You’ve heard of quite a few superfoods, like avocado and acai, but there’s a new superfood taking the world by storm. Spirulina is algae that is ground into a powder and placed in foods like smoothies where it can be easily mixed into the food.
Spirulina is qualified as a full-blown superfood because of it’s nutrient powerhouse. Through this article, you’ll learn 15 amazing health benefits of spirulina and how to incorporate it into your regular diet to enjoy those health benefits.
What is spirulina and how is it a superfood?
Spirulina is a blue-green algae found in tropical lakes that is being ground up and put in food to supplement needed nutrients. Despite just recently being popularized for its superfood qualities, spirulina has been around for ages.
According to the FDA “protein makes up about 60 to 70 percent of spirulina’s dry weight,” and is “one of the few plant-based sources of ‘complete protein,’ meaning it has all the amino acids your body needs your body can’t produce on its own.”
This edible plant a superfood because it’s chock full of important minerals. Those who have spirulina as a regular component in their diet can experience a stronger immune system, lower fatigue level, less of a problem with allergies, and a lot more!
15 Amazing Health Benefits of Spirulina
1. Spirulina is the Most Nutritious Food on the Planet
This nature’s superfood contains proteins and vitamins essential to one’s optimal health without causing notable side effects.
Each tablespoon of powdered spirulina (approx.7g) contains:
- 20 calories
- 4g of protein
- 0.5g of fat
- 1.7g of carbohydrates
- 0.3g of dietary fiber
- 0.2g of sugar
- 8mg of calcium
- 14mg of iron
- 14mg of magnesium
- 95g of potassium
- 8mg of phosphorous
- 73g of sodium
- 0.7g of vitamin C
- 0.6mg of Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
- 11.3mg of Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
- 0.8g Vitamin B3 (niacin)
In addition, spirulina contains small amounts of all other nutrients necessary for human’s general health. Only 3g per day will be sufficient to benefit from this superfood but you can take up to 10 grams per day.
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2. Spirulina Helps Regulate Blood Sugar Level
A study performed on type-2 diabetic patients showed that fasting and after meal blood glucose levels declined after taking 2g of spirulina supplements per day for 2 months. The study proved that spirulina can regulate blood sugar levels and controls the HbA1c (glycated hemoglobin).
3. Spirulina Lowers Cholesterol & Triglyceride
Niacin rich spirulina reduces triglyceride levels in your bloodstream and LDL “bad” cholesterol. High triglyceride levels can increase a risk of stroke in adults. Niacin also increase HDL “good” cholesterol. Niacin is most effective when taken with omega-3 fatty acids which is also included in spirulina.
4. Spirulina Prevents from Memory Loss
In addition to Omega-3 fatty acids, spirulina contains omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids are crucial nutrients for brain functioning, growth and develop properly.
With spirulina, the study showed an improvement in the older patient’s memory as the brain is getting a direct source of energy.
5. Spirulina Fights Against Anemia
Anemia is caused when your body’s red blood cells decreases and become iron-deficient . Its symptoms are headache, pale skin and fatigue.
Spirulina’s bioavailable iron will supplement iron deficiency and ease symptoms. Taking only a few grams per day will improve iron deficient symptoms.
6. Spirulina Prevents Heard Diseases
Vitamin K found in spirulina benefits heart health by preventing the arteries from hardening. It can also help reverse arterial calcification, a buildup of calcium deposits in the arteries, that cause blood vessels to narrow and develop heart disease.
7. Spirulina Suppresses Appetite
Spirulina can naturally help suppress your appetite, making it instrumental in your weight loss and effectively adjusting to controlled portions. Is it the healthiest alternative to anti-appetite suppressant.
8. Spirulina Assists Weight Loss
Spirulina also boosts your metabolism making you feel more energetic. As a result, you will use more calories in a day which assists a weight loss.
9. Spirulina Alleviates Allergy Symptoms
In a placebo-controlled study, researchers discovered spirulina has protective effects against allergic rhinitis in humans. Its effect includes easing allergic symptoms such as nasal congestion, sneezing, nasal discharge, and itching. They also noted spirulina reduces levels of histamines and cytokines, proteins involved in the immune response.
10. Spirulina Improves Mental Health
Spirulina’s magic doesn’t stop only with physical health. It’s also known to aid various mental and emotional disorders. Spirulina’s high-quality protein supports serotonin synthesis in the brain which helps control and prevents mental illness like depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorder, anxiety disorders as well as ADHD, autism and substance use disorder.
11. Spirulina May Protects Against Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is treated by surgery with chemotherapy or radiotherap, and its survival rate is as low as 50%.
In a small study, participants who consumed a daily dosage of spirulina cleared up precancerous oral lesions caused from tobacco uses. This is because spirulina has antioxidant agents that neutralize free radicals.
12. Spirulina Detoxes Your Body
Arsenic poisoning is a medical condition caused by elevated levels of arsenic your body. The most common reason is a long-term exposure from drinking contaminated water. Its symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, skin irritation, and the list goes on.
In a study performed on patients affected by chronic arsenic poisoning, their arsenic levels decreased by 47% after taking spirulina extract and zinc twice a day. Make spirulina a part of your detoxing tool to flush out harmful metals from your body.
13. Spirulina Improves Endurance and Muscle Strength
Your muscle fatigue is caused by oxidative damage from exercising and lifting heavy objects. This superfood, spirulina is helpful in this area, improving both endurance levels and muscle strength. Bodybuilders who take spirulina believe it enhances athletic performance and promote recovery from intense workout.
14. Spirulina Supports Digestion
Nutrition rich spirulina helps digest with its nutrients:
Your body reassembles spirulina’s plant based amino acids into digestive enzymes that breaks down the food. According to the “report of the DGAC on the Dietary Guidelines for Americas, 2010”, one serving of spirulina provides a significant amount of daily protein intake.
Spirulina is loaded with thiamin (vitamin B1) and riboflavin (vitamin B2) which assist your body to generate energy from the food you consume. Niacin (vitamin B3) in spirulina then supports enzyme function that regulates appetite and supporting healthy digestion.
In two animal studies, spirulina showed other beneficial effects on digestive tracts. One animal study showed that spirulina reduced inflammation, bleeding and cell death caused by colitis. Another study found that spirulina helps intestinal immune cells fight off infectious agents in the digestive tract and prevent disease. More research is necessary to learn whether spirulina has a similar effect in humans.
15. Spirulina Prevents Recurring Yeast Infections
Candida yeast infection is not fun at all but spirulina can be used as a home remedy for the infection. Just like how spirulina detoxes heavy metals, it also act as a magnet for candida cells and flush them out from your body.
How Can You Integrate Spirulina Into Your Regular Diet?
Spirulina is available for purchase in a powder form and a pill form. The pill forms are taken just like a daily vitamin.
The powder form, however, can be added into several recipes, making it a little more versatile and a viable option for those that struggle with taking pills.
It’s important to note that there’s a certain “lack of quality control” with supplements like this, so it’s crucial that you take the time to investigate the product and company before you buy it.
You want to ensure that the product was tested by a third-party. This will ensure that the product is what it’s supposed to be and is free of any potential contaminants. If you go the powder route over the pill, you’ll have a little more flexibility in how you get your spirulina in daily.
My recommendation is USDA Organic Spirulina Powder from Zazzee. I put one tablespoon it in my morning smoothie. It is an economical size and lasts for about 10 months.
When I’m too busy to make a smoothie in the morning, I make sure to take pills form after lunch.
For an energy boosting, you could add it to morning smoothies that could help eliminate your coffee addiction and replace it with a healthier method of getting your boost to start the day.
There are also many foods available for purchase that contain spirulina like energy bars, cookies and chips. There are few other supplements that pack such a nutritional punch that are so versatile.
If you’ve been looking for a supplement packed full of nutrients that will help you get your energy boost without caffeine and can be added to almost any food, you should consider trying spirulina.
Possible Side Effects
Although there are no adverse effects are reported from healthy people who regularly take spirulina, spirulina might not be appropriate if you have the following conditions:
- Allergic to seafood, seaweed, and sea vegetables
- Thyroid problems
- Autoimmune disorder
- Kidney stones
- Phenylketonuria (PKU)
- Pregnant or nursing
Possible side effects include allergic reactions, headaches, sweating, muscle pain and insomnia. If you have one of those conditions, consult with your doctor before taking spirulina.
This amazing supplement can help provide you with a lot of your daily requirements for nutrients while also offering a boost in energy and other health benefits. I hope I’ve helped you learn a little more about this amazing, all-natural supplement and how you can integrate it into your regular diet.
For me, sprilulina has been an essential part of my keto diet journey. Because of its rich nutrients and energy supports, I can’t afford not taking it.
I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below and let me know your experience with a nature’s superfood, spirulina!