Spirulina refers to a blue-green algae that is often called a superfood because it is packed with nutrients. As a supplement, spirulina has been proven to deliver a range of potential health benefits, including improved gut health. Let’s dive more into what this superfood is and how you could potentially take advantage of it in your diet.
What Is Spirulina?
Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that is also known as Arthrospira platensis, Spirulina fusiformis, or Spirulina platensis and has been celebrated for centuries. Scientists believe that the ancient Aztecs in Mexico were consuming spirulina for its many health benefits, including boosting endurance during marathons and relying on this superfood to help with various ailments.
In recent events, NASA used this algae as a food supplement for its astronauts on selected space missions because it can support a healthy immune system and has anti-inflammatory properties. Being used in space really catapulted spirulina to fame. The Aztecs and NASA are not alone in their beliefs that spirulina supplementation has many potential health benefits; nutritionists are also convinced by the multitude of this algae’s capabilities.
This algae is thought to be one of the oldest plants on earth that are still surviving. It is normally found in oceans and in salty lakes. While the body of research on spirulina consumption continues to grow, more research is needed to fully prove all of the benefits of the algae.
What Does Spirulina Do?
When we think of spirulina, few people picture water-based algae. Most of us think of a dark blue or green powder. This powder is effectively a dried version of the biomass of Arthrospira platensis.
Several studies and early clinical trials have shown that spirulina may have a wide range of potential health benefits because it contains antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Scientists also believe that it may help promote a balanced immune response, provide muscle and joint relief, and help with fatigue.
The powers of spirulina are based on its chemical makeup as a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Almost 70% of the spirulina algae is protein. On top of that, this plant contains B complex vitamins, including the coveted B12, and is also a source of provitamin A and vitamin E. Minerals found in spirulina include zinc, copper, iron, manganese, and selenium.
All of these nutrients support various processes in our bodies, such as protecting cells from damage and assisting in immune resilience. While these initial results are promising, more research is still needed.
Top 5 Health Benefits of Spirulina
Adding microalgae spirulina to your diet includes anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties, which aid in maintaining your body’s defenses and help relieve the stress on your body and its cells. Here is a list of some of the leading benefits you could experience, according to current research:
1. Provides Vitamins and Minerals
Spirulina is a nutrient-dense alga with a high concentration of vitamins and minerals, particularly B vitamins, iron, protein, and copper. It also has generous amounts of potassium, manganese, and magnesium. Aside from all these nutrients, one serving only has 20 calories and is low in carbohydrates, making it a superfood.
Spirulina is an excellent choice for plant-based diets due to its high nutrient content. This alga is also a complete protein source because it contains all the necessary amino acids. Spirulina can be taken as a supplement or in the form of a healthy greens powder, making it simple to reap all of its nutritional benefits.
2. Supports the Immune System
Spirulina contains the pigment phycocyanin, which gives it its blue-green color. This pigment has anti-inflammatory properties and may aid in the production of white blood cells, as well as the body's immune response. Furthermore, one study discovered that spirulina could help fight oxidative stress.
3. Source of Antioxidants
Spirulina contains a high concentration of antioxidants, which can protect the body from free radical damage. Antioxidants can benefit the body in various ways, including lowering oxidative stress and aiding in the prevention of cellular damage.
Spirulina contains antioxidants such as phycocyanin, beta-carotene, and other phytonutrients with antioxidant properties. Antioxidants may help improve skin health, reduce signs of aging, and support your body’s immune function. Because of its high antioxidant levels, spirulina is a valuable natural supplement for promoting overall health and well-being.
4. Can Help with Allergies
Scientists recently found potential health benefits of spirulina for helping with allergies in some patients. In one study, the group taking spirulina was far better protected against an allergic reaction than those taking a placebo. Several other studies confirmed these findings, suggesting that products like spirulina powder can help modulate our immune system to activate or deactivate certain parts.
5. Supports Healthy Skin
One of the most popular benefits of spirulina is its effects on the skin. Spirulina is a great natural source of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds. These compounds may help reduce skin inflammation and protect your skin from sun damage.
With its rich content of B vitamins and minerals like copper and iron, spirulina could provide your skin with the building blocks it needs to stay healthy. Spirulina also contains significant amounts of essential fatty acids, which can help maintain the health and hydration of the epidermis.
What Are the Side Effects of Spirulina?
Spirulina consumption is considered generally safe for most people, according to the FDA. Make sure you buy your spirulina powder or pills from a reputable source to avoid problems associated with contamination.
If you are concerned about side effects or potential interactions with other medications, it's always worth checking with your doctor before adding a supplement to your diet.
If you have been diagnosed with Phenylketonuria (PKU), you should avoid spirulina because it contains the amino acid phenylalanine. People suffering from autoimmune issues should also avoid taking spirulina. Consult your healthcare professional before taking Spirulina.
How to Use Spirulina
We'd all love to fulfill all of our nutritional needs through our diets, but that's not always possible with a busy lifestyle. The easiest way to ensure you get all the nutrients you need is by choosing a high-quality dietary supplement. You may choose to get your daily spirulina intake from a spirulina tablet or as part of a superfoods blend with super greens. We recommend you choose a supplement based on its nutritional value and the quality of the ingredients to ensure you benefit to the max.
How Live it Up Can Help
High-quality supplements are an excellent way to optimize your diet when you're busy leading your life. It's not always possible to get all your nutrients through your diet. That's why supplements like Super Greens can be so helpful.
Made with organic vegetables, powerful superfoods, digestive enzymes, and probiotics, Super Greens is a nutrient-dense powder that can help give your body a bit of an edge, no matter how busy your lifestyle is.
We believe that everyone deserves to live a happy, healthy life. Optimizing your diet to help support your body’s natural defenses, reduce skin inflammation, give you a great source of nutrients, and more, is all part of that.
Adding spirulina to your daily routine as a dietary supplement can help close the gap between your diet and optimal nutrition. Plus, we've made sure being healthy is tasty, too.
Frequently Asked Questions on Spirulina
What Does Spirulina Do?
Spirulina consumption may help with allergy symptoms, getting you a boost of nutrients, and maintaining healthy skin. It also packs a punch when it comes to supporting your immune system.
Is Spirulina Good for You?
With so much promising research highlighting what you could experience with this algae, the answer is yes: spirulina is generally considered safe and good to take for most people. Spirulina has a plethora of possible health benefits you don’t want to miss out on. If you are suffering from complex health conditions or are unsure about interactions with other medications, it's always worth consulting your doctor first, though.
How Much Spirulina Should You Take per Day?
This depends on your body and unique health needs. It's best to follow the instructions on your spirulina supplement package. One scoop of Super Greens added to a smoothie is a great way to help support your immune and gut health.