Why I Take Spirulina Every Day + 8 Reasons You Should Too
If you’re like most Live in the Now readers, you probably eat well and exercise regularly but still wish you felt more vibrant and energized on a daily basis. I can relate.
For years I figured feeling “run down” on a daily basis was just a normal part of life. Like so many others, I assumed that afternoon slumps were a normal part of the day, getting sick every few months was common and occasional indigestion was natural.
The sad truth is that these days between our soil being depleted of nutrients and the over processing of our foods, even the healthiest foods fall short on delivering the essential nutrients we need to go above and beyond everyday wellness.
Our Bodies are Working Harder for Less Reward
In addition to having compromised nutrient levels, our bodies have to use precious energy stores day in and day out to flush the thousands of toxins we encounter in our environment, all while digesting and processing the foods we eat and protecting our bodies from infectious pathogens.
Without the adequate nutritional support, is it any wonder we feel rundown and exhausted?
Here’s the thing: 3 factors lay the most important groundwork on the quest to restore energy levels and boost overall feelings of health and vitality.
- Flushing toxins from the liver
- Maintaining healthy digestion
- Supporting cells with inflammation-fighting antioxidants
After years of research, I found there is one nutrient combo that can tackle all three in ways scientists didn’t think possible.
It seems the secret to adequately flushing toxins from the body while providing high doses of hard-to-get nutrients has been in a food that’s been popular in Japan for decades: Spirulina.
Often referred to as a “sea vegetable” spirulina is a protein rich blue-green algae that contains health boosting omega fats, as well as powerful antioxidants. It is best known for its ability to detox the body, support liver health and deliver an antioxidant that can’t be found in any other food.
The Nutrients That Make Spirulina a Top Superfood
- Phycocyanin, a unique antioxidant that provides powerful immune and healthy aging benefits
- Chlorophyll, which supports cellular detoxification and body alkalinity
- Carotenoids, including beta-carotene and zeaxanthin, which protect the skin and eyes
- Essential amino acids in a highly-digestible, easy-to-absorb form
- Essential fatty acids, including hard-to-get gamma linoleic acid (GLA)
- Vitamin B12 and other B vitamins that support brain and heart health
- Trace minerals, including magnesium, selenium, zinc, calcium and others
- Superoxide dismutase (SOD), an important antioxidant enzyme
Of particular interest to researchers and the nutritional science community is an antioxidant called phycocyanin, a powerful and unique antioxidant pigment found ONLY in spirulina.
Studies have found that phycocyanin plays a major role in stem cell regeneration and has a miraculous ability to support the immune system.[1, 2] Researchers have also hailed phycocyanin for its ability to quell inflammation by acting on COX-2 enzyme activity. In fact, this powerful antioxidant targets the activity of several other enzymes in the body, most notably the ones responsible for balanced and optimized function of the liver and kidneys. [4, 5]
Japan’s Secret Fountain of Youth?
In Japan, where we see the highest consumption of spirulina, this food has become a staple of the population’s diet and a major player in the country’s ability to ward of chronic conditions. Not surprisingly, the Japanese also have the world’s highest life expectancy.
With more than 800 peer-reviewed and published studies on spirulina, the health benefits of of this superfood are impossible to deny. Here are eight reasons to add this superfood to daily health routine.
8 Reasons Spirulina is the #1 Superfood for Good Health
Here are seven scientifically-backed studies that should encourage anyone to try spirulina.
1. Supports Cellular Detoxification and Boosts Energy (and in that order!)
Spirulina is alkalizing to the body, which boosts liver function and improves your body’s ability to rid itself of toxins. In addition to this, it contains chlorophyll, a compound known for its ability to rid the body of heavy metal contaminants. If fact, Dr. Joseph Mercola notes that spirulina is such a potent detoxifier that sleepiness may be experienced the first time someone tries it.
2. Boosts Natural, Long-Lasting Energy
If you feel the initial “sleepy phase” the first day or two that you try spirulina, not to worry. I asked several devoted users of spirulina, and increased energy was the #1 reason people continued to take the supplement. After just a couple days, all spirulina converts report feeling refreshed and energized, even through the mid-day lull. In fact, Dr.Oz even uses spirulina in his Energy Boosting Ice Cubes for its ability to release sugars from cells so that they can increase energy rather than convert to fat.
3. Supports a Healthy Immune System
Several studies have confirmed that spirulina is an effective immune system booster – and one breakthrough study not only found that supplementing with spirulina may boost immunity, but also ameliorate anemia, particularly for senior citizens, by increasing white blood cell count and increasing indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase enzyme activity.
4. Curbs Allergies
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you’ll be glad to know that adding some spirulina to your favorite warm-weather smoothies could help your body naturally curb the inflammatory reactions that cause allergies. One study found that those taking spirulina experienced relief from allergy symptoms ranging from nasal discharge, sneezing, nasal congestion and itching.
5. Nourishes and Protects the Liver
Not only does the powerful blue-green algae detox the body, it may also protect the liver from damage caused by certain medications. One study found that taking spirulina while taking another drug restored hepatic function and normalized serum markers of liver activity.
6. Supports Healthy Cholesterol Levels
Research published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found that taking spirulina had a significant impact on cholesterol levels. The authors of the study concluded that spirulina had a “powerful” effect on lowering blood lipids, especially on triglycerides.
7. Promotes Heart Health and Helps Maintain Normal Blood Pressure Levels
Many studies have confirmed spirulina’s antihypertensive effect, so a 2013 study dug deeper and set out to determine whether or not spirulina’s active pigment compound, phycocyanin, could improve endothelial dysfunction in metabolic syndrome. They found that the phycocyanin-fed groups exhibited a dose-dependent decrease in blood pressure, and that spirulina’s active compound phycocyanin may be beneficial for preventing endothelial dysfunction-related diseases in metabolic syndrome.
8. Enhances Cognitive Function and Protects Against Free-Radical Damage
Spirulina’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties seem to be incredibly effective in the brain. One study found that supplementing with spirulina preserved dopamine levels and protected against signs of neurotoxicity. Another found that its ability to protect against free radical damage in the brain may prevent memory dysfunction, noting that Glutathione peroxidase activity significantly increased in the spirulina group compared to the control. The authors of this study, published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, concluded that spirulina “may prevent the loss of memory possibly by lessening Aβ protein accumulation, reducing oxidative damage and mainly augmenting the catalase activity.”
- Curr Prot Pep Sci. 2003; 4: 207-216.
- 2. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2006; 47(1): 9-20.
- Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 304 (2003) 385–392
- Mediators of Inflammation, 11, 75–79 (2002)
- British Journal of Nutrition (2006), 95, 435–440