawbacks for a few people, you should consult your physician before consuming it regularly. You can avoid spirulina contaminated from toxins or microcystins by purchasing from reputed and trusted global brands. Though purchasing the best brands reduces the risk of contamination, spirulina does not come with a 100% contamination-free guarantee.

From our editorial team

Make Spirulina a Part of Your Regular Diet

Now that you have discovered the numerous benefits of spirulina it is important that you make it a part of your regular diet. It is however always prudent to discuss the matter with your dietician or physician prior to making any changes in your diet. We hope you would have found this BP Guide informative and interesting. Stay connected with us for more such engaging content.