Considered by the WHO as “the best food of the XXI century”, alga spirulina is one of the ingredients of our very colourful UNICORN MILK. A source of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, vitamins, proteins, magnesium and potassium: spirulina is a veritable natural tonic. Let’s discover its benefits together.
It reinforces the immune defences thanks to the magnesium and iron content that improve the response of the immune system to attack by pathogens, and thanks to phycocyanin (a substance that gives it its light blue-green colour) which increases the production of antibodies and vitamin C which reinforces the organism’s defences. It’s a valuable help against anaemia thanks to its high concentration of vitamin B12, which intervenes in the synthesis of haemoglobin and is good for the heart and blood pressure. Fatty acids of the omega 3 group have, in fact, anticoagulant and vasodilatory properties that contribute to favouring the fluidity of blood, hindering the formation of coagulants, while the xanthophylls regulate blood pressure, acting on the substances responsible for the vasoconstriction of blood groups. Finally, the multivitamin, anti-oxidant and e protein-based action of spirulina-based supplements is suitable for people who practice sport: the alga seems to be useful for athletes that need to improve resistance and muscle tone.
BUT WHAT IS SPIRULINA?
Spirulina is a green-blue spiral-shaped micro alga, and forms part of a category of extremely ancient microorganisms, the cyanobacteria, able to grow using the energy of the sun, consuming carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. It seems to grow naturally in very few areas of the world where unique characteristics must be present: high alkalinity, constant temperatures between 30 and 40 degrees and high concentrations of mineral salts.THE COMPOSITION OF SPIRULINA
Spirulina has numerous nutritional and functional properties because it contains all the nutrients that an organism needs: essential amino-acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, which contribute energy, tone and vitality. It’s an important source of vegetable proteins: it has a formidable protein content, easily exceeding eggs, powdered milk, meat, fish and soya. Spirulina’s proteins have a high biological value and all 8 essential amino-acid (that is, amino-acids that are not naturally produced by our body).
Spirulina contains essential amino-acids such as γ-linolenic acid (GLA) of the Omega-6 and Omega-3 series, which contrast levels of cholesterol and triglycerides; it possesses high quantities of vitamins B1, B2 and B3 and vitamin A; of iron, calcium and magnesium and potassium; it also provides many trace elements such as manganese, chrome, copper, zinc and selenium.
It boosts the metabolism. It has a low-calorie content. The proteins and vitamins contained in spirulina perform a toning and energising action. It reduces a sense of hunger thanks to the content of phenylalanine which acts on the nervous system inducing a sense of satiety. Being a complete food, rich in vitamins and mineral salts, it provides the right contribution of nutrients also to women in pregnancy and when breastfeeding. It’s a perfect supplement for people practicing sports.
It acts as an antioxidant. Thanks to the presence of beta-carotene, ascorbic acid and tocopherol which together have a synergic effect in contrasting free radicals. It prevents signs of ageing, helping memory and concentration. Moreover, it’s recommended for face moisturising treatments, also for sensitive skins, and anti-age, revitalising, toning and firming treatments for the body.
Thanks to the high content of vitamin A, spirulina is also able to contrast acne. The vitamins of group B stimulate the metabolism of the skin. Vitamin E lends softness and tone to the skin, favouring the healing process.
It performs a preventive action regarding cardiovascular diseases. The presence of essential fatty acids from the omega 3 and omega 6 series plays a crucial role in reducing cardiovascular risk. In particular, alfa-linolenic acid is a powerful blood-thinning agent, is anti-inflammatory and boosts the immune system. Linolenic acid lowers values of LDL (“bad” cholesterol) and to a lesser extent those of HDL (“good” cholesterol), contributing to reducing overall levels of cholesterol and, therefore, of cardiovascular risk.
HOW CAN WE USE THIS INGREDIENT WITH SUPER-POWERS?
First of all, it’s a good idea to make sure that the spirulina we eat is pure and comes from areas of controlled cultivation. The recommended quantity of spirulina to consume fluctuates between 1g and 5g per day. Under 1 g the effects are negligent; over 5 g could provoke contraindications.
We can use spirulina powder either in a glass of water mixed with other ingredients, to make excellent juices or smoothies, or even sweet and savoury foods. Try and have a look on Pinterest or Instagram with the spirulina hashtag and you will find all sorts! Or you can be inspired by the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, who, according to the Marie Claire UK magazine, uses it in a morning energy drink based of spirulina, kale, spinach, lettuce, coriander and cranberry juice. Not very enticing, certainly, but if it allows her to stay in good form, then we could try it too!