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This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Spirulina Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 90.7 g
Calories: 26 kcal
Protein: 5.9 g
Carbohydrate: 2.4 g
Dietary fiber: 0.4 g
Sugars: 0.3 g
Fat: 0.4 g
Saturated fat: 0.1 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.1 g
Vitamin C: 0.9 mg
Vitamin B1: 0.2 mg
Vitamin B2: 0.3 mg
Vitamin B3: 1.2 mg
Vitamin B9: 9 μg
Vitamin A: 3 μg
Vitamin E: 0.5 mg
Vitamin K: 2.5 μg
Calcium: 12 mg
Iron: 2.8 mg
Magnesium: 19 mg
Phosphorus: 11 mg
Potassium: 127 mg
Sodium: 98 mg
Zinc: 0.2 mg

It has been touted as the superfood that everyone should be eating thanks to the high level of nutrients that spirulina is supposed to contain; so we’ve tracked down the science behind the claims to shed some light on this.

Boosts Vitamin A Levels. Vitamin A is necessary for good eye health, a properly functioning immune system and healthy skin. A team of researchers in China decided to investigate if spirulina had any effect on the levels of vitamin A stored by 218 primary school-aged children. They found that spirulina did significantly increase the levels of vitamin A in the groups of children who received it and the more spirulina they ingested, the higher their levels of vitamin A.

Anti-inflammatory Properties And Prevents Tumour Growth. One of the big claims relating to spirulina is its ability to inhibit tumour growth and a recent study has examined whether or not this is true. The research was carried out on mice, but the results are promising – it seems that dietary spirulina does have an effect on the growth of tumours caused by UVB radiation. It is thought that this is due to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of the spirulina.

Another recent study confirmed that algae, like spirulina, did offer a natural source of anti-inflammatories.

Positive Effects On Cholesterol. In 2013, a team of scientists carried out research in to the hypolipidaemic effects of spirulina i.e. the ability to lower lipoproteins in the blood. Low-density lipoprotein is the “bad” cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein is the “good” cholesterol. Fifty-two test participants consumed 1g of spirulina a day for twelve weeks. The findings showed that “bad” cholesterol had been reduced by 10% and overall cholesterol levels had dropped by 8.9%.

Relieves Allergy Symptoms. Medication can barely cope with the consequences of allergens that live in the air and find their way into our nasal passages, upsetting the natural order of things; but it seems that spirulina may hold the answer! In 2008, a study was published that had examined the effectiveness of a number of natural products on relieving allergy symptoms.

The results showed that of all those tested, spirulina was the most effective at providing relief from symptoms such as congestion, sneezing and itching compared to the use of a placebo.

Improve Anaemia And Boost The Immune System. Health problems like anaemia and a poorly functioning immune system are generally the domain of the older generation, but they are problems that younger people should be aware of too. A study was published in 2011 that highlighted the effectiveness of spirulina in helping to combat these issues. It seems that regular ingestion of spirulina can help improve anaemia and its related symptoms, as well as give a much needed boost to the immune system.

Help Manage Diabetes. Diabetes is a disease that is quickly gaining momentum and affecting millions of people every year. Much is being done to help counteract the effects of diabetes and, in 2001, a study looked at the role spirulina could play in managing complications, namely blood sugar levels, in type 2 diabetic patients. The results found that spirulina was indeed effective at controlling blood sugar and keeping it in balance.