Food Focus: Spirulina
I know what you're thinking and how you are feeling! I learned about the benefits of algae early in my nutrition career, but I did used to think I would never eat or drink anything that would be considered pond scum. Living by the ocean, summer closures of the beach due to algae makes most people assume it is nothing but toxic sludge! Which, most strains, are. But two have major benefits and should be considered medicinal for our health!
The winners you might have seen on the back of bottles or packets: Spirulina and Chlorella
Today we are going to talk spirulina only. Since spirulina is so nutrient-dense, many of its nutrients are in higher quantities per gram than most foods. Known as one of the oldest forms of life on Earth, the health benefits are far and wide.
Here are the top 5 - but do your research - there are many more! Link to studies below.
We all have limits to how far we can push our bodies. Eventually, your muscles are simply too damaged to continue to function. Research shows that spirulina supplementation reduces muscle fatigue and postpones the point of exhaustion! I will say after my hip injury and months of PT, I am slowly getting back to lifting heavier. Knowing a supplement I am taking will help the process makes me super happy.
Increase Fat Loss
Spirulina was also found to increase fat loss in healthy adults. Taking a 6-gram dose of spirulina prior to moderate cardio decreased oxidative damage, decreased glucose oxidation, and increased the amount of fat being burned for fuel. We talk about fat loss vs weight loss all the time in my client meetings and membership!
Along with preventing oxidative damage in the muscles, spirulina can also prevent oxidative damage in the brain. One study found that spirulina reduced the levels of a harmful protein in the brain, suggesting that spirulina supplementation can help prevent memory loss. Another study found that spirulina reduced neurotoxicity and inflammation in the brain. Inflammation is a major contributor to several major neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s disease. Remember chapter 3 of my book God Wants You Well? The gut brain connection is strong!
Improves Obesity Biomarkers
Multiple double-blind studies demonstrate spirulina’s ability to improve health markers in obese patients. It was only a low dose, about 2-8 grams, and it showed improvements in quite a few areas of health! Check below.
Common among them was that the researchers in all studies found statistically significant reductions body mass, body mass index (BMI) waist circumference. They recorded lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, higher antioxidant levels, and better insulin sensitivity.
Some studies show that spirulina is a potent remedy for cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis (plaque build up in arteries) and endothelial dysfunction (poor circulation).
This research indicates that spirulina is a promising alternative to risky weight management drugs for people struggling with obesity.
Spirulina has also been used in part as a treatment for hypoglycemia. Research shows that spirulina can reduce blood glucose and lipid profiles while preventing metabolic issues associated with excessive fructose.
Reduces Heavy Metal Levels
The state of our environment is not ideal. Which is why it's such a huge focus in our membership. The air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat all contain unnaturally high levels of harmful substances. Pollution in our daily lives makes supporting your body’s detox efforts vital.
Arsenic is a heavy metal, a carcinogen, and a literal poison. It is lethal at 70mg but can slowly
deteriorate human health at much lower levels. Spirulina has been shown to reduce arsenic levels in humans! Anything to better help our body detox is a win in my book!
I take this powerhouse plant in my morning greens powder, but recently stumbled upon a company that provided much of the research above and offers clean products.
Jes Royston | Green Mama Tribe