Emma Rinard is a world-traveler and multidisciplinary writer, who is passionate about living holistically. She knows first hand the importance of organic products in living a healthy lifestyle and hopes to raise awareness in others by contributing to HomeOrganic. She endeavors to write in a way that inspires others to take the reins of their own life and to thrive.
What Is Spirulina?
Spirulina is a widely used supplement that can be found in powder and pill form. This supplement is known for its many amazing qualities, and it is an extremely nutrient dense product when compared to the very small size. This supplement is made from a blue-green algae called cyanobacteria. The algae grows in freshwater and saltwater, but the freshwater source is where spirulina supplements originate from. The companies that sell spirulina supplement products grow and acquire the algae from their industrial ponds, where the algae can be monitored so as to not develop toxic algae varieties that have been shown to negatively affect humans and animals. Once this algae is processed into its supplement form, it can be taken as directed on each product to get nutrient and vitamin boosts each day.
The Importance of Spirulina Being Organic
Because there is a possibility of this algae growing toxic algae with it, the source of your spirulina supplement is crucial when considering which product you will purchase. While it is nutrient-dense and beneficial to your health, it can also contain harmful toxins from something called cyanotoxins. These toxins are harmful for humans and animals alike. Many bodies of water are closed seasonally due to over-growth of this blue-green algae for fear of the toxins that can develop and harm those who ingest it, whether purposely or accidentally.
Humans run the risk of adverse health effects if the toxic counterpart is ingested, such as:
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Eye and throat irritation
- Breathing difficulties
If your furry friends come in contact with the toxic algae, even worse health effects can occur:
- Neurological damage
- Liver damage
- Respiratory failure
Considering that those harmful toxins can develop in this blue-green algae, it is important that the spirulina that you consume is ethically and responsibly sourced. For the product to have the organic USDA seal on it means that they had to jump through many hoops to guarantee the safety and health of the product. For example, the water that the spirulina is farmed from must be carefully monitored, and the product must be tested once it is processed and ready to be put on the shelf, which significantly reduces the risk of toxins. Taking spirulina should benefit you greatly, not impose the risk of adverse health effects. Organic spirulina is the way to go when assuring the best possible product for your health.
Organic spirulina promises that anything that comes in contact with the algae must be organic and natural. No toxic pesticides, no unhelpful and unhealthy chemicals that make it grow quickly, and no GMOs are used in the growth and cultivation process of the commercially farmed algae. The source itself has to be clean and closely monitored to ensure the utmost quality. Making sure that you are purchasing only organic spirulina products is the greatest way to ensure that you are acquiring the best spirulina supplements for your health.
The Health Benefits of Organic Spirulina
Years ago, NASA set out to find the most nutrient packed foods for their astronauts. They proposed to grow spirulina as a possible solution for the many negative health problems that arise because of the intensity of space travel, as spirulina is known for the many nutritious benefits. Becoming an astronaut entails certain health requirements, and the time in space can contribute to bone depletion, cardiovascular degradation, and many more serious consequences. Spirulina is one of the most nutrient-dense options for them, as it is a shelf stable powder or supplement that can help meet many of the recommended daily dose of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, while also taking up very little space in the shuttle. The nutrients in spirulina are also considered bioavailable, meaning that they are ready to be properly absorbed and positively impact your health upon consumption. Many other powders are not bioavailable, and because of this, spirulina is often considered healthier.
Organic spirulina contains:
- Antioxidants: the antioxidants in spirulina fight free radicals, DNA damage, and inflammation. Chronic inflammation is known to contribute to cancer, and the antioxidants within spirulina aids in prevention of this inflammation.
- Carotenoids: a phytonutrient that protects your eyes and immune system. It is often converted into vitamin A by your body.
- Protein: for such a small pill or spoonful of powder, spirulina contains a plentiful amount of protein. It has 4 grams of protein for each tablespoon consumed.
- Omega fatty acids: spirulina contains both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega fatty acids are vital to every structure of your body, and as such, need to be included in your daily diet in order to maintain a properly functioning body.
- Iron: the iron found in spirulina is more absorbable by your body than regular iron supplements.
- Copper: with just a tablespoon of spirulina, more than half of your daily recommended copper intake is completed. Few people consume an adequate amount of copper, but it is important for proper bodily function.
- Vitamins: spirulina contains vitamins B6, C, and E, all important in aiding the proper function of your health system.
What’s more, those with high cholesterol have been shown to benefit from a daily dose of
organic spirulina, and it can lower high blood pressure1. The many benefits of spirulina are not just limited to what is listed above, but that alone is enough to show its many special benefits, and exhibits why NASA uses it in space to meet an astronaut’s crucial nutritional needs.
The Supplement for All
It is easy to see why spirulina is considered a hot commodity in modern times. Spirulina has been used for centuries; the Aztecs were also known to use spirulina to treat illnesses and to help boost energy for long periods of travel, and ever since, it has been highly sought and praised for its many abilities to aid in your body’s nutritional needs. NASA, a respected space organization, is using it for the nutritional benefits and because it is shelf-stable. Many people do not get the required daily vitamin and mineral doses in order for their body to be at its peak. Spirulina can be a quick and simple way to supply your body with some of the nutrition it needs to function.