Spirulina is a blue-green algae that’s often praised as a superfood for its powerful health benefits, along with it’s close relative, chlorella. Spirulina contains copper, iron, manganese, magnesium and potassium, among other minerals. It also contains a healthy dose of vitamins and disease-fighting antioxidants. To avoid spirulina side effects, it’s important to always purchase a high-quality product. Spirulina benefits include the ability to help the body detox, boost energy, lower blood pressure, eliminate candida and more.
1. Detoxes Heavy Metals
Spirulina benefits the body by promoting heavy metal detox. A study on patients with chronic arsenic poisoning found that spirulina extract decreased the arsenic in the patients’ bodies by 47%. Arsenic can accumulate in the body from contaminated drinking water. Research suggests that adding spirulina to your diet can help rid the body of harmful toxins, including heavy metals. (1)
2. Eliminates Candida
Spirulina benefits include the ability to eliminate candida from the body. Candida can occur when the gut becomes overrun with harmful bacteria. Both leaky gut syndrome and improper digestion can lead to an imbalance of bacteria in the body. The nutrients in spirulina prevent candida by promoting the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. (2)
3. Improves HIV/AIDS
Research has shown that spirulina benefits include the ability to improve HIV and AIDS. In a three-month trial, researchers found that HIV patients who took five grams of spirulina and brown seaweed each day saw improvements in CD4 cells – T-helper white blood cells that help fight infection, including HIV. (3)
4. Helps Prevent Cancer
Research from the University of Maryland Medical Center found that spirulina increases the production of antibodies, infection-fighting proteins and other cells that strengthen the immune system and fight chronic illnesses, including cancer. The powerful antioxidants in spirulina have anti-cancer properties that have been shown to decrease human pancreatic cancer cells. Research suggests that spirulina may work as a natural treatment for other forms of cancer as well.
5. Lowers Blood Pressure
Spirulina benefits include the ability to lower blood pressure. It contains a pigment called phycocyanin that has natural antihypertensive effects. By lowering blood pressure levels, spirulina can also help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
6. Reduces Cholesterol
Spirulina benefits include the ability to naturally reduce cholesterol. The antioxidants in the algae work to boost heart health and prevent atherosclerosis by reducing both serum trigylcerides and total cholesterol levels.
7. Lowers Chance of Stroke
Studies have shown that supplementing with spirulina can help prevent atherosclerosis and stroke. As an extremely nutrient-dense food, researchers found that spirulina can even help reverse heart damage caused by eating a high cholesterol diet. (4)
8. Boosts Energy
Spirulina benefits the body with a natural energy boost. Mixing spirulina powder with fresh lime juice can help boost the metabolism and provide the body with a steady stream of energy.
9. Speeds Up Weight Loss
Spirulina benefits include the ability to aid in weight loss. It’s packed with nutrients that help the body maintain lean tissue and burn fat. As a protein-rich food, spirulina can also help promote satiety to reduce overeating.
10. Alleviates Sinus Issues
Spirulina benefits include the ability to fight sinus infection symptoms. The antioxidants in spirulina help reduce inflammation to fight congestion, sneezing and other irritating symptoms.
Spirulina Side Effects
Spirulina side effects may occur if the algae is contaminated. When purchasing, it’s important to make sure you’re buying a high-quality product, to avoid potential spirulina side effects. Some research suggests that children and pregnant women should not consume algae. Spirulina side effects may include:
- Liver damage
- Stomach pain
- Rapid heartbeat
- Shock and death