The benefits of blue-green algae, a superfood we all need an introduction to, almost sound too good to be true!
This “pond scum” is the most nutrient dense food found on the planet: It’s up to 70% vegetable protein, boasts over 65 vitamins, minerals and enzymes, and the complete spectrum of eight essential amino acids and ten nonessential amino acids.
You might not want to think of it that way, but that’s essentially what it is!
Let’s delve more into the benefits this superfood can provide.
The Lowdown on Spirulina Blue-green Algae
Blue-green algae is also rich in antioxidants, which help our bodies fight off free radicals. For reference, consuming one serving of algae per day is the nutritional equivalent to eating salads all day long, for every meal.
Spirulina is one of the most consumed and most popular types of blue-green algae. It is most often grown in controlled lakes and ponds—very safe environments—so no need to worry about any other nasty things getting in your algae.
If that isn’t enough to convince you to add spirulina to your diet, here are 10 surprising and powerful health benefits of blue-green algae!
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Benefit #1: Works As a Detoxifier
According to recent research, the consumption of spirulina can help flush out poisonous substances from our bodies.
It has been proven to treat arsenic poisoning and other heavy metal poisoning due to its high levels of chlorophyll.
It successfully removes toxins from the body, improving bowel and liver function, and reducing the risk of long-term damage such as reduced mental and central nervous system function and damage to vital organs.
Benefit #2: Regulates Cholesterol, Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar Levels
Algae are a rich source of phytosterols which have the ability to reduce LDL, or “bad” cholesterol levels.
Spirulina has also proven effective in preventing atherosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries caused by high cholesterol. This decreases the risk for cardiovascular disease.
Along with healthy diet and exercise, spirulina has a significant impact on regulation of blood pressure.
According to a Mexican study, men and women who consumed spirulina daily for six weeks without any change in diet or exercise saw significantly reduced rates of blood pressure.
Don’t swap out your diabetes drugs just yet, but recent animal studies suggest that spirulina may be able to perform alongside many of the most popular diabetes drugs including Metformin.
Another study with 25 patients with type 2 diabetes showed that taking two grams of spirulina per day significantly reduced their blood sugar levels.
More studies are needed to confirm these positive benefits. Talk to your doctor and keep in mind that spirulina is not intended to replace standard diabetes medications.
Benefit #3: Potential Cancer Fighter (Especially Oral)
Studies show that spirulina may be effective in fighting oral cancer. Today, cancer is one of the leading causes of death, so this finding is very significant.
In animal studies, spirulina had an inhibitory effect on oral cancer, and in human studies, it showed the ability to fight precancerous lesions known as oral leukoplakia. A study on people who chewed tobacco showed that consumption of one gram of spirulina daily for 12 months reduced precancerous mouth sores.
Another study on 87 people from India with precancerous lesions who took one gram on spirulina daily for a year showed complete regression in 45% of the patients. When they stopped taking spirulina the following year, lesions occurred and developed.
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Benefit #4: Works Wonders for HIV/AIDS
Algae has been shown to be a powerful anti-viral supplement, slowing the progression of HIV and warding off AIDS.
Spirulina increased CD4 T-cell counts, decreasing viral load levels in a study on the consumption of spirulina in HIV-positive patients.
Benefit #5: Aids in Weight Loss
Algae is packed with protein and fiber. Eating this plant can curb your hunger and satisfy you for longer, leading to long-term weight loss.
Benefit #6: Prevents Inflammation and Pain
Blue-green algae contain powerful anti-inflammatory components including chlorophyll, omega-3 fatty acids, and phycocyanin, an antioxidant.
They have been proven to prevent the production of inflammatory molecules, providing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, and reducing pain levels in the body.
Benefit #7: Boosts Immunity
Spirulina can help ward of colds and viruses by enhancing your immune system function. Nutrients found in blue-green algae such as polysaccharides are capable of boosting immunity.
Another nutrient called phycocyanin, the same antioxidant that reduces inflammation, is proven to increase the number of white blood cells in the body, increasing antibody production and protecting it from foreign invaders and unwanted bacteria.
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Benefit #8: Improves and Protects Brain Function
Studies show that taking spirulina daily can improve cognitive ability, sharpening the mind and focus.
A study in children who consumed spirulina daily showed increased academic performance by 10%. It prevents memory loss and reduces oxidative damage. Because of this, spirulina may protect the brain from degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Benefit #9: Increases Strength and Endurance
It turns out daily consumption of spirulina can actually slow muscle damage, delaying exhaustion when working out. It improves the time to reach fatigue, meaning that it improves endurance, making your work-out much more effective.
It also proved beneficial in increasing muscular strength, improving your athletic abilities.
Benefit #10: Controls Allergies
Animal studies showed a halt in the release of histamine (responsible for symptoms of allergic rhinitis) with the consumption of spirulina. This is what we accomplish when taking over-the-counter anti-histamines to prevent frustrating allergy symptoms like stuffy nose, itchy eyes, or scratchy throat.
In human studies, daily spirulina consumption significantly improved these allergy symptoms when compared to a placebo group.
A Final Word From Energetic Lifestyle
Spirulina is a powerful and incredibly nutritious supplement, and the benefits of blue-green algae are innumerable.
If you’re thinking of adding one thing in your life to bring you closer to a healthier lifestyle, spirulina takes the cake.
Healthy and clean eating will no-doubt improve every aspect of your life, and spirulina will help get you there!
Have you ever tried taking spirulina? Let us know in the comments below!