The anti cancer diet is an important strategy you can use to reduce your risk of cancer. When most people think of anti cancer foods, they think of fresh fruits, leafy green vegetables, fish, green tea, and even extra portions of onions and garlic. But a little-known sea alga called spirulina is quickly gaining attention as an anti cancer superfood. It can be a critical player in preventing cancer. This green powder may even aid in the treatment of cancer therapy.
Spirulina is a blue-green alga that grows in tropical and subtropical lakes. In ancient times, the green powder was used as a protein-packed superfood and source of instant nutrition. This algae can help cut the risk of many kinds of cancer and in some cases, assist in healing it. Spirulina algae contain a green-blue pigment that is made up of protein molecules. This pigment is a highly effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. This is why spirulina is quickly becoming a key factor in the anti cancer diet.
In this article, we will cover what spirulina is and where it comes from. We’ll also discuss the many proven health benefits spirulina boasts, specifically in an anti cancer diet. But first, let’s go over what the anti cancer diet is and how adding a daily dose of spirulina can kick your cancer risk to the curb.
Fun Fact: An anti cancer diet includes getting plenty of sunshine and eating 10 or more servings of veggies every day.
- 1 What Do You Need to Know About the Anti Cancer Diet?
- 2 How Does Spirulina Fight Cancer?
- 3 What Else Is Spirulina Good For?
- 4 Spirulina Side Effects
- 5 What Does Spirulina Taste Like?
- 6 How Can I Take Spirulina?
- 7 Important Spirulina Nutrition Facts
- 8 Be Sure to Include Spirulina in Your Anti Cancer Diet
- 9 References
What Do You Need to Know About the Anti Cancer Diet?
Anti cancer diets are diets that include immune-boosting, anti cancer foods. When your immune system is in tip-top condition, your chances of fighting cancer increase. Also, your chances of getting certain cancers decrease.
Some methods of fighting cancer are harsh and leave your immune system compromised. This means you could possibly get other illnesses while fighting cancer. Generally, new cancer drugs are much more comfortable for the patient. However, it’s still no walk in the park and these treatments can also harm other organs.
Consider adding this blue-green algae to your anti cancer diet plan to boost your immune system. It can also help you fight off side effects of treatment such as nausea, weakness, fatigue, and headaches.
How Does Spirulina Fight Cancer?
No one can entirely pinpoint the causes of cancer, but studies have shown that spirulina is one of the top anti cancer foods and, as such, is able to improve cancer treatment. Because this supplement is so good at creating antibodies and proteins that help fight infections, it makes sense that it could prevent and defeat cancer cells. In fact, there are over 70 peer-reviewed articles that agree spirulina could be useful as an anti cancer supplement.
Spirulina prevents tumor growth
The blue-green algae presents a twofold attack. It has the potential to kill existing tumors, and prevent future tumor growth. This is extra exciting in the field of breast cancer research where spirulina has been proven to specifically target malignant cells in breast tissue.
Spirulina removes affected cancerous stem cells
Many cancers (like breast cancer) are “metastatic”. This means the cancer cells spread from their original location and take root in other areas of the body. Sometimes this happens long after a patient has been told they are healthy. Most conventional forms of cancer treatment don’t address the presence of stem cells. As a result, some cells can continue to generate new tumors after treatment ends. This is especially true for breast cancer, which is the leading cause of death in woman according to a 2012 study.
Spirulina has been proven to remove affected cancerous stem cells while leaving healthy cells alone, literally destroying cancer at its very core.
Spirulina helps increase melatonin levels
When it comes to breast cancer prevention and healing in particular, melatonin is vital. Melatonin is created while we sleep and has a direct effect on estrogen in several ways. A recent study found that healthy melatonin levels can slow breast cancer growth up to 70%. Enhancing a cancer patient’s diet with this anti cancer food greatly increases melatonin levels. This lovely little powder will, quite literally, put cancer cells to sleep.
Spirulina boosts the immune system
Spirulina is one of the best anti cancer foods because it helps with melatonin levels, detoxing the body, and targeting breast cancer cells. Furthermore, it also boosts the immune system. Taking a spirulina supplement every day has been proven to have a positive impact on the immune system. In general, this powder helps bring our body back into balance and improves our resistance to germs and other infections.
It is safe to say that including this healthy seaweed in our diet is a small but powerful step in creating and maintaining overall health. While further studies need to be made, spirulina as a chemo preventive shows great promise. If you are thinking about adding this superfood powder to an overall anti cancer diet, be sure to work directly with a qualified health expert.
Another cancer-fighting food you should add to your diet is broccoli sprouts. Broccoli sprout help prevent cancer formation and can be added to a range of dishes.
What Else Is Spirulina Good For?
Besides being part of an anti cancer diet, spirulina has clinical benefits in other areas. Here are a few:
According to some studies, regular use of this healthy green powder in your diet can promote healthy sinus tissue and reduce symptoms of allergies. This includes runny nose, itchy eyes and sinus pressure-based headaches. Spirulina can be a helpful addition to other herbal therapies either taken as a tisane (tea) or steamed as an inhalant to clear nasal passages.
Exposure to heavy metals and other chemicals like arsenic require effort for the body to remove. In small amounts, the human body is able to keep up for the most part. Women who expose themselves to high levels of heavy metals have shown better detox results with spirulina. The green powder bonds with these toxins and quickly assists in cleansing the body.
High blood pressure can be a warning sign for stroke, heart attack, and diabetes. Regular intake of spirulina can majorly reduce blood pressure. This is important to note especially for women who have high blood pressure.
Another benefit of spirulina is its effects on cholesterol. Strong scientific evidence points towards the idea that spirulina has the added benefit of reducing cholesterol.
As women, we always feel like we could do more if only we had the energy! Spirulina has shown itself to be a natural energy booster. In clinical studies, this helpful seaweed improves digestion and processing of carbohydrates. This makes for quicker and more efficient use of the calories we take in throughout the day.
Spirulina Side Effects
Spirulina is a fantastic powder that can help with many of the health issues modern women face. But are there dangers to spirulina? This powder is relatively new to markets so there are not many studies that show the dangers of this exotic powder.
Spirulina powder from certain regions could contain toxins. This all depends on the water source. Unfortunately, this powder is not well-regulated by the FDA. Always check the source of your supplements.
Adding any new medicine or vitamins to your diet can result in upset stomach or even diarrhea. Always start with the lowest dose so you can see how your body will react to the new nutrients.
What Does Spirulina Taste Like?
Now that you’ve seen all the benefits that come from adding this seaweed to your diet, you may be ready to go out and buy some. While it is perfectly safe, you might want to refrain from eating it on its own at first. It usually comes as a green-colored powder and has a funky, seaweed-like flavor with a rather intense earthiness to it. Most people find its original flavor a little hard to stomach on its own. This taste can typically be overpowered by other flavors when mixed. While eating pure spirulina is an option, there are much better ways to take this supplement. Here are a few ways you can get spirulina into your anti cancer diet:
Add it to your smoothie
Spirulina smoothies have become more and more popular. The earthy, seaweed flavor of the blue-green algae can balance out a sweet, fruity tasting smoothie made with other anti cancer foods. Some flavors lend themselves to having the green powder added more than others. There are plenty of recipes to be found for spirulina smoothies with chocolate, peanut butter, or yogurt.
Spirulina protein bowls
Spirulina protein bowls are also becoming popular. These are basically the same as the smoothies but they are thicker. Kind of like oatmeal. They are better for eating out of a bowl with a spoon.
Drink it up
Add the spirulina powder to any drink, including tea, lemonade, or fruit juice. If you aren’t adding a lot, you probably won’t even notice that it is there.
How Can I Take Spirulina?
Spirulina is easily found and can be a daily part of your anti cancer diet. You can find the green powder in your local health food store in a capsule or powder form that can easily be mixed into a smoothie, shake, baking mix or dressing along with other anti cancer foods.
If you are trying to balance out overly sweet flavors, the flavor of spirulina can also be helpful. For example, many people use spirulina when making their own ice cream or sweet beverages, like lemonade. It provides a savory flavor and can cut sweetness that may be too intense. This is one reason smoothies are one of the most popular ways to put the algae powder into your anti cancer diet.
The most important thing to consider when purchasing spirulina is purity. Be sure to buy top-notch supplements from a reliable source that guarantees the algae comes from pure, non-polluted waters and that no fillers have been used.
Fun Fact: Humans need sunlight to survive. We get 80% of our vitamin D from sunlight!
Important Spirulina Nutrition Facts
- Spirulina increases energy levels by promoting healthy gut flora where 80% of our immune system resides. A robust immune system is required to avoid cancer, as well as offsetting the effects of chemotherapy and other conventional cancer treatments. A healthy gut is able to process and digest food more effectively.
- Spirulina is a plant protein that doesn’t elevate blood cholesterol levels the way animal proteins do. This seaweed powder makes an excellent choice for those adhering to vegan or vegetarian diets.
- Spirulina is a powerhouse of vital nutrients, amino acids, lipids, iron and manganese. Each serving contains 532 micrograms of manganese and 8 milligrams of iron. This makes up 44% of the daily iron and 30% of the daily manganese needs for women. Iron helps monitor your body’s oxygen levels to prevent oxygen deprivation. It also helps transports oxygen to your tissues. Manganese promotes protein and tissue growth that your body needs for wound healing, particularly if you are undergoing treatment for cancer.
- Spirulina has a high protein content, giving it superfood status. It is a healthier source of protein than artificial protein powders. Spirulina can contain up to 70% protein. That means that in 10 grams, you get 7 grams of protein. When combined with its other benefits, it is an obvious choice for protein in your anti cancer diet.
- Spirulina is a great source of Vitamin A. Vitamin A is extra important in women who are pregnant. This vitamin helps with immunity and reproduction. It ensures that cells are regenerating properly. It also prevents anemia.
- Spirulina provides lots of vitamin D. Women are most affected by osteoporosis and calcium deficits as they age. Vitamin D helps with the absorption of important nutrients like calcium.
Be Sure to Include Spirulina in Your Anti Cancer Diet
The anti cancer diet has been helpful in promoting a healthy life as well as prolonged wellness during cancer treatment. There are many ways you can have your spirulina, whether in a cake, or a simple spirulina smoothie. No matter which way you want to take this superfood powder, it is the perfect addition to your anti cancer diet plan. While the medical community is still finding new and innovative ways to prevent and treat cancer, spirulina algae is quickly rising to the top of the superfood chain.
-  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC526387/
-  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5391608/
-  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=spirulina+cancer
-  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29966973
-  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25313729
-  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4233441/
-  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26195001
-  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8584455
-  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24324897
-  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15530935
-  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23684441
-  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4233441/
-  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29958046
-  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1638057/
-  https://www.livestrong.com/article/274006-spirulina-nutrition-information/
-  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4679104/
-  http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2765/2
-  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4729160/
-  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3941188/
-  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4457700/
Chandi Gilbert is a blogger and professional introvert. She has been a freelance writer since 2016, and her work has been featured on Contena, Wag, and Harness Magazine, among others. She is a member of the Freelancer’s Union and a Columbia College Alumni. She lives in Ohio with her husband and dogs who pull double duty as creative directors and heads of security. She writes blogs that help others feel better about themselves, and mentors beginner freelancers in their journeys.