The health benefits of spirulina powder have been of tremendous fascination to me because they apply to both humans and the Earth. Spirulina is a true superfood as it is both a food and a medicine.
I consider the rediscovery and distribution of spirulina as such a boon in our modern times. This amazing superfood, through its many nutritional and health generating properties, is restoring balance to the inner landscape of the human body/mind as well as the outer landscape of the Earth.
It is truly a sustainable and praise worthy food. Let’s first take a look at its structure and history.
Structure and History
Spirulina is a microscopic single-celled algae that has the appearance, when seen under a microscope, of a spiral strand: thus the name spirulina (1). But don’t be fooled by the small size of this algae. Organic spirulina provides a full spectrum of vitamins, minerals, macronutrients, and medicinal qualities that make it worthy of the classification as a superfood.
During the early evolution of life on this planet one of the first organisms to be created was algae (2). This food has been on Earth for an estimated 3.5 billion years (3). It and other algae were responsible for a considerable amount of the oxygen being released into the atmosphere so that other living organisms could evolve (4).
Algae and many other important factors such as supernovas, volcanoes, and water filled comets have helped shape our wonderful and thriving environment. We owe our life to these forces.
They are also part of a mysterious drive toward the emergence of life. Emergence in physics and evolutionary science is defined as the rise of a system that cannot be predicted or explained from antecedent conditions (5).
Spirulina Nutrition Facts
- 60-70% protein by weight, depending on variety (6)
- Complete protein source (7)
- Highest concentration of protein by weight of any food thus far studied (8)
2. Vitamins (rich in the following):
- Beta Carotene, the precursor to Vitamin A (9)
- B1, B2, B6 (10)
- E (11)
- K (12)
- Contains a full spectrum of minerals and is especially rich in Iron and Magensium (13)
4. Other Important Nutrients
- Studies on spirulina powder have revealed that it contains around 2,000 enzymes (14), which are catalysts for bio-chemical reactions such as the breaking down of food into simpler, more digestible parts
- Rich in chlorophyll (15)
- Rich in essential fatty acids (those that cannot be synthesized by our bodies) such as omega 3 and omega 6 (16)
- Spirulina offers the second highest concentration, behind mother’s milk, of the omega 6 fatty acid GLA (gamma linolenic acid). GLA acts as an anti-inflammatory substance and has been shown to help produce healthy skin and hair (17).
Health Benefits of Spirulina
1. Improved Mental Functioning
- The presence of essential amino acids in this algae, such as tryptophan and leucine, have been shown to balance brain chemistry by providing the building blocks necessary for healthy neurotransmitter functioning (18) (19).
- As with all green foods, it is a powerful alkalizing food (20). Due to the presence of many acidic foods in modern diets, it is very important to include many alkaline forming foods in our diet to counter balance an acidic body pH. The human body and immune system thrives in an overall alkaline environment.
- Organic spirulina imparts a large array of antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin E, chlorophyll, zeaxanthin, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and phycocyanin, which help keep our cells free from damage due to the presence of free radicals (21).
4. Other Health Benefits of Spirulina
- Blood builder: due to presence of iron, chlorophyll, and phycocyanin (22)
- Offers support for healing hypoglycemia, diabetes, chronic fatigue, anemia, ulcers, and boosting the immune system (23)
Planetary Health Benefits
1. Can be produced into sustainable bio-fuels (24)
2. Vast quantities can be grown in a small amount of water, and it has enormously higher productivity than land crops (25)
3. As a plant based complete protein source it shifts our focus away from un-sustainable and cruel methods of protein extraction, such as factory farmed animals, to a sustainable and harmless method of protein extraction.
- “Gram for gram, spirulina could be the most nutritious and well-rounded food on the planet, which stores almost indefinitely.” (26) – Gabriel Cousens, M.D.
- “Spirulina yields two hundred times more protein per acre than beef.” (27) – David Wolfe
By adding spirulina powder into your current diet, such as in smoothies, desserts, soups, and salads, you have a wonderful opportunity to regenerate your body/mind and experience the powerful health benefits of spirulina… and support the Earth’s ecosystems!
For the health of the Earth and your body, I encourage you to try this ancient green superfood.
1. Wolfe, David. Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future. pg. 107
2. http://www.spirulinasource.com/earthfoodch1a.html Retrieved June 20th, 2009
5. http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Emergent+phenomena Retrieved June 20th, 2009
6. Cousens, gabriel. Conscious Eating. pg. 587
8. Wolfe, David. Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future. pg. 110
9. Ibid pg. 109
13. Cousens, gabriel. Conscious Eating. pg. 587
15. http://www.spirulinasource.com/earthfoodch4a.html Retrieved June 20th, 2009
16. Cousens, gabriel. Conscious Eating. pg. 587
17. http://www.spirulinasource.com/earthfoodch4a.html Retrieved June 20th, 2009
18. http://www.naturalways.com/spirulina-analysis.htm Retrieved June 20th, 2009
19. Wolfe, David. Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future. pg. 111
20. Cousens, gabriel. Conscious Eating. pg. 587
21. Wolfe, David. Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future. pg. 113
23. Cousens, gabriel. Conscious Eating. pg. 588
24. http://www.spirulinasource.com/algaebiofuel.html Retrieved June 20th, 2009
25. http://www.spirulinasource.com/algaebiofuture.html Retrieved June 20th, 2009
26. Cousens, gabriel. Conscious Eating. pg. 587
27. Wolfe, David. Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future. pg. 111