What are the health benefits of spirulina? This post will go over this question as well as how to take spirulina, some nutrition facts, and potential side effects.
Spirulina has been around for a really long time.
So long so, that it is often referred to as the most nutrient-dense food on the planet.
For example, spirulina can boost your nutrient intake, improve your heart health, and deeply cleanse your body!
If you’re still unsure about spirulina, you’ll find this post helpful.
We will be going over 13 health benefits of spirulina, as well as some nutrition facts and tips for use.
Let’s get started.
What is Spirulina?
Well, to put it quite plainly – Spirulina is pond scum.
Seriously, that’s exactly what it is.
Naturally growing in warm, alkaline lakes around the world, blue-green algae has traditionally been an important source of nutrition for many centuries.
Spirulina, perhaps the most popular form of blue-green algae, is quickly gaining fame as a staple in protein powders and daily supplements.
So, what is so special about spirulina?
Keep reading to find out.
Spirulina Nutrition Facts
Blue-green algae get their superfood status for their low-calorie, vitamin-rich, and mineral-dense profile.
For example, spirulina contains:
Vitamin B1, B2, and B3
Additionally, spirulina is one of the few foods which naturally contains GLA.
For those of you who don’t know what GLA is, it’s basically an essential fatty acid widely known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
13 Benefits of Spirulina
Spirulina is an amazing superfood with tons of perks!
Here are a few of the health benefits of spirulina.
1. Boosts Protein
Spirulina has the highest density of protein in comparison to any other food on the planet.
It is 65-75 percent protein by weight and contains all 8 essential amino acids necessary for human health.
Gram for gram, spirulina contains even more protein content than red meats, offering a whopping 60% to beef’s 25%.
This makes spirulina the go-to choice for vegans and vegetarians looking for a dose of high-quality protein.
Fun Fact: Spirulina has been used by NASA as a dietary supplement for astronauts on space missions. That’s right – Spirulina in space!
2. Detoxes Heavy Metals
Spirulina has incredible detoxifying capabilities.
It flushes out dangerous heavy metals and chemicals from deep within your body’s cells, where they tend to store-up over time.
Common toxic heavy metals include mercury, aluminum, copper, and lead.
Likewise, these heavy metals can cause ADHD, autism, depression, OCD, mood disorders, Alzheimer’s, and more.
Thankfully, spirulina offers a solution to this problem.
Research shows that supplementing with spirulina can reduce toxic heavy metals by as much as 47 percent.
3. Fights Allergies
At last, a natural allergy remedy that works!
Spirulina is shown to act as a natural antihistamine.
This is because spirulina stops the release of histamine, which contributes to symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
4. Lowers Cholesterol
Heart disease is currently the number one killer across the globe.
Recent studies have shown that spirulina naturally lowers LDL (the bad) cholesterol and triglycerides, while raising HDL (the good) cholesterol.
Plus, spirulina also prevents damage from LDL oxidation.
In doing so, spirulina keeps your body safe from the harmful effects of LDL cholesterol.
Because the right amount of HDL to LDL is essential for health, spirulina can protect your heart from a dangerous cholesterol imbalance.
5. Lowers Blood Sugar
Researchers have found evidence that spirulina helps type 2 diabetes patients manage their blood sugar levels.
Specifically, those with type 2 diabetes who took spirulina for two months had improved blood sugar and lipid profiles.
6. Activates Enzymes
Spirulina increases lipase activity, which is the enzyme that breaks down fat and glycerol (sugar alcohol) in the body.
These properties make spirulina a useful tool in reducing cholesterol buildup.
7. Balances Blood Pressure
Did you know that taking spirulina for just 16 weeks can bring down high blood pressure levels?
Obviously, this is great for heart health!
8. Low-Fat Content
There are less than 0.5 grams of fat in a tablespoon of spirulina!
So, try adding it to your sauces, salads, and smoothies for a low-fat, cholesterol-lowering effect.
9. Antioxidant Rich
Spirulina offers a rich source of antioxidant vitamins A, C and E, making it a powerful free radical fighter.
In fact, taking spirulina daily can even slow down visible signs of ageing.
It does so by providing a screening effect from the harsh UV rays of the sun and toxins in the air.
10. Boosts Immune System
According to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, blue-green algae may be capable of intensifying the disease-suppressing properties of your immune system.
Additionally, it may also offer natural anti-viral protection against a range of viruses.
In other words, spirulina is a great choice for anyone looking to give their immunity a boost.
11. Promotes Good Gut Health
All blue-green algae varieties possess prebiotic qualities, making them an excellent way to restore the delicate balance of your gut flora.
Further, they can protect your stomach’s supply of Lactobacillus acidophilus from the effects of stress and antibiotic use.
From improving your digestion to preventing candida overgrowth, spirulina is certainly gut-friendly.
In fact, studies have also linked blue-green algae’s bacteria-balancing abilities to an increase in physical and emotional wellbeing.
Talk about holistic benefits!
12. High Mineral Content
Not only are all types of blue-green algae high in vitamins, but they also boast an impressive amount of minerals.
Since spirulina typically grows in mineral-rich waters, it is packed with essential minerals including calcium, manganese, zinc, selenium, phosphorus and iron.
An added bonus?
Spirulina soaks these minerals into its complete collection of amino acids, making these minerals much easier for your body to absorb and use.
13. Increases B-Vitamins
When it comes to B-vitamins, they can be found in abundance among all types of blue-green algae.
Vitamins such as the heart-protective pyridoxine, hair and nail building biotin, and mental health promoter niacin, a daily dose of spirulina can help you meet your body’s vitamin B needs.
Now that you know the benefits of spirulina, let’s look at its different uses.