Aside from being a beautiful shade of bluish-green, spirulina boasts an exciting amount of health benefits. Algae is a popular dietary supplement and is considered one of the more essential superfoods. Spirulina has vitamins and minerals, but it also has proteins and antioxidants that help fight inflammation, control the immune system, and do other things.
Like moringa powder, spirulina is often taken as a powder, mixed with water, or blended into lattes, smoothies, and protein shakes. People choose a drinking greens powder containing the ocean’s potent superfood for optimal benefits. This way, they are getting the benefits of spirulina plus the benefits from several more plant-based nutrient sources.
Everyone can benefit from adding spirulina to their diets, especially those with high blood sugar and diabetes. One of the most common benefits of spirulina is its ability to regulate sugar levels in the blood. The superfood can act as a multivitamin of sorts, as it contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals that maintain one’s health, like vitamins B6, E and C.
If you’re wondering what spirulina does, how it can help you, and what benefits it offers, we’ve got the answers.
What is Spirulina?
Spirulina is an algae that is blue-green in color and is even known to be the oldest form that exists on earth. The Aztecs were the first people to learn about and use spirulina's health benefits. They used it to increase their stamina and meet their daily nutrient needs. Even in the 13th century, spirulina was thought to be a superfood, mostly because it had as much protein as an egg.
Centuries ago in Mexico, the Aztecs also used the superfood to treat specific diseases and health concerns.
But today, spirulina is harvested, freeze-dried, and ground into a powder. Depending on your health goals and concerns, you can eat spirulina on its own or as part of a mix with dozens of other superfoods. Because spirulina has a slightly bitter taste, people usually mix it into smoothies, juices, or yogurts to make consumption more tolerable. When mixed into drinking greens, the bitterness is less severe, but people still prefer to mix the powder as it can taste a little “grassy.”
The Health Benefits Of Spirulina
After reading through these top benefits of spirulina, adding it to your healthy eating routine will be a no-brainer.
1. Spirulina is rich in nutrients, vitamins, and protein
Spirulina contains several B vitamins, vitamin E, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, selenium, beta-carotene, and an essential fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid. Since algae contain iron, it is a great plant-based powder supplement for women and men with iron deficiency or anemia. Additionally, selenium is a mineral closely linked to depression—a selenium deficiency can cause a poor mood. So if you often feel blue, adding selenium-rich superfoods like spirulina can help ease depression and anxiety.
In addition, spirulina is high in protein and low in calories. One tablespoon of spirulina contains 25 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of carbohydrate, and 4 grams of protein.
2. Spirulina can lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels
Several studies have shown that a moderate dose of this blue-green algae can lower levels of triglycerides, a type of fat that’s found in the blood. The triglycerides are stored and used for energy when needed, but if you have hypothyroidism, diabetes, or are overweight, having high triglycerides can be dangerous for your health. In one study, adults with high cholesterol who ate spirulina for three months saw their LDL cholesterol, triglyceride, and total cholesterol levels go down. Participants' triglycerides dropped by 16% and their LDL cholesterol dropped by 10% after they ate 1 gram of spirulina every day for 12 weeks.
By lowering harmful cholesterol levels, spirulina also fights cardiovascular disease. By reducing the body’s absorption of cholesterol and lowering cholesterol levels, spirulina helps keep your arteries clear and reduces strain on your heart that could lead to heart disease and stroke-causing blood clots.
3. Spirulina may decrease blood pressure
A moderate dose of spirulina can help lower one’s systolic and diastolic pressures for people with high blood pressure levels. But how does this happen?
Spirulina contains nutrients like iron, potassium, protein, magnesium, and other minerals that are good for managing cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Spirulina increases nitric oxide production in the body as well, which helps blood vessels relax. Studies show that this can reduce blood pressure, lowering your heart disease risk. In healthy individuals, a moderate daily dose of the algae can maintain healthy blood pressure, but in people with severely high blood pressure, the effectiveness of spirulina is still undetermined.
4. Spirulina can improve some allergy symptoms
Since inflammation is a common sign of an allergy, spirulina can be helpful because it helps block histamines. Whether you’ve got allergies to pollen, cats, or dust, adding spirulina to your routine certainly won’t hurt, so consider trying the superfood before purchasing a ton of over-the-counter allergy medication.
One research study even found that spirulina decreased the symptoms caused by allergic rhinitis, easing the amount of nasal discharge, congestion, sneezing, and itching that participants were experiencing.
5. Spirulina can be effective in improving anemia
As mentioned above, spirulina is a plant-based source of iron, just like spinach and kale. One can gain 28.5 mg of iron when consuming 100 grams of spirulina. This is more than triple the amount of iron found in spinach and is even more than the amount found in some meats. A 100-gram serving of spirulina exceeds the recommended daily dose of iron.
Iron supplements can be quite hard on your digestive tract and cause constipation. On the other hand, spirulina tends to be less harsh, which makes it a great choice for people with sensitive stomachs.
6. Spirulina may increase endurance and muscle strength.
The algae's high protein content is a healthy source of energy that can protect your muscles and give you more stamina. This will help you finish the marathon faster. The algae's high protein content is a healthy source of energy that can protect your muscles and give you more stamina. This will help you finish the marathon faster.
Instead of triple-shot coffees and energy drinks, which can leave you feeling nauseous and jittery, spirulina can give you a much healthier energy boost. The thiamin and vitamin B1 found in the superfood can combat fatigue. Plus, spirulina offers a boost of energy without the crash that will leave you falling asleep at your desk.
7. Spirulina may help control blood sugars
It’s important to note that spirulina or any other superfood should not substitute medications prescribed by your doctor. Before swapping a medication for a superfood or supplement, consult a medical professional.
Some evidence supports the claim that consuming spirulina can help healthy blood sugars and even lower elevated sugars in people with type 2 diabetes. A review study from 2018 found that adding spirulina to people's regular diets lowered their fasting blood sugar levels by a lot. Spirulina contains around 4 grams of protein per tablespoon, which is good for blood sugar control and diabetes control. However, because of its lipid profile and antioxidants, spirulina can improve insulin sensitivity, especially in people who are overweight.
8. The superfood can reduce inflammation
Its anti-inflammatory properties might just be spirulina’s biggest claim to fame. Spirulina has a lot of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, and it also has phycocyanin, which is a strong plant-based protein. This protein, which most people have never even heard of, can have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, along with the potential to relieve pain and protect the brain.
Many of the antioxidants found in the superfood boast anti-inflammatory benefits for the body. And when you consume supplements or foods that combat inflammation, your body and brain will feel and perform better.
9. Spirulina may help fight and prevent chronic illnesses
While there is still limited research, many health professionals suggest that spirulina can help prevent certain forms of cancer, kidney and liver disease, hypertension, obesity, heart problems, and diabetes.
Some studies also note that spirulina can promote brain health, which is especially important in those with multiple sclerosis (MS). It is thought that this is because of the superfood's phycocyanins, polysaccharides, phenols, and antioxidants. Spirulina is also one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which aid brain health in other ways. Several studies show that omega-3 fatty acids can help with depression and anxiety, prevent mental decline with age and Alzheimer's disease, and keep the brain healthy during pregnancy and early childhood.
10. Spirulina can aid in the reduction of acne
There are few things worse than acne, as it can really impact your self-confidence. Thankfully, the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties in spirulina can reduce swelling and prevent future breakouts. Even if you don’t struggle with acne, your skin can still benefit from the algae. Spirulina can improve one’s overall skin health by ridding pores of harmful toxins and shielding them from damage caused by free radicals and environmental factors.
11. Spirulina can improve gut health
Though more research is needed in this area, studies have shown that spirulina has a positive impact on gut health. A 2017 study showed that spirulina helped maintain gut function during aging, and it also helped maintain a “healthy gastrointestinal microbial community." Registered dietitian nutritionists think that spirulina's prebiotic properties are what make it good for gut health. Good bacteria in the gut feed on prebiotics.
12. Spirulina can provide immune system support
Spirulina has many different vitamins and minerals, like vitamins E, C, and B6, which are all important for a healthy immune system. Research has supported the fact that spirulina also increases an individual's white blood cell and antibody count, which both help fight viruses and bacteria in your body. Further studies have shown that spirulina can fight herpes, flu, and HIV, though more research is needed in this area.
13. Spirulina can help with metabolism support and weight loss
Spirulina can support significant reductions in body fat percentage and waist circumference. A study conducted in 2016 showed that when people who were overweight regularly ate spirulina for three months, their body mass index improved. Spirulina can also increase a person’s metabolism, which can help them feel more energized, burn more calories, and aid in weight loss.
14. Spirulina can alleviate symptoms of certain mental health disorders
Not only has spirulina been linked to supporting positive mental health, but it may also play a role in treating certain mood disorders. Spirulina contains tryptophan, an amino acid that increases the levels of serotonin in the brain. Because of this, spirulina is known to be a good supplement for preventing and treating some mental health problems, such as depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, and schizophrenia.
15. Spirulina may help maintain eye and oral health
Zeaxanthin is a plant pigment that is found in spirulina. This plant pigment may help prevent cataracts and age-related vision loss. It is also packed full of a group of phytonutrients called carotenoids. One Harvard University study found that carotenoids are beneficial for both eye health and immune health. A pair of carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin, are found in the retina and may decrease your risk of developing macular degeneration by up to 43%.
Spirulina’s antibacterial properties may also boost oral health. One study found that mouthwash infused with spirula reduced dental plaque and the risk of gingivitis in participants. Another study found that it lessened the likelihood of oral cancer in individuals who chew tobacco.
What Are The Side Effects Of Spirulina?
Like many other superfoods, spirulina can cause side effects for certain people. Therefore, it’s always wise to consult with a health professional and follow the recommended usage instructions to avoid serious drawbacks.
Spirulina could worsen autoimmune disorders
Those with conditions like lupus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis should avoid taking spirulina or powders that contain the superfood. Research shows that spirulina boosts immune system functioning, therefore, those with certain autoimmune disorders could react poorly to the superfood. If you have an autoimmune disorder, make sure to talk with your doctor before incorporating spirulina into your diet.
Spirulina could harmfully interact with blood thinners
If you take blood thinners, avoid taking spirulina as it could affect blood clotting. Spirulina has anticoagulant effects, also known as blood-thinning effects, which means individuals with clotting disorders or who are on blood-thinner medications should be wary when taking any spirulina supplements. Spirulina may also increase the risk of bruising and bleeding in people with certain bleeding conditions.
Not for Pregnant and Nursing Women
There is not enough research supporting that spirulina is safe to consume if you are pregnant or nursing. Paying attention to nutrition is more important than ever during pregnancy. Therefore, it’s essential to take prenatal supplements under the supervision of your doctor. However, taking additional supplements during pregnancy, such as spirulina, is not proven safe. High doses of certain vitamins may harm your growing child. A report in the European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology says that in one case, a pregnant woman who took spirulina supplements had too much calcium in her body, which caused her baby to have seizures after birth.
How to use Spirulina
Spirulina can be eaten in many different ways, but powder and tablets are the most common. You can stir a small spoonful of spirulina powder into a glass of water or juice, or you can incorporate it into a smoothie.
The easiest and most beneficial way to incorporate spirulina in your daily life is with a supergreens powder like Ensō Supergreens. This product not only has spirulina in it, but it also has a lot of other superfoods that will help you live a healthy life. Some of the 19 ingredients in the supergreens blend are chlorella, which helps support a healthy immune system, blood pressure, cholesterol, and digestion, and dandelion powder, which helps promote digestion and detoxification. Additionally, Ensō Supergreens also contains a blend of probiotics and digestive enzymes that can bolster digestive health and gut health.
How Ensō Superfoods can help
Ensō Supergreens is a powdered supergreens formula that was created to improve digestion, boost immunity function, support longevity, and more. This product was made in California and is a simple and easy way to get more organic supergreens into your daily diet. It’s also USDA-certified organic, gluten-free, and 100% vegan, meaning that it can be consumed by individuals with all sorts of dietary restrictions. All you need to do to get your daily dose of supergreens is mix one serving into a glass of water, milk, or a smoothie before it’s ready to be consumed. This product has a refreshing spearmint flavor.
Spirulina is just one of the many superfoods incorporated into Ensō Supergreens one-of-a-kind blend. This custom blend includes 19 raw organic superfoods that help with digestion, immunity, and overall health and wellness.
To purchase this product, all you need to do is buy it online directly from Ensō Supergreens official site. Customers will also have the option to subscribe, which will guarantee that you get your supergreens every month, as well as give you a discount on the product.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does spirulina do?
Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is considered a superfood due to its high nutritional content and numerous health benefits. Some of its health benefits include boosting energy and immunity, improving heart health, and aiding with weight loss.
What is spirulina used for?
Spirulina can be taken as a supplement for numerous reasons. Spirulina can help reduce inflammation, improve allergy symptoms, protect against chronic diseases, keep your eyes and mouth healthy, boost your immune system, lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and improve allergy symptoms, among other things.
Is spirulina good for you?
Generally speaking, spirulina is very good for you. That said, certain individuals should be cautious before ingesting this superfood. Pregnant and nursing women, people with autoimmune disorders, and individuals who are taking blood thinners are a few examples of individuals who might experience harmful side effects from spirulina.
How much spirulina should you take per day?
As a general guideline, don’t use more than what’s listed on your product’s label. Studies have shown that taking one to 10 grams a day for up to 6 months to 19 grams of spirulina a day for up to two months is safe. Taking upwards of 40 grams can be harmful.
What is spirulina good for?
Spirulina is an algae that has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-supporting properties. The superfood’s wide range of minerals and vitamins is essential for your immune system. Spirulina contains vitamins and minerals like selenium, iron, vitamins C, E, B6, and more. Spirulina has a similar protein content to eggs, making it popular among people who follow a plant-based diet, athletes, and those looking to build muscle and strength.
Is spirulina safe to take every day?
Yes, but it is recommended that you don’t exceed 8 grams of spirulina daily. However, if you exceed the dose, you could experience side effects like gastrointestinal stress and nausea. Most people add spirulina to their smoothies.
Who should not take spirulina?
People with autoimmune diseases, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, bleeding disorders, and severe allergies to iodine, seafood, or shellfish, should avoid taking spirulina. To be safe, do your research and consult with a medical or health professional before starting spirulina. If you take blood thinners, avoid products that contain spirulina.
Are there any side effects of spirulina?
The most commonly reported side effects include headaches, nausea, and insomnia. However, spirulina is considered safe, and most people who take it do not experience any side effects. Before starting spirulina, ensure that it does not interact with any of the medications you are currently taking, as it can interfere with some immunosuppressants.
Does spirulina heal the gut?
The health of your gut is incredibly important, and spirulina can support the good bacteria found in your stomach and intestinal tract. The good bacteria in your gut are connected to your immune system, mental health, hormones, energy production, skin health, brain function, and more.Click here for more information on superfoods or to add Enso Superfoods’ Supergreens powder with spirulina to your health and wellness routine.