Spirulina grows in salt water and in some fresh water lakes and ponds.

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Researchers believe that spirulina is one of the first forms of plant life on earth and more than 3 billion years old. Scientists rediscovered the many health benefits of this green superfood in the 1960s. Since then, scientists around the world have tested the plant’s health benefits on humans as well as on pets. Health experts consider this blue-green superfood as one of the most nutritious plants on earth. 

About the Green Super Food

Spirulina is highly alkalizing blue - green algae, a live plant-like organism, also described as a micro salt-water plant. Due to its high nutrient content, NASA has opted to use spirulina for astronaut’s food in space, according to AustralianSpirulina.com.   

Although spirulina generally grows in salt water, you can also find it in some fresh water lakes. The algae needs consistent tropical-like temperatures in order to survive. As the organism absorbs sunshine, the cells produce nutrients and turn carbon dioxide into oxygen. The blue-green algae needs strong sunshine for continued nutrient production.  

Some farmers grow commercial spirulina cultures in farms. While some spirulina farmers are cautious to grow the green super food in a clean and uncontaminated environment, others are not. Spirulina is much like a sponge. It will absorb anything in the water - good or bad.  

How to Buy the Green Super Food

Manufacturers sell spirulina as a dietary supplement. You can find the supplement at most health food stores as well as online. Spirulina is available on the market in the form of tablets, capsules, powder and as an ingredient in many formulated nutritional supplements. 

If you choose to supplement your nutrition with this green super food, look for a reputable manufacturer. Buy organic spirulina to avoid buying a contaminated product.  Organic spirulina is generally farmed using pure water. The algae-plant can easily absorb nutrients from the water. However, the plant can also absorb heavy metals and other contaminants in the water. Therefore, contaminated water would contaminate the plant and make it unfit for human consumption. The product should not contain any artificial colors, preservatives or flavors. 

Spirulina Health Benefits

Oxygen - Spirulina, as a green superfood, provides many health benefits. The plant is highly alkalizing, helps the body to get rid of acid. The organism is also rich in oxygen. Oxygen is essential for the cells in your body to function efficiently. Oxygen in the body promotes energy, healing, mental clarity and helps in the body’s cleansing processes. 

Protein - The algae-plant is the richest source of vegetable protein, according to Ayurvedicure.com. Its high protein content makes it a good food choice for individuals suffering from a protein deficiency or malabsorption problems. 

Vitamins/Minerals - The green super food contains a high content of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a precursor to vitamin A. While high dosages of vitamin A could cause toxicity, the body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A as needed. Due to its beta-carotene content, spirulina promotes vision health, benefit’s the skin and mucous membranes and has a detoxifying effect on the body. Its antioxidant properties protect the body against free radicals. 

Another vitamin found in the green super food is vitamin B-12. The vitamin is beneficial to individuals who are anemic. B-12 also helps calm the nerves and helps the body to cope with stress.

Minerals found in spirulina include iron, magnesium and other trace minerals.

GLA, also found in spirulina, is an essential fatty acid, which promotes heart health by reducing cholesterol. 

Besides the vitamins and minerals mentioned above, the blue-green algae also contains a rich amino acid content as well as other nutrients, which make this green super food a natural anti-aging dietary supplement.   

Green Super Food for Birds

Pet food suppliers of organic bird food often sell food grade spirulina in powder form. Bird owners can sprinkle the powder in the bird’s food or put it in their drinking water. As in humans, spirulina can improve a bird’s eye health and strengthen the immune system. The rich vitamin and nutrient content is ideal for the bird’s overall health. In the wild, birds consume spirulina found in lakes and ponds. 

Spirulina Warnings & Side Effects

  • Persons taking the supplement could experience a slight fever. This is due to the metabolism of the extra protein.  
  • A person taking high amounts of spirulina could experience constipation. Drinking an extra ½ liter of water generally gets rid of the symptom.
  • Some people might experience a slight body rash or skin itch.   
  • Consult your physician before taking spirulina if you have hyperparathyroidism.
  • Avoid spirulina if you are allergic to seaweed or seafood.
  • Avoid spirulina if you have a high fever. 

As with any dietary supplement, consult your health care provider before incorporating this green super food into your diet. 

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