What is spirulina?
Spirulina, from its scientific name Spirulina Arthrospira Platensis, is a filamentous cyanobacterium with a blue-green colour in the shape of a spiral, often wrongly considered as an algae and which has many health benefits which are at the origin of its popularity. It can be found in the form of powder, flakes, tablets or capsules.
Classified in the family of “super plants“, spirulina is also considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the best food for humanity in the 21st century and the most complete because of its composition and its exceptional nutritional richness.
Spirulina, a natural food supplement
Spirulina grows naturally throughout the world in several regions such as Africa, Asia, India and Mexico. However, the United States, some European countries as well as France have been growing it artificially on farms for a number of years.
Spirulina is one of the most effective dietary supplements and its positive effects on health are very palpable. Its nutritional virtues mean that it is also used to combat malnutrition in several African countries.
How to choose spirulina?
Consumed throughout the world, mostly in the form of powder, capsules, tablets or flakes, spirulina is a food that is full of exceptional nutritional qualities and easily assimilated by the body. Today it is one of the most popular and most widely consumed food supplements worldwide. The richness in nutrients of spirulina is such that the Incas could formerly feed exclusively on it after poor harvests.
Because the manufacture of this supplement requires neither cooking nor specific treatment (it must be dried cold), the consumer benefits from all its important nutrients without alteration. The quantity of amino acids, vitamins and minerals (iron, calcium, magnesium, etc.) present in spirulina make it a first-rate food supplement. It provides our body with a high concentration of nutrients and thus balances our daily needs.
Nowadays, the world market is flooded with various spirulina from farms that grow spirulina in greenhouses and artificial ponds. But there are also organic spirulina, grown under completely natural conditions in their original ponds, such as the one you can find on our site (for more information, please see the product sheet).
Origin of spirulina
Spirulina is known to the primitive civilizations that populated South America, Africa and Asia. For several millennia it has been an essential part of the diet in the regions where it grows naturally. Indeed, it is a relatively easy aquatic plant to cultivate.
Advantage or disadvantage depending on the point of view, this cyanobacterium is easy to cultivate, provided that it perfectly reproduces the necessary environmental conditions and provides it with the nitrogenous bases essential to its proper development.
The benefits of spirulina on the organism
Propriétés et vertus de la spiruline
- Boosts the immune system
- Improves endurance and stamina
- Helps to keep or get back in shape
- Helps control weight and normal blood sugar levels
- Strengthens natural defenses and vitality
- Promotes the organism’s resistance
- Natural source of antioxidants to combat oxidative stress
Where to find the best spirulina?
Most conventional spirulina is produced in greenhouses in artificial basins, either in France or abroad. Some spirulina, such as the one proposed by Natura Force, stand out by their origins and their totally natural production methods, which allows them to retain a maximum of active ingredients and bénéﬁcier a very qualitative product in addition to being certified organic.
Favour a spirulina produced in a freshwater lake, far from any pollution as well as urban areas, and bénéﬁciant from a culture in a water table free of heavy metals and various contaminations (see analyses). Indeed, the cyanobacteria’s (not the algae’s) ability to capture all the minerals and trace elements in its environment can make it toxic if the sites are contaminated, hence the need to be particularly vigilant at the site where it is harvested.
Quality spirulina must grow in a healthy, natural and sunny environment. After harvesting, it must be dried at low temperatures aﬁn to keep its qualities intact before being processed into powder. Opt also for a spirulina made and packaged in France, without adding any other ingredient or excipient and certified organic. This information must be easily available on the manufacturer’s or retailer’s website.
The components of spirulina
An excellent source of protein
Spirulina is one of the richest plant foods in protein. On average, 60 to 70% of its total weight is composed of amino acids which are used as a food source for our muscles. A record, when we know that lean meat contains only 20% of them, and that this percentage decreases further during cooking.
Many vegetables contain proteins, but they are not always complete due to the absence of certain essential amino acids. As far as spirulina is concerned, all 9 essential amino acids are present, which makes it an ideal dietary supplement for both vegans and vegetarians.
Minerals and trace elements
Spirulina contains interesting amounts of iron, copper, magnesium and zinc, minerals known to combat fatigue and promote recovery. It also contains good quantities of sodium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and manganese, elements that are very useful for the overall health of our body. Some prevent the formation of free radicals, others interact with red blood cells and some boost the immune system.
Chlorophyll and phycocyanin
The green colour of spirulina is given by chlorophyll. Its nucleus, similar to the structure of our red blood cells, attracts toxic elements, which gives spirulina very useful properties in terms of détoxiﬁcation blood. It is also this pigment that promotes the production of red blood cells in the body.
Phycocyanine is also a rare pigment in nature, yet it is present in large quantities in spirulina and is even now used for medical purposes as a replacement for certain pharmaceutical treatments. Particularly bioavailable, it is a powerful antioxidant that strengthens the body and protects cells (1). Very appreciated by sportsmen and women in particular, this element is endowed with very useful characteristics for the puriﬁcation of the organism, the production of white and red globules and the improvement of physical performances.
A vegetable and natural source of vitamin B12
Thanks to cold drying, Natura Force Spirulina retains all its vitamins. Vitamin B derivatives are found in significant quantities, as is the case with riboﬂavine (Vitamin B2), nicotinamide (B3), pyridoxine (B6) and folic acid (B9). Even more surprisingly, spirulina is one of the few foods of plant origin to contain vitamin B12, a vitamin much appreciated by vegetarians because it is generally found in red meat and offal and much less in a plant diet that is a source of certain deficiencies. The vitamin B12 contained in spirulina has been able to demonstrate through various studies its bioavailability and its ability to supplement a deficient diet (2) Other analyses have also shown the presence of vitamins A and E in interesting quantities.
Effects and use of spirulina
Nutritional balance and weight loss
Spirulina is a real advantage for those who do not take meat and who lack essential minerals in their diet, such as iron.
Its high protein content allows the body to feel satiety faster, to reduce the quantities on the plate and to eliminate snacking between meals. A definite advantage for those who need to lose a few kilos and benefit from a good ration of vitamins. It also promotes detoxification of the body. Many dietitians recommend spirulina for slimming because it acts as an effective appetite suppressant thanks in particular to its high protein content.
Minerals such as iron, zinc and magnesium are essential for maintaining athletic performance in top athletes.
These elements are known to promote recovery after intensive sports sessions. As the production of red blood cells is stimulated by phycocyanin and chlorophyll, oxygenation of the muscles is optimised, helping the individual to improve power and endurance. The alchemy between the elements that make up spirulina allows athletes to optimize their recovery in order to continue and improve their performance.
Strengthen the immune system and purify the body
Our immune and endocrine systems need a wide range of vitamins to function properly. The vitamins contained in spirulina thus make it possible to compensate for a deficient or even unbalanced diet. Better, their quantity and their arrangement stimulate our body and strengthen our natural defenses.
The Beta carotene contained in the cyanobacterium is known to be an immunostimulant and antioxidant and to act positively on both the health and aesthetics of the skin and hair. Spirulina is also useful to detoxify the body. Its composition allows it to attract and evacuate toxins from our body.
You can start your day with a glass of lukewarm lemon water with a few tablets of spirulina, an excellent association with strong alkalizing power.
Spirulina and sport
Spirulina is very appreciated by sportsmen who can consume up to 10 to 15 grams per day for the most active.
Widely used by runners as well as in bodybuilding to improve their recovery and promote better muscle mass gain, the latter have made it one of their favorite food supplements. Studies carried out on several groups of athletes have clearly demonstrated that spirulina improves both endurance and recovery (3), and that it helps to combat physical fatigue. The results also showed a better use of lipids during physical exercise and the optimization of the glutathione level linked to physical energy and helping to fight against oxidation generated by physical effort. The consumption of spirulina also promotes the elimination of lactic acid, which causes cramps and muscle pain.
Improves endurance and resistance
Very appreciated by sportsmen, spirulina brings iron and beta-carotene and thus promotes the good oxygenation of blood, cells and muscles. Numerous studies have demonstrated the ability of the latter, as a natural antioxidant, to improve endurance, particularly in runners and cyclists (4), but also physical strength in strength sports.
Helps to keep or get back in shape
Spirulina consists of 60 to 70% protein including all essential amino acids, 19% carbohydrates, 6% fat and a high concentration of minerals, ﬁbres, beta-carotene, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, B vitamins and omega 3, 6 and 9. It is an ideal source of energy for anyone looking for a better state of fitness and wishing to naturally boost their body.
Spirulina and weight training
Spirulina helps to build muscle, reduce aches and pains and improves blood quality and circulation in general. The consumption of spirulina is particularly suitable for muscle building as a complement to a varied diet. It helps the body to quickly eliminate carbon dioxide and lactic acid, and promotes better recovery after effort.
Eradicates dietary deficiencies and iron deficiency (anemia)
Because of its nutritional richness, spirulina is one of the rare foods that can boast of being complete and can combat malnutrition and anaemia on its own (5). The proteins, iron and vitamins it contains enable it to rebalance a deficient diet. Its consumption promotes an increase in the average corpuscular concentration of haemoglobin as well as the level of white blood cells in the body. Spirulina is also used in many countries, particularly in Africa, to combat malnutrition.
An effective natural antioxidant
Phycocyanin acts as a powerful antioxidant. Its action on oxidative stress helps to preserve the health of the skin (action against wrinkles and cellular ageing) and more generally of the body. Antioxidants are known to prevent many diseases. Numerous studies have demonstrated Spirulina’s ability to reverse the age-related increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines and to reduce the oxidative markers MDA (Plasma Malondialdehyde) (6), demonstrating both its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities.
Spirulina consumption and dosage
There are several forms of spirulina. In any case, it is recommended to opt for a progressive consumption: from 1 to 2 grams per day during the first week of consumption (if you have never taken it) then to increase the intake as you go along up to 3 grams per day on average over the rest of the cure. Some people whose needs are more important, such as high-level athletes for example, can consume up to 10 grams of spirulina per day! In addition, you can consume spirulina as a cure or on a regular or even uninterrupted basis to cover your needs continuously.