The health benefits of spirulina are truly tremendous. When I am religious about taking it, I have more energy, my skin looks more radiant and I just feel better overall.
If you are looking for a natural and cost-effective way to cleanse, nourish, energize, strengthen, regenerate and rejuvenate your body, adding spirulina to your daily regimen should be at the top of your “to do” list.
What is Spirulina?
Spirulina, meaning ‘little spiral,’ is a microscopic, spiral shaped, plankton blue green algae. A simple hydrocarbon vegetable that is made directly from photosynthesis. Just pure interaction of sunlight and water. Spirulina is absolutely full of nutrition.
If you have been here at Clean Cuisine for any length of time then you know we are big on eating the most nutrient dense foods possible. Well, spirulina may actually be the single most nutritious food in existence.
Spirulina is a Superfood
NASA had spirulina as a dietary supplement for astronauts on space missions. It’s also declared by the United Nations as the best food of the future.
Spirulina truly is the ultimate superfood.
Spirulina is so nutritionally complete that if I ever gave up my daily multi-vitamin, I would replace it with a single daily tablespoon of the green green superfood powder.
I would go so far as to say that if I had to choose between taking a multi-vitamin and spirulina I would actually take the spirulina. Spirulina is potentially a better choice than a multi-vitamin because all of the nutrients are naturally balanced. They are naturally occurring and more easily broken down and absorbed, which means they are more bioavailable or more usable to the cells in your body.
14 Health Benefits of Spirulina
Spirulina is nature’s pure and true multi-vitamin. It literally has everything you need to live on. It has more than any other protein, grain, plant, algae, herb, vitamin, anything! With a balanced concentration and full spectrum of a vast array of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients, the health benefits of spirulina are pretty mind-blowing.
In just 10 grams or 1 tablespoon of spirulina, there is what you get:
#1: A complete source of protein.
It contains all of the amino acids essential to human health. One tablespoon of spirulina = 7 grams protein
#2: Unlike almost all other plant foods, spirulina is a good source of vitamin B12.
Many vegetarians and vegans are deficient in this crucial vitamin, which plays an important role in energy production and proper neurological function. One tablespoon of spirulina = 250% of your Daily Value for vitamin B12.
#3: Spirulina is high in beta carotene.
Spirulina has an exceptionally high concentration of beta-carotene and mixed carotenoids and powerful antioxidants that help quench free radicals. To equal the amount of beta-carotene, you would need to consume 18 carrots to get what is found in 1 tablespoon spirulina.
#4: Spirulina is good for your immune system.
This magical green powder is incredibly high concentrations of phycocyanin. Which is a powerful anti-inflammatory that benefits immune systems weakened by toxic drugs.
#5: 1 Tablespoon is full of fiber.
A diet that is rich in fiber may improve your overall health, improve bowel health and help control blood sugar. One tablespoon of spirulina = 2 grams fiber.
#6: May aid in a healthy heart.
A diet rich in folate may help reduce depression, improve your heart and reduce your risk of cancer. One tablespoon of spirulina = 110% of your Daily Value for folate.
#7: May improve your body functions.
Having adequate iron in your diet can help support vital functions in the body. Iron also boosts energy, gastrointestinal and the immune system. One tablespoon of spirulina = 30% of your Daily Value for iron.
For the record, you would need to eat 21 ounces of spinach to get the same amount of iron found in 1 tablespoon spirulina.
#8: May lower your risk to certain cancers.
Vitamin A is another essential vitamin to your overall health. Having adequate Vitamin A supports healthy bones, a healthy immune system and may lower your risk to certain kinds of cancer. One tablespoon of spirulina = 900% of your Daily Value for vitamin A.
#9: Helps support wound healing and bone health.
Spirulina can provide 50% of your daily vitamin K needs in just 1 tablespoon. By keeping your vitamin K in balance, you’re support your overall bone health and wound healing. One tablespoon of spirulina = 50% of your Daily Value for vitamin K.
#10: May improve your energy levels.
Spirulina is rich in a broad spectrum of B vitamins. Having enough vitamin B means that your body will be able to have health cells, healthy growth of red blood cells, improved overall energy and healthy brain function. It can also help with your digestion, appetite and proper nerve function.
#11: May improve metabolism levels.
Spirulina is rich in a special anti-inflammatory “super fat” GLA (gamma linolenic acid). Some naturopathic physicians actually prescribe GLA supplements to improve sensitivity to insulin and assist with weight loss. It can also reduce blood pressure and hormone-mediated nuisance symptoms (bye-bye PMS or hot flashes).
Hemp seeds are among the very few non-supplement food sources of “super fat” GLA, but next to mother’s milk, spirulina is the richest natural food source.
#12: Helps reduce inflammation.
Spirulina also contains highly anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats. This type of omega-3 can help reduce inflammation in the body, and some studies show that there could be benefits for heart health, brain function and diabetes.
#13: Provides the calcium for strong bones.
One tablespoon of spirulina contains as much calcium as the equivalent of 3 glasses of cow’s milk. Getting adequate calcium will support your bone health, muscles and nerves.
#14: May enhance overall wellbeing.
Spirulina is exceptionally rich in naturally detoxifying chlorophyll. Consuming 3 ounces of fresh wheat grass will get the same chlorophyll found in 1 tablespoon spirulina.
What Does Spirulina Taste Like?
Well, I am not going to stretch the truth – but if you want to know what does spirulina taste like, I will do my best. I am not going to stretch the truth and try to convince you that spirulina tastes good.
I do however have a trick to making it more palatable that I will share in just a bit. But, taste aside, I can’t say enough great things about spirulina.
More Health Benefits of Spirulina
Yes, there are more health benefits of spirulina. Keep reading!
In addition to being an incredibly concentrated source of nutrients, spirulina has tremendous detoxifying benefits. Like seaweed, the cell walls of spirulina bind to heavy metals, plastics, solvents and other toxins, shuttling them out with the stool.
Spirulina is also well known to assist the body in detoxifying arsenic. Although the idea of arsenic toxicity may sound far-fetched, according the World Health Organization, the United States is one of the countries affected by inorganic arsenic that is naturally present at high levels, mostly from groundwater.
Arsenic toxicity is an even bigger problem in the Far East. Millions of people in Bangladesh, India, Taiwan, and Chile are consuming high concentration of arsenic through drinking water, and thousands of them have already developed chronic arsenic poisoning.
Hemodialysis is the standard medical treatment for arsenic poisoning, and yet a clinical study of patients with chronic arsenic poisoning showed an impressive 47% reduction of arsenic in their body following a twice daily treatment of 250 mg of spirulina and 2 mg of zinc.
Energizing Benefits of Spirulina
If you start taking spirulina regularly you will undoubtedly notice an increase in energy. One of the ways spirulina exerts a positive effect on energy levels is by way of the digestive tract.
It is incredibly rich in enzymes, which enhance digestion and amplify the absorption of all of the nutrients (which include many vitamins essential to energy, such as iron and B vitamins).
I personally notice an energy boost within an hour or so after taking it, which is why I prefer to take spirulina before 3 in the afternoon. Just like with cordyceps, I have actually noticed that if I take spirulina too late in the day it interferes with my sleep.
The Best and Healthiest Spirulina
It is important to buy Organic Certified spirulina. Then you will know that it is cultivated without toxic fertilizers. You also want to make sure your spirulina comes from a pure water source and that it is a pure strain that undergoes a proper drying process.
Avoid spirulina that is grown using un-tested seawater or surface water. This method can potentially expose you to heavy metal toxins. Chemical fertilizers, pesticides, plus anything added to the end product are also to be avoided.
Although I am certain there are other pure brands of sprirulina, Sari Foods is my favorite brand. You can purchase a 45-days supply (16 ounces) of Sari Foods brand spirulina for an almost 50% discount for just $26.00.
By the way, Sari Foods is the same brand I use for the unfortified nutritional yeast when I make my Energizing “B Tea” (a savory and delicious B-vitamin rich caffeine free tea).
How to Make Spirulina Taste Better
My secret for making spirulina taste more palatable is to mix it with lemon juice, cumin and cayenne pepper. I’m not going to claim this is my best-tasting recipe ever, but it should at least help you get the spirulina down.Print
Spirulina Lemon Shot
This superfood spirulina shot is a palatable way to get a mega-dose of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, fiber and essential fats.
- Prep Time: 2 minutes
- Total Time: 2 minutes
- Yield: 1 1x
- Category: health shot
- Cuisine: Clean Eating
- 1 tablespoon organic spirulina powder (such as Sari Foods brand)
- Juice from 1 whole lemon
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 pinches cayenne pepper
- 1 pinch cumin
- Put all of the ingredients in a cup and use a fork to whisk until smooth. Drink at once.