It takes a lot to earn the title "superfood." One such food that's risen to the challenge is spirulina, a type of blue-green algae that's rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants. This tiny organism has been named a green superfood for its plethora of health benefits, making it a favorite among health enthusiasts and professionals.
In case you've never heard of it, or want to know more, here are 10 amazing reasons to try spirulina:
1. Allergy Relief -- Those who suffer from allergies may find spirulina beneficial in preventing the onset of symptoms like a runny nose, hives and itchy, watery eyes. Spirulina is known to inhibit the release of histamines, which trigger such uncomfortable symptoms.
2. Reduces Inflammation -- A number of conditions can be attributed to inflammation occurring throughout the body. Spirulina contains gamma linoleic acid (GLA), which helps the body have a more normal inflammatory response, preventing uncomfortable symptoms like pain.
3. Amino Acid Supplier -- Spirulina is a commonly used source of protein for athletes and anyone looking to stick to a more plant-based diet. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMM), spirulina is made up of approximately 62 percent amino acids, which support the development and continued health of lean muscle tissue.
4. Supports Eye Health -- Spirulina is packed with antioxidants that protect the cells, tissues and organs of the body. One type in particular, carotenoids, specifically benefits the eyes. Regular consumption of spirulina can help protect vision (especially in times of changing light conditions, like night driving) and prevent/slow degeneration with age.
5. Natural Detoxifier -- Ridding the body of built-up toxins helps relieve digestive symptoms like bloating and boost the immune system. But instead of going on a strict cleanse that involves a limited diet, you can add spirulina to your routine, which supports the body's natural detoxification process, which occurs daily.
6. Super Energizer -- Whether it's to beat the afternoon slump or fuel your workout, spirulina is a great way to boost your energy without turning to stimulants that can cause blood sugar spikes and crashes. This blue-green algae is packed with vitamins, minerals and, as mentioned before, amino acids, to keep you going.
7. Immunity Booster -- The key nutrients and antioxidants found in spirulina all naturally support a strong immune system response and also fight off free radicals, which can impair the immune system and lead to infection and illness.
8. Liver Health -- Preliminary studies show spirulina may be beneficial for individuals with chronic hepatitis (which attacks the liver). Regular consumption of spirulina may help prevent liver damage and cirrhosis (failure).
9. Infection Protection -- Researchers are looking at spirulina as a way to help the body fight infections like the flu, herpes and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Animal studies suggest spirulina helps the body produce more antibodies and other proteins and cells that fight infection as well as chronic conditions like cancer.
10. Cholesterol Regulator -- If you have high cholesterol, spirulina can help you lower your "bad" (LDL) cholesterol and increase your "good" (HDL) cholesterol. Keeping your cholesterol in check helps lower your risk for heart attack, stroke and heart disease.
More studies are being conducted to determine the exact role and efficacy of spirulina in all of these cases. You can find spirulina in capsules, tablets, powders and flakes. It's even included in protein shake mixes. Shop our variety of spirulina supplements at eVitamins.
We'll see you next week with another great supplement that's worth a second, fifth or tenth look!
eVitamins recommends that you do not rely on the information presented in this article as diagnosis for treatment to any health claim. Content and information on this site is for reference purposes and is not intended to substitute for advice given by a physician, pharmacist, or other licensed health-care professional. You should not use this information as self-diagnosis or for treating a health problem or disease. Contact your health-care provider immediately if you suspect that you have a medical problem. The information and statements in this article have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. eVitamins assumes no liability for inaccuracies or misstatements.