Pure Joy Planet

Benefits of Spirulina | Nutrition Profile

June 20, 2019
By Katelyn Louise

This blue-green algae is a freshwater plant that is now one of the most researched algae’s, and alongside its sister algae, chlorella. Spirulina’s benefits are so profound that taken on a daily basis, they can help restore and revitalize your gut health, increase cell regeneration and boost your immune system. Spirulina first became famous after it was successfully used by NASA as a dietary supplement for astronauts on space missions.

It has a long history of use as food and it has been reported that it has been used during the Aztec civilization []

Let’s dive into some of the benefits:

  • Slows down the aging process through its antioxidant/anti-inflammatory effects
  • Known to exhibit anticancer properties [3].
  • A perfect source of protein
  • Enhances immune system functioning and digestive systems. Acts as a probiotic in the body so it’s amazing for the gut!
  • Balances brain chemistry
  • Recommended to lower cholesterol levels
  • Improves bone density and aids in blood circulation.
  • Used for chronic fatigue by enabling the production of Vitamin B6 that also helps in energy release
  • Improves energy levels
  • Prevents anemia because of its high iron content
  • Extremely high in Chlorophyll, which helps remove toxins from the blood and boost the immune system.

Spirulina – Vitamin and Mineral Profile

Apart from the high (up to 70%) content of protein, it also contains vitamins, especially B12 and provitamin A (β-carotenes), and minerals, especially iron. It is also rich in phenolic acids, tocopherols and γ-linolenic acid []. Spirulina lacks cellulose cell walls and therefore it can be easily digested [].

Concentrated Protein Source: The highest concentrated source of protein! 60% vegetable protein. Easy to digest due to the lack of hard cellular walls.

Complete Protein Source: Contains all 8 essential amino acids in the proper ratios, and 18 amino acid in total. 375% more protein than tofu. A gram of spirulina is 4x’s more absorbable than a gram of meat.

Best Source of GLA: Gamma-linolenic acid. An anti-inflammatory essential fatty acid necessary for a healthy nervous system. Helps fight the inflammatory symptoms of arthritis. Makes hair and skin shiny, strong and soft.

Vast Spectrum of Antioxidants: loaded with antioxidants like natural beta carotene, mixed carotenoids, zeaxanthin, chlorophyll, phycocyanin, vitamin B12, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), riboflavin, a host of other phytonutrients. Protects against harmful UV sunlight, pollution, and environmental stress. Protects cells from free radical damage while enhancing the immune system.

Minerals: High in essential minerals and trace minerals. Easily assimilated by the body as the minerals are chelated with the amino acids.

Iron: 2,300% more iron than spinach. Delivers oxygen to cells throughout your body.

Beta Carotene: 3,900% more beta carotene than carrots. A source of vitamin A that your body cannot produce on its own. Enhances the immune system and healthy skin.

Vitamin K: An essential nutrient that must be obtained from sources outside the body.

Calcium: 300% more calcium than whole milk.

Chlorophyll (the green pigment): Blood builder and purifier. Supports liver and kidney function to detoxify your blood. Chlorophyll is deeply cleansing and alkalizing. Protects from UV radiation at a cellular level.

Phycocyanin (the blue pigment): Phycocyanin works like a magnet to help remove heavy metals and pollutants from your body. Induces production of more stem cells found in the bone marrow.


Spirulina – Protein Powerhouse

Spirulina is a complete protein which means that it contains all 9 essential amino acids that you have to obtain from your diet. There are 20 amino acids (protein building blocks) that our bodies need for optimal function. This is very rare in plant foods as most only contain partial essential aminos acids (for example beans and rice).

9 of those Amino Acids are known as “Essential Amino Acids” whereas the other 11 are known as “Non-Essential Amino Acids” The 11 nonessential amino acids can be manufactured within our bodies from other nutrients.

The 9 essential amino acids cannot be manufactured by the body, and thus must be consumed through our foods. Spirulina contains all 9 essential amino acids, and it is 60-65% protein by weight (with the rest of its energy coming from carbohydrates and fats.)

You can add spirulina powder to your smoothie recipes and other raw treats as an added boost of protein by combining 1 scoop of hemp protein with 1 tablespoon of spirulina together.

It’s important that you source high-quality spirulina, as not all spirulina is created equal.


Spirulina – Nutrient Profile

In 100 grams of spirulina you will find:

  • 57 grams of protein
  • 3.6 grams of fiber
  • 342 micrograms beta-carotene
  • 2.38 mg’s Vitamin B1
  • 3.67 mg’s Vitamin B2
  • 12.82 mg’s Vitamin B3
  • 94 micrograms Vitamin B9
  • 66 mg’s choline
  • 10 mg’s Vitamin C
  • 28.g mg’s Iron

We love this chart by Dr. Axe [4]

Which Spirulina is Best?

We’ve done a lot of research about the best spirulina products on the market today. We know that spirulina is produced in warm weather, in places like California, Hawaii, Thailand, Chile, Bali, India, and China, to name a few. While there are many spirulina companies out there, the quality and harvesting practices are very important. Here are some of our favorites and products we use on a daily basis:

  • SP2Life is the purest, most nutrient dense source of fresh spirulina we’ve found. Sp2 flash-freeze 100% pure, raw, living, SP2 Spirulina in its most complete, nutrient-dense state so you get the highest nutrient content and freshest product available—delivered right to your door. There’s no bad smell or taste, and we are confident this is the highest quality Spirulina you’ve ever used. Since it hasn’t been dried, all the nutrients are intact (the reason why we love raw living foods!) as this is spirulina in its’ truest RAW state.
    • Use the discount code PUREJOY at checkout to get 20% off your first order and 10% off your orders after that for life. This is a product we wholeheartedly support and hence our affiliation with them. Plus, 74% of this fresh spirulina is protein—which is great for keeping your body in ketosis. One plant-based SP2 Spirulina Cube is all it takes to boost your daily nutrition. Easily and conveniently pop, drop and blend a cube into smoothies, salad dressings, sauces and more to supercharge your day.
  • Healthforce Spirulina Manna is a wonderful brand of spirulina that we’ve used for YEARS and the best-dried spirulina on the market to-date. HealthForce Nutritional’s is a 20-plus year, 100% hard-core, vegan, therapeutic superfoods company. They’ve created a purist, hard-core quality standard for sourcing and production which they claim is significantly beyond Organic called Truganic.
  • Energy Bits is another convenient way to get consume both chlorella and spirulina. They offer both in tablet form so you can chew on the go. They also have strict testing for heavy metals and have a unique way they process these algae to give you the most nutrition possible.

For more on why spirulina is so beneficial for health, check out this Wellness Mama podcast interview with EnergyBits creator Catharine Arnston.

This article is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk to your doctor.


Resources

1. Dillon JC, Phuc AP, Dubacq JP. Nutritional value of the alga Spirulina. World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics1995;77:32–46. [PubMed[]

2. Reddy MC, Subhashini J, Mahipal SVK, et al. C-Phycocyanin, a selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor, induces apoptosis in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications2003;304(2):385–392. [PubMed[]

3. Tarantino LM. Agency Response Letter GRAS Notice No. GRN000127. FDA Home page, October 2003.

4.  Rebekah Edwards. Spirulina Benefits: 10 Proven Reasons to Use This Superfood. June 13, 2019 [DrAxe]

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