How It Can Change Your Cognitive Health
Botanical name: Arthrospira platensis, Arthrospira maxima
What Is Spirulina? And How It Can Change Your Cognitive Health
When you are trying to live a healthier and plentiful life, you come across different tips and concepts. Some of these seem useless, but there are some that can change your life for the better.
This is the case of spirulina. But, what is spirulina? It’s a very old life form on earth. This blue-green microalgae is considered one of the world’s first superfoods and it is full of nutrients.
Because this food is 100 perfect natural, it isn’t altered with heat and chemicals that can slowly hurt your body. This microalgae is not only good for your metabolism, but it will change your day-to-day emotions and sensations and benefit your well-being.
What Is Spirulina Made Of?
For starters, spirulina has between 55 and 70 percent protein—more than soybeans or chicken meat.
However, one of the most important benefits from spirulina, is the large amount of antioxidants it has:
- Superoxide dismutase
Spirulina also has minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, iodine, sulfur, chromium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, sodium and zinc; as well as vitamins such as vitamin A, C, E, K and vitamin B.
Why Should I Eat Spirulina?
Almost immediately after you ingest spirulina, you will see the benefits. Some of the most noticeable changes are the improvement of your immune system, support for your heart, liver, and kidneys, and suppression of appetite.
Consuming spirulina will also purify and build your blood. It will help you regulate blood sugar, which is important nowadays when a lot of us are vulnerable to diabetes. Because it is a microalgae, spirulina will also result in a higher supply of oxygen.
Since it is an antioxidant, this microalgae balances your body’s pH levels and reduces inflammation. Its antioxidant effect also prevents muscle soreness and can enhance physical endurance.
What About Brain Health?
Though most people see spirulina as good for digestion and cleansing the body, this superfood is particularly great for your cognitive health. While it is overall healthy to consume spirulina, it is important to acknowledge that it can help your brain performance as well.
Let’s find out what spirulina can do for your cognitive health.
- Recent studies have shown that spirulina can increase levels of L-tryptophan, which is an amino acid used in the brain to synthesize chemicals such as serotonin and melatonin. Because of this, younger kids and teenagers can benefit with higher academic performance, while adults will overall perform better and gain more energy.
- Spirulina has also been studied in regards to its neuroprotective effect. Because it contains large amount of antioxidants, spirulina fights off free radicals and reduces inflammation in the brain.
- Reducing inflammation can also diminish stroke-related brain damage. By allowing more blood to reach brain cells, there will be less cell death.
- By protecting your brain from free radicals, spirulina is also decreasing the risk of degenerative diseases like Parkison’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease. Specifically, spirulina reduces the levels of amyloid-beta proteins in your brain, which has been seen in high concentration levels on people suffering from these diseases. Large accumulation of this protein will lead to memory loss.
- Not only is spirulina rich in antioxidant properties, but also its high level of omega-3 fatty acids results in oxidative stress protection and in a performance boost.
- In some specific attention disorders, such as ADHD, consumption of spirulina has also been shown to improve productivity and the ability to concentrate. Even if you don’t suffer from some sort of attention deficit, consuming spirulina can increase your focus and sharpen your mind.
- Preventing depression and stress is also a side effect of introducing spirulina to your daily diet. By aiding your serotonin levels, you will be less prone to depression or sadness. And its high magnesium levels will also prevent you from stressing out and becoming tense.
But Wait… The Way You Consume Spirulina Matters
There are many ways in which you can consume spirulina, but you should be aware of how to do it depending on the effect you are looking for.
Here are some of the more common spirulina doses:
- For cholesterol, take about 1-8g per day
- For physical endurance and muscle protection, take around 2-7g per day
- For blood sugar control, around 2g per day may have some effect
- For blood pressure control, doses between 3.5-4.5g per day can help
To take these doses though, you must choose a method of consumption. Always make sure your spirulina is organic. In today’s markets, you can find some additives made up of nitrate compounds that are dangerous to your health.
As with most raw foods, fermented spirulina may be the safest and best way to consume this microalgae. Because it is fermented, this type of spirulina is more biochemically active in your body. It is also easier to digest and much more advisable for people with problems breaking down and assimilating foods or nutrients.
Some people however, prefer to take spirulina capsules, as the taste is better and it is faster to consume. If you go for capsules, take four or more capsules per day.
If you decide to mix spirulina powder with water, use around 2 tablespoons per day. You can also mix it in your favorite juice or smoothie, for better taste.
There are also spirulina tablets out there, which can be harder to get around to because of their strong taste, but are also easier to digest. You should take around 6 of these per day.
No matter what way you choose, always store open containers of spirulina in the refrigerator. It’s not because it will go bad specifically, but because oxygen can diminish the effect of some of the important nutrients found in this superfood. Also, for better results consume within a few months after opening.
Do It For Your Brain!
Now that you have discovered this superfood and that you are ready to improve your overall health, make sure you add it to your diet and consume it when you need to concentrate, memorize something, or when you feel down and need a boost. Spirulina is one of the cheapest and most natural ways to heal your body and your mind!