Spirulina is a blue-green algae and is one of the oldest life forms on Earth, dense with nutrients and bursting with goodness.  Its make-up resembles the coil like shape of DNA, hence it derives its name from the Latin word for a small coil – spirula.  And unlike Latin lessons, you really won’t be bored when you find out more about this valuable superfood!

Where Does Spirulina Come From?

Spirulina, in its natural algae form, can be found in many freshwater lakes, rivers, and ponds. Science has determined that spirulina was actually responsible for producing much of the oxygen on the planet that allowed the earliest organisms to develop.

Spirulina has been known to be consumed in South America as long ago as the sixteenth century.  For centuries after that, its consumption was relatively unknown though.  However, by the 1940s spirulina had established itself on the radar of Western scientists who began to seriously investigate its many health benefits.  That’s about 400 years overdue, but still, it’s here now!

Spirulina has one seriously potent nutrient profile.  Take your pick from being a complete protein, rich in vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium, copper, iron, manganese, potassium and magnesium to name just a handful!  All of those, and the rest, offer your health some significant health benefits as follows:

Spirulina Benefit #1:  It has awesome anti-oxidant properties

Oxidative damage is bad news for your body’s cells.  Oxidation can lead to inflammation and free radicals, which in turn can lead to a range of inflammation and serious health conditions by attacking the body’s cells and DNA.   Spirulina contains a compound called phycocyanin which is not only a tongue-twister, it’s also a potent anti-oxidant agent that can help your body stay in top-notch condition. [1]

Spirulina Benefit #2: It’s a complete protein

Our bodies need protein to function.  Protein is made up of two types of amino acid – non-essential and essential.  While our bodies can manufacture the non-essential, it needs to get nine essential amino acids externally by way of diet.  Non vegans can source their nine from meat, dairy and egg.  Vegans of course do not have that option and have to think elsewhere.  Most plants offer some, but not all essential amino acids.  However, this is where spirulina shines again as it contains the full set of essential amino acids. [2]   Just another reason for spirulina to be on your shopping list, especially if you’re vegan!

Spirulina Benefit #3: Helps fight off cancer

While the evidence is at an early stage, encouraging clinical studies have shown that spirulina may help the body to fight off certain cancers, such as pancreatic for example.  Spirulina contains what are known as tetrapyrrolic compounds – potent anti-oxidants and anti-proliferative agents when it comes to cancer growth. [3]

Spirulina Benefit #4: It’s awesome for the eyes.

Carrots generally get good press, and rightly so, for being healthy and rich in vitamin A – consumption of which is great news for eye health.  However, and we do need a drum-roll right about now, spirulina contains approximately ten times the amount of vitamin A compared to carrots. [4]  Now that’s a real eye-opener when it comes to spirulina!

Spirulina Benefit #5: Gives bad cholesterol a bad time.

LDL (low density lipoproteins) is the fancy name for bad cholesterol – the stuff that in too great a quantity spells bad news for your blood, heart and health.  Studies have shown how regular consumption of spirulina can help combat the adverse effects of LDL on the body. [5]

Spirulina Benefit #6: Helps the skin to shine.

The combination of vitamins A, B, E, calcium, iron and phosphorus are a recipe for success when it comes to the body’s skin!  All of those contribute to skin health and ensuring a healthy, glowing, hydrated look as well as younger looking skin all around.  [6]

Spirulina Benefit #7: Smile!  It gives your teeth a cutting edge.

Because of its dense phosphorous and calcium profile, spirulina also offers benefits to the health of your teeth and gums.  Both phosphorous and calcium are great for strengthening tooth enamel as well as the gums.  Early research has also shown spirulina consumption to help combat significant periodontal problems (gum disease). [7]

Spirulina Benefit #8: Helps reduce pregnancy fatigue.

The abundance of iron in spirulina helps to improve the haemoglobin in the body’s blood.  More effective haemoglobin means that you are able to absorb oxygen into the body more effectively, which in turns means that your muscles and body in general don’t tire so easily.  This is especially of interest to pregnant women who are of course eating for two or maybe more!  [8] 

Spirulina Benefit #9: It’s effective in helping those with diabetes.

Sadly, diabetes has become a major health concern in recent years, particularly so in the West with diets high in carbohydrates, sugars, salts and additives.  Spirulina is great news for those with diabetes.  Recent studies have shown that regular consumption of spirulina helped to reduce both blood sugar levels and lipid levels.  [9]

Spirulina Benefit #10: It can sharpen your cognitive abilities.

Spirulina is also excellent for your brain and mental health.  Benefits include the potential for improving memory, and can help to ward off serious conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.  Other brain benefits of spirulina include allowing the brain to relax more effectively and increasing protection against embolism (when the blood flow to the brain becomes reduced).  [10] [11]

The great news is that spirulina is becoming ever more available, and not just at your regular “brick and mortar” high-street stores, but online too.  The internet really is your best friend, especially if you live in out of the way places that maybe only have the one store that sells your more traditional foodstuff. 

Where to buy Spirulina?

Amazon is always a good way to source what you are looking for even if your local stores do carry spirulina.  Take your pick from the likes of Starwest Botanicals Certified Organic Spirulina Powder, 1-Pound Bulk Bag, Pure Hawaiian Spirulina or Bulksupplements Spirulina (Organic) Powder (1 Kilogram).  And those really are just a fraction of what is available on Amazon in the way of spirulina, so take your pick until you find the spirulina product that best suits you!  With so many benefits for your health, you’ll never look back!

Easy Immune Boosting Recipe

  1. Cup apple Juice
  2. 1 Ripe Banana (fresh or frozen)
  3. 1 Cup Strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  4. 1 Heaping Tablespoon Spirulina

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27259333

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5447909

[3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24552870

[4] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1906616

[5] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23754631

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6317665

[7] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24298522

[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6305321

[9] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12639401

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3445455

[11] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21697639


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