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What is Spirulina and Its Health Benefits

what is spirulina and its health benefits
what are spirulina and its health benefits?

Currently, many people's demands for functional foods are growing rapidly. Many people believe that the food they eat will provide a significant effect on their body health. In the modern era, food is not only used as a source of energy and nutrition but also as a fundamental source to build a strong immune system and also to increase the antibody system (Merad, 2003; Roberfroid, 2000b). These foods are called functional foods. Functional foods can be produced by adding special ingredients into food products. that have special functions to improve body health.

Along with the increased demand for functional foods, people's awareness of healthy living styles has also increased. The concept of functional food the first time was introduced by Japanese scientists. The Japanese scientists studied the relationship between nutrition, sensory satisfaction, defense, and physiological modular systems. Some of the foods that are considered functional foods are functional eggs, functional cereals, low cholesterol margarine, salmon, functional meats, prebiotics, and probiotics,

The facts show that the world is experiencing a period of crisis with a large number of people displaced due to food shortages. Most people in developing countries are reported to be in a state of starvation caused by a lack of nutritious food sources. Lack of protein in the body causes kwashiorkor disease. This disease is characterized by muscle wasting, mental changes, infection, anemia, diarrhea, and skin disorders. This crisis can be solved by providing functional foods that contain high protein. High protein foods include eggs, meat, and single-cell protein.

One of the high protein foods is food made from the microalgae Spirulina Platensis. This microalgae not only acts as a single cell protein source, but also provides several other benefits, including a source of carotenoids, chlorophyll, and a source of micronutrients.

What is Spirulina

Spirulina is an organism that belongs to a blue-green alga that lives in the freshwater and sea, and often to be found in the many lakes. The origin of this organism is from Africa and Mexico. Spirulina has been known for its great health benefits and is categorized as a superfood. Many people crave this food due to the high content of amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and B vitamins. Based on the statement of the Nutritionist at Foodtrainers, Carolyn Brown, RD, spirulina work wonders to strengthen the heart, bones, and muscles due to the high content of nutrients.

The mineral content in Spirulina differs from one another depending on the type of growth medium. In general, Spirulina cultivation can use freshwater, seawater, or brackish water.

1. Seawater Spirulina

Spirulina that grows in seawater contains higher minerals compared to fresh or brackish water media. Seawater contains high salts such as NaCl, KCl, and MgCl. Spirulina also contains phycocyanin, polysaccharides, and higher inositol. Although it contains high salt, sodium content that is too high is considered not good for human health. To reduce this mineral, people used NaHCO3 and Na2CO3 through the Trigger method (Faucher, et al., 1975).

Seawater spirulina has a slower growth rate than freshwater spirulina. Seawater spirulina has a lower growth rate and produces a biomass of around 10.3 g/m2/day (Costa, et) al, 2003; Wu, et) al, 1993) Seawater spirulina has a fishy smell similar to seaweed, which causes some people are uncomfortable with the smell. This fishy smell is the result of the mineral content in Spirulina.

2. Freshwater Spirulina

Spirulina is usually used as a human food and pharmaceutical ingredient. Freshwater spirulina means the spirulina is grown using freshwater media. The content of NaHCO3, phosphate, and urea was added to influence the growth rate of microalgae. Freshwater spirulina had a higher growth rate at around 0.16/day and yielded 1.23P1.34 g/L dry biomass.

Due to the lower content of sodium in freshwater, freshwater spirulina is safe to be consumed as human food and also used in pharmaceuticals. The protein content produced from Spirulina in freshwater media is about 60P70%. Due to its lower mineral content than seawater spirulina, freshwater spirulina doesn't have any fishy smell.

Please continue to read because, in this article, we will learn the complete explanation of spirulina's health benefits and side effects.

What nutrients does spirulina have

As one of the most nutritious foods in the world, spirulina's health benefits strengthened with the research result that said the iron from spirulina is 58 times higher compared to the iron found in spinach and 18 times more than iron from the meat. Spirulina also contains high beta-carotene, which is 25 times higher compared to beta carotene that can be found in the carrots, and 100 times higher compared to papaya. Spirulina was also rich in protein, vitamins, fats, minerals, and carbohydrates. Due to its rich nutrients, spirulina has proven to be an effective supplement for removing dark bags under the eyes, making skin firmer, protecting the body from free radicals, promoting hair growth, preventing baldness, preventing signs of premature aging, and helping to fight acne.

1. Spirulina to prevent candida

Candidiasis is a skin infection caused by a type of fungus called candida. This fungus is found on the skin and parts of the body. Candida is usually harmless, but it can get out of control or get into the bloodstream and cause infection. Spirulina has antifungal properties that help protect the skin from Candida infections. One study examined the in vitro activity of guinea pigs in the womb. This was to confirm the effect of spirulina on more than 20 different strains of Candida. The results show that spirulina is effective against infection and can even replace the antifungal drugs used to treat Candida.

2. Spirulina for Intestinal Health

Spirulina is good for the intestines. One study has shown that spirulina helps save healthy bacteria in the intestines. These bacteria are destroyed by both the aging process and bad eating habits. Even antibiotics can kill your good gut bacteria.

3. Spirulina for skin health

Spirulina significantly improves skin health by preserving good bacteria. The appearance of loose skin and wrinkles is greatly improved. In short, Spirulina keeps your skin smooth and shiny. Other studies have shown that this superfood helps hydrate dry skin. Not only that, but we also offer antioxidants. A healthy gut flora means less skin irritation. Basically, it is often the gut microbiota imbalance that causes skin problems such as acne and eczema. Because both acne and eczema are inflammation in nature. It's a sign that your immune system is trying to protect you from harmful bacteria

Spirulina extract can be used in the form of ointments and supplements. If you don't like the idea of jumping on the supplement train, here's a natural drink suggestion, Spirulina Lemon Shot. This drink is delicious on a hot day. Rich in antioxidants, proteins, and vitamins. The method is as follows. Squeeze the whole lemon, pinch 2 cayenne peppers, and 1 pinch of cumin. Fill the cup with water.

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