Want a green powder that’ll knock all other green powders out of the water (quite literally)? Then check out these amazing health benefits of spirulina! This 3.5 billion-year-old original green superfood grows in fresh water alkaline lakes, and contains…
• 6 times more protein than eggs
• 7 times more calcium than milk
• 50 times more iron than spinach
• 10 times more potassium than most fruit and veggies
• 4-6 times richer in iron than raw beef liver
• contains a plethora of antioxidants in a single teaspoon
Aside from these obvious reasons to start eating spirulina, it also contains over 12 amazing health benefits that have been proven and backed by science. So without further adieu, here are those benefits.
12 Health Benefits of Spirulina
Algae is an incredible anti-viral. It has been found in multiple studies (here, here and here), to inhibit replication of viruses, and thus halt the spread of viruses like herpes simplex type I, human cytomegalovirus, measles virus, mumps virus, influenza A virus and HIV-1. Spirulina inhibits the penetration of viruses into host cells, and literally inhibits protein synthesis of the virus itself (without suppressing host cell protein synthesis – aka. it leaves healthy cells alone).
Many studies have been done with cancer and spirulina. Because of the extent of studies, I’ll basically wrap up what they say in a paragraph or less (and provide you with sources here, here and here). Phycocyanin in spirulina helps fight free radicals and inhibits the production of inflammatory signalling molecules, which is a major factor involved in cancer. The antioxidant activity of spirulina, specifically beta-carotene, vitamin C, phenols, amines and phospholipids from this algae is particularly powerful. Studies have been conducted that found spirulina to be effective in reversing oral leukoplakia in pan tobacco chewers in Kerala, India. Complete regression of cancer was seen in 57% of subjects – when they discontinued taking spirulina, 45% of them developed recurrent lesions.
Yup, spirulina also helps reduce cholesterol! A handful of studies (1, 2, 3) have found that spirulina is effective in reducing bad (LDL) and increasing good (HDL) cholesterol. Spirulina has a high concentration of GLA fatty acids that prevent accumulation of cholesterol in the body. It reduces serum cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic subjects, and has been found to decrease the amount of fat deposits in the arteries.
Diabetes and Hypertension Reduction
Full of nutrients, it’s no wonder that spirulina can help diabetics and reduce high blood pressure. Studies (1, 2, 3) have found that supplementing with spirulina lowers fasting blood glucose and improves long-term glucose regulation. With regard to lipids, triglyceride levels also lower significantly. The combination of these results show that spirulina is great for controlling blood glucose levels and actually helps improve the lipid profile of patients with type 2 diabetes.
Natural Anemia Treatment
Have an anemia problem? Spirulina can fix it! Spirulina is incredibly rich in iron and vitamin B12, and has been found in older subjects to ameliorate anemia and immunosenescence. Another study found that spirulina helped increase blood haemoglobin levels by 1.32 g/dl (11.65%) in a group of young anemic girls aged 18-22 years old. It is clear that the mass amounts of chlorophyll, iron, protein and other nutrients found in micro-algae help overcome anemia and other iron-related blood issues.
Kidney and Liver Detoxification
The antioxidant effects of spirulina have been well documented on studies related to liver or kidney injury (unfortunately on rats). Spirulina improved the antioxidant status of the liver and kidneys in this study, and improved the biochemical parameters of the liver and kidneys back to normal values of the control group. It also reduces the toxicity of the liver, kidney and testes. Individuals suffering from long-term kidney disease also usually have low immunity, and are prone to getting colds and infections. Consuming spirulina daily will improve immunity, and also the health of your liver and kidneys.
Immune System Improvement
Being a fantastic source of antioxidants, it is no wonder that spirulina is a master at improving the immune system. The most active component, phycocyanin, which gives spirulina its unique blue-green colour is the main antioxidant you can thank! One study found that natural killer cell (NK) functions were enhanced after administration of spirulina in over 50% of subjects. Natural killer cells are lymphocytes (white blood cells) that bind to certain tumour cells and virus-infected cells – spirulina enhances this effect. Another study done on chickens found that spirulina improves phagocytosis of macrophages, and enhances the functions of mononuclear phagocytic systems, increasing disease resistance.
Nuclear radiation, especially from the recent meltdown in Fukushima, Japan, is of major concern. We are exposed to radiation daily, and it not only affects us, but it affects our air, water and food supply. Spirulina has the ability to naturally chelate (break down) and remove radioactive isotopes and heavy metals from our body. Research published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2011 found that phycocyanins in spirulina protect unborn babies from being damaged by cadmium exposure. This is a good thing, considering there is a high concentration of cadmium in our food (gets absorbed through the soil). Another study found that spirulina reduced urine radioactivity levels by 50% in only 20 days – researchers gave 5 grams to children at the Institute of Radiation Medicine in Minsk, Belarus, and discovered that spirulina decreases radioactive dose load received from food contaminated with Cesium-137 and Stronium-90.
Digestive health is improved when you start consuming spirulina. In The Colon Health Handbook, Robery Gray describes spirulina as a ‘metabolic activator’, which acts directly on the body and helps burn up mucoid plaques that get stuck in the pockets of our colon. Research in Japan (Effects of spirulina on caecum content in rats. by Y. Tokay, et al. 1987) has also shown that laboratory rats eating spirulina have higher levels of lactobacillus and B-vitamin absorption from the diet. Spirulina is also high in niacin, which supports enzyme function, controls your appetite and support healthy digestion.
Spirulina is a great anti-ager. Because of its high concentration of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, it makes it one of the best superfoods to fight any signs of aging. Antioxidants attack free radicals that roam throughout the body and damage the structure and function of DNA (which, ultimately, leads to aging of the body). By decreasing DNA damage, increasing DNA repair, and improving immune function of the body, spirulina is a must-have in your daily routine.
Metabolic Balance and Weight Loss
Although spirulina won’t bring around weight loss on its own, it provides the right conditions in the body to help achieve this goal. Spirulina is one of the richest natural sources of Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA). GLA helps regulate blood sugar levels and helps prevent cravings. It also contains phenylalanine, which satisfies your appetite and helps control the appetite control centre of the brain.
Where To Buy The BEST Spirulina
Purchasing the right kind of spirulina is essential. That’s why I recommend Biolumina, one of the highest quality spirulina brands out there! It provides you with the most protective, life-enhancing, live, bio-available, full-spectrum nutritional whole food for you to thrive on.
Biolumina includes 3-4 times more phycocyanin than any spirulina marketed today. It provides the greatest radiation-protecting and immune system-enhancing benefits available to us from any food or other substance. Not to mention, it makes you feel incredible, and after just a week of using it, you will notice significant health improvements.
Stick it in your smoothies, mix it in a glass of freshly pressed juice, make some beautifully coloured banana nice cream, or simply mix in water and gulp in the morning before you start your day! Whatever you do, just make sure you get some in every day. I personally love putting it in banana nice creams and blending it with coconut water and a couple medjool dates!
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Do you think there is a likely problem with an allergic reaction to this? I am allergic to avocados, melons, kiwis and bananas so I always get scared to try a new product but this sound like something I really need in my diet. Also can kids have it as well?
Carly Fraser says
Yes, kids can consume spirulina. I would try a small amount to see how you react, then increase the dosage.
David Hallam says
What dosage is optimal for kidney and liver rejuvenation? Thank you.
Carly Fraser says
I would supplement with a few teaspoons every day to help support the health of your internal organs.