The Many Superpowers of Spirulina
Think fast: can you name the beautiful dark green organism that’s been valued for its health benefits by everyone from the Aztecs to NASA astronauts? It’s spirulina, the almost too-good-to-be-true superfood! You may have seen spirulina powder on offer at your favorite smoothie shop, or even listed as an ingredient in energy bars or bottled juice blends, but what exactly is spirulina, and how can it help you feel your very best?
Spirulina is technically a type of bacteria called cyanobacterium, but it is more commonly known by its more appealing name of “blue green algae.” It grows in both fresh water and salt water, and is found all over the world, including lush corners of the globe in Hawaii, Mexico, and several countries in Africa. Spirulina’s vibrant green color is due to this organism’s process of drawing energy directly from the sun through photosynthesis. The result is a potent superfood packed with healing properties that can help us feel better all over.
How Spirulina Heals our Health
For starters, spirulina has been proven to be a powerful detoxification agent, and specifically helps clear harmful heavy metals like arsenic. This is especially crucial for people living in areas without access to clean water, but anyone can benefit from the detoxifying effects of spirulina.
In addition, spirulina has scientifically proven anti-microbial effects, and is particularly good at fighting excess candida yeast. In other words, spirulina helps your body achieve a good balance of the right kind of bacteria. This effects both your digestive system, as well as your reproductive system. Regular use of spirulina can help promote a healthy balance of microflora, which means healthier digestion and fewer yeast infections.
If you’re watching your cholesterol or blood pressure, take note–regular doses of spirulina have been shown to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Scientists believe that the presences of phycocyanin, one of the pigments in spirulina that gives it that rich green color, is responsible that to its antihypertensive effects. Phycocyanin is also an antioxidant which helps undo the damage of oxidative stress on your system, while also delivering anti-inflammatory effects that can promote optimal health throughout your entire body.
Perhaps most stunning of all? Dozens of scientific studies suggest that spirulina can have a direct affect on cancer cells. Spirulina also helps promote your body’s production of antibodies, which then in turn fight off invading diseases, including cancer. As part of a holistic approach to fighting disease and staying well, spirulina use can turn your body into a lean, green, healing machine!
The Most Nutritious Food on Earth?
While these healing effects are certainly notable, spirulina also packs a wallop in terms of basic nutrition, which has led some scientists to refer to it as “the most nutritious food.” That said, spirulina, like any supplement, should not be taken in lieu of a healthy balanced diet. But, if you’re looking for a major boost to your daily smoothie, you can’t go wrong with spirulina! With just 20 calories in a single tablespoon, you’ll also get 4 grams of plant based protein, plus ample amounts of several B vitamins, as well as both copper and iron.
The combination of lean protein with vital B vitamins contributes to spirulina’s role as a weight loss booster. Some studies have shown that regular use of spirulina can help improve muscle tone and endurance, as well as help curb hunger and regulate metabolism. One word of warning–a scoop of spirulina with your post workout water bottle will probably taste like the bottom of a murky pond, but, it will sure get your feeling right!
Have you incorporated spirulina into your diet? If so, what are some of the healing effects that you’ve felt? Let your soul sisters know in the comments, and thanks for reading and sharing!