Most of us are aware that to be in optimal health, we need to make good lifestyle choices. One of these includes eating a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables to get the most vitamins and minerals.
Unfortunately, that is always easier said than done since most of us are too busy to stay on top of our eating habits as we should be.
Luckily, scientists have developed ways to create supplements that can help us reach our recommended doses of essential nutrients. And they have scoured the earth for the most nutritious sources of these vitamins and minerals.
One of these superfood powerhouses is spirulina. You may have heard of it but have been skeptical of how healthy it could be, considering that it is practically a step up from pond scum.
You may be surprised by the benefits that spirulina offers. Read on.
What is Spirulina?
Spirulina, also known by the scientific name Arthrospira Platensis, is a blue-green algae, single-celled microbe found in fresh and saltwater bodies. These microbes make energy through a process called photosynthesis, which uses energy from the sun to create food from water and carbon dioxide.
Because spirulina is such a potent superfood and not that pleasant to eat, many people take it as a supplement. You can take a versatile organic spirulina powder or choose to use tablets.
Nutritional Profile of Spirulina Powder
The term superfood is no exaggeration. When you take a look at the nutrition contained in just one tablespoon of spirulina powder, you understand why it is called super.
One tablespoon of spirulina dietary supplement contains four grams of protein. That’s a lot of protein in a tablespoon. The protein in spirulina is of the highest quality, including all the essential amino acids.
Compared to whey protein powder, spirulina powder contains twice as much protein per tablespoon. The average protein powder has 24 grams of protein in one scoop, which is about 12 tablespoons, coming out to around two grams per tablespoon.
One tablespoon has only one gram of fat, and this fat is the healthy fats omega 3, 6, and 9. The fat in spirulina is also one of the only natural sources of GLA, or gamma-linolenic acid, which is the omega 6 fatty acid.
GLA is needed for the body to have a healthy metabolism, good brainpower, a robust skeleton, and is vital for reproductive health. It also treats diabetic neuropathy.
Vitamins and Minerals
Let’s get into the vitamins and minerals that spirulina contains. There are many.
The main bulk of vitamins in spirulina are vitamins B1, B2, and B3. Doctors and scientists call these the “energy” vitamins as they help convert food into energy, which is then used by the body. Spirulina also contains small amounts of vitamins A, C, D, E, and K.
When it comes to minerals, spirulina is a good source of copper and iron and has 26 times more calcium than milk. It also contains small amounts of potassium, chromium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, sodium, and zinc.
Considering all of the nutrition that one tablespoon of spirulina contains, with only 20 calories and 1.7 grams of carbs, it makes it possibly the most nutrient-dense food on the planet.
The Health Benefits of Spirulina
Now that you know all the amazing nutrition that organic spirulina contains, you may be wondering what kinds of benefits you get from using spirulina powder regularly.
Without further ado…
1. High Antioxidant Levels
Spirulina contains more than one antioxidant. But phycocyanin is the powerful antioxidant that delivers most of the benefits that come with this supplement.
These antioxidants are potent protectants against inflammation. Phycocyanin and beta carotene work together to suppress inflammatory responses. Numerous studies demonstrate spirulina’s ability to suppress inflammation.
So many diseases are due to chronic inflammation. These include Crohn’s disease, asthma, chronic peptic ulcers, gout, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriasis, atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis. And this is just a small sampling.
These antioxidants also fight against cancer. The phytonutrients in spirulina stop carcinogenesis, which is the start of cancer growth in the body. They do so by scavenging for free radicals and repairing any DNA damage to these cells.
2. Good For the Heart
Heart problems are a nationwide problem. If you look at the heart disease facts on the CDC website, you will feel the significance of that statement.
Every 36 seconds, a person dies from cardiovascular disease in the United States. A quarter of all deaths are due to heart disease in the US. We should be aware of this issue and take precautions not to be one of the statistics.
Spirulina supplementation lowers triglycerides and bad cholesterol. It also protects against lipid peroxidation. This chain reaction of an attack on lipid cells can cause atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque on the artery wall.
3. Improves Nasal Allergy Symptoms
A study showed that people who supplemented with spirulina had positive effects on their allergy symptoms. It helped to reduce the inflammation in the nostrils as well as reduce the histamine production.
With those who had allergic rhinitis, spirulina helped with itching, sneezing, and congestion.
4. Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
According to one study, spirulina can help balance blood sugar levels. So well that the results can even be better than those from diabetic drugs.
5. Can Help Fight Anemia
One study also showed promising results concerning the use of spirulina to help anemia in older adults.
6. Reduce Muscle Fatigue and Damage
All you workout buffs will appreciate this benefit that spirulina delivers.
In one study, spirulina improved the endurance of runners. It also showed that it increased the breakdown of fat during the run and reduced the breakdown of carbs. This will result in a lower body-fat percentage overall.
In another study, organic spirulina powder reduced the damage done to skeletal muscle during exercise, which led to improved physical performance and postponed the point of exhaustion.
7. Detoxification Properties
The chlorophyll in spirulina removes heavy metals from the blood. This substantial detox property actually reverses the effects of chronic arsenic poisoning.
8. Keeps the Gut Microbiota Healthy as You Age
The amount of and type of microbiota in your gut can significantly affect your digestion and immune system. As you age, your gut microbiota quality can begin to decline.
Organic spirulina powder helps keep those microbiota healthy and active.
Beauty Benefits of Spirulina Powder
Spirulina is an incredibly healing green superfood. It’s so powerful, in fact, that the benefits shine through even outside the body. Taking spirulina supplements can help you achieve beauty goals.
Spirulina powder that is certified organic is a great product to help improve your skin. It delivers six different benefits:
- Tones the skin
- Improves skin elasticity
- Minimizes pores
- Moisturizes and anti-aging
- Soothe and heals skin
- Treats acne or inflamed skin conditions
The protein, healthy fatty acids, and beta carotene in spirulina can do wonders for your hair. Here’s how:
- Promotes hair growth
- Reduces hair loss
- Treats dandruff
Our eyes are often claimed to be the windows to the soul. Do you want your soul to look tired and dry? Spirulina can help in two ways:
- Treats dark circles
- Treats dry eye
Lastly, your hands and nails are like a great accessory when they are well taken care of and strong. You’ve guessed it. Spirulina can help with these two areas:
- Fixes nail ridges
- Strengthens brittle nails
How to Use Spirulina Powder
The most crucial step to the correct way to use spirulina powder is to buy the right type. You want one that is USDA organic certified. The Food and Drug Administration has checked organic spirulina powder for heavy metals, additives, and preservatives.
Organic spirulina powder is a non-GMO, gluten-free, whole food that can help you detox and fight allergens. There’s no doubt that this superfood powder is a fantastic addition to your diet for health and wellness, but it can be a challenge to learn how to use it and make it delicious to eat.
Adding spirulina to your morning smoothie is the most popular and easiest way to get your daily scoop of this blue-green algae. Just add frozen fruits, spinach, yogurt, water, and spirulina powder to a blender, pulse until smooth, and enjoy.
Chia Seed Pudding
Imagine spirulina in an easy to eat and healthy dessert. Chia seed pudding combines chia seeds with milk, incorporating your favorite add-ins, like chocolate chips and fruits, and setting it aside to thicken.
Sound interesting? Check out this vanilla-cinnamon spirulina chia seed pudding recipe.
Because spirulina has such a robust flavor, some think it’s best to use it as a topping, not the main course.
This spirulina vinaigrette recipe is an excellent way to do just that.
Smoked Salmon Appetizers
If you’re a fan of smoked salmon toast, you can add a little spirulina powder to your cream cheese, spread it on your toast, top with a slice of cucumber, a piece of smoked salmon, and a sprinkle of dill.
Sprinkle on Everything
There’s really nothing that you can’t just add a little sprinkle to since it comes in a powder form.You can sprinkle it on your sushi rice and wrap it in nori like they do in Hawaii. You can sprinkle it on popcorn, in soups, and energy bomb recipes.
Note: Don’t cook spirulina as it will reduce the nutritional content.
Who Should Be Using Spirulina?
Even though anyone could benefit from spirulina supplementation, certain groups should be using it to boost their health, especially.
There are specific challenges that many vegetarians face, and that’s a gap in nutrition when it comes to protein and iron. There are very few good plant sources of these nutrients.
Spirulina is the best plant source of iron and also a great source of protein.
Those with Chronic Inflammation
Spirulina is a potent anti-inflammatory as it contains a high concentration of the antioxidant phycocyanin. This makes it an ideal product for those with chronic inflammation.
Who Shouldn’t be Taking Spirulina
The other side of the equation is a handful of people who shouldn’t take spirulina because of unordinary health conditions.
Those taking blood thinners shouldn’t take spirulina because of its anticoagulant effect. Those who are allergic to it should obviously stay away from spirulina.
Anyone suffering from an autoimmune disease should not supplement with spirulina. Spirulina boosts the immune system, and autoimmune disease is when the immune system attacks itself.
Those with PKU, a rare condition where the body can’t metabolize phenylalanine, should not take spirulina due to its high content of this amino acid.
If you’ve successfully read through all the benefits of spirulina, you’ve indeed identified that this fantastic sea compound is worth looking into further.
Imagine if you could take all of the benefits of spirulina, as well as other nutrients, all in one super-powerful supplement? That’s precisely what we decided to create with our Super Greens Powder with Collagen Peptides.
Each scoop of this powder contains 275 mg of organic spirulina algae powder along with 25 other greens, fruits, and vegetable powders.
Add collagen to the mix with all the amino acids that come with it, and you’ve got a powder that wallops a strong nutritional punch.