What is Spirulina? The Low-Down on Its Health Benefits

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Guest Post by: Sasha de Beaussett, B.A., M.Sc.

Spirulina in a bottle, powdered spirulina, spirulina in your smoothie, spirulina snacks…

Spirulina is becoming super popular, but what exactly is it, and how can it benefit your health? This article will give you the ultimate introduction on spirulina and what scientific research says it can do to support your health.

What is Spirulina?

Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae, which are simple, plant-like organisms that are found in salt water and sometimes in large bodies of fresh water. Some algae are grown in natural settings (wild-algae) and then collected, while others are grown under controlled conditions. It is even possible to grow blue-green algae at home!

While spirulina was consumed historically by the Aztecs, it regained popularity centuries later when NASA proposed it be grown in outer space for consumption by astronauts. Spirulina sparked the attention of NASA because of its nutritional profile: it is high in dietary protein, B-vitamins, and iron, as well as beta-carotene, vitamin E, manganese, zinc, copper, selenium and an essential fatty acid called “gamma linoleic acid.”

What Does the Research Say About Its Benefits?

Before delving into the research, it is important to note that while there is significant scientific research that supports the applications of spirulina consumption to result in positive health outcomes, there is still more research to be done for it to be generally accepted by the scientific community.

Initial research, nonetheless, is promising in terms of how it can affect your health in a positive manner at different stages in life. Following are some of the most important health benefits of spirulina:

  1. It is an antioxidant. The most important active component in spirulina is called phycocyanin, and it research suggests that it may counter inflammation and fight off free radicals that may cause cell damage.
  2. It may support heart health. Studies have shown that people who consume spirulina daily see a reduction in LDL cholesterol levels and triglycerides.
  3. It may promote tranquility and support healthy blood pressure. Spirulina may increase nitic oxide production helping blood vessels relax.

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  4. It may clear up your stuffy nose. If you are one of those people who commonly loses their sense of smell during allergy season, spirulina might help you breathe by helping to alleviate pressure that builds up in the nasal cavity.

Spirulina is not only the perfect complement to your morning shake, it may also be one of your best health-promoting allies. Whether you take it pure or powdered, in a

food, in a glass, or straight up, taking spirulina regularly may just keep you healthy. You can find a healthy dose of spirulina in The Natural Citizen’s Organic Greens along with 4 other super greens that support overall health and wellness.

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