26 Amazing Benefits of Spirulina (#7 and #18 are Surprising)
Spirulina health benefits?
Spirulina is a form of blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) which is cultivated around the globe. It can be used as both a dietary supplement and as a whole food in and of itself. Spirulina needs a PH of 8.5 and above to flourish, and a temperature of around 30 degrees Celsius.
Spirulina can make its own food and is quite easy to cultivate. It can be grown with a combination of sea salt, iron sulphate, baking soda, potassium nitrate and potassium phosphate. And, of course, a water solution. All these compounds are easily found in any aquarium, with the possible exception of iron sulphate.
Where can you find Spirulina?
Spirulina is mostly found in freshwater lakes, ponds, and rivers. Spirulina has existed on the planet for thousands of years and uses the sun as a source of energy.
Spirulina was a food source for both the Aztecs and the Mesoamericans until the 16th century. It is the food of astronauts for long-term space missions, endorsed by both NASA and the European Space Agency. The nutritional profile of spirulina is outstanding. There are almost 1200 peer reviewed studies on the different benefits of spirulina.
Spirulina has been declared by the United Nations to be the food of the future. Spirulina is the very same algae that can be seen on the top of lakes, though it is recommended that you buy a recognized brand that is guaranteed to be free from pollution.
Spirulina is much like the sea vegetables kelp and chlorella, and a little higher than marine phytoplankton on the food chain. Spirulina is not true algae in biological terms, as it is not organized in a membrane-bound nucleus like other algae.
Where to buy Spirulina?
Is spirulina safe to use? While spirulina is undoubtedly one of the best food sources available, it is important to get the best brand from the best source. There are some regions which tend to be less polluted than others. Spirulina sourced from Japan may have high levels of radiation, due to the nuclear disaster in Fukushima in 2011. Any spirulina bought from Japan needs to have valid radiation testing certificates.
Places To Get Spirulina - Best And Worst
China is one of the worst places to get spirulina due to high levels of toxicity. Spirulina purchased from China has been found to have high levels of mercury, lead, and arsenic in them. Make sure it is tested for heavy metals before you purchase it.
“Wild” spirulina (spirulina grown in lakes) is not controlled and often comes with high levels of contamination. It is not possible to regulate levels of heavy metals and bacteria in these environments.
Good places to get spirulina include Hawaii and California, as these places are generally toxin free. Spirulina binds toxins of all kinds which is good when it is inside your stomach, but not good when it binds toxins outside and you then ingest the spirulina along with the toxins.
Hawaiian spirulina benefits are more numerous than other types of spirulina. Nutrex Hawaii is a popular brand selling an excellent type of Hawaiian spirulina. The only issue is that with greater quality often comes a much greater cost. It is up to each individual person to decide whether or not this extra cost is worth it.
Is Spirulina safe to use?
Aside from natural toxins, there are a number of toxins that can be added to the product by the manufacturer. Many spirulina manufacturers add Chilean nitrate to the product, which is known to damage the environment and is banned by organic standards. You can hedge against this cost cutting measuring by buying organic Spirulina.
Another dangerous element found in some strains of spirulina is known as BMAA(β-Methylamino-L-alanine). This is a neurotoxin linked to neurodegenerative diseases. Spirulina which undergoes a proper drying process is not able to produce BMAA.
Microcystin is probably the most commonly cited issue with spirulina, aside from the fear of heavy metals from Chinese spirulina. Microcystin is found when spirulina is grown in polluted waters, and this compound is particularly damaging to the liver if taken in high doses. Lake spirulina will commonly have Microcystin in it and is best avoided.
Spirulina – What Should You Choose
There are many conflicting claims with regard to spirulina. Some claim that outdoor spirulina is more natural, however, most claim that a controlled environment is much safer. Other manufacturers will claim that seawater is best for producing spirulina, with others saying underground mineral water is preferable.
It is best to do your own research but the general recommendation is that controlled environments are safer and organic Spirulina is the way to go, particularly from safer locations. The most important thing is that it has a certificate for a low level of heavy metal contamination, as this is the main danger.
Hawaiian Spirulina Benefits
To sum up, simply buy spirulina that is not grown in Japan or China and that is certified organic, preferably from a region such as Hawaii, Taiwan or California. Spirulina sourced from Hawaii has more nutritional value gram for gram than any other source currently on the market. Make sure Spirulina is grown under controlled conditions instead of a lake or river to avoid unwanted toxins.
Additionally, it is a good idea to avoid spirulina that is grown using untested seawater or surface water. It is a good idea to choose a spirulina brand that uses underground mineral water and only plant-based, organic fertilizers to minimize the chances of pollution.
Heavy metals are the most serious concern and it would be unfortunate to purchase one of the best superfoods only to buy a poor brand which damages your body.
How to Take Spirulina?
How to use spirulina powder? With the rise of awareness of the sheer brilliance of spirulina, there are now many different types of products and different forms of spirulina available for purchase. It has to be said at the outset that spirulina does not taste nice, at least not for the majority of people.
Few things that are so healthy taste pleasant. And there are many ways to mitigate the taste of spirulina. While Spirulina may not taste very well for the first few weeks, like everything else you can get used to it.
Spirulina can be purchased as either a powder or a capsule. There is not that much of a difference between the two, as both are ultimately broken down in the stomach. The capsules may be easier to store and manage, as well as cheaper.
Generally speaking, powders are more absorbable than capsules. And it all comes down to absorbability. You have gone to the trouble of taking spirulina, you may as well get maximum absorption out of it.
While Spirulina capsules may be easier to swallow, they often come with fillers and binders which are not what you want to consume. They can come with more than 30% binder in some tablets. So, your spirulina is actually 30% trash at the end of the day.
How to use Spirulina Powder?
Powders are ultimately recommended. Spirulina can be added to many smoothies to take away from the taste. You can easily mix the powder into dishes of your choosing, including salads and pasta sauces. You can get inventive and create spirulina based tortilla wraps. There are endless variations of the way you can consume spirulina.
My advice is to get used to drinking it straight with water. You will get used to it and it is the easiest and quickest way to digest it. The only downside is that you may find yourself looking like an alien. Spirulina will turn your tongue green and acts like green paint. What is spirulina powder?
What is spirulina powder?
Ground up spirulina. Spirulina before and after will make all the difference. Spirulina extract is another term used for spirulina. The most important thing is that organic spirulina powder is purchased as opposed to harmful, inorganic brands.
Spirulina v Chlorella
Spirulina is often confused with its close counterpart, chlorella. There is an ongoing debate within the natural food community with regard to which of these two closely related algae is superior. The truth is that it is far more important to get a good source of each that it is to choose the “best” between spirulina or chlorella. The nutritional profiles of each are very similar. The differences between the two are ultimately slight.
Spirulina is a little better digested by the human body because its cell wall is composed of mucopolysaccharides instead of the indigestible cellulose. Spirulina is about 70% protein compared to the 50% typically found in chlorella.
Spirulina also contains the awesome unique phytochemical phycocyanin which helps with so many things, including heart health, brain function, and a healthy immune system. Spirulina is also high in gamma-linolenic acid, which is found in precious few food sources. This is essential for healthy skin, nails and hair growth and maintenance.
Spirulina also contains a little more of the ultra-important vitamin B12 which is held to be lacking in most people in today’s society.
Chlorella contains more chlorophyll than spirulina, which is a key component in the detoxification system of the body, as well as being crucial to growth and tissue repair. Chlorella is also a little better in terms of nucleic acid and beta-carotene compared to spirulina.
The differences at the end of the day are not large, but for best results, it may be a better option to simply get a good quality brand of both spirulina and chlorella.
How much spirulina should I take?
This depends on a number of factors, but taking two tablespoons of Spirulina a day is ideal. It is best if you cycle it, perhaps take it for a month on with a couple of weeks off. Just be sensitive to how well you tolerate the brand. If you find yourself reacting badly to the algae, then simply stop taking it.
You can never be 100% sure how organic or chemical-free a product really is, even if it is listed as organic.
The best way is to see how your individual body responds to the substance. Generally speaking, spirulina is completely harmless but a small minority do develop adverse reactions, much like many foods and supplements.
Spirulina health benefits
What are the benefits of spirulina? Below is a list of the numerous health benefits of spirulina. Spirulina really is a cure all food due to its nutritional profile. A regular regime of spirulina will cure all ills. As per the FDA, spirulina contains a large amount of many nutrients, including niacin, magnesium, B12 and iron, as well as calcium and potassium.
The are many health benefits of spirulina. However, it should be borne in mind that it has not been proven to treat any specific conditions as of yet, and large amounts are necessary to ingest in order to get the recommended amount of each specific nutrient.
A Vitamin Powerhouse
Spirulina also contains Zeaxanthin, which is very important to eye health and often found in green plants. Zeaxanthin is reported to decrease the risk of macular degeneration. Spirulina also contains Vitamin K, which can be divided into vitamin K1 and K2. Vitamin K is essential to prevent blood clotting which could lead to excessive bleeding. Vitamin K2 may also help with osteoporosis.
#1.Spirulina and Protein
The most obvious health benefit of spirulina is the protein. Protein is the fundamental building block of life. Spirulina is one of the richest sources of protein on the planet and is 60-70% protein by weight depending on the brand of spirulina. Protein is itself made up of complex chains of amino acids, which are very important in terms of repairing muscles. But these amino acids, of which there are 22, also serve a variety of other functions.
The human body cannot produce eight of these amino acids by itself, so has to obtain them from external sources. These 8 amino acids are known as essential amino acids because the body cannot produce them on its own.
Unlike other forms of protein, spirulina is a “complete” protein, as it contains all of the amino acids. The protein in spirulina is also highly digestible (in the region of over 90%) and it is, therefore, one of the best sources of protein available. Spirulina offers more protein per gram than beef, fish, and chicken.
A Great Protein Substitute
Some studies have shown that as little as two tablespoons of spirulina is sufficient to substitute for protein in a meal. However, using spirulina as an exclusive protein source might not be the most cost-effective solution, given that it is far more expensive to purchase than milk or meat. Especially if you are buying a safe and recognized brand, which is recommended.
Spirulina also contains the hard to find gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which is particularly effective for skin health. Gamma linolenic acid is the perfect compound for those suffering from psoriasis, eczema and other skin issues. It also reduces inflammation and is good for dealing with high cholesterol, ADHD, depression, and chronic fatigue syndrome. It is a very useful acid which is not readily available in other food types.
Yes, spirulina can actually work as an antidote to poison. In this case, arsenic poisoning in particular. Studies have proven that spirulina and reduce the symptoms associated with arsenic poisoning. Spirulina is good at binding toxins of all kinds and is a powerful detoxifier.
#3.Stabilizes Blood Pressure
Spirulina has been proven to lower blood pressure in as low as 6 weeks. However, it is best not to rely on spirulina alone to lower blood pressure, as exercise and a healthy lifestyle are key to stabilize blood pressure.
Cholesterol is one of the primary causes of heart disease, and high blood pressure is one of the main health problems in today’s society. High cholesterol levels are caused as a result of eating cholesterol-laden foods such as butter and eggs. While some cholesterol levels are needed, the problem is that people are getting too much cholesterol from their diets.
There is also a split between good and bad cholesterol, and there is some controversy in the scientific community about the exact levels and uses of cholesterol necessary. There are few natural products that are proven to reduce cholesterol levels. It is much better to use blue-green algae as opposed to a statin, a cholesterol reducing substance. These are usually artificial and come with their own set of side effects which are not worth the bother.
Studies have proven that spirulina decreases risk rates for cardiovascular disease and prevents the hardening of the arteries associated with high cholesterol levels.
Spirulina is good at fighting allergies of all kinds and deals effectively with all the symptoms associated with allergies – running noses, watery eyes, redness, nasal congestion, sneezing, and coughing. This is because of the ability of spirulina to reduce histamine, a common cause of a lot of allergic reactions. Spirulina could save a lot of money on expensive allergy medications.
#6.Reduces Radiation Poisoning
Spirulina can help victims of radiation poisoning due to its ability to bind toxins. Studies on children have proven that spirulina can help with radiation poisoning.
Spirulina has been proven to preserve and strengthen the bones. This makes it an ideal supplement for the elderly whose bonds tend to become brittle as they get older. This is mainly due to the high amounts of calcium found in spirulina. Spirulina has been shown to increase mineral density contained within bones.
#8.Helps to treat Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by the Hep C virus. The main issue with the disease is that there are few symptoms, leading few to realize they have contracted the disease. One of the main signs is a notable decrease in energy levels and brain fog, but these themselves can be caused by any number of ailments. If Hep C is not detected early, then it can lead to liver failure and even death.
The liver is the main detoxifying organ in your body, and if you are not detoxifying toxins the end result is you will be poisoned to death. However, clinical studies have proven the spirulina can treat Hep C, mainly due to its antibacterial properties.
#9.Ensures Healthy Skin
One of the reasons that spirulina is good for skin health is because of the high number of antioxidants present in spirulina. Free radicals are the main culprits in the deterioration of the skin which leads to wrinkles and aging. As the body gets older it loses its ability to deal with free radicals. Spirulina is an external source which can help to deal with this issue.
Spirulina will eliminate all free radicals that pose a threat to your skin health. Spirulina is good for boosting skin metabolism and will help in dealing with dark shadows under the eyes and all kinds of skin ailments. It also contains a number of vitamins and minerals which are essential to vibrant, healthy skin, including a vast array of B complex vitamins.
Spirulina contains vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B-12, calcium, phosphorus, and iron. All of these are essential for healthy skin.
#10.Treats Symptoms of HIV/Aids
Levels of HIV/AIDs are particularly low in areas such as China and Japan, and many contend that this is because of the levels of blue-green algae that are consumed in these regions. One study has shown that blue-green algae help to stabilize CD4 cells responsible for fighting infection, as opposed to the control group who were given brown seaweed.
Spirulina is superb at eliminating Candida. Candida is a type of fungal microbiota that can be found in the gastrointestinal tract, mucosa oral cavity, and vagina. While Candida is not bad in and of itself, excessive levels of candidiasis can be extremely harmful.
Spirulina can assist with this problem due to its effectiveness as an antimicrobial agent. The rise of candidiasis is mainly due to a diet consisting largely of artificial ingredients and sugar, which leads to an improper microfloral balance.
Spirulina has some effect in fighting the symptoms of Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Typical PMS symptoms include bloating, fatigue, cramps and mood swings. These symptoms can be better controlled with a daily intake of spirulina. They could even be eliminated altogether if taken consistently.
#13.Assists in Weight loss
Spirulina can have benefits in weight reduction. It is well known as an appetite suppressant. And it gives an influx of energy without taking any energy to digest. In the long term, a spirulina smoothie a day will definitely help in weight reduction. It gives all of the nutrients and minerals (it actually gives far more) found in fruits and vegetables while being easier to digest.
Getting used to lighter foods like spirulina smoothies is a great way to ensure that you never stack on the pounds again.
#14.Helps the Liver
Spirulina can help the liver to fight many infections and diseases. People with chronic liver disease can be helped with a daily regime of spirulina. This is again because of its fantastic capability to bind toxins. In relation to the liver, the most common toxin is called tetrachloride, and spirulina can help to bind this toxin. It also helps to chelate harmful metals.
#15.Balances Blood Sugar Levels
Blood sugar levels are very important to health and one of the best indicators of diseases such as diabetes. Spirulina has been shown to outperform the most popular diabetes drugs in terms of balancing blood sugar.
One study has shown that intake of spirulina could correlate with a decreased risk of diabetes-related illnesses by over 20%, a significant figure just by adding two tablespoons to your diet every day.
#16.Increases Strength and Endurance
Spirulina can help to improve muscle strength and endurance. This has been shown by a number of studies. This is due to the role spirulina plays in reducing oxidative damage caused by exercise. Spirulina has amazing antioxidative properties which reduce the oxidation present after an intense workout. This will improve strength and endurance, as well as post workout recovery.
A basic definition of anemia is the lack of hemoglobin in the blood, which results in tiredness. This is most often seen in elderly people. It has been proven that spirulina can assist with increasing the hemoglobin content in red blood cells making it an effective supplement to battle anemia.
#18.Prevents LDL Oxidization
There has been much research done lately on the different types of cholesterol. While it was taken for granted for decades that all cholesterol was bad, this is not quite the case, and cholesterol is needed as it is the building blocks of cells. The main risk with regard to cholesterol is if low-density lipoprotein cholesterol becomes oxidized. This is what eventually leads to heart disease, one of the leading causes of death today.
Spirulina has been proven to reduce this bad LDL cholesterol while at the same time increasing high-density lipoprotein or good cholesterol. Spirulina also lowers total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Many studies have confirmed that spirulina is an effective way of dealing with LDL cholesterol as well as triglyceride levels.
#19.The Antioxidant Effect
The number one benefit of any superfood is the antioxidant levels. Antioxidants are what staves off disease and aging. Antioxidants are what protects against oxidative damage which is what damages the body. Practically every disease has its origins in oxidization and spirulina is antioxidant rich.
Spirulina has benefits that extend all the way to brain health. Spirulina not only protects your brain from degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s but can also help to keep your brain sharp and focused. Spirulina, when taken daily, can increase focus and help with concentration, even going as far as to lessen the effects of attention deficit disorder (ADD).
Spirulina has the ability to increase memory and cognitive performance. A study on over 500 children resulted in an improvement of over 10% on test scores, after taking spirulina for as little as two months. Again, its antioxidant properties come into play as these properties help to prevent memory loss due to oxidative stress.
#22.Boosts the Immune System
Spirulina can protect against viruses and boost the immune system significantly. Studies conducted have proven this to be the case in multiple instances. It is thought that it boosts the immune system through the polysaccharides contained within the blue-green algae.
Phycocyanin, another compound found in abundance in spirulina, also has the capacity to boost the number of white blood cells, which are responsible for defending against infections and viruses of all kinds. These white blood cells produce antibodies which help to defend against bacteria which can be harmful to your body.
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death and there is no cure in sight. Prevention is said to be the best cure and spirulina is one of the best preventatives around. Studies have found that people who take spirulina are less likely to develop lesions compared to placebo groups.
Research on animals has shown that Spirulina prevents tumor and cancer occurrence and that it is very effective in fighting oral cancer. It has also been shown to reduce cancerous lesions. It has yet to be proven that spirulina prevents cancer, however, the early studies are positive and incorporating spirulina definitely can’t hurt your chances.
#24.Healthy Hair and Nails
The high protein count, as well as the quality of the protein itself, is good for getting rid of warts and for improving the strength of nails. Spirulina is also used extensively to promote hair growth and to prevent white patches and balding.
The amino acids, essential fatty acids, beta-carotene and vitamin A are all excellent for hair and skin. As mentioned earlier it is also effective in dealing with dandruff, scalp issues, and hair loss.
#25.Heavy Metal Detox
One of the biggest problems with spirulina is making sure that it is heavy metal free. Because heavy metals are the last thing that anyone wants in their body. Unfortunately, these heavy metals are everywhere and are a serious threat to health and wellbeing.
Heavy metal toxicity is a problem that affects the globe. Arsenic, in particular, is one of the biggest problems and spirulina is brilliant at getting rid of this metal. There are very, very few natural sources that get rid of heavy metals, and spirulina is one of them. There is no specific treatment for arsenic poisoning.
#26.Spirulina as a Blood Cleanser
Some diets view clean blood as the ultimate source of health. If your blood is clean the rest will follow. This may or may not be true, what is true is that spirulina is a potent blood cleanser. This is because spirulina is rich in chlorophyll, the compound that gives the algae its green color. This chlorophyll helps to build red blood cells in the body and also gives the body an easy form of magnesium to assimilate.
The combination of magnesium and chlorophyll removes toxins from the bloodstream while simultaneously oxygenating the blood. The blue side of the blue-green algae is formed by the presence of phycocyanin in the compound.
Phycocyanin helps to increase white blood cells and immunity. This has an indirect positive feedback loop to a clean bloodstream. Many people ask what is blue spirulina? The same as regular spirulina.
Conclusion: What does Spirulina do?
Spirulina nutrition is amazing, and spirulina protein is the best kind available. Is spirulina good for you? Undoubtedly so. While many of the health benefits of spirulina are disputed, there can be no doubt that these blue-green algae contain an incredible nutritional profile. It is great for the body, effective at detoxifying heavy metals and excellent for a general energy boost.
The only issue with spirulina is the taste, which takes a little bit of getting used to. Spirulina benefits are too many to list and everyone should be incorporating this superfood into their diets immediately. Spirulina supplementation is a great way to restore the body to its original brilliance.