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Algae: 7 Health Benefits

Algae has been used as food and as medicine for centuries. Thanks to its high concentration on vitamins, minerals, antioxidant and proteins, algae is commonly referred to as a superfood. Brown algae has been used to combat arthritis, stress, heart disease and high cholesterol levels, while blue-green algae health benefits include the ability to fight fatigue, anxiety and depression. The different varieties of edible algae all have one thing in common: their many natural health benefits.

Algae Health Benefits

1. Promotes Weight Loss

Brown algae health benefits include the ability to aid in weight loss. Brown algae contains a naturally-occurring pigment called fucoxanthin. This pigment has the ability to promote fat burning. One study found that women taking fucoxanthin lost an average of 14.5 pounds in 16 weeks. They also experienced positive reductions in liver fat, blood pressure and triglycerides. (1)

2. Helps Fight Cancer

Research has shown that many types of algae may help slow cancer cell growth. One study found that algae had the ability to fight precancerous mouth sores, known as oral leukoplakia. This study concluded that taking one gram of spirulina each day for 12 months helped to reduce oral leuokoplakia. Algae health benefits include the ability to prevent cancer formation, particularly for those who chew tobacco. (2) algae health benefits

3. Promotes Heart Health

Algae health benefits include the ability to promote a healthy heart. According to a 2013 scientific review, blue-green algae provides protection against both cardiovascular disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. These algae health benefits stem from the carotenoids, GLA, phycocyanin, fibers and plant sterols that algae contains. (3)

4. Reduces Pain and Inflammation

Algae health benefits also include reduced inflammation and pain relief. Algae contains omega-3 fatty acids and chlorophyll, two anti-inflammatory compounds that can also help provide pain relief for inflammatory conditions. A 2016 study found that the red algae variety has natural anti-inflammatory, analgesic and gastroprotective properties. (4)

5. Lowers Cholesterol Levels

According to a 2016 study, algae health benefits include the ability to naturally lower cholesterol levels. Algae contains phytosterols, which are able to reduce blood cholesterol levels by decreasing LDL. The phytoesterols help lower intestinal cholesterol absorption when taken in supplement form. (5) algae health benefits tablet

6. Detoxes the Body

Algae health benefits include the ability to detox heavy metals from the body. Specifically, the chlorella variety of algae acts as a natural detox agent to remove lead, mercury, aluminum and arsenic from the body. When these metals linger inside the body, they can cause acute or chronic toxicity, resulting in damage to the central nervous system and vital organs. (6)

7. Promotes Stem Cell Proliferation

Algae health benefits include the ability to repair damaged cells. Studies have shown that blue-green algae in particular can help promote human stem cell proliferation. It works by slowing down the aging process, replenishing dying cells and repairing cells that are damaged. (7)