Spirulina - The SuperFood

  • 22-May-2019   
  • | Dr. Sundus Shafat Ahmad
  • | 616
  • Average Reading Time: 2 minutes and 27 seconds   

Among the world’s most popular supplements, Spirulina is filled with different nutrients and antioxidants that are beneficial to your health. It is a nutrient-dense alga that grows in both salt and freshwater. It has been consumed over centuries due to its high nutritional value and many health benefits. Here are 5 health benefits associated with spirulina that are backed by scientific evidence.

  1. Has Anti-Cancer Properties

Spirulina is suggested to have anticancer properties and has been shown to reduce cancer occurrence and tumor size. It is especially effective against a specific type of precancerous lesion on the mouth called oral submucous fibrosis (OSMF).

  1. Reduces Blood Pressure

High blood pressure contributes to various severe diseases including heart attacks and strokes. Taking spirulina in higher doses may lead to lower blood pressure due to an increased production of nitric oxide which helps blood vessels to relax and dilate.

  1. Lowers Bad LDL

The risk factors that contribute to heart disease are positively influenced by spirulina. One such risk factor is ‘bad’ LDL and triglycerides which are reduced and replaced by ‘good’ HDL cholesterol. In addition, the antioxidants in spirulina prevent the oxidation of fatty structures in the body which also lead to heart disease.

  1. Improves Muscle Strength

Exercise-induced oxidative damage results in muscle fatigue. Spirulina is beneficial due to its antioxidative properties which minimise the risk of damage. They also provide multiple exercise benefits to athletes and normal individuals. These include increased muscle strength and enhanced endurance.

  1. Aids Blood Sugar Control

Spirulina is linked to significantly lower blood sugar levels in various studies. Evidence shows that it will be beneficial for people with type-2 diabetes. It will drastically reduce blood sugar levels and ensure that they are at a normal rate.

Nutrient Facts

Spirulina is extremely rich in various nutrients. The standard daily use of spirulina is 1-3 grams. This alga is loaded with nutrients. One tablespoon (7 grams) of spirulina contains:

  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Vitamin B: 11% of the RDA
  • Vitamin B2: 15%
  • Vitamin B3: 4%
  • Copper: 21%
  • Iron: 11%

Additionally, it contains small amounts of several other nutrients such as magnesium, potassium and manganese. Apart from nutrients, it also contains powerful antioxidant properties. Spirulina is an excellent source of antioxidants. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory properties.

Side Effects

The main question is whether spirulina is considered safe. And in general, doctors consider it to be safe, especially because of its long history as a superfood. But it can be toxic if grown in unsafe conditions. Contaminated spirulina is specifically harmful to children so it important that you ensure the spirulina is safe before you consume it.

Bottomline

Spirulina, a type of cyanobacteria which is also known as blue-green algae, is extremely healthy. It has many benefits for your brain and body as it can reduce blood pressure, lower blood sugar, improve lipid levels and prevent oxidation. While sufficient research is needed to prove many other properties, it is worthy of it's superfood title.


A Clinical Microbiologist by profession, Sundus is an avid reader, full time people person, always looking to make the most of life, the 'healthy' way.

Dr. Sundus Shafat Ahmad
MBBS (DU), MD (RGUHS)