10 Spirulina Benefits For A Healthier Life
Spirulina algae was only recently recognized as one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. Now, algae may not sound too appetizing, but Spirulina benefits your body in enough ways to make it worth it!
If you’ve tried it, you know it tastes nasty on its own.
And while there is always that notion that if it tastes bad it MUST be good for you, I’m happy to report that Athletic Greens is delicious despite containing this not-so-delectable superfood.
Spirulina is now one of the most talked about and most researched plants, with over 1,200 peer-reviewed scientific articles. That is a lot for a plant, trust me.
You may already be familiar with the distinct, beautiful blue-green color of Spirulina. That special deep emerald hue is hard to miss.
Spirulina benefits from exposure to high levels of sunlight, and grows naturally in freshwater lakes, ponds and rivers.
Like many types of algae, Spirulina has been around for a long time. It was first consumed by ancient civilizations such as Meso Americans and Aztecs. Even then, they were aware of the many Spirulina benefits and actually used it as a basic dietary food.
The Aztecs called it “Tecuitlatl”. Try pronouncing that…
Yep, it’s quite hard.
But getting the numerous Spirulina benefits couldn’t be easier.
Just Why Is The List Of Spirulina Benefits So Long?
Spirulina carries rich ingredients and impressive levels of protein - up to 70% of its weight. That’s three times more than soybeans.
Along with that, it has high levels of chlorophyll, like the other big greens in Athletic Greens, such as: Chlorella, Wheatgrass, Alfalfa and Barley leaf.
Chlorophyll is an amazing substance which has an alkalizing effect that makes it easier for your body to maintain healthy pH levels.
It is thought that when your body is in an alkaline state, you are less susceptible to disease. I think it’s safe to assume that’s what most, if not all of us, are going for!
But I’m not done. Spirulina benefits your body in so many other ways. It also contains a wide range of antioxidant & anti-inflammatory compounds:
Vitamin E - has many biological functions, including its role as a fat-soluble antioxidant
GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid) - may improve certain skin conditions
C-phycocyanin - exerts a wide range of positive effects on human physiology
Beta-carotene - helps maintain healthy skin and plays a vital role in eye health
Vitamin-A (plant form) - essential for healthy vision, skin and bones
B-vitamins - play important roles in cell metabolism
And a surprisingly big list of trace minerals:
Zinc - improves digestion, stress levels and energy
Calcium - essential for healthy bones and teeth
Magnesium - reduces chronic pain, fatigue and insomnia
Iron - crucial for a variety of metabolic processes in the body
Manganese - an important element for human health and metabolism
Potassium - may help control hypertension
Interestingly, Spirulina also contains Phycobilins (pigments). What’s that you ask?
It helps Spirulina absorb red, orange, yellow, and green light. These wavelengths are not well absorbed by chlorophyll in shallow waters. So in effect, Phycobilins give Spirulina super light absorption powers. Pretty cool.
The Top 10 Spirulina Benefits
The above ingredients make this blue-green algae one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet.
This explains why Spirulina benefits your health to such an extent, and why it has been included in so many studies.
1. Enhances Immune Function
Our immune system does a remarkable job of protecting us from illness and allowing us to live a healthy life. It’s hard at work behind the scenes 24/7, whether you’re aware of it or not.
If we suffer from an infection, one of the first responses of the immune system is inflammation. Any kind of inflammation can be a sign our immune system is struggling.
And this is where Spirulina comes in. It has been well documented that Spirulina exhibits anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting the release of histamine from mast cells.
In fact, it has been shown to be extremely effective in cases of nasal allergies, significantly reducing symptoms. So next Spring, when you’d usually reach for your nasal spray, think again. You may find Spirulina benefits you much more.
2. Defends Against Viruses
Viruses are infectious micro-organisms that need a living host to survive and multiply. When our immune system is weak, our bodies can form the perfect host.
Although further studies are needed, there are indications that Spirulina may inhibit the multiplication of virus cells within the human body.
An added advantage of using herbs and algal products to fight viruses, is that they can be used even when the infection is established.
3. Protects The Cardiovascular System
The cardiovascular system plays a very important role in the body. At the most basic level, it is responsible for circulating the blood and transporting nutrients to and from cells to provide nourishment and help in fighting diseases.
Spirulina benefits this system by lowering blood pressure and total blood cholesterol, allowing the cardiovascular system to keep working as it should.
4. Diabetes Support
Regulating blood glucose levels is a crucial part of diabetes management. Spirulina has been shown to aid this process, naturally.
5. Antioxidant Properties
Antioxidants can prohibit (or even prevent) the oxidation of other molecules in the body.
We’ve all heard of free radicals. Antioxidants like Spirulina are thought to protect the body from these potentially harmful molecules.
6. Fights Cancer
It’s not surprising if it’s the first you’ve heard of this. It’s certainly one of the lesser known health benefits of Spirulina.
Studies over the last 20 years or so have found evidence that Spirulina may prevent or inhibit the growth of certain types of cancer.
7. Wards Off Obesity
Studies in humans have shown that Spirulina can support lipid and glucose metabolism, while also reducing liver fat and protecting your heart.
Now obviously that doesn’t mean drinking Spirulina is the key to losing weight - we all know a little exercise and a healthy diet is essential - but any assistance with weight maintenance is always welcome.
8. Increases Energy Levels
If you ever feel tired despite getting enough sleep, you’re not alone.
Spirulina may help in this case. Some of its components, namely polysaccharides and essential fats, are easily absorbed by our cells and can aid in energy release.
Similarly, it is thought Spirulina increases healthy lactobacillus in the intestine, which supports the production of Vitamin B6 and in turns also helps in energy release.
So keep up your good sleep habits, your healthy diet and your exercise routine, but reconsider that next coffee. Spirulina may give you even more of a boost!
9. Protects The Brain
Non-human studies have demonstrated a long list of potential neurological support mechanisms activated by Spirulina. For a start, Spirulina appears to be very promising for reducing the risk of developing Parkinson's Disease, and as a therapy for Alzheimer’s.
On top of that, it shows neuroprotective effects against mineral toxicity and there is significant evidence it may also protect against strokes.
Given the promising results, human studies are an obvious next step.
10. Boosts Kidney Function
Your kidneys as those two bean-shaped organs either side of your spine. They’re essential for removing excess water, potassium, salt, urea and other substances from your blood as it filters through.
Spirulina helps protect your kidneys from toxic attacks by various substances, including some heavy metals. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant characteristics of Spirulina may also reduce damage to the kidneys, aiding in healthy kidney function.
Spirulina Is A Supercharged Complete Food
Scientific studies have focused on the anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects of Spirulina, however, there’s a growing body of research to support its use as a whole-body tonic and general health promoter.
It is packed with rich ingredients and impressive levels of proteins, all of which contribute to making it a complete food, rather than an isolated nutrient.
Spirulina benefits your health in so many ways, I like to think of it as supercharged.
No ingredient makes it into Athletic Greens unless it’s proven, and shows significant and multiple benefits. Needless to say, Spirulina was a shoo-in.
So go ahead, pour some water in your glass, add Athletic Greens, take a sip and get supercharged!