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Last modified on November 29th, 2021(Last Updated On: November 29, 2021)
If you haven’t seen blue spirulina, once you do, it might become your newest obsession. This brightly-colored superfood is a buzzy ingredient with real health benefits.
The dietary supplement has all the health benefits of other types of spirulina, but it’s a vibrant blue color that makes it fun for smoothies and smoothie bowls.
We cover everything you need to know, including the health benefits and where to find this fantastic superfood.
What is Blue Spirulina?
Blue spirulina is a vibrantly-colored blue version of spirulina.
In general, spirulina is one of the most popular supplements in the world, packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
When spirulina is blue it comes from blue-green algae, which is found in waterways and lakes. There’s a blue pigment in this particular type of spirulina called phycocyanin.
Many types are almost electric in their pigmentation and you’ll frequently see words like unicorn and mermaid associated with it.
With green spirulina, the phycocyanin is extracted, which is why it doesn’t have the bold blue hue.
Green spirulina is the most basic and easily harvested type of spirulina. The extracted blue form is the purest type of phycocyanin.
Phycocyanin itself is an antioxidant that can combat free radicals. There’s evidence it may provide protection to the cells in the liver, heart, kidneys, and nervous system.
Phycocyanin has anti-inflammatory properties, and it may help modulate the immune system.
Along with having phycocyanin, it may taste different than green spirulina.
Green spirulina is a whole-cell alga. That can affect the taste, and some people might not prefer it.
Spirulina that’s blue on the other hand, tends to have a more neutral and somewhat more palatable taste and smell. For example, green spirulina tastes a bit fishy to some people, which isn’t the case with blue.
What Are the Blue Spirulina Benefits?
These benefits aren’t exclusive to blue spirulina—all spirulina has so many health benefits, which is why it’s such a popular supplement.
Spirulina is a type of cyanobacteria and it grows in salt and freshwater.
Cyanobacteria produce energy via photosynthesis and it’s full of nutrients. In fact, taking a spirulina supplement is like taking a multivitamin and the nutrient content is one reason for the effectiveness of spirulina extract.
- One tablespoon of spirulina has four grams of protein, B vitamins, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium and more.
- It has small amounts of almost every nutrient we need.
- Sometimes, spirulina is referred to as the most nutritious food available.
- Spirulina is a high-quality source of protein, with all the essential needed amino acids.
Blue spirulina is an anti-inflammatory. Oxidative damage can create chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation contributes to cancer and other diseases. Spirulina combats oxidative damage and fights free radicals. Spirulina can also stop the production of molecules that signal inflammation throughout the body to promote a regulated immune response.
Blue spirulina and other types of spirulina have been found in some research to have potential anti-cancer effects.
Animal studies have shown spirulina may reduce tumor size and cancer occurrence. There’s a particularly significant amount of research looking at the effects of spirulina on oral cancer.
For example, in one Indian study, 87 people with precancerous lesions took one gram of spirulina a day for a year. 45% of those study participants had their lesions disappear entirely. When the study participants stopped taking spirulina, almost half once again developed lesions.
Blood Pressure Reduction
High blood pressure is linked to an increased risk of heart attack, chronic kidney disease, and stroke. Taking a dose of 4.5 mg of spirulina a day has led to blood pressure reductions in study participants.
The effects of blue spirulina and other types of spirulina on blood pressure are likely because the supplement can increase your production of nitric oxide.
Nitric oxide helps dilate your blood vessels, so blood can flow more freely through them.
There are different types of anemia, and the most common type means someone has a reduced number of red blood cells or hemoglobin. When you’re anemic, it can cause symptoms like fatigue, breathlessness, and weakness.
Anemia can have a detrimental impact on your quality of life, but spirulina has been found to help increase hemoglobin in red blood cells. It may also help improve your immune function as a long-term effect.
Blood Sugar Control
There are currently some studies in animals that show spirulina may help reduce blood sugar levels, and in some cases, research has found it’s more effective than Metformin, a prescription diabetes drug.
There was a small study in humans that found similar results. Taking two grams of spirulina helped people with type 2 diabetes have lower HbA1c levels.
Even reducing this marker by 1% can significantly reduce your risk of diabetes-related death.
Contains Amino Acids
Blue spirulina is a natural source of amino acids and a nutrient-dense protein source as well as having a spectacular color.
An amino acid is one of the building blocks of protein. There are essential amino acids, including lysine and tryptophan, that are essential for nearly every function of your body.
Amino acids help with the healing and repair of your body’s cells, normal digestion and they provide you with energy.
Amino acids also help with the growth of muscles, regulate your moods and produce hormones.
In addition to having amino acids, blue spirulina may help with your strength and endurance in other ways.
For example, the antioxidants in spirulina can help you build exercise endurance and may help you exercise for longer without feeling fatigued.
Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Heart disease is a top killer worldwide, and certain types of cholesterol are associated with an increased risk of heart disease. LDL is known as bad cholesterol, and triglycerides are also linked with heart disease.
Spirulina may help reduce LDL and triglycerides while raising HDL, which is known as good cholesterol.
Spirulina overall is known for its cholesterol-lowering effects.
There is some evidence that spirulina may be helpful in the treatment of nasal allergies, also known as allergic rhinitis.
One study found that taking spirulina helped with symptoms such as sneezing, itching, and congestion.
Other Benefits of Spirulina
In addition to the benefits above, many people find that spirulina supplements give them a natural energy boost when they take it in the morning. It’s a good source of protein if you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, and as a result, it can also help with weight loss. If you follow a low-calorie diet you may notice even more weight loss benefits.
When you have spirulina before a meal it can help you feel less hungry, so you’re less likely to overeat.
Spirulina can bind with heavy metals and other harmful toxins in your body and aid in their removal, including liver toxins. Since it contains chlorophyll, it may help promote healthy gut bacteria and it can restore your digestive system.
Does Blue Spirulina Have Any Adverse Effects?
For the most part, spirulina and blue spirulina are thought to be fairly safe supplements, although you should always talk to your doctor before taking anything new. The primary adverse possible reaction from spirulina is having an allergy to it. If you were allergic to spirulina and took a supplement, it could lead to sweating, muscle pain, or headache. If you’re allergic to seaweed, seafood, and sea vegetables, you probably shouldn’t take spirulina.
There’s also some evidence that if you have an autoimmune disorder, you should avoid spirulina because it can stimulate your immune system. Some people don’t think that’s true based on clinical trials and human studies, however. Spirulina may actually help modulate your immune system if it’s overactive.
It’s important that you use only a high-quality spirulina supplement because anytime it’s grown in the wild it can act as a magnet for toxins from the water. Most of what you’ll find available in the U.S. is lab-grown, so you can avoid this risk.
Before you choose spirulina check the ingredient lists. Make sure it only contains the most basic ingredients.
Typically, with any dietary supplement, the fewer ingredients the better. Additional items may be unneeded and increase the risk of side effects with any supplement.
How Do You Use Blue Spirulina?
Because it has a milder and more neutral taste, you actually have more flexibility in how you use blue spirulina compared to how you use green spirulina. Green spirulina can be used in powder form, but there are also tablets available.
It’s typically available in powder form.
You can add a spoonful straight to a glass of water and drink it. You can also add it to smoothies or use it to make a smoothie or acai bowl.
You can even cook with blue spirulina. For example, it can be added to baked goods, or you can make energy balls with it.
What is the Best Blue Spirulina?
Below are some of our recommendations for the best products available on Amazon. Each is top-rated among users.
- Pure-water extracted
- 100% pure spirulina
- No additives
- Passed rigorous testing for chemicals, heavy metals, molds, and bacteria
- The versatile powder can be used in smoothies, ice cream, shakes, and more
- High nutritional content with PopJoy – Vibrant Superfoods
- May boost energy and the immune system
- Just one single ingredient
- No algae taste or smell
- 100% natural vibrant blue color
- Contains three full ounces of powder
- Provides amino acids, vitamins, minerals, protein, and essential fatty acids
- 100% money-back guarantee
- Great for baking as a natural alternative to blue food coloring
- 100% pure extract
- Organic blue spirulina powder that’s non-GMO
- No fishy taste
- High potency
- Eco-friendly packaging and a donation to Oceana.org is made with each purchase
Frequently Asked Questions
The following are answers to some of the most frequent questions people have about this particular type of spirulina.
What is Blue Spirulina?
Blue spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that comes from freshwater usually.
Typically something called phycocyanin is extracted from spirulina supplements, which makes them green. Blue spirulina still has phycocyanin, thus the bright blue color. Otherwise, nutritionally and in terms of health benefits, it’s the same as other spirulina.
Phycocyanin is a powerful antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory effects, so some people feel blue is even healthier than green options. The antioxidant effects are powerful. Many people find the positive effects of spirulina consumption are very noticeable and help with a number of health conditions.
You typically find spirulina in powder form, so you can easily add it to juice, smoothies, smoothie bowls, or recipes.
What Does Blue Spirulina Taste Like?
One of the big benefits of blue over green spirulina is the fact that it has a much milder, more neutral taste and smell. Sometimes green spirulina can smell and taste a bit fishy, and that can overpower smoothies and other recipes when you add it. Blue doesn’t have this problem, making it a better option if you’re otherwise sensitive to the taste of spirulina. It also gives you more flexibility in how you use blue spirulina since it doesn’t have a strong flavor.
What Pigment Causes Blue in Spirulina?
There is something called phycocyanin that causes the blue pigment in spirulina. It’s an antioxidant, so it’s beneficial from a health standpoint, and it also makes for a beautiful supplement. If you take Instagram photos, you may get some great results when you’re photographing your smoothies if you use blue spirulina. It’s often referred to as mermaid spirulina because of how pretty the color is.
Where to Buy Blue Spirulina Powder?
Blue spirulina powder is available on Amazon, and above, we included links to some of the top-rated products. You may also be able to find it in some health food stores.
Blue spirulina powder and supplements have all the same health benefits as green spirulina. Some of these benefits include their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, their ability to help reduce cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure levels, and their high nutrient content. Blue has advantages over green spirulina, however.
For example, blue has a milder flavor and smell, so it can be more easily integrated into recipes such as smoothies. Spirulina that’s blue can also help you make photo-worthy food creations that stand out.
It’s certainly a supplement worth considering as part of your daily routine. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns.