With our nutrient-depleted food supply and busy modern lifestyles, many of us are searching for easy ways to pack more nutrition into our diet.
What if I told you that there IS an easy way?
It all starts with humble microorganism called spirulina. Find out why this superfood is worthy of that accolade, and how it can benefit your health!
What Is Spirulina?
Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae. More technically, it is classed as a ‘cyanobacteria’ and makes energy from sunlight, much in the way that plants do.
Spirulina is grown and harvested all over the world, from Mexico, Africa, Japan, Hawaii and even Australia.
It grows optimally in low-alkaline waters but can survive in both fresh and saltwater sources.
But it’s not just a glorified ‘pond scum’! Gram for gram, spirulina may be one of the most nutrient-dense foods on planet earth. It’s a rich source of; protein, B vitamins, Vitamins C, D and E and iron. Furthermore, just one tablespoon of dried spirulina provides 21% of the RDA for copper and good quantities of manganese, magnesium and potassium. Tweet - Gram for gram, spirulina may be one of the most nutrient-dense foods on planet earth.
History Of Spirulina Use
Early records indicate that the ancient Aztecs were fond of spirulina, and sold ‘spirulina cakes’ as early as the 16th century. It was believed to offer a good source of protein in the ancient Aztec diet and Lake Texcoco still offers a rich supply of spirulina today.
More recently, NASA have investigated spirulina as a source of nutrition for astronauts!
Top 12 Benefits Of Using Spirulina
1. It’s A Super Simple Way To Boost Your Greens!
Don’t always have time to fit in your recommended servings of veggies? You’re not alone! The stats show that 87% of Americans aren’t getting enough vegetables in their daily diets.
By adding a small scoop of spirulina into a glass of water, or fresh juice, you can boost up your green quota in less than a minute!
2. Spirulina May Help To Detoxify Heavy Metals, Particularly Arsenic
The human body is assaulted by toxins from many sources: the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink is often polluted by chemicals that are potentially harmful to human health.
In particular, the World Health Organization has identified that America is affected by unnaturally high levels of inorganic arsenic. Millions of people in the Middle East are furthermore affected by arsenic poisoning.
As there are few existing solutions to treat arsenic poisoning on a global scale, researchers have studied the potential action of spirulina to do so. One small study involving 24 people with arsenic poisoning found that spirulina extract, in conjunction with zinc supplementation, decreased physiological levels of arsenic by 47%.
3. It Could Lower Inflammation
Spirulina is believed to offer good anti-inflammatory benefits. The main driver behind this benefit has been attributed to its antioxidant action; oxidative damage from free radicals can damage our cells and DNA. This damage can ultimately lead to inflammation and numerous diseases. However, the antioxidant properties of spirulina can help to prevent this inflammatory damage from occurring.
4. Boost Your Pizza Bases and Homemade Pasta With Extra Greens!
Do you ever make your own savory doughs, pizza bases or handmade pastas? Try adding a little bit of spirulina to your mixes! It turns your recipe a lovely, earthy green and is a fantastic method to boost your body with the goodness of greens.
5. Spirulina May Help With Muscle Recovery
Are you athletic or suffer from sore, achy muscles after a workout? This one’s for you!
Part of the reason that muscles fatigue during and after exercise is due to a phenomenon called ‘exercise-induced oxidative damage’. Luckily, antioxidants can help help to reduce this process!
Certain studies have shown that spirulina can increase endurance and delay fatigue time. This is believed to be due to the high antioxidant content of spirulina.
6. Spirulina May Help to Balance Your Blood Sugar Levels
Although the research is preliminary and small-scale, there is early evidence to suggest that spirulina may assist with blood sugar regulation.
Early studies have shown spirulina to improve blood sugar levels and HbA1C (a blood marker that indicates blood sugar control over a three month period). However, more quality research is needed to substantiate this potential benefit.
7. Spirulina May Help To Treat Candida
Candida overgrowth is a common health problem affecting many people in the Western world. Researchers believe that a higher sugar intake, acidic/processed diet and overuse of antifungal/antibiotic drugs may be contributing to this ‘candida epidemic’.
Candidiasis has been associated with suppressed immunity, Leaky Gut Syndrome, digestive complaints and possibly even autoimmune disease.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that spirulina has anti-microbial properties and may be a useful adjunct treatment for candida. Importantly, spirulina also appears to boost the levels of healthy bacteria within the microbiome, which can further inhibit candida growth.
8. Don’t Like The Taste Of Green Juices? Buy Spirulina In Tablet Form
Although I always advocate the health benefits of drinking a fresh, cold-pressed vegetable juice that’s packed with greens (and do guarantee that it will taste better in time!).
9. It’s a Natural Green Dye!
Forget the artificial additives and chemical colors… a little bit of spirulina powder can be used in icing and patty cakes (cupcakes) instead!
HOT TIP: Spirulina does have a slightly bitter, grassy taste. This can generally be masked with a little bit of organic vanilla bean paste and natural sweetener.
10. Spirulina May Help To Prevent Cancer
There is some research to suggest that spirulina has a positive effect on the immune system, and may enhance the number of antibodies and cancer-fighting cells.
One study also highlighted that spirulina is a good source of tetrapyrrolic compounds, which have antioxidant and anti-proliferative actions.
11. Spirulina Might Mean VERY Good News For Your Heart!
Spirulina has been shown to have favorable effects on cholesterol, by lowering the ‘bad’ cholesterol, and increasing the good stuff! Other research has found that as little as one gram of spirulina daily can lower triglycerides by 16.3%.
Collectively, this can help to reduce your risk of heart disease.
12. Supplementing With Spirulina May Even Help With A Snuffly Nose
Many people suffer from chronic sinus issues from allergic rhinitis. Some experts believe that rhinitis may be triggered by inflammation. And the great news is that spirulina can lower inflammation! Some trials have indeed found that spirulina can reduce nasal discharge, sinus congestion, itching and sneezing.
Which Spirulina Should I Take?
As Spirulina grows in water, it is only as pure as the water that it comes from.
Check with product manufacturers that the spirulina has been grown in pure, uncontaminated water. Additionally, search for certified organic brands, as these usually have more stringent quality standards.
Is Spirulina Safe For Everyone To Use?
Pure, uncontaminated spirulina is generally regarded as safe to use. However, as with everything, there are a few exceptions.
Firstly, as mentioned above, do ensure that you are choosing good-quality spirulina. Contaminated spirulina has been claimed to cause digestive issues, liver damage and arrhythmia.
Furthermore, some experts do say that children and pregnant women should not eat algae products, including spirulina.
Recommended Brands Of Spirulina
As mentioned above, pure, organic spirulina is generally the best option. And if you don’t like the taste, try spirulina in tablet form instead!
Here are some brands you might like to check out:
The Food Matters Superfood Greens!
Blended with other high-potency and pure superfoods, I can personally vouch for the purity and quality of spirulina in this product ;-)
Hopefully you’ve learned 12 new and exciting reasons to supplement with spirulina.