10 Reasons Spirulina is Your Body’s Awesome Secret Weapon

Aly Walansky
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Spirulina

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Spirulina is a blue-green algae. That doesn’t sound sexy, but this super seaweed is a lifesaver for its skin-savvy fans. As most of us know, our outside beauty is directly related to our inside beauty. “Radiance is nothing more than happy, healthy cells, and spirulina is an easy way to sneak more “beauty nutrients” into a busy lifestyle via diet,” says Julie Morris, a natural foods chef and super food expert, author of  Superfood Juices and Superfood Kitchen.

Smoother, calmer and happier skin could be just a pinch (or pill if you’d rather) away! Find out what else this superfood can do for you below!

Boost your protein intake:
Protein is important for health and beauty. It keeps your body humming smoothly, helps you maintain lean muscle mass for a toned, summer-ready body, and helps provide various amino acids necessary for maintaining your skin’s collagen and elastin levels (two kinds of skin-specific proteins).

“Spirulina is actually very high in protein, making it one of the best options if you’re searching for a greens supplement while also boosting your protein intake. In fact, protein amino acids make up more than 60 percent of spirulina,” says Joshua Duvauchelle, a certified personal trainer and wellness consultant.

MORE: 11 Habits of Women With Healthy Hair

Choose wisely:
Always talk to your doctor before taking spirulina, as it has been shown to interact with certain medications and medical conditions. For example, because it may boost the strength of your immune system, it may not be a good choice for people with autoimmune disease. Spirulina absorbs the toxins and heavy metals in the water it’s growing in, so do your research. Look for brands that have been around for a while, like Nutrex, which is grown on the only spirulina farm in Hawaii and made in Hawaiian deep sea water, containing 94 trace minerals in a BioSecure zone free from pollution.

Better hair and nails:
The wide range of minerals found in spirulina, such as iron, are important in maintaing healthy hair, skin and nails, Morris points out.

“The healthy fats in spirulina (particularly GLA) play a role in keeping hair shiny and reducing inflammation in the skin. These fats can be absorbed either by eating spirulina, or using it topically in a face mask,” says Morris.

Fight inflammation:
“Spirulina is very rich in gamma linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid that helps your body fight inflammation. Although it’s an omega-6 fatty acid, it’s quite different from its inflammation-inducing cousins and has been shown to help fight skin disorders like eczema,” says Duvauchelle.

Detox:
Clorophyll (the green pigment found in plants) is found in remarkably high concentrations in spirulina, making this superfood one of the most potent cleansing foods found in nature. “Chlorophyll can aid in the elimination of heavy metals and toxins, which translates to clearer skin, brighter eyes, and balanced weight,” says Morris.

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Score a boost of antioxidants:
When you step out in the summer sunshine, you’re getting more than just a tan! All those sun rays release free radicals that can cause your skin to wrinkle, sag and develop uneven discoloration. Other sources of free radicals include air pollution if you live in the city, and poor diet! “Spirulina is rich in phytonutrients and carotenoids, important antioxidants that can help defend your skin and body from all these free radicals,” says Duvauchelle.

Since it increases skin metabolism, it neutralizes free radicals and other toxins that cause premature signs of aging. With its high content of vitamin A, vitamin B-12, and vitamin E, spirulina can improve sagging, tired-looking skin, leaving behind a more youthful, radiant complexion. “These vitamins also prevent wide-spread free radical growth, stopping premature aging in its tracks!” says Schlessinger.

Eliminate fine lines and wrinkles:
Spirulina helps beautify the skin by reducing fine lines and wrinkles, improving elasticity, and giving a rosy glow to the skin when taken internally and also used in facial masks says Susan Smith Jones, PhD, author of 27 books including Walking on Air: Your 30-Day Inside and Out Rejuvenation Makeover and The Joy Factor: 10 Sacred Practices for Radiant Health.

Eliminate dark circles:
Spirulina strengthens the body’s immune system, so it naturally also strengthens the skin. “The detoxifying effects of spirulina can help eliminate dark circles and other shadows. It can also improve general dryness and irritation in the eyes and the skin around the eyes,” says dermatologist Dr. Joel Schelssinger.

MORE: Foods That Help Protect Your Skin From Sun Damage

Fight acne:
There’s is evidence that spirulina can improve acne by helping to eliminate the surface bacteria that’s responsible for breakouts, Schlessinger says.

Warts:
Dr. Schlessinger says in his dermatology practice, he actually incorporates it into the treatment of warts.  “Most of my wart patients find it an easy way to ward off new warts and heal recalcitrant ones with fewer treatments,” Schlessinger says.

Weight control:
There’s lots of fiber in Spirulina, which means it’ll keep you fuller, longer. If you are full, you’ll eat less.

More energy
Whether you feel tired and weak around your period, or in general, you may be low in iron or anemic. Spirulina has a ton of iron, which can help and help create more energy. This may aid your workout routine as well!

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