Spirulina is a type of cyanobacteria, a microscopic organism found naturally in all types of water. It’s often referred to as blue-green algae, and some countries have used spirulina for years as a food source. Many people include spirulina in their diet because it’s packed with nutrients that can positively affect overall health. It also contains a healthy dose of plant protein, which is often lacking from heavily processed and sugar-filled diets.
Spirulina has several health benefits, which is why it’s often referred to as a superfood.
Kecia Gaither, MD, double board certified in OB-GYN and maternal-fetal medicine and director of perinatal services at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln, outlines the most notable benefits for pregnancy, including:
- It contains antioxidants, which are protective against inflammation and oxidative damage from free radicals.
- It’s full of nutrients, like vitamins B1, B2, and B3; iron; and folic acid, which is helpful for baby’s brain development.
- It has both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids — specifically, gamma-linolenic acid, which is a plant-derived omega-6 fatty acid. Omegas are great for your little one’s brain development.
- It can help prevent atherosclerosis (artery hardening) because it promotes the production of “good” cholesterols in the body while decreasing the “bad” ones.
- It’s helpful in the production of hemoglobin and red blood cells, which is great for anemia and fatigue. It also helps relax blood vessels, lowering blood pressure and potentially decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- It can help reduce allergic rhinitis symptoms like inflammation and swelling in the sinuses and nasal cavities.
- It may help increase energy.
- It may help decrease glucose levels, which is potentially helpful for pregnant people and people with diabetes.
- It decreases the incidence of candidiasis (yeast infections) in the vagina and oral cavity.
What are the benefits of Spirulina Powder for the skin?
Spirulina can boost the overall health and radiant appearance of your skin, as well as preventing acne build up and swelling. Rich in nutrients, vitamins and both fatty and amino acids, Spirulina decreases inflammation, tones the skin and encourages cell turnover to promote a more youthful-looking complexion. As with many superfood skincare ingredients, Spirulina also works wonders on dull and congested skin as it gently detoxifies and encourages cell renewal. By encouraging the shedding of dead skin cells, it helps to maintain a healthy, lit-from-within glow.
Spirulina for collagen production and skin tightening
A 2019 study suggests that spirulina may increase growth factors in dermal fibroblast cells, which are the cells responsible for creating collagen. Spirulina also contains many important amino acids, including glycine and proline, which keep the skin firm and support the body’s collagen production.
Spirulina may provide anti-aging and anti-inflammatory effects.
Spirulina for acne
Spirulina to the skin could be an alternative option for acne treatment due to its high antioxidant and antimicrobial effects. Spirulina might be a better option than local antibiotic therapy due to fewer side effects and no
Spirulina for psoriasis
A 2020 study showed that spirulina helped to reduce the presence of psoriasis. The study suggests that spirulina could potentially be developed as a natural pharmaceutical for psoriasis treatment.
Spirulina for eczema
A 2020 study suggests that an ointment containing spirulina may help improve eczema symptoms when applied topically two times per day for 3 weeks.
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 1/2 tsp. spirulina extract or 1 tbsp. spirulina powder
- 1 tsp. Olive Oil
- Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix them.
- Apply to clean, dry skin.
- Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then wash off with a cleanser. Pat dry.
- ½ tsp. spirulina extract or 1 tbsp. spirulina powder
- 1 tbsp. carrier oil of your choice, such as argan oil, jojoba oil
- Combine ingredients in a small bowl.
- Apply to clean, dry skin in a circular motion.
- Wash off with a wet cloth and water. Pat dry.
- 1/2 tsp. spirulina extract or powder
- 1/2 tsp. jojoba oil
- 1 drop of coconut oil
- Apply as a spot treatment to blemishes.
- Leave on for up to an hour.
- Rinse off with a cleanser and pat dry.