Top 10 Health Benefits of Spirulina


Top 10 Health Benefits of Spirulina

Spirulina, a spiral-shaped microorganism that grows and survives through photosynthesis in fresh and salt water, has become a modern-day health wonder. After being used by humans since the days of the Aztecs, researchers have now found that spirulina contains all the essential amino acids to earn its status as a superfood, and more.

There are two types of powdered spirulina on the, blue and green. Both blue and green spirulina are derived from the same cyanobacteria. However, blue spirulina is extracted for its phycocyanin pigment alone, compared to green spirulina's "full-spectrum" combination of chlorophyll and phycocyanin.

Aside from it's health benefits, spirulina is known for it's earthy, grassy, and somewhat oceanic taste. A pungent fishy aroma or taste can be indicative of poor quality spirulina.

Top 10 Health Benefits of Spirulina

Now, let's dive into the top 10 potential health benefits of this amazing food.

1. Nutrient-Rich Superfood

Spirulina is a powerhouse of nutrition, containing an impressive range of vitamins, minerals, plant-based protein, and more, making it invaluable for all, including vegans and vegetarians. 

One tablespoon, or 7 grams of spirulina powder contains significant percentages of your daily required value of Thiamin, Riboflavin, and Niacin. These are part of the B-vitamin complex, which consists of a group of water-soluble vitamins that play important roles in various bodily functions.

That same tablespoon also provides 47% of the DV of copper, and 47% Iron, along with decent amounts of magnesium, manganese, and copper

It is also packed with as much as 4 grams of protein, but only 1 gram of fat—both omega-6 and omega 3 fatty acids. 

Most notably, spirulina contains all the essential amino acids your body needs, no more than 2 grams of carbs, and only 20 calories per 7 grams.

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2. Powerful Antioxidant Protection

Antioxidants are crucial for protecting body cells from oxidative damage, which can promote chronic inflammation and contribute to causing diseases like cancer. Spirulina is rich in antioxidants like phycocyanin, beta-carotene, and chlorophyll that support overall cellular health, and help prevent chronic conditions.

3. Anti-Inflammatory Properties

The active compounds in spirulina are responsible for its anti-inflammatory effects. These compounds include the antioxidant phycocyanin, the blue pigment in spirulina that has shown potential anti-inflammatory effects.

Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA), an omega-6 fatty acid, is another active compound in spirulina, along with chlorophyll and flavonoids that are phenolic compounds, found to contribute to the anti-inflammatory properties of spirulina, while also boosting immunity.

4. Cholesterol Management

Studies have determined that spirulina helps lower total cholesterol, by significantly lowering triglycerides, the so-called ‘bad’ low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. This mighty green-blue algae also elevates ‘good’ high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and the overall ratio of HDL to total cholesterol. These effects can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

5. Lower Blood Pressure

Recent research notes that spirulina promises to be a non-pharmacological approach to manage blood pressure. Nearly 50% of U.S. people face a significant risk of heart disease, stroke, and chronic kidney disease due to high blood pressure—or hypertension. High blood pressure is the primary driver of these serious health risks.

6. Blood Sugar Regulation

Although more studies are needed, some research suggests that insulin sensitivity can be improved by adding spirulina into your diet. The fact that it may help regulate blood sugar levels can be particularly beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes. Even those who are at risk of developing it can significantly reduce fasting blood sugar levels to lower such risks.

7. Muscle Recovery and Endurance

Spirulina's antioxidant properties and high protein content may improve exercise performance and help with muscle recovery after exercise. The various enzymes, pigments, and essential fatty acids in spirulina destroy free radicals that cause oxidative stress. Spirulina also facilitates improved oxygen transportation to the muscles, promoting muscle recovery and enhancing athletic performance and endurance.

8. Brain Health and Cognitive Function

Another health benefit attributed to spirulina's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds is the potential positive effects on cognitive function and brain health. According to some preliminary studies, these active compounds in spirulina could protect against neurodegenerative conditions and even improve mood. Spirulina's antioxidant content provides neuroprotective properties that contribute to overall brain health and enhance cognitive function by reducing oxidative stress, which is linked to neurodegenerative conditions.

9. Allergy Relief

Even more benefits attributed to spirulina's anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating properties may bring relief from allergy symptoms, with hay fever mentioned specifically. One study suggested that spirulina reduces nasal airway inflammation, which is a typical symptom of hay fever or allergic rhinitis. Researchers found that spirulina significantly improved symptoms such as sneezing, nasal congestion and itching.

10. Weight Management

Spirulina's high protein content can be a valuable tool in weight management. It can promote satiety, which can reduce overall calorie intake. Furthermore, as a part of a healthy diet, spirulina's potential blood sugar regulation properties could control cravings and prevent overeating.


In conclusion, spirulina offers an impressive list of health benefits that make it an excellent addition to any diet—whether as a supplement or incorporated into recipes. Spirulina is a versatile option, packed with nutrients, for individuals who want natural ways to improve their overall health and well-being. 

However, it may be worth noting that most of the spirulina studies conducted to date have been either on animals or based on small human trials, so no specific health benefits can be scientifically confirmed before more research is done on spirulina.

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