1300 728 762

Spirulina 101: What Is It & What Makes It A Superfood

Tag: superfoods

Spirulina 101: What Is It & What Makes It A Superfood

Spirulina is one of the most popular and well-regarded dietary supplements to ever exist in the market.

For a good reason, it is highly saleable and sought-after. Historically, it was used as an endurance-booster. Today, however, spirulina’s selling point focused on its wholesome ability to promote overall health.

Here’s everything you should know about this nutrient-dense superfood.


What is Spirulina?


Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria. It is believed to be one of the oldest life forms on Earth, first appearing on Earth’s surface 3.5 billion years ago and first consumed by the Aztecs during the 16th century.

As it exclusively grows in the water environment, spirulina has an odd taste and smell. Many people find it savory like seaweed or fresh spinach, yet its intense earthiness can also make it taste like the ocean.

Spirulina boasts many nutritional values. It has high protein and vitamin content but beyond its nutritional value, spirulina is also used in complementary and alternative medicine to treat a number of health conditions.


Why is it hailed as a superfood?


Spirulina is among the most documented microalgae used as food. As it continues to flood the market in powder and supplement form, more and more people are starting to grow curious on why it is dubbed as a superfood. Here’s basically why.


1. Excellent nutritional profile


This tiny alga is extremely high in nutrients. In fact, a 7-gram powder contains:

  • 20 calories
  • 02 g of protein
  • 67 g of carbohydrate
  • 54 g of fat
  • 8 milligrams (mg) of calcium
  • 2 mg of iron
  • 14 mg of magnesium
  • 8 mg of phosphorus
  • 95 mg of potassium
  • 73 mg of sodium
  • 7 mg of vitamin C

Plus, it has no notable side effects and can be used effectively up to 10 grams per day.


2. Management of diabetes


High blood glucose is associated with many health complications. One of which is diabetes, a disease that affects about 422 million people and is among the leading causes of mortality worldwide.

Though more research is needed, spirulina has shown promising potential in managing symptoms of diabetes.

In a 2017 animal study, researchers gave mice with type 1 diabetes spirulina extract orally. The study revealed that the mice showed lower blood sugars, higher insulin levels, and improved liver enzyme markers.

A 2013 Indian study also supported the benefits of spirulina in type 2 diabetes. 25 patients with type 2 diabetes were given 2 grams of spirulina each day for two months in which improved blood sugar and lipid profiles were noted over the period of the research.


3. Prevention of heart disease


High blood pressure and cholesterol levels are both markers of cardiovascular problems. Spirulina has been proven to reduce both of these risk factors.

Spirulina contains active compounds that lower levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides significantly. It can also reduce inflammation and protect the body against oxidative stress. This led to a rapidly growing interest in its supplement form as an alternative to conventional drugs for cardiovascular problems.


4. Supports gut health


We all know how our gut affects almost every function of our body. And if you are health-conscious, let me give you a reason why this wonder algae deserves a spot on your diet.

Spirulina has prebiotic properties. A 2017 study on older mice showed it helped preserve gut function during aging and may help maintain a healthy gastrointestinal microbial community.

As you may have guessed already, a healthy gut is a healthy immune system. This makes spirulina also an ultimate immune system boosting food.

More studies are needed but current literature supports spirulina’s superior benefits to both human and animal gut health.



Spirulina is indeed a healthful superfood worthy of its title. In light of its long history as a food, experts are considering it generally safe yet still not recommended as a replacement to prescription drugs in treating certain diseases.

Eat Well & Stay Sharp With These 3 Brain-Building Superfoods

Brain building superfoods

“Brain food” may sound like a figure of speech, but it’s a real thing!

Turns out, the brain’s a bit of an energy glutton. It uses up about 20% of the body’s caloric intake – which is why brain fog (or an intense fugue state) is one of the side effects of hunger.

What you eat (and how much of it) can, and will, yield both short- and long-term effects on your mental state. So in order to optimise brain function, you want to take both quality and quantity into consideration.

Eating crappy food (read: processed junk) can fill you up, but it won’t do much for your brain. Likewise, eating whole foods but in minimal quantities (say, below 1,000 calories) isn’t going to be much help, either.

Our recommendation for the best results?


These are nutrient-dense foodstuffs are easy to find and easy to eat. Many of them have crazy health benefits per serving and, yes; mental boosting just happens to be one of them.


  1. Dark Chocolate

We’re kicking off this list with something fun and unexpected. Come on; who doesn’t love chocolate, right?

Unfortunately, only the dark, bittersweet kind counts. So if you’re a big fan of the milky and the white, you’re a little out of luck. They’re still chocolate, sure, but they’re a little too processed and have a little too many additives to be considered “healthy.”

They’re more sweets than a superfood, really.

Dark chocolate, on the other hand, still retains most of the good stuff found in the cacao bean (from which all chocolate is born). We’re talking flavonoids; a type of antioxidant that’s incredibly powerful against oxidative stress in the brain.

Oxidative stress is the little bugger responsible for age-related cognitive decline (as well as many age-related brain diseases). If you want to combat it, cacao flavonoids are your best bet.

Chocolate also happens to be a legitimate mood booster! Pop a square or two when you’re feeling low. But make sure that the cocoa percentage is 70% or higher. Anything lower has just too much sugar to be really healthy.


  1. Berries

Strawberries, blackberries, and mulberries – oh my! These teeny tiny superfoods pack a powerful, brain-stimulating punch thanks to the flavonoid in them.

(Yep! The same antioxidants found in dark chocolate.)

Aside from flavonoids, berries also contain catechin, quercetin, anthocyanin, and caffeic acid – antioxidants that are known for reducing inflammation and oxidative stress.

Further studies also suggest that these compounds can increase brain plasticity (which helps brain cells form new connections to boost learning and memory), delay age-related neurodegenerative diseases, and improve communication between brain cells.


  1. Fatty Fish

And last – but certainly not the least – on our list is good ol’ fatty fish.

Seriously; who hasn’t heard of omega-3 fatty acids by now?

Even if you aren’t a health nut by any means, the food industry has never been shy about letting us know just how beneficial this compound is.

I mean, to be fair; omega-3 really does have a ton of benefits. Increasing grey matter, for one. Improving blood flow to the brain, for another.

Grey matter contains most of the nerve cells that control memory, emotion, and decision making, so yeah. It’s pretty important. And better blood flow to the brain optimises cognitive abilities – something that’ll definitely come in handy when you’re taking an exam or tackling a particularly tricky project.

Omega-3 fatty acids aren’t just great for mental health, either. Studies have linked high levels of omega-3 fatty acids with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, improved eye health, and reduced risk of metabolic syndrome.

A great way to include this miracle compound in your diet? Eat some fatty fish. Salmon’s a classic, but don’t forget about tuna, herring, and sardines!


Even if you don’t buy the marketing idea of “superfoods,” slightly increasing your omega-3 or flavonoid intake can’t hurt. At the end of the day, your brain is an incredibly important organ. In fact, one could argue it’s the most important. So why not do whatever you can to keep it in peak working condition?