Spirulina refers to the dried biomass of three species of blue-green algae. Although commonly called algae, these microscopic, single-celled organisms are actually a type of bacteria known as cyanobacteria. But because they live in water, contain chlorophyll and are blue-green in color, they were initially classified as algae.  Spirulina is considered a superfood because it is extremely high in protein, vitamins, minerals and powerful antioxidants. Aside from being nutrient-dense, spirulina also provides a wide range of health benefits.
Edible ancient bacteria
The bacterial species that produce spirulina were also once classified as plants because of their abundance of plant pigments and their ability to perform photosynthesis. But new understanding of their genetics, physiology and biochemical properties have now established their identities as members of the Bacteria kingdom under the genus Arthrospira. Among the many species of Arthrospira, three stand out as the most extensively studied because of their impressive nutrient profile and beneficial properties. These cyanobacteria are A. platensis, A. maxima and A. fusiformis, from which the popular health supplement spirulina is derived.
Cyanobacteria are widely used as dietary supplements because of their rich protein content. According to a study published in the Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, spirulina can also support your bodys natural ability to remove toxins. 
Spirulina has been consumed for thousands of years because of its high nutritional value. Early Spanish writings document the Aztecs harvesting spirulina from lakes by boat and drying it under the sun to make green patties. The patties were mixed with food, cooked into grains or simply consumed with water by marathon runners to support their stamina on long journeys. 
Spirulina grows in both fresh and saltwater and is commonly found in tide pools, coral reefs and alkaline lakes. It grows in microscopic spirals that tend to stick together, which makes it easy to harvest.
Why you can rely on spirulina for optimal nutrition
Spirulina is exceptionally nutritious and contains all of the essential amino acids – molecules that combine to form proteins – that the body cannot make. These include lysine, leucine, histidine, isoleucine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. According to a study by a researcher from the University of Geneva, essential amino acids form 47% of spirulina’s total protein weight. 
Spirulina’s total protein content is 60-70%, making it one of the richest sources of proteins on the planet. Spirulina also contains a modest amount of carbohydrates and a very small amount of fat. In addition, spirulina contains a long list of essential vitamins and minerals. A one-cup serving (112 g) of dried spirulina can give you the following % Daily Value (DV) for essential nutrients: 
- Vitamin A, 13%
- Vitamin C, 19%
- Vitamin E, 28%
- Vitamin K, 36%
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine), 178%
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), 242%
- Vitamin B3 (niacin), 72%
- Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), 39%
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 20%
- Vitamin B9 (folate), 26%
- Calcium, 13%
- Copper, 342%
- Iron, 177%
- Magnesium, 55%
- Manganese, 106%
- Phosphorus, 13%
- Potassium, 44%
- Selenium, 12%
- Sodium, 49%
- Zinc, 15%
Take note that the iron in spirulina may be more easily absorbed by your body than iron from vegetables and meats because of phycocyanin, one of the pigments responsible for the blue-green color of spirulina. It forms a complex with iron to enable optimal iron absorption. 
Another great thing about spirulina is that it is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). PUFAs like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids support your health in many ways. For instance, omega-3 fatty acids support healthy blood vessel function.  Meanwhile, omega-6 fatty acids support healthy skin, hair and bones.  Since your body does not make these beneficial fats, you need to get them from PUFA-rich foods like spirulina.
The omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are essential fats commonly found in oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel and sardines. If you follow a vegan or a vegetarian diet, you may have a hard time meeting your body’s daily EPA and DHA needs. Fortunately, you can get high amounts of EPA and DHA from spirulina. 
How spirulina supports optimal health*
While spirulina is indeed loaded with protein and other essential nutrients, what makes it truly impressive is its antioxidant content. Antioxidants are compounds that help protect the body by neutralizing highly reactive molecules called free radicals. Free radicals are byproducts of your cells’ metabolic activities. If allowed to accumulate, free radicals can trigger oxidative stress, which can damage healthy cells and their components. 
Your body naturally makes antioxidants, but many powerful ones can be found in foods like spirulina. A study published in the Journal of Cancer reported that the phycocyanin in spirulina works as an antioxidant and protects healthy cells from free radical damage.  According to the study, phycocyanin can also support the healthy functions of certain immune cells.
In a study published in The Israeli Journal of Aquaculture -- Bamidgeh, researchers found that spirulina also contains a PUFA called arachidonic acid.  Arachidonic acid is an integral component of cell membranes and contributes to cells fluidity and flexibility, which are necessary for the optimal functioning of all cells, especially immune cells. Arachidonic acid also plays a key role in supporting healthy immune responses. 
Spirulina also produces a variety of carotenoids and other high-value products in response to environmental stressors.  Carotenoids are a class of plant chemicals that give many fruits and vegetables their red, yellow and orange hues. Carotenoids play an important role in plant health and also work as antioxidants inside the human body. 
Some of the more well-known carotenoids found in spirulina include fucoxanthin, astaxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin, cryptoxanthin and alpha- and beta-carotene. These carotenoids are crucial for supporting a healthy immune system and are also beneficial for eye health. Lutein and zeaxanthin, in particular, can protect your eyes from damage caused by artificial blue light from digital screens and ultraviolet rays from the sun.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are the only carotenoids found in the retina – the thin layer of tissue that lines the back of the eye on the inside. Located near the optic nerve, the retina senses light and sends signals to the brain so that you can see. Lutein and zeaxanthin are known to support healthy eye function by protecting the retina from oxidative damage.
Carotenoids are also good for the heart. According to a study published in the journal Food & Nutrition Research, these powerful compounds can support healthy blood pressure levels that are already within the normal range.  And thanks to their antioxidant properties, carotenoids can also help you maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels that are already within the normal range.
In addition, the PUFAs in spirulina can support the optimal functions of endothelial cells, which line your blood vessels.  Endothelial cells release substances that control blood vessel relaxation and contraction, as well as enzymes that control blood clotting.  Keeping your blood vessels healthy is important because it ensures that your organs and tissues receive a steady supply of oxygen and nutrients.
Additionally, PUFAs are essential for healthy brain function. Our brains are especially enriched with DHA and arachidonic acid, both of which constitute about 20% of the brain’s dry weight. These nutrients are transformed into molecules necessary for regulating communication between brain cells, mood and cognition. They are also essential for the normal development and optimal functioning of the nervous system. 
Gamma-linolenic acid, another PUFA found in spirulina, can support healthy energy levels. According to a study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, gamma-linolenic acid is easily absorbed by cells and helps in the release of energy. Spirulina also contains beneficial polysaccharides – long-chain carbohydrates made up of smaller carbohydrates – that are typically used by the body for energy. 
Spirulina is easy for the body to digest because its cells do not have tough, fibrous walls, unlike plants. Animal studies also show that spirulina can support a healthy digestive system. In fact, a study published in the journal Nutrients suggests that spirulina can support a healthy gut microflora in aging adults. 
Spirulina can also make you feel full for longer and discourage you from snacking between meals or overeating. This is because the healthy fats in spirulina can support reasonable weight management goals, especially when combined with a balanced diet and regular exercise. 
Finally, spirulina can support your body’s natural ability to eliminate toxins. According to a review published in the journal Pharmaceutical Biology, spirulina can effectively counteract certain pollutants.  This means that supplementing with spirulina is a great way to support your body’s natural ability get rid of unwanted substances.
To recap, here are the 8 ways spirulina can benefit your health, according to science:
- Supports healthy immune function
- Supports healthy eye function
- Supports healthy cardiovascular function
- Supports healthy cognitive function
- Supports healthy energy levels
- Supports healthy digestion
- Supports reasonable weight management goals
- Supports your body's natural ability to eliminate toxins
Where to find clean, lab-verified spirulina
Spirulina is considered one of the most powerful green superfoods in the world, and for good reason. Packed with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, spirulina packs an impressive nutritional punch and provides a wide range of health benefits. Spirulina is available in powder or tablet form. As a powder, it can be added to smoothies, salads, soups and other dishes. As a tablet, it can be taken every day as part of a balanced diet.
Unfortunately, most spirulina products on the market are laced with arsenic, lead and other heavy metals. This is because properties of spirulina cause it to bind to heavy metals and other contaminants. What’s more, most spirulina products on the market come from microalgae grown in large commercial pond systems in China, a country notorious for pollution and contamination.
Here at the Health Ranger Store, we are committed to bringing you only clean, lab-verified superfoods, which is why we are proud to bring you a new, clean lot of Health Ranger Select Hawaiian Spirulina. Our premium spirulina is derived from non-GMO Arthrospira microalgae grown in pristine, open ponds using a combination of 100% potable water from Hawaiian aquifers and deep ocean water, which contains all 94 trace minerals and elements.
After harvesting, the non-GMO Arthrospira microalgae are gently dried using our patented Ocean Chill Drying technology and carefully cold-pressed to ensure maximum nutrient levels in our product. This is why you can trust that Health Ranger Select Hawaiian Spirulina can provide you with plenty of protein, beneficial fats, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to support your overall health and well-being.
Rich in highly digestible vegetable protein and essential amino acids, Health Ranger Select Hawaiian Spirulina makes a healthy addition to a low-carb, high-protein diet. It contains no gluten, lactose, soy, pesticides, herbicides or chemical solvents. It is also non-GMO, non-China, non-irradiated and vegan, and thoroughly lab tested for glyphosate, heavy metals and microbiology. Our premium spirulina is available in 12 oz and 64 oz packs.
Experience the remarkable health benefits of spirulina, one of the most powerful superfoods in the world!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any diseases.