Spirulina – Superfood Plant-based Nutrition at its best!

Spirulina is a cyanobacteria, commonly known as edible blue-green algae.  It is incredibly powerful and beneficial for providing essential nutrients for daily life.  This super food is filled with chlorophyll, energy from the sun, and is one of the most powerful nutrients on the planet. It is so powerful and nutrient-dense that the United Nations has supported its use in preventing malnutrition and food crises in developing countries.

Spirulina Nutritional Powerhouse

It can be taken in powder form and added to juices or smoothies as well as in easy to swallow tablets.  I always look for organically harvested spirulina and a few great options are Morlife Spirulina and Hawaiian Pacifica Spirulina.

  8 Plant-based points as to why Spirulina is a superfood not to be missed! 

1) Spirulina is one of the best sources of plant-based protein. This green super food is a complete protein and contains all the essential amino acids. Depending on when it is harvested the protein content ranges from 50%-70% of the powder.  Choose spirulina for plant-based protein as it has 65 – 71% of complete protein when compared to beef.

2) Spirulina is a great source of Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin for DNA synthesis, metabolism of all cells in the body, and the development of healthy nerve tissue in the body.

3) Spirulina provides immune support. If you suffer from chronic illness or auto immune disease, spirulina is a wonderful support for the immune system. Studies have shown that it has helped to increase antibodies to reduce infection and boost the immune system. As a plant-source it has high levels of chlorophyll which helps to remove toxins from the body.

4) Spirulina is a great source of anti oxidants. These anti oxidants help prevent the body from free radical damage. Damage from free radicals has been shown to affect fertility issues, egg and sperm health, and overall health and immunity. It has also been shown to help pregnant mummies prevent preeclampsia.

  • A study in Mexico has shown that spriulina may be helpful in preventing preeclampsia as well as treating women with preeclampsia. Numerous studies have shown that preeclampsia is associated with increased oxidative stress in the placenta and vascular system of the Mom. NADPH oxidase has been shown to be the number one source of oxidant stress associated with preeclampsia. Phycocyannobilin (PCB) contained in spirulina has been shown to inhibit NDADPH. Along with the incredibl nutritional content, this may help prevent mom and baby from developing preeclampsia.  For us plant-based mommies it is good to know that the leading cause of preeclampsia is poor nutrition – this is something that we have been mindful of with every clean and nutritious bite we eat. (1)
  • A study in Belarus, Czech Republic, confirms 1990-91 research on the beneficial health effects of spirulina on children with radiation sickness. It concludes: “Use of spirulina decreases radioaction dose load received from food contaminated with radionuclides, Cesium-137 and Strontium-90. Spirulina is favorable for normalizing the adaptative potential of children’s bodies in conditions of long-lived low dose radiation.” (2) Wow! I love this study and how powerful this plant-based superfood is at naturally removing radiation and toxins from the body.

5) Spirulina is filled with essential fatty acids (Omega 3, 6, & 9). Omega 3 is helpful in preventing heart disease, lowering bad cholesterol, reducing arthritic pain, preventing osteoporosis, and depression. These essential fatty acids aid in protaglandin function, which is needed for blood pressure regulation and hormonal balance (also important for pregnancy).  Gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) is essential for development and growth of babies. GLA is only found in two main sources of food mother’s milk and spirulina,  and it plays a crucial role in brain development.  For any mummies this is a great option to consider when wanting to ensure optimal nutrition while breastfeeding. (3)

6) Spirulina is a great source of minerals. It provides iron, calcium, phosphorus, iodine, magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper, chromium, and potassium. A fantastic plant-based source of iron and folic acid for pregnant moms, spirulina helps to regulate hemoglobin levels in the blood and assists with preventing anemia. If you are feeling tired, lethargic, or an overall lack of energy your iron levels might night a boost and spirulina is one of my choices for providing me with a natural and easy to absorb boost!

7) Spirulina is a fantastic source of calcium for plant-based lovers. Drop the dairy and choose a clean green form of calcium, our green friend spirulina. Spirulina has more than 26 times the amount of calcium than milk. Being plant-based it has more bio-availability for humans, which means it can be absorbed into the body much better than a glass of milk.

8) Spirulina may help reduce allergies. Studies have shown that spirulina may stop the release of histamines in the body which helps to prevent symptoms of allergies. If seasonal allergies bother you a great option is to try spirulina to boost the immune system and naturally reduce histamines in the body. Leave those itchy, watery eyes and sparkle with some green spirulina!

We think spirulina is a powerhouse of nutrients and definitely like to include it in our plant-based diet. If you want an extra green skip in your step and a bit more vibrance, whilst knowing that you are priming yourself for optimal nutrition – spirulina is a great choice!

References:

1) Spirulina for Prevention and Control of Preeclampsia, Mark F. McCarty, Jorge Barroso-Aranda, and Francisco Contreras, Oasis of Hope Hospital, Tijuana, Mexico

2) Spirulina- natural sorbent of radionucleides. by L.P. Loseva and I.V. Dardynskaya. Sep 1993. Research Institute of Radiation Medicine, Minsk, Belarus. 6th Int’l Congress of Applied Algology, Czech Republic. Belarus.

3) Spirulina and Nursing Mothers – the perfect complement. http://spirulinaacademy.com/tag/gla/

4) UN on Spirulina. http://www.iimsamspirulinapledge.org/isp/unonspirulina.aspx

Clint Paddison

Clint Paddison has recovered from crippling Rheumatoid Arthitis and now assists others with this disease via the Paddison Program for Rheumatoid Arthritis, the Paddison Podcast and the blogs on www.paddisonprogram.com

  • igorZap

    But I saw that spirulina is not recommended for people with autoimmune diseases.
    Because spirulina activates the immune system and increases inflammation. So?
    Thanks, Igor Z. Brazil.