18 Incredible Benefits of Spirulina Powder

What is Spirulina?

Spirulina is a cyanobacteria or a green/blue algae and it has been used for centuries, it is famously used by NASA as a food supplement for their space missions for the astronauts [1]. It is truly a powerhouse of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, so much so the World Health Organization has dubbed spirulina “mankind’s best healthy product in the 21st century”. Spirulina can be consumed or used for homemade beauty recipes. Here we discuss the amazing benefits of spirulina powder and how it can help you.

spirulina

1. Nutrient Powerhouse

Benefits of Organic Spirulina powder include its nutrient profile. It is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, as it is packed with vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats and antioxidants. In two tablespoons (7g) you will find 4.02g of protein and 11% of the RDA for iron [2]. Gram for gram it has more protein than beef and is great plant based source of protein.

2. Improve Gut Health

Spirulina has been shown to improve the good bacteria in the gut and aid digestion when consumed. A study conducted in 2017 where mice were supplemented with spirulina powder through oral consumption for a period of six weeks showed spirulina improved the gut and boosted the immune system [3]. It does this by promoting the good bacteria within the gut and creating a healthier balance of good and bad bacteria.

3. Help with Weight Loss

When trying to lose weight you must have a calorie deficit, which means you have to burn more calories than you consume. By reducing your calories you will be consuming less food, which also means you will have less vitamins and minerals. Spirulina is very high in nutrients but low in calories which makes it a great weight loss supplement.

A study conducted in 2015 where 64 obese subjects were split into a placebo group and an intervention group which consumed spirulina twice daily for a period of 12 weeks. Results showed the intervention group that consumed spirulina daily experienced a reduction in appetite and had a significant reduction in BMI in comparison to the placebo group [3].

In another study conducted in 2016, 40 subjects who had hypertension but no sign of cardiovascular disease were given 2g of spirulina powder daily for three months. The results showed spirulina to improve the BMI, weight and blood pressure of the subjects [4].

This research indicates that Organic spirulina powder benefits can help with weight loss and can be a great addition to any weight loss programme.

4. Help with Diabetes

According to the World Health Organization diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, limb amputation and stokes [5]. There are two types of diabetes:

Type 1 Diabetes – is an autoimmune disease and is when the body cannot produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar levels.

Type 2 Diabetes – is when the body produces insulin resistance and the body is ineffective at using insulin so the body cannot metabolise glucose effectively [6].

 Diabetes Types

A study in 2017 where mice with type 1 diabetes were given spirulina orally showed they had a decrease in blood sugar levels, higher insulin levels and improved liver enzyme markers. This concluded that spirulina may protect against Type 1 Diabetes [6].

Another study in 2018 showed that spirulina when supplemented lowered peoples blood glucose levels. This is the problem which people with Type 2 Diabetes have [8].

The studies show that spirulina can help with diabetes as it can lower blood sugar levels and help people with type 2 diabetes.

5. Lower Cholesterol

Your body makes all the cholesterol you need, but you can get additional cholesterol from food. Having too much cholesterol creates a serious risk of heart disease as it can build up in the wall arteries and form plaque [9]. Currently 35 million people in the US are taking cholesterol reducing medication, but this has a lot of adverse side effects [10].

A great way to reduce cholesterol levels naturally is by consuming spirulina. A study conducted in 1988 where 30 male subjects were split into two groups A and B. Group A was given 4.2g of Spirulina daily for eight weeks Group B was given 4.2g for four weeks and then the remaining 4 weeks they had none. Results showed both groups had reduced cholesterol, but Group B cholesterol levels returned to baseline when they discontinued use of Spirulina [11].

In another study 30 heart disease patients were given spirulina powder for a period of three months. Results showed a significant reduction in blood cholesterol and LDL (bad cholesterol) and an increase in HDL (good cholesterol) [12].

6. Help Fight Heart Disease

Heart disease contributes to over 17.9 million deaths per year and is estimated to be the cause of 31% of all deaths worldwide [13].

Heart disease is linked with high cholesterol and high blood pressure and spirulina has been shown to reduce this. Though a 2013 study showed that spirulina can be an effective natural supplement to protect against heart disease, as it reduces blood lipid profiles, prevents inflammation and oxidative stress [14].

Organic spirulina benefits the heart by reducing cholesterol and lowering blood pressure.

 Heart Disease

7. Lower Blood Pressure

High blood pressure normally doesn’t have any symptoms but it can silently damage your arteries and cause many other serious illnesses including heart problems, brain stroke, kidneys failure, eye blood vessel damage, bone loss, sexual dysfunction and obstructive sleep apnea.

Studies have shown Spirulina powder to be an effective natural supplement to help reduce blood pressure [4]. It does this by increasing the production of nitric oxide, which helps your blood vessels relax and dilate [15].

8. Relieve Allergy Symptoms

Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) effects more and more people each year and is estimate to affect 40% of children and 10-30% of adults. Spirulina has been proven to reduce symptoms of hay fever.

A 2005 study where hay fever sufferers were given 2000mg of spirulina daily over a period of 12 weeks. Results showed cytokines cells which are pro-inflammatory reduced by over 32% meaning spirulina is protective towards hay fever [16].

In another 2008 study patients with allergic rhinitis were part of a controlled study to show the effectiveness of Spirulina on allergic rhinitis. Results showed symptoms such as sneezing, nasal discharge, congestion and itching had significantly reduced [17].

9. Heavy Metal Detox

Heavy metals are naturally occurring on the earth, and your body contains some of these metals like zinc and iron. Heavy metal poisoning is when the body absorbs too much and then they become toxic to the body. Normally this is through pollution, fish, lead paint and food containers.

Symptoms of heavy metal toxicity include memory loss, weight gain, nausea, fatigue, and joint stiffness.

Spirulina has been shown to detoxify the body of heavy metals from the body as it is packed with chlorophyll and has soft cell walls which allows it to absorb toxins easily.

In Bangladesh millions of people suffer from arsenic poisoning, and they conducted a study to see if spirulina can help with detoxifying the heavy metal. 40 subjects with arsenic poisoning consumed 250mg of spirulina with 2g of zinc twice daily for a period of 16 weeks. The results showed a staggering 47.1% of arsenic was removed from their bodies and passed through with urine [18].

10. Improve Mental Health

According to the World Health Organization one in four people suffer from a mental health condition and is the leading factor for ill-health and disability.

A recent 2018 paper shows that spirulina powder may improve mental health due to the amino acid Tryptophan. Tryptophan increases the production of the chemical serotonin in the brain. People who suffer from anxiety and depression usually have low levels of serotonin. Why is serotonin important? Because it helps regulate the mood, low levels are linked with depression [19] [20].

11. Combat Anemia

Anemia is when the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells, red blood cells transport oxygen through the body. When your body does not get enough oxygen symptoms such as fatigue, weakness and chest pains occur.

Iron deficiency is the most common reason for anemia, as your bone marrow needs enough iron to build red blood cells.

A 2011 study looked at the effects of spirulina on anemia. 40 elderly people with a history of anemia were supplemented with spirulina. Results showed hemoglobin content of red blood cells had improved, which indicated spirulina may reduce anemia [21]. 

12. Aid Muscle Growth and Recovery

It is no secret that in order to build muscle your body needs adequate amount of protein. As Spirulina has a high protein content and contains antioxidants.

Studies have shown that supplementing with spirulina can help with exercise performance, muscle growth and fat burning [22] [23].

Organic spirulina powder benefits muscle growth and recovery making it an excellent addition to your post workout smoothie.

Aide Muscle and Recovery

13. Help Eliminate Candida

Candida is the most common cause of fungal infections in humans. Candida in small quantities has no side effects, but problems occur when the healthy bacteria cannot control the candida growth, which can lead to a number of symptoms such as oral thrush, tiredness, fatigue, genital or urinary tract infections, digestive disorders, sinus infections, joint pain, skin and fungal infections.

Candida overgrowth can occur when taking antibiotics, eating too much sugar, refined carbs, high stress levels, and high levels of alcohol consumption [24].

There are many animal studies that show spirulina has anti-fungal properties, though these studies have only been conducted on animals so far; they may be able to reduce candida in humans [25] [26].

Spirulina is also a good candida overgrowth natural treatment supplement as it promotes the good bacteria within the gut, which help control the overgrowth of candida.

14. Help with HIV/Aids

Up until a recent study in 2012 by the Journal of Applied Phycology, scientists could not explain why Japan, Korea, and Chad has low levels of HIV/AIDS. In order to find out why they conducted a study on 11 HIV patients who had not taken any antiretroviral and split them into 3 groups

1st group – 5g of brown seaweed daily

2nd group – 5g spirulina daily

3rd group – both spirulina and brown seaweed

Results from the three month study showed patients had no adverse side effects and the CD4 cell count and HIV-1 viral load remained stable. After the initial study one participant carried on the study for a further 10 months and results showed improved CD4 count and a decrease in HIV viral load. Suggesting spirulina can help with treating HIV and AIDS [27].

Another study in the Central African Republic had a placebo-controlled trial with Spirulina for 160 people with HIV. The treatment group received 10g of Spirulina daily for a period of 6 months. Results showed a significant improvement in infectious episodes, CD4 count, blood protein levels and weight [28] [29].

15. Help Fight Cancer

According to the World Health Organization cancer is the leading cause of death with 9.6 million deaths globally. The trend is sadly growing.

There are studies that show spirulina can help fight cancer, as spirulina has the ability to boost the immune system. A stronger immune system is a natural defence against cancer.

A study was conducted in India in 1995 to show the effects of spirulina on oral leucoplakia patients. The subjects were given 1g of spirulina daily for a period of 12 months. Results showed a complete regression of lesions in 20 of the 44 subjects [30]. This is the only human study however animal studies have also shown the benefits of spirulina on cancer [31].

16. Boost Energy

People who consume Spirulina usually experience a boost of energy, and this can be due to the high nutrient density, as one tablespoon is packed full of vitamins, mineral and protein.

Spirulina is an excellent iron source, which is needed for transporting oxygen to the cells in your body which leads to a burst of energy.

17. Help Healthy Hair

Spirulina is an excellent supplement for healthy, shiny stronger hair. Consuming spirulina helps build healthy hair from within as it has fatty acids, proteins and key vitamins. You can also make and apply a spirulina hair mask to your hair which will help strengthen dry and damaged hair, as well as creating volume and texture.

18. Healthy Skin

Spirulina has high quantities of B vitamins, vitamin E, calcium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin A, making it one of the best healthy foods for hair growth. Free radicals make your skin look dull, but due to the high number of antioxidants in spirulina it is great at fighting free radicals and removing toxins from the body, leaving your skin looking healthier.

Consuming spirulina along with making face masks can help with preventing wrinkles, give you glowing skin, fight dark circles, tone and detoxify the skin [32].

How to know which Spirulina is good?

There is no doubt that spirulina has become a world famous supplement and there are many companies who offer the product. But how do you know which one is the best organic spirulina powder and does it really matter?

The answer is yes, it definitely matters.

Due to the cell structure of spirulina, and the thin cell walls it makes it very effective and absorbing things from the environment, just like a sponge in water.

Often spirulina grown in lakes, or seas are not in controlled environments so the spirulina absorbs all the heavy metals and other toxins.

A good indicator of good spirulina is in the smell! Bad and toxic spirulina has a fishy like smell, Good spirulina should smell like dark vegetables. Another indicator for good quality is the colour, a dark green matte colour is what you should look for.

Plant Burst Organic Spirulina is grown in cultivation ponds with fresh mineral water, and is tested to ensure it is free of heavy metals, BMAA, microcystins and other toxins.

How to take?

Drink

A great and easy way to get the amazing organic spirulina benefits is by consuming it in a drink. Simply mix 1-2 tsps in water and drink. Or an even better way to mask the taste is by adding it to your favourite smoothie.

The benefits of spirulina are truly remarkable, and it could be the most powerful superfood on the planet. Spirulina should always be used as a supplement within a healthy lifestyle to get the full benefits.

As with all purchases made, $1 USD of every order is donated to an amazing charity Pencil of Promise on your behalf.

Spirulina Benefits

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