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Spirulina: you have probably heard of this bright green goodness. This supplement is sold in capsules and as powder, but you will also find it regularly in smoothies and healthy shots. But how healthy is spirulina really? And what exactly does it contain? Read all about its health benefits here.

What is spirulina?

Spirulina is a natural supplement that does not grow on a tree or bush for a change... In fact, it is a type of algae that grows underwater. In saltwater lakes to be precise. Naturally occurring in Mexico and Africa, it is also cultivated and consumed in Asia. This microalgae is then dried and ground, after which you are left with a deep green powder. The taste is actually what you will expect from it: it tastes a little earthy, but also like the sea.

This is how healthy spirulina is for you

Spirulina falls under the seaweeds and algae, and they are also called the nutrients of the future. This is because they contain a wide range of nutrients. From proteins, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants to essential fatty acids: it's all in there.

These are the healthy properties currently attributed to this alga:

  • Anti-inflammatory and full of antioxidants
  • Can help with metabolic disorders such as diabetes and excessive cholesterol
  • Can increase stamina and make you feel fitter
  • Can stabilise blood pressure and remedy anaemia

Proteins: all the amino acids in one go

The beauty of spirulina is that it has all the essential amino acids the body needs in it. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins; everyone needs them. This makes spirulina a nice and balanced source of proteins and other healthy substances for vegetarians and vegans. But of course, even as an inveterate meat eater, you get health benefits from it too!

Source of antioxidants and detoxers

Indeed, one of the main benefits of spirulina is its high antioxidant content. These are mini substances that armour your body against harmful free radicals. And these, in turn, are substances that can lead to cell and tissue damage. Spirulina contains several such potent antioxidants, such as phycocyanin and beta-carotene, which can help neutralise free radicals and promote a healthy immune system.

Spirulina also contains chlorophyll, the substance that gives it the deep green colour. Chlorophyll has detoxifying properties and can help cleanse the body of harmful substances and toxins. It can also help promote healthy digestion and reduce bowel problems such as constipation.

Another very interesting finding: this alga fights viruses. From herpes to flu and HIV. This makes it a good choice for people who want to boost their immune system.

More stable sugar levels

Spirulina seems to be a good remedy for those struggling with their sugar levels, such as people with diabetes. In studies with people suffering from type 2 diabetes, we see that they benefit. Blood levels improve after only two months of spirulina use. Pretty clever for such a simple algae.

More energy with spirulina?

Because of all those healthy substances in spirulina, people can start to feel healthier and more energetic. This may partly be a placebo effect; you think you are doing healthy things, so you feel healthier. Yet quite a few studies show that spirulina really is very healthy and can give you more energy in various ways.

Does it have any drawbacks?

Everyone on algae, you might think... But not necessarily. Are you already feeling good and healthy and getting all the nutrients you need? Then you won't always benefit from a supplement. Also, of course, a potent product like spirulina can have adverse effects. Some people get stomach or intestinal problems. And with a number of conditions, it is not recommended to use algae. Moreover, as with all supplements, they can react with any medication you are taking. So ask your doctor first if it is smart and healthy for you to take spirulina.