Let’s talk about how spirulina benefits weight loss! Few topics evoke such debate, energy and emotion as the topic of how to lose weight. Let’s face it, just about everybody wants to tweak their bodies and enjoy the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Even when you love your body, it’s natural to want to keep improving and making yourself better.
While there is a lot of grey area on ‘the best weight loss solution’ there is one thing I can tell you, and that is that there is NO miracle pill that will help you (healthily) shed the pounds! I know from years of being active and working out, as well as from when I ran a personal training business, that the best way to lose weight is to work hard when you exercise and to plan your diet diligently. That being said, by adding certain elements to your diet it is possible to increase your body’s ability to burn calories and drop the excess pounds! Let’s take a look how spirulina can assist in weight loss, and let’s just look at the FACTS!
Let’s start with an obvious cause of weight gain, and that is over eating (which generally is accompanied by eating the WRONG foods!). When you feel hungry, that is your body telling you it needs more nutrients to keep functioning. When people are trying to lose weight they generally try to ignore this feeling, the hunger grows because your body needs energy, and when they finally do eat, they binge (most likely on carbohydrates, because they are quick energy that the body craves). Contrary to popular belief, your body NEEDS carbs, they are the only form of energy your brain can utilize. However, too many carbs without proper balance of protein and healthy fats leads to a spike in blood sugar, which leads to the release of insulin, which leads to the ‘crash’ you feel physically and mentally. When the body is properly nourished you will stay feeling full for longer because your blood sugar stays stable and your system stays energized! This is how spirulina benefits you!
Spirulina is so nutrient dense, taking it 1hr-1/2hr before a meal will satisfy many of your body’s nutritional needs. This means that when you eat your body will not be craving unnecessary food, which means you’ll be less likely to overindulge!
Spirulina is high in healthy protein. Not only does spirulina contain 3x more protein than beef, but the protein in spirulina is has over a 95% digestibility rate (which is 3x more than beef too)! When your body absorbs protein it is used as both an energy source and it also helps build lean tissue. Combine this with some light weight exercises and you will not only be burning calories but building lean muscle. Every pound of lean muscle on your body burns up to 50 calories a day, simply to maintain itself!
GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) is an essential fatty acid found in spirulina. This mineral helps maintain stable blood sugar levels which in turn helps control unnecessary carbohydrate cravings.
The essential amino acid methionine is in spirulina which has been shown to reduce stress levels. You might ask, ‘how does this help me lose weight?”. When a person is stressed their body goes into ‘fight or flight’ mode and releases the hormone cortisol. This hormone tells the body to hold onto nutrients (fat) for future use. When your stress levels are kept in check, so is the hormone cortisol, which means it’s much easier to control unwanted fat retention.
On top of all this is spirulina contains phenylalaine which is one of natures appetite suppressants.
Because spirulina has so many nutrients it’s sort of like drinking a natural red bull and pumping your body full of energy. Chlorophyll provides quick energy that the body can utilize immediately, while polysaccharides (or complex sugars) take time for the body to break down and absorb, meaning long lasting energy!
When your body is energized it is far easier to be motivated to get moving and burn more calories. So adding spirulina into a routine involving healthy eating choices and exercise is a fantastic plan to help battle the bulge and kick those extra pounds!
The bottom line is that spirulina benefits those who are willing to put in the effort and commit to a healthy lifestyle. Losing weight requires discipline and determination, and while spirulina may not be a miracle pill, it certainly provides the body with plenty of elements and minerals that assist weight loss!
So you’ve read about the spirulina benefits, and now you want to add it to your diet! But how to do it and how much?! In this article we’ll compare the pros and cons of taking Spirulina pills vs Spirulina powder, as well as talk about some of the great ways you can use Spirulina on a daily basis!
Just as a side note, while yes, there are Spirulina flakes, they are much less common than powder and pill form and with less usability. For that reason we will leave them out of this comparison (although they still pack the same nutritional punch that Spirulina is known for)!
We’ll begin by taking a look at Spirulina pills. First of all, there are two different forms you can purchase. Spirulina pills are available packed in gel capsules as well as in pressed tablets. Make sure that if you choose pills you purchase them from a reputable source and that it is 100% pure spirulina. Many brands may be cut with fillers so beware of cheap pills with white of grey flecks in them. Spirulina will naturally carry a deep green color, or sometimes blueish green.
Tip – If you are purchasing Spirulina online, make sure you research the brand beforehand and look for customer reviews! Check back soon for product reviews and the coming online store!
Pills are a great choice for the busy person and are super convenient for travellers! Because they are small and non-messy they are easy to store and transport, even when taken out of the original packaging.
Spirulina generally has a distinct, ‘seaweedy’ taste to it that many people find unpleasant. Pill form is much ‘easier to swallow’, so to speak, compared to powder form, which will almost always carry that flavor (although now there are new brands that cover the taste with a natural vanilla scent and flavor… I’ll report back once I have tried it!). The lessened taste of pills is definitely a plus for anybody who wants to experience the spirulina benefits but who may have a sensitive palate, though you will be hard pressed to find a completely flavorless product!
One of the biggest cons of taking Spirulina pills is that you need to take a lot, like A LOT, of them to equal the same nutritional serving size as powder. This can get annoying quickly. For instance, depending on the size and quality of the capsule (average is 500mg) you may need to take up to 20 capsules to equal just ONE serving of powder form!
Ok let’s just get the obvious cons out of the way! If you spill your teaspoon of Spirulina powder it will be a mess! There is no way around it, so you just need to be a little careful when measuring your dosage! The other con to Spirulina powder is that generally it is going to come in a larger container which means that it won’t be convenient for travelling. Although putting some in a sealable bag or other small container is not reaching for the stars. The only other con I can think of is that Spirulina has a very distinct seaweedy taste, as previously mentioned, which some find unpleasant. Personally I don’t mind it. I know how beneficial taking Spirulina is for my body and that makes the taste totally bearable.
Now for the pros of taking Spirulina powder! Powder is far denser nutritionally, which means that instead of taking dozens of pills a day, you only need to take a teaspoon (half when you are first starting!). Some people up the dosage to 2 teaspoons a day if taking Spirulina for the therapeutic benefits.
When you buy Spirulina powder you are almost always buying quantities much larger than when you buy pills. Unless you run into some super sale (buyer beware!) you will generally be getting a MUCH better price per gram when buying powder. On top of this a 1lb tub of powder will last you 3x as long as a 500 pill bottle on equivalent dosage. Powder is definitely the most bang for your buck!
Spirulina powder is super easy to add to water, juices or shakes, which makes it very versatile! I usually start my day off with Spirulina Smoothie (recipes to come!). The boost of energy and overall healthy feeling is amazing! A great way to start your day off right!
Adding Spirulina powder to your meals is extremely easy as well! Mix Spirulina in with your pasta sauces, salads or really whatever you feel like! The important thing to remember though is that some of the elements, such as proteins, in spirulina will break down under intense heat, so make sure to add the powder in AFTER cooking is finished.
When it comes down to it, really the choice between Spirulina pills or powder is a personal one. Although pills are simple to transport, mess-free and considerably less flavor than powder, they can be cumbersome to take in the proper dosage. Powder definitely has the upper hand when it comes to cost/value, versatility and ease of use (just think of swallowing 10-20 pills a day!).
I hope you found this article helpful! Check back soon for some tasty Spirulina smoothie recipes!
I luckily discovered the spirulina benefits accidentally while doing some research on Chlorella, which was a supplement I was taking at the time. One of the first questions that occurred to me was “What’s the difference between Spirulina and Chlorella?”, and I know many other people who have heard about them feel the same! So let’s break down the similarities and differences between the two.
Let’s start with the similarities these two algae share! Well, first of all, they are structurally very similar and therefore, they look practically identical (at least in processed form). You can buy both in pressed tablets, capsules or powder, and it’s all going to be dark green! They are both single celled organisms that rely primarily on photosynthesis to achieve most of their nutritional value and to produce chlorophyll. Because Spirulina and Chlorella are so nutrient dense and packed with antioxidants they are considered to be ‘superfoods’. Both are a form of complete protein, containing all the essential amino acids and they both encourage the good digestive bacteria to thrive. These two are some of the oldest life forms on the planet going back BILLIONS of years!
One major difference between the two algae is their ideal growing environments. Although both plants love the sun and convert it’s energy into nutrients beneficial for humans, Chlorella is actually a freshwater life form while Spirulina thrives in highly alkaline lakes. So alkaline that they are practically salt water and inhospitable to most other forms of life.
Chlorella actually has more chlorophyll than Spirulina, can you guess where it got it’s name? Chlorophyll is the pigment that gives both algae their intense green colour. This nutrient has many benefits, but one of the reasons to love it is that it acts as a natural cleanser. Dubbed ‘plant blood’, chlorophyll is like a magnet for toxins in your body like mercury, cadmium and lead as well as other pollutants like arsenic! Couple this with Chlorella’s digestive benefits and you truly have a supplement that flushes your body of pollutants!
While both algae are single-celled, a big difference between the two is the structure of the cell. Spirulina has a cell wall easily digestible by humans, as it is composed of proteins and carbohydrates. Chlorella, on the other hand, has a cell wall made of indigestible cellulose which must be broken before consumption. This can be achieved several ways including pulverization and heat treatment. Without having the cell wall broken, the human body would only absorb a fraction of the nutrients this wonderful algae has to offer!
Chlorella may be an amazing body detox, but it doesn’t have the same immune boosting qualities of Spirulina. Through intense antioxidant support Spirulina keeps your body ready to take on the world! Shown to inhibit viral replication, Spirulina is a great supplement for those fighting viral diseases such as HIV or even the common cold! Of course, the powerful antioxidants found in Spirulina fight free radicals which cause cancer, as well as discourage cancerous cell division!
So while these two algae are very similar in many ways, an easy way to think of them is that Chlorella is an amazing sweeping cleanser that detoxifies your system. Spirulina, on the other hand, is a disease fighting champion, keeping your immune system at it’s strongest! The truth is that both of these supplements complement each other very well and work best if taken in tandem. So what are you waiting for?! It’s time to get your body functioning at it’s best! It’s time for Spirulina (and Chlorella)!
In the earlier article “Spirulina Benefits: The world’s most powerful superfood!” we touched on some of the benefits this amazing plant has on our cardiovascular system! Now it’s time we flush out the details and take a better look at how the nutrients in this algae work with your heart to promote a strong, healthy system!
Essential fatty acids aren’t anything new, and many of us know that we need them in our diets. Every time you heard the word ‘omega’ in relation to your diet, like on your margarine container, that’s what they are meaning. Well put down the margarine and pick up the spirulina! GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid, if you were wondering) is plentiful in spirulina. Removing cholesterol from the blood is only half the story, this essential fatty acid helps produce other nutrients within your body. Nutrients that help prevent heart disease, heart attack and stroke! These same nutrients also help remove excess fluid from the body which can help keep blood pressure under control (not to mention decrease bloating)! Of course spirulina doesn’t leave you hanging there, it is the only plant that produces a whole form of GLA! making sure you receive the required amount of GLA as we get older is an important part of your diet. Spirulina makes that a breeze!
Betacarotine – Have you ever been told to eat your carrots for good eye health? This is the reason why! This powerful antioxidant is packed in spirulina at a rate 10x that of carrots! Along with it’s many other benefits, betacarotine is a soldier for the cardiovascular system. Some studies indicate that supplementing heart disease patients with spirulina can actually cut the rate of strokes and heart attacks by up to 50%! That’s amazing! Not only that, but by defending the body against the buildup of LDL (low-density lipoprotein, or ‘bad cholesterol’ which can harden and clog your arteries), betacarotine helps prevent heart disease in the first place! Not a bad investment for your body if you ask me!
Zeaxanthin – Never heard of this one? Not a problem! He’s still on your side! Taking care of your eyes, battling cancerous cells and of course, fighting cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke! An added plus, this is one of the few antioxidants that will never turn on your body and assist in the development of free radicals in the absence of other essential nutrients! Pretty versatile!
Phycocyanin – Ok, I am not going to get super technical with the descriptions of the name but what you need to know is this: Phycocyanin is the ‘blue’ in ‘blue green algae’, and this element has also been shown to remove plaque buildup along arterial walls. This keeps arteries healthy and blood pressure down! Yes please!
K vitamins contain proteins which are necessary for blood coagulation, preventing arterial walls from hardening and preventing damage from occurring to the vessels. Just one teaspoon of spirulina contains your daily dose of K1 and K2!
We talked about how iron helps create red blood cells. Blood cells which can hold more oxygen and help cure anemia! The polysaccharides in spirulina also help create white blood cells and hemoglobin as well (the element which carries oxygen to cells and which makes your blood red)! Red blood cells that hold more oxygen means that your body is working more efficiently to get every cell the vital oxygen it needs to thrive! This, in turn, means that your heart is pumping less to get the same nutrients delivered! Talk about giving your heart a break!
All in all, this is truly a supreme supplement when considering your cardiovascular health! From cleansing the blood of toxins and cholesterol, helping build healthy new blood cells, and protecting your arteries from deterioration, spirulina has got you covered!
Spirulina! Considered by many to be the world’s #1 superfood, the list of spirulina benefits is impressive indeed!
Not only does this amazing plant contain all the essential amino acids in appropriate quantities, forming a complete protein (68% of total weight!), it also contains more than 200 other life essential elements! As if being a complete plant protein isn’t rare enough, spirulina is actually the most protein dense natural food in the world! 12x the protein content of beef (and much better for the body!).
The benefits of this incredible plant have been recognized for centuries, utilized as a food source by the ancient Aztecs as well as the people of Chad who harvested the algae from the local lakes. In fact, this plant is one of the oldest forms of life, dating back 3.5 billion years.
Due to it’s simple, cellulose free, structure, the nutrients found in spirulina are nearly all absorbed and utilized by your body!
Some of the amazing ways your body benefits from this algae are it’s ability to detoxify the immune system, the liver, the bowels! Consumption of spirulina aids in keeping the bad bowel bacteria, like ecoli, in check while encouraging the good, digestive bacteria to thrive!
This powerful superfood promotes optimal blood health in many ways such as maintaining healthy blood pressure, lowering bad LDL cholesterol, promoting a strong cardiovascular system, stabilizing blood sugar levels, cleansing the blood of heavy metals like mercury and lead, and helping build new red blood cells. Healthy red blood cells can fight anemia and increase oxygen consumption efficiency, while stable blood sugar levels help control food cravings, encouraging weight loss. A great dietary addition, whether you are an athlete or just want to promote a healthier lifestyle!
Gram for gram, spirulina has the same iron content as beef! Combine that with copper, chromium, zinc, manganese and selenium and you have an antioxidant powerhouse! This superfood is set to defend the body against viral infections and free radicals, helping minimize the risk of cancer and keeping that immune system strong!
Speaking of antioxidants, remember how good the beta carotene in carrots was for your vision? Spirulina contains 10x the eye sight boosting beta carotene than that found in carrots! Throw in some phycocyanin to protect against DNA damage, calcium and magnesium for strong, healthy bones, cholesterol fighting GLA, vitamin b12 for a healthy nervous system, chlorophyll for increased energy, and you have your anti-aging warrior!
NASA studies have shown 1kg of spirulina to contain the same nutrients as 1000kg of assorted fruits and veggies! Additional studies have found spirulina effective in treating radiation sickness of children living near Chernobyl, also helping recover from arsenic poisoning in Bangladesh. Spirulina is even used as an accompanying treatment for HIV, where it assists in slowing the progression of the virus!
The best part about this green wonder is how easy it is to add to your daily routine! Spriulina can be consumed in tablets, capsules, flakes or powder, making adding it to your juice, salads, recipes or shakes a breeze. Seriously, a superfood doesn’t get much more super than spirulina!
For some super fun spirulina recipes check out the links below!
In today’s world of ever growing health awareness, it is a safe bet plenty of you have heard of the benefits of spirulina… but just what is it?!
Spirulina is a specific type of single-celled micro-organism which comes from the phylum cyanobacterium, and that is a just a scientific way of saying algae, (and THAT is just the scientific way of saying ‘that green stuff that floats in the lake’). If anybody said that ‘size matters’, then this little guy must have missed the memo. Spirulina beats practically ANY other natural food for nutrient density with over 200 vitamins, minerals and other nutrients!
Cyanobacteria also go by Blue Green Algae and are found growing world wide, though they thrive in tropical conditions with plenty of sun. Many types of blue green algae can be found in the ocean, however, spirulina is a resident of warm lakes. The lakes spirulina grows in are highly alkaline, this means that they are almost salt water and most other life forms refuse to call them home. This accounts for the very salty taste of spirulina products!
Spirulina’s intense green color, and loads of spirulina’s benefits, are a product of a compound called chlorophyll. When a plant reacts with sunlight, chlorophyll is produced. Think of it as being like the blood of the plant, carrying nutrients around. The deep green chlorophyll is a powerful detoxing agent, helping our bodies in hundreds of ways include; removing toxins from our blood like heavy metals and cholesterol, helping keep our brains in prime working condition and giving us a huge boost of energy to fight fatigue! Of course spirulina doesn’t just have a bit of chlorophyll, it has on of the highest chlorophyll concentrations of any edible plant!
Are you old enough to remember the dinosaurs? Spirulina is! This little plant was on the earth with the earliest of life forms, having been dated back 3.5 BILLION years! Although you may have just heard about this superfood, humans have been reaping the benefits of spirulina for hundreds of years! Both the Aztecs and the ancient people of Lake Chad were documented using spirulina as a food source around the same time, on different continents! Pretty cool!
When in it’s natural environment, spirulina binds together to form long spiralling strands. In fact the name ‘Spirulina’ is derived from the latin word for, you guessed it, ‘spiral’!
While this incredible plant can still be found growing naturally in the wild, most commercially available brands are cultivated under strict supervision to minimize any pollutants entering the product. Such countries as America, Thailand, Burma and Mexico, as well as many others, produce spirulina under regulated conditions.
After the spirulina has grown to maturity it is removed from the water and dried. From there it will either be crushed into flakes or powder. The flakes are sold as is and can be added to salads and sandwiches. The powder will then be turned into pills, capsules or simply left as is to be mixed into your drinks and health shakes!
All you need is a half teaspoon a day to start! Soon you’ll begin to feel how spirulina benefits you too!
Right now is an interesting time in history. With a major demographic entering ‘retirement age’ there is a huge interest in keeping that youthful vitality! Let’s take a look at how spirulina benefits the aging body.
Ok, let’s get the obvious out of the way first. HOW DOES SPIRULINA BENEFIT MY APPEARANCE? Well, I am glad you asked!
Spirulina is packed with the fatty acids omega 3 and omega 6. These acids help the body stay hydrated, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Don’t confuse staying hydrated with water retention though! Spirulina encourages the good digestive bacteria in our bodies to thrive, helping keep our digestive system working at it’s best! This means that spirulina helps relieve puffiness and abdominal bloating! Double defense!
As we age our metabolism slows. A cruel fact of nature. This means that we we used to get away with eating now causes us to gain unwanted weight! Spirulina is so packed with nutrients that it helps balance blood sugar levels, which helps control hunger cravings. Adding spirulina to a balanced diet is a great way to keep your body in shape!
Spirulina hasn’t avoided the beauty industry either! More skin care products containing this amazing algae are hitting the market daily. It turns out spirulina is great for keeping your skin looking young, healthy and full of energy!
Now that the important stuff is out of the way lets take a look at how spirulina benefits the aging body itself!
Vitamin b-12 is extremely important in keeping our brains active and alert, as well as a HUGE source of energy! Most American’s diets lack the required intake, but spirulina is packed with it! This extra nutrition really gives us the boost we need to maintain our focus and healthy energy levels without the overuse of stimulants like caffeine!
The amazing variety of antioxidants contained in spirulina helps fight for the body and clean out free radicals, the cell-damaging particals that lead to cancer! These same antioxidants promote healthy eyes and organs! You’re liver and kidney’s will love you!
We all know how important it is to take care of your heart (you’ve only got one!), and the blood it pumps through your body is no exception! Spirulina contains more blood-cleansing chlorophyll than any other food! Not only is chlorophyll full of iron (spirunlina has 40x more iron than spinach!), helping build strong red blood cells and carry more oxygen, it also removes toxins and heavy metals like lead and mercury! As chlorophyll travels through the blood steam it helps remove plaque and cholesterol from vessel walls, keeping them soft and healthy and reducing the risk of heart attack or stroke!
Strong bones are more important than ever as we get on in years, especially when you want to continue staying active! Spirulina is there for you with a balance of calcium and magnesium to keep those bones and teeth ready for anything!
All in all, the anti aging spirulina benefits ROCK! Take on your retirement years with energy and confidence by adding spirulina to your daily routine!