10 Remarkable Health Benefits of Spirulina
Foods that have an incredible array of health benefits that go well beyond just their nutrient value are considered ‘super-foods.’ The blue-green algae spirulina, is one of the most primitive forms of life on the planet. This algae is known for its extraordinary survival adaptations. Spirulina is considered a superfood due to its unique level of nutrient density. In this article, you will discover 10 remarkable health benefits of spirulina.
Spirulina are single celled organisms that survive by producing their energy through photosynthesis. These algae are in the class of cyanobacteria because cyano is Greek for blue. They contain chlorophyll (green color) phycocyanins & anthocyanins (blue color) which blend to give them the characteristic blue-green color.
Spirulina’s Healing Properties:
Spirulina is found all over the world in fresh water, saltwater oceans & natural springs. It was renowned for its healing properties and was a staple part of the North African and Aztec Indian (Mexico) diet many years ago. Today, natural health experts all around the world revere spirulina for its potential as a whole food mega-nutrient and natural medicine.
Spirulina contains an incredible array of nutrients that make them a functional whole food for sustaining life without the need for other foods. These algae contain pre-digested protein (in the form of amino acids) for quick absorption and high utilization rates. Spirulina contains essential omega 3 fatty acids such as EPA & DHA. Algae, in fact, are the very source that fish, krill and other animals obtain their omega 3’s.
Spirulina is a rich source of the tough to find essential omega-6 fat GLA. It also provides nucleic acids (DNA & RNA) that provide a megadose of raw materials for DNA repair. Spirulina is a very rich source of critical B vitamin methylating agents such as B6 and folate. It also has an extraordinary array of antioxidant phytonutrient anthocyanins. These anthocyanins are renowned for their powerful anti-carcinogenic properties.
Spirulina Enhances Gut Flora:
Spirulina has strong anti-microbial effects that help create balance in the gut flora. It does this by controlling the growth of pathogenic bacteria and yeasts in the digestive system. This is critical for optimal digestion and nutritional absorption. Additionally, it is a very important part of detoxification through the bowel systems.
Spirulina is a powerful blood cleanser due to its rich source of chlorophyll. It contains roughly ten times the amount of chlorophyll in green vegetables per volume. Chlorophyll helps build red blood cells in the body and provides easily absorbable form of magnesium. This combination helps oxygenate the blood stream and remove organic toxins (1, 2).
Spirulina is Loaded with Antioxidants:
Spirulina is very rich in carotenoid antioxidants. It has 10 times the amount of the beta carotene (a form of vitamin A) per volume as carrots (3). It is also loaded with zeaxanthin and lutein. These antioxidants are extremely important for good vision and overall eye health.
Spirulina contains polysaccharides that act to improve the functional productivity of the bone marrow, thymus and spleen cells (4, 5). Phycocyanin and allophycocanin which help to form the blue color within the algae (along with anthocyanins) have been shown to increase white blood cell counts (6).
One 2003 study investigated spirulina’s ability to protect the organs from the free-radical damage caused by lead. The study demonstrated that spirulina had a significant effect on scavenging free radicals, thereby protecting the organs from damage caused by the exposure to lead. Further more, spirulina showed a significant decrease in the deposition of lead in the brain (7).
Spirulina is Great for the Skin:
Spirulina is also the world’s best source of the antioxidant powerhouse superoxide dismutase (SOD) (8). The superoxide molecule is one of the most tissue damaging substances within the body. SOD is a biological adaptation specifically designed to destroy the superoxide radical and protect against any subsequent tissue damage. Inadequate superoxide dismutase formation leads to accelerated aging and tissue degeneration.
The combination of SOD and carotenoids within spirulina make it very good for skin care (9). It is remarkable for improving aging spots, eczema, acne, & rashes. This combination also dramatically improves eye health. Individuals with glaucoma, cataracts, & poor vision should be sure to consume this regularly.
I have many of my clients use a full detoxification protocol that includes spirulina and another single-celled algae called chlorella. I personally use and recommend Organic Supergreens which has clinically effective doses of both spirulina and chlorella.