On Nutrition: Spirulina, green tea and potential benefits

Richard D, who reads this column within the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, writes: “I’m age 82 and in good well being in comparison with most males of my age that I do know. Spirulina — I not too long ago began including 1/2 teaspoon of it to my breakfast. What are your concepts about it? Green tea — I began ingesting it as a result of it’s supposedly helpful. How does a person ever know whether or not it’s useful?

Since I’ve osteopenia, my endocrinologist needs me to eat extra protein and scale back the amount of leafy inexperienced veggies. Have you written an article concerning the dietary worth of beans? You write fairly clearly so it’s straightforward to grasp the subject. It wouldn’t shock me in case your minor was in English or literature.”

Sounds such as you’re taking excellent care of your self, Richard. Let’s whittle away at your questions. Spirulina is a sort of blue-green algae — organisms that dwell within the water and produce power from the solar. A current evaluation within the journal Molecules provides a dietary thumbs-up to spirulina. It is excessive in protein and different important vitamins, together with vitamin B12, which is commonly missing in plant-based diets.

Spirulina additionally incorporates a number of compounds that helps the physique struggle irritation and increase the immune system. Extracts of its blue-green pigments have been authorised by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as pure colour components for a wide range of meals and confections. And get this, NASA has used spirulina as a dietary complement for astronauts.

Some cautions do stay, nonetheless. People with autoimmune problems similar to a number of sclerosis or these on immune suppression medication ought to keep away from spirulina dietary supplements resulting from its immune-stimulating impact. And as a result of some unregulated merchandise might comprise undesirable contaminants, pregnant and breastfeeding girls in addition to younger kids ought to keep away from it.

How does one know if inexperienced tea is helpful? It’s type of like how we all know seat belts save lives. Studies have proven that inexperienced tea (and different sorts of tea from the Camellia sinensis plant) may help decrease blood strain and ldl cholesterol and will even shield in opposition to most cancers and different continual ailments. By the way in which, inexperienced, black and oolong teas are from the identical plant; they’re simply processed otherwise.

Yes, I did write a current column on the worth of beans. If your paper didn’t run it, you possibly can entry it at www.montereyherald.com.

Thanks for the praise however my minor was cowboys, not English literature. Before altering my main to meals science and vitamin as a sophomore, I had hopes of changing into a second grade trainer. Perhaps that stint in schooling has helped.

Barbara Intermill is a registered dietitian nutritionist and syndicated columnist. She is the writer of “Quinn-Essential Nutrition: The Uncomplicated Science of Eating.” Email her at [email protected]



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