Everything You Need to Know About Spirulina: 12 Unbelievable Benefits and 1 Huge Risk

Everyone needs more greens in their diet, and spirulina might just be the right addition to your daily meals.

Spirulina can be found in powder or pill forms -Photo by Vita Marija Murenaite

This fast-growing addition to smoothies, meals, and drinks has been used for centuries and has incredible, life changing benefits for overall wellbeing.

But (there’s always a but), there is a dangerous risk with spirulina that should be talked about more, one that will be discussed today.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know, the answers to questions like “what is spirulina?”, “what are the benefits of spirulina?”, “is spirulina safe to eat?”, “how do I take spirulina” and much more today!

What is Spirulina

Spirulina is one of the world’s most popular supplements.

It is blue-green algae and one of the oldest forms of life on earth. Historically, it was used by the Aztecs to boost stamina, endurance, and strength.

Today, we know much more about the nutritional content and benefits it provides, making it a true superfood in terms of nutrition.

What is the Nutrient Content of Spirulina

In terms of weight, spirulina might be the most nutritious thing you can consume.

A tablespoon (about 7 grams) of spirulina has 4 grams of protein, 1.7 grams of carbs, and 1 gram of fat. It contains all the essential amino acids you need, which are building blocks of the body.

The fat content of spirulina is composed of healthy omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids.

Spirulina is full of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals as well. It contains vitamins B1, B2, and B3 as well as important minerals like iron and copper.

This food also contains magnesium, potassium, and manganese, nutrients you should consume daily.

What are the Benefits of Spirulina

There are many important benefits from consuming spirulina, the single most nutritious food you can eat.

Here are 12 life changing benefits of this amazing superfood!

Increase Heart Health

Triglycerides levels, more than “bad” LDL, predict heart disease. This is because triglycerides are a type of fat literally found in the blood.

Spirulina has been found to lower these levels, as well as LDL levels.

Enhance Immune System

Not only is spirulina rich in b vitamins, it contains vitamin E, C and B6.

This is a combination that can help increase white blood cells and antibodies, the parts of the body responsible for fighting off bacteria and infection.

Controls Blood Sugar

Some studies have linked spirulina to lower, more stable blood sugar levels.

There is evidence for this effect in humans as well, as a study found that individuals with type 2 diabetes consuming spirulina had a reduction in blood sugar and stable levels.

Increased Oral/Mouth Health

Spirulina has antibacterial properties that may reduce oral infection, plaques, and gingivitis. 

One study found that oral cancer risk was lowered in people who chewed tobacco, while another study found reduced oral health problems overall.

Increases Eye health

Zeaxanthin, a plant pigment it contains, may also decrease the loss of vision. 

It may even be a preventative measure to reduce the risk of cataracts.

Anti Inflammatory

It contains phycocyanin, a powerful antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory effects. 

This also may make it an option for joint and pain relief for certain individuals.

Anti Cancer

These anti-inflammatory properties have been found to block tumor and cancer growth

The rich nutrients and antioxidants may also enhance the ability of the immune system and are being studied as a potential cancer treatment.

Allergy Reduction

The anti-inflammatory in spirulina properties helps reduce congestion, sneezing, and itching due to pollen, hair, and dust.

This means spirulina might be able to replace or reduce the use of allergy mediation.

Protects the Brain

Research has found that this nutrient also helps protect the brain, particular by reducing the risk of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Multiple Sclerosis

This is once again due to the incredibly powerful anti-inflammatory properties this nutrient contains.

Projects against Oxidative Damage

Spirulina protects against oxidative damage due to it being a powerful antioxidant.

This can also help reduce the oxidation of LDL, “bad” cholesterol.

Reduces Blood Pressure

Studies have found that spirulina can reduce blood pressure with as little as half a tablespoon a day.

This can reduce your risk for many diseases, including heart disease.

May improve Endurance and Stamina

Spirulina, due to its antioxidant properties, may protect the muscles against damage and fatigue. 

Though more studies need to be conducted the current research supports spirulina’s ability to enhance endurance for physically active individuals

Risk of Spirulina

Spirulina must come from safe sources, or else it may be contaminated with metal, bacteria, and toxins that cause damage to your body.

Some commercially available brands have been found with lead, mercury, or arsenic, metals that are highly toxic to the body. This can accept the liver and nervous system.

If brands do not use proper quality control to produce spirulina, it may become contaminated with microcystins, a substance that is toxic to the liver.

Furthermore, no studies have been conducted to see if spirulina is safe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding or some individuals may just have an allergy to it. 

How to Consume Spirulina Safely

As with any supplement, spirulina is not regulated by the FDA. There are ways to choose a safe brand, however.

Look for brands that conduct independent testing, meaning the spirulina is tested outside of their company. These are certified safe and free of contamination.

It can be taken in pill or powder form and added to soups, smoothies, or drinks. 

The average daily dose is around 1 to 3 grams.

The Takeaway

Spirulina is an amazing supplement with incredible full-body benefits.

This is one of the most nutritious things you can consume and has unimaginable benefits.

It is anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-bacterial.

It is like magic in a jar and would be a great addition to your daily meals.

Like any supplement, make sure the product is tested and certified safe, as contamination is a real problem with spirulina harvesting. 

Always make sure your product is from a trusted, reputable company, one that has conducted a third party or independent testing of their product.

Remember, health stays from within!

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