Found in warm, fresh water lakes, spirulina is an algae with an impressive nutritional profile. Dubbed as a “superfood”, it contains plenty of protein, phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to provide a much-needed boost to your health. Discover the 8 healthy reasons to eat more spirulina.
Apart from being one of the richest sources of protein in the world, the health benefits of spirulina are seemingly endless. From treating nutrient deficiencies and high blood pressure to preventing heart disease and cancer, it is no wonder the blue-green algae is making waves in the health industry.
What are the Health Benefits of Spirulina?
Spirulina is often referred to as a “miracle cure” because of the wide range of diseases it treats and prevents. The following are some of these benefits:
Best Source of Vegan Protein on the Planet
Spirulina is perhaps the best plant-based protein in existence. Think about this… beef is around 22% protein. Spirulina is approximately 65% complete protein. If you are a vegetarian or a vegan, spirulina will out deliver soy, legumes and nuts delivering more and higher quality protein.
Natural Multivitamin & Mineral
High in vitamin B, copper and iron, spirulina is a top source for natural vitamins and minerals. It also has decent quantities of omega fatty acids, manganese, magnesium and potassium. A daily dose can keep nutrient deficiencies at bay while improving wellbeing at the same time.
Can Help to Prevent Heart Disease
Spirulina is highly recommended for those suffering from heart disease. A recent study showed that participants had lowered their LDL cholesterol by 10% from consuming 1 gram of spirulina a day. Higher doses were able to raise heart-healthy cholesterol, proving it to be effective at preventing heart problems.
Reduces Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is often the precursor to many illnesses. Fortunately, it can be regulated through diet. Adding spirulina to your plate can reduce blood pressure and prevent strokes, heart attacks and kidney conditions.
A study conducted on athletes found that spirulina can prevent muscle fatigue and significantly increase endurance. Consuming spirulina can improve the strength of muscle and minimize the damage caused by exercise. Its high protein content makes it an ideal food for muscle, whether you are a pro athlete or just looking to live a more active lifestyle.
Regulates Blood Sugar
Consuming spirulina on a regular basis can help diabetics control blood sugar levels. In an animal study, it not only reduced blood sugar but also was demonstrated to be more effective than diabetes meds for stabilizing blood sugar levels.
Prevents Chronic Conditions
Age, stress and exposure to toxins can hasten the onset of chronic conditions like arthritis, allergies and even cancer. Spirulina can help combat these illnesses by providing the body with antioxidants and phytonutrients.
One of the health benefits of spirulina is its ability to reduce chronic inflammation. When you eat foods with antioxidants, they clean your system of free radicals to strengthen immunity. These nutrients also have anti-cancer properties and can prevent anemia.
Boosts Overall Wellbeing
Incorporating spirulina in your daily regimen can bring relief to the everyday aches and pain of life. Many people report feeling mentally alert and physically energized after consuming it. Some report a lessened frequency of candida in the gut and others noticed improvement in sexual dysfunction.
Vegetarians and vegans who wish to make spirulina an alternative source of protein should do so with caution. Because it does not contain enough calories to constitute a meal, vegans should combine it with other healthy foods for a balanced diet.
Are There Side Effects of Spirulina?
Although spirulina is a very safe source of nutrients, some may experience spirulina side effects. These are quite rare and most can be treated effectively at home.
One common side effect is dark green stools. Do not be alarmed if you experience this symptom. Spirulina can bind with fecal matter in your colon. When it is excreted, it may be a different color.
In addition to green stools, you may experience flatulence. Gas buildup is not caused by the spirulina per say. It often indicates an existing problem in the digestive system. Or it is simply a temporary side effect while your body adjusts to the new food.
There have been a few reports about spirulina causing slight fevers and restlessness. This is because protein speeds up metabolism, converting nutrients into energy at a faster rate than normal. On the opposite side of the spectrum, there are patients who become sleepy. Itchy skin is also common but temporary.
Best Ways to Take Spirulina
Spirulina is usually sold in a powder form or in compressed tablets or capsules. You can add the powder to smoothies, juice or water. Please follow instructions on the label carefully for proper dosage.
When in powder form, spirulina is a great ingredient to add to soup, sauces and salad dressings. Add it to hummus for extra nutrition, mix it in dough and sprinkle in eggs when making omelettes.
There are many health products that use spirulina extracts in their formulas. Obviously, green superfood drinks like the Total Living Drink Greens and Athletic Greens for example, use that and other algae, along with grasses and land vegetables, as the staples of their formulas.
Because spirulina is so loaded with plant-based protein and other nutrients, combined with other superfoods it can be an effective weight loss tool if used as a meal replacement.
Known as one of the oldest living organisms, spirulina holds many health benefits. Whether you prefer taking it by itself in a powder, tablet or capsule supplement, or taking it along with other superfoods in a green drink powder, adding a little spirulina to your diet can profoundly improve your health.