HUGE HEALTH BENEFITS
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nutrition for the 21St century
By Gary Bushkin, PhD, CNC and Estitta Bushkin, PhD, CNC
Spirulina is believed by anthropologists and biologists to be the oldest living
plant on the planet. This "old faithful" has provided complete nutrition,
unmatched in value, for over 3.5 million years. Only in the past 75 years
have we become familiar with Spirulina, a sleeping powder keg of "green
power" that has the potential to become the prime choice for a world
super food of the future.
Spirulina is one of approximately 1,500 species of microscopic aquatic plants
called blue-green micro algae that have inhabited the earth for several million
years. In it's natural state, Spirulina has been discovered in the lakes and
waterways of Africa, Central America and South America. During the 15th and
16th centuries, the Aztec Indians of Mexico regularly harvested Spirulina
for food from natural green lakes and ponds. Native cooks mixed it with maize
(cornmeal) to make green pancakes that were a staple of their simple diet.
Currently, there are two common varieties of this spiral shaped blue-green
algae currently being cultivated and harvested for human consumption, known
as Spirulina maxima and Spirulina platensis.
Today, Spirulina is extensively harvested in tank environments that are set
up to provide growing conditions that mimic it's ideal natural habitat. Although
Spirulina is cultivated around the world, the largest and most respected Spirulina
"farm" is located in the hot California desert sunshine far away
from polluted city air. There, from April to October, controlled cultivation
of Spirulina takes place. Spirulina is grown in man-made cultivation ponds
which help keep out undesirable weed algae, micro bacteria and parasites.
These ponds are fed Colorado River water, minerals and carbon dioxide, needed
by Spirulina for photosynthesis. Many hours each day of intense sunlight promotes
rapid growth. Immediately after being harvested from these ponds, Spirulina
is filtered to a thick consistency, dehydrated, and put in oxygen-protective
containers. Every day, each lot is tested to ensure safety and consistent
nutrient levels. The entire process --- from growing pond to powder - takes
about 15 minutes. This powder is then bottled and sold as a supplement as
either a powder, tablet of capsule. It is also sold as an ingredient that
is used in many other dietary supplements.
Functions Of Spirulina
Spirulina has been blessed by nature with a huge arsenal of valuable nutrients.
Of special interest is the phycocyanin, a blue pigment naturally present in
large amounts. Results of a 1986 study presented at the International Association
for Dental Research General Session concluded that phycocyanin was unique
because of its cytostatic (suppressing formation of new cancer cell colonies)
and cytotoxic (that destroy existing colonies of cancer cells) abilities.
Spirulina is also naturally "pumped" with vitamins,
especially the carotenoids like beta-carotene, essential fatty acids (EFA's),
the important fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA), digestive enzymes, minerals
and the richest plant source of vitamin B12. Spirulina is the "must have"
green food- a complete protein with all eight essential amino acids present.
Its 60% protein content is four times greater than beef (18%)! In our society,
where the concept of complete protein is meat and dairy, it is very reassuring
to know that greens like Spirulina can provide all the high quality protein
and other nutrients needed.
and Vitamin B12 Controversy
A major argument frequently used to support the consumption of animal foods
in the diet and negate the tremendous value of Spirulina incorrectly states
that plants do not contain vitamin B12. A single serving of Spirulina contains
45% of your daily value of vitamin B12. That's good news and reassuring for
vegetarians, many of who are incorrectly led to believe that eating animal
food is critical to getting this essential blood building vitamin
information and these products have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products
and information are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease,
disorder, pain, injury, deformity, or physical or mental condition. Results
are not typical. Individual results may vary.