The Nutrient-Dense Power of Spirulina
Spirulina is a biomass of blue-green algae called cyanobacteria that grows in both fresh and salt water and can be used as a dietary supplement. This microalgae has been consumed for centuries due to its high nutritional value and health benefits; it may be considered one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world.
Though spirulina was originally a food source for the Aztecs and other Mesoamericans prior to the sixteenth century, the first detailed study of the growth requirements and physiology of spirulina began in 1964 and was performed as a basis for establishing large-scale production in the 1970s. Spirulina’s main uses have historically been to address food security and malnutrition and it is even used for astronauts in space missions. Spirulina has recently been labeled as a “superfood” or a “miracle from the sea” and has had a recent rise in popularity. While it should be noted that the U.S. National Institutes of Health has not found sufficient research to qualify recommending spirulina, there is substantial evidence to back up claims of health benefits.
What’s really in spirulina?
Here is the breakdown of what is actually in spirulina (in a serving size of one tablespoon in its typical form of dried powder):
1.7 grams of Carbohydrates
➢ Most notably: Protein
Most notably: Thiamin, Riboflavin, and Niacin
Most notably: Iron, Copper, and Manganese
What are the specific benefits of spirulina?
According to various studies, research suggests there are many potential benefits, including these 10:
Lower blood pressure levels
Help prevent cancer
Increase muscle strength
Reduce allergies/ allergic reactions
Help balance blood sugar
Detox heavy metals
Improve gut health