Lately, there’s been a lot of buzz around spirulina, which is a type of blue-green algae, considered a superfood with numerous health benefits including weight-loss boosting properties. Interestingly, spirulina has also been recognized by reputed space agencies like NASA and the European Space Agency for food supplementation for space travels. So, is there any truth behind the hype surrounding spirulina’s weight loss benefits. In this article, we will try to find out about that and more:
What is Spirulina?
Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae, comprising of single-celled organisms that use photosynthesis to produce food. Spirulina has numerous antioxidants, including beta-carotene, phycocyanin, tocopherols, micronutrients, even omega-3 fatty acids. There is also protein, iron, and other important minerals like magnesium, iron, phosphorous, etc. Also read: “14 Best Green Superfoods to Boost Weight Loss.”
Why Spirulina is Considered Weight Loss Friendly?
1. The biggest benefit – it’s a source of good-quality protein, has all essential amino acids (18 of them) that your body needs; it may have up to 5.9 gm of protein per 100 gm. Protein plays a key role in weight loss – increasing satiety, burning more calories with its thermogenic properties, preserving and building muscle, increasing metabolism, regulating blood sugar, and also by reducing food cravings. That’s why experts recommend to amp up protein intake to promote fat burning.
2. Studies have also shown that spirulina improves insulin resistance by reducing inflammatory mediators such as IL-6. As we all know, losing weight with insulin resistance is an uphill task because frequent insulin spikes facilitate the body to store excess blood sugar as fat!
3. Spirulina is considered a superfood because it has so many nutrients packed together. When the body lacks essential nutrients, such as vitamins, protein, healthy fats, carbs, minerals, it can trigger hunger signals to replenish those nutrients. For example, if the body lacks iron, which is necessary for producing hemoglobin in red blood cells, the body may send out hunger signals to encourage the person to consume iron-rich foods! And nutrient-rich foods like spirulina help to suppress hunger and appetite by flushing the body with nutrients.
4. Spirulina has prebiotic properties and thus a great feed for the good bacteria in your gut. Prebiotics like spirulina can help increase satiety and to control appetite. When prebiotics are fermented by the gut bacteria, they produce short-chain fatty acids. These SCFAs have been shown to increase the production of hormones such as peptide YY (PYY) that have been found to regulate appetite and promote satiety. By helping to regulate appetite, prebiotics can help reduce overall calorie intake and support weight loss effort.
5. The magnesium, iron, B vitamins, iodine, phosphorous content in spirulina boosts metabolism and increases energy expenditure in the body.
6. Did you know spirulina is one of the few plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids. As we all know, omega-3 fatty acids lower inflammation, promote fullness, improve insulin senstivity, and reduce the accumulation of body fat.
Summing up, spirulina is good for overall health as well. You can add it to smoothies, green juice, or include it in homemade energy bars. However, a doctor’s advice need to be sought before including spirulina supplementation to rule out any potential side effects. It’s also important to note that while spirulina has a lot of nutrients with potential benefits for weight management, it’s not a magic bullet, and cannot replace a healthy and balanced diet, regular physical activity, and healthy lifestyle choices – the factors that would actually lead to weight loss. If you are looking for diet plans that can cause significant weight loss without compromising on nutrition, download and subscribe to the Rati Beauty app for effective weight loss diet plans.