This green-blue algae is one of the most famous representatives of superfoods. Spirulina can be found on various locations around the globe as Hawaii, Mexico and even Africa.
The health benefits that this superfood brings are so spectacular that it is said that taking it daily can revitalize and restore your health. Most of us have encountered spirulina in energy bars and natural supplements or green superfood beverages and we remember it by its intense flavor.
Due to its powerful nutrient profile, spirulina is heavily talked about and research says there are around 1800 scientific articles which discuss its health benefits.
What is spirulina?
Spirulina is a microalgae, which can be found both in salt and fresh waters. This plant can be found in two species, Arthrospira maxima and Arthrospira platensis and both are cultivated worldwide and are usually used as a dietary supplement.
Spirulina has a wide range of abilities that stretch from boosting your metabolism to stabilizing blood sugar. This plant and the benefits it can bring are actively studied and researches suggest it can boost energy levels, detox your body and even better brain function.
10 Spirulina benefits
- Alleviates sinus issues
According to various studies, spirulina helps reduce the inflammation which causes sinus problems. Spirulina is found to be successful at reducing nasal discharge and congestion, sneezing and itching.
- Boosts energy levels
Consuming spirulina daily will surely boost your energy and make you more productive. “Combine 1 teaspoon of spirulina powder with 12 ounces of lime juice and freeze it in ice cube trays” recommends Dr. Mehmet Oz.
Spirulina and lime unlock the sugar from our cells and with this provide us with an energy boost, while the cold from the ice gives our body a kind of a “wake up call” and further boosts our metabolism.
We must mention that this specific benefit is not clinically studied, but there are numerous reports from people who used spirulina in such a way.
- Reduces cholesterol
An animal study was conducted and later published in The Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, which included feeding rabbits a high cholesterol diet for four weeks. The following eight weeks the rabbits were fed with either 1 or 5 percent spirulina.
After the trial was over the results showed that the rabbits which were fed with 1 percent spirulina witnessed a 26 drop of LDL levels while those that received 5 percent spirulina witnessed a 41 percent decrease. Serum triglycerides and total cholesterol significantly reduced, which proves that spirulina is successful in helping those with cholesterol problems.
- Lowers blood pressure
Research has shown that phycocyanin, which is a pigment found in spirulina, has an antihypertensive effect. According to Japanese scientists, consuming spirulina reverses endothelial dysfunction in metabolic syndrome.
- Eliminates candida
Studies have shown that candida can be normally found as a part of microbiota of the vagina, gastrointestinal tract and oral cavity. However, a healthy microflora balance must be maintained to keep our body safe from sickness and disease.
Sadly, candida overgrowth and yeast infection have been on the rise in the U.S, but worry not because several animal studies have proven spirulina to be an effective antimicrobial agent, especially for candida.
Spirulina inhibits candida from thriving by promoting the growth of healthy bacteria flora in the intestines. Let us not forget that spirulina can also strengthen your immune system and in this way help to eliminate candida from your body.
Spirulina nutrition facts
The biggest reason why nutrition experts recommend regular intake of spirulina is because it is arguably the most nutrient-dense food. Due to the existence of various spirulina species, taken as an average of the different types, one ounce would provide you with the following nutrients:
- Sugars: 0.9 gram
- Dietary fiber: 1 gram
- Calories: 81
- Protein: 39 grams
- Calcium: 3 percent DV
- Zinc: 4 percent DV
- Magnesium: 14 percent DV
- Sodium: 12 percent DV
- Potassium: 11 percent DV
- Selenium: 3 percent DV
- Iron: 44 percent DV
- Copper: 85 percent DV
- Manganese: 27 percent DV
- Omega 3 fatty acids: 230 milligrams
- Omega 6 fatty acids: 351 milligrams
- Saturated fat: 4 percent DV
- Total fat: 3 percent DV
- Vitamin A: 3 percent DV
- Vitamin C: 5 percent DV
- Vitamin E: 7 percent DV
- Vitamin K: 9 percent DV
- Vitamin B6: 5 percent DV
- Folate: 7 percent DV
- Niacin: 18 percent DV
- Pantothenic acid: 10 percent DV
- Thiamin: 44 percent DV
Riboflavin: 60 percent DV