ABCs of Good Health

Eat Green Lose Fat

Eat Green Lose Fat

Spirulina, the dried form of freshwater, blue-green algae, is sometimes referred to as a ‘superfood’ because of the crucial nutrients it provides. It is commonly used for ailments such as diabetes, depression, heart disease and obesity.

When trying to lose weight people often turn to the conventional fat loss pills or diet shakes, but a recent study at the University of Thessaly in Trikala, Greece discovered that spirulina could also be equally as effective, with scientists discovering it not only increased fat oxidisation but also reduced fatigue during exercise.

The new research published in the journal ‘Medicine and Science in Sports Exercise’ shows that spirulina is not only a rich source of proteins, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants shown to have immune boosting properties but it can also increase the duration of your workouts and the amount of fat you can burn. An ideal wonder solution for those looking to lose weight but struggling with exercise workouts.

In the study moderately trained participants took part in the double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Each subject received either spirulina or a placebo for 4 weeks. They were then asked to run on a treadmill at roughly 75% of their maximum work rate, for 2 hours to near exhaustion. Exercise performance was measured and blood samples were drawn before, immediately after, and at 1, 24, and 48 hours after exercise.

The results showed a clear advantage in those taking spirulina. Time to fatigue after the 2 hour run was significantly longer after spirulina supplementation (2.05 minutes ± 0.68 minutes vs 2.70 minutes ± 0.79 minutes around a 25% increase). Great news for those wanting to lose fat, results showed the spirulina significantly increased fat oxidation rate by 10.9% during the 2 hour run compared with the placebo trial.

Whilst experts aren’t completely clear as to how the Spirulina did this, it’s believed the chlorophyll content found in Spirulina improved the oxygen carrying capabilities of the blood therefore allowing the participants to exercise longer and oxidise more body fat proving that when you eat spirulina you lose fat – a hero in the solution to weight loss.

‘Superfood’ Spirulina has many other benefits containing essential fatty acids specifically omega-6 and plays a role in healthy skin, hair and metabolism protecting from chronic diseases. It is also a source of vitamin E, B-complex vitamins and beta-carotene. B-complex vitamins are essential for many body functions, including growth and metabolism.

Spirulina is perfect for those wanting to boost their mineral intake containing all the vital minerals iron, zinc, copper and selenium our body needs. Zinc is an essential mineral that boosts your immune system. These essential minerals such as Copper play a key role in the production of redblood cells and the formation of connective tissue. Along with Selenium helping with thyroid and heart functions

This green powder is an ideal antioxidant protecting cells from damaging atoms called free radicals as it contains chlorophyll offering antioxidant properties.

Spirulina can be added to something as simple as a glass of water or it can be added to a variety of your favourite foods. Mix 1-2 tablespoon of the powder into yoghurt, soup or sprinkle it over your cereal or a salad to kick up the nutritional power of a plate of greens.

 

References:

 

Tokusoglu O, Uunal MK. Spiroulina plantesis, Chlorellavulgaris and Isochrisis galbana. J Food Sci. 2003;68(4):1144?8.

 

Alessio HM, Hagerman AE, Fulkerson BK, Ambrose J,Rice RE, Wiley RL. Generation of reactive oxygen species after exhaustive

aerobic and isometric exercise. Med Sci SportsExerc. 2000;32(9): 1576?81.

 

Aebi H. Catalase in vitro. Methods Enzymol.1984;105:121-6.

 

Aguilo A, Tauler P, Sureda A, Cases N, Tur J,Pons A. Antioxidant diet supplementation enhances aerobic performance

in amateur sportsmen. J Sports Sci.2007;25(11):1203-10.

 

American College of Sports Medicine. ACSM’sGuidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. Oxford, UK, Lippincott

Williams & Wilkins; 2006. p. 5592.

 

Karadeniz A, Cemek M, SiMSSek N. The effects ofPanax ginseng and Spirulina platensis on hepatotoxicity induced by

cadmium in rats. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf.2009;72(1):231-5.

 

Thaakur SR, Jyothi B. Effect of Spirulina maximaon the haloperidol induced tardive dyskinesia and oxidative stress in rats. JNeural Transm. 2007;114(9):1217-25.

 

Kuhad A, Tirkey N, Pilkhwal S, Chopra K. Effectof Spirulina, a blue green algae, on gentamicin-induced oxidative stress andrenal dysfunction in rats. Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 2006;20(2): 121-8.



Amy Brawn

Amy Brawn

Writer and expert

Social Executive for myvitamins, lover of dark chocolate and anything with blueberries! Dabbles in Shakespeare :P


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