We’ve all heard of kale, brussel sprouts, and all the other earthly species of nutrient-dense foods…but did you know that one of the world’s BEST superfoods can only be found in the Wild Blue Yonder? That’s right- today we’re talking about the benefits of spirulina, a beautiful blue-green algal superfood. So pull on your trunks and let’s get our feet wet.
There’s been a great deal of focus on superfoods lately as our society continues to focus on fine-tuning our collective health & well-being. Along with that, has come a slew of ‘latest and greatest’ superfoods superstars.
Be it the healthiest vegetables like kale or avocado, herbs like turmeric and ginger, antioxidant-packed fruits like tart cherry, or the latest adaptogenic mushroom like Ashwaghanda (found in our Gemini Meal Replacement Shake AND Taurus Green Vegetable Powder), it seems that every few months, a new ‘superfood’ steals the show.
However, there is an under-rated superfood from the deep that we’d like to bring to your attention today, that will give you Aquaman (or women) -level strength…
That’s right, we’re talking about the wonderful blue-green algae called spirulina. A water-dwelling algal superfood with a host of incredible health benefits, it is one of the feature organic ingredients in our Taurus Organic Superfood powder.
Pound for pound this incredible oceanic superfood might just be the single healthiest food on our planet.
Before we get into the Spirulina health benefits, let’s explore WHAT exactly it is… (Fun fact, it’s pronounced ‘SPY-RU-LEE-NAH’. Not ‘SPEAR-U-LEE-NUH’)
What is Spirulina?
Spirulina is a blue-green algae, known as ‘cyanobacteria’. It is found in both salt and fresh water, and is a brilliant blue-green color because of an antioxidant called phycocyanin. Phycocyanin helps spirulina capture sunlight for photosynthesis.
Spirulina has been used for centuries (first recorded usages as far back as the Aztecs) as a health supplement and was even famously used by NASA astronauts on space missions. Spirulina gets its name because when viewed under a microscope, its cells grow in coil, or spiral, shapes.
What are the Benefits of Spirulina?
Surely if efforts were made to send spirulina into space with our astronauts, it must have some real nutritional value. And that it does.
In fact, most nutritionists hold that Spirulina is the most nutrient-dense compound on the planet.
Just look at this list of spirulina health benefits, and the nutrients that support each health claim:
Spirulina Benefit #1.
Strengthens Immune System: Spirulina is extremely high in naturally-occurring antioxidants like phycocyanin, which fights free radicals and reduces inflammation. One study showed that Spirulina contains 4x more ORAC (a measure of antioxidants) than blueberries.
Spirulina Benefit #2.
Natural Source of Vitamins & Minerals: Spirulina has high concentrations of vitamins B1, B3, C, D, and E, along with calcium (even higher concentrations than milk), zinc, iron, phosphorus, selenium, and more. These micronutrients support several bodily functions.
Spirulina Benefit #3.
Heart Healthy: Spirulina has been shown in some clinical studies2 to reduce bad cholesterol and even balance blood sugar. It’s anti-inflammatory properties and omega-3 fatty acid content are what give spirulina these heart-healthy benefits.
Spirulina Benefit #4.
Detox & Alkalize: One of the most unique spirulina benefits is that it can detoxify the body of heavy metals, and alkalize the blood from being overly acidic. Researchers found in a 2015 study5 that spirulina effectively reduced the presence of heavy metals found in the blood.
Spirulina Benefit #5.
Improve Energy & Mental Clarity: The high levels of GLA, along with vitamin B3 (nicotinamide), and amino acids like tyrosine (used to make dopamine) can help improve mental state/mood, and energy.
Spirulina Benefit #6.
Reduce Allergies: One of the most interesting spirulina benefits that has actually been studied, is the impact that it can have on symptoms of allergies. A 2008 study4 on spirulina’s impact on allergic rhinitis (allergic symptoms relating to the nose) showed that spirulina can actually reduce the symptoms of allergies.
Spirulina Benefit #7.
Builds Muscle: Spirulina is 60% protein by weight, and is a complete protein (including all essential amino acids). Forget the spinach- Popeye should’ve been eating algae!
As you can see, the benefits of spirulina speak for themselves. This algae will only continue to gain popularity as more and more research comes out about its many uses.
Another reason that spirulina will grow in popularity is because it is actually quite easy to harvest- in fact some have even begun harvesting it in their homes (since it can grow in fresh-water environments!).
Algae harvesting not your thing?
Not to worry- you can reap the health benefits of spirulina (and over 14 other superfoods) in our Taurus Organic Greens powder. Available in unflavored, chocolate, and berry flavors.