Algae might sound like a strange thing to eat, but it’s actually been a part of human diets for thousands of years. All those ancient cultures may have been onto something: today, people are just starting to rediscover blue green algae benefits.
Is blue green algae right for your diet? In this guide, we’ll take a look at all the reasons you might want to supplement your diet with algae pills, powder, or other forms.
Keep reading to find out if a blue green algae supplement can help you!
Where Does Blue Green Algae Come From?
It’s always important to know what you’re putting in your body. Where does blue green algae come from, and how did it get its name?
Many different organisms, such as phytoplankton, actually make up what we call “blue green algae.” These simple creatures aren’t quite plants, but they are very similar to plants. Most blue green algae grows in salt water, although it also thrives in some fresh-water lakes.
Most of the time, they do best in warm waters in tropical or sub-tropical regions, with plenty of salt content. The algae’s blue-green color tints the water with a blue-green or dark-green look.
Depending on the exact location and climate, different types of algae will make up the mix of blue-green algae in a given area. It’s possible to grow algae artificially, as well as harvesting it from nature.
However, naturally-grown algae is more prone to contamination from heavy metal, bacteria, and other toxins. If you do buy algae harvested from nature, just make sure it’s been tested and shown to be free of toxic contaminants.
Blue Green Algae Benefits
What can algae supplements do for you? Lots of recent research has uncovered new ways algae can help people stay healthy. Let’s take a look at the top benefits you’ll get from using algae in your diet.
1. Keep Infections Away
Some studies indicate that types of blue green algae might help ward off many different types of infection. Someday, researchers might actually be able to turn algae into medicine!
2. Combat Arsenic Poisoning
Some studies also suggest that in places where lots of arsenic makes its way into the water, blue green algae can reduce the levels of arsenic and the effects it has on people. If you’re concerned about arsenic poisoning, consider taking an algae supplement.
3. Boost Protein Levels
Today, people are always seeking out new ways to get more protein. Lots of people turn to unhealthy, sugar-filled protein bars and shakes to get their fix. But algae can offer a healthier way to get the protein you need.
For example, the popular blue-green algae spirulina has tons of amino acids, which provide the body with protein. However, it takes a lot of algae to get high levels of protein, so this is best as a supplement and not a main source.
4. Combat Obesity
Some studies have also shown that types of blue green algae can help people fight obesity. When combined with other weight loss measures, like exercise and reducing calories, algae might be able to help get results.
5. Fight Off Cancer
It also appears that algae might someday become an important part of cancer prevention.
Studies on animals have shown that algae might help reduce the size of tumors, or even reduce the likelihood that cancer will occur. It’s also been shown to help combat oral cancer in humans.
6. Increase Your Vitamin Intake
Even if you’re perfectly healthy, it’s usually a good idea to try to get more vitamins from your food. Blue green algae contains dozens of different vitamins that the body needs to work well.
In addition to vitamins, algae also has lots of antioxidants that your body needs to ward off the damage of oxidation.
7. Treat Allergy Symptoms
Suffering from the symptoms of allergies? Taking algae can help lessen the symptoms and make allergy season more bearable.
8. Control Blood Sugar Levels
In animals, blue green algae can help lower blood sugar levels. In fact, it’s even worked better than mainstream diabetes medications in some studies!
With more studies, researchers will be able to better understand how to use algae to help blood sugar levels in humans. But so far, the results look promising.
9. Treat ADHD
Many ADHD medications have come under fire for being harmful to the children they’re often prescribed to. Algae appears to help treat ADHD in children, even when no other medications are used.
10. Build Muscle Strength
Athletes love algae for its ability to help them grow muscle strength and build endurance.
Of course, the high protein content definitely helps. But it’s also useful that algae is an antioxidant, since the damage of oxidation to the muscles during exercise is what makes muscles feel fatigued.
Studies have shown that people who take blue green algae have more endurance, which can help you with everything from athletic performance to daily tasks.
11. Lower Cholesterol
Cholesterol levels are a huge source of worry for many Americans. Luckily, blue green algae has been shown to help reduce cholesterol levels in people whose cholesterol is just a little bit too high.
Although it may not work well for super-high cholesterol, this could be a good treatment for people who need to lower their levels less drastically.
12. Reduce Blood Pressure
High blood pressure and high cholesterol often go hand in hand. Algae can also help lower blood pressure by allowing your blood vessels to relax more. Lowering blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and more.
Ready to Try the Blue Green Algae Benefits?
No matter who you are or what your lifestyle is like, there are blue green algae benefits for you. As time goes by, more research is sure to uncover even more reasons to add algae supplements to your diet.
Looking for other ways to improve your life through your diet? Check out our guide to fueling your brain with food here!