Is Spirulina Powder As Healthy As TikTok Says?

Some of us are willing and eager to try whichever superfood trend happens to be on the rise and claims to bring us a magical, renewed sense of health and well-being. And perhaps there's a good reason for that. If you can simply add a scoop of powder to your morning smoothie or swallow a capsule and experience a range of benefits, then why wouldn't you? Perhaps it's the bright blue-green color or the slightly fishy smell, but despite its less-than-appealing nature, spirulina is receiving praise from the masses on TikTok.


So, what exactly is spirulina? It's technically an alga — one extra rich in vitamins. You may have even heard of it as a powerful skincare ingredient.  "The blue color is from a pigment called phycocyanin, and the green color comes from chlorophyll," Cathy Holligan, certified holistic health coach and founder of Intentioned Wellness, told Byrdie. "Separately, chlorophyll and phycocyanin are immensely beneficial to our bodies, but together they pack a health punch that is hard to beat." Let's take a closer look at the health benefits of spirulina.

Spirulina can aid in anemia and inflammation

According to TikTok user @thejenjones, spirulina is a powerful solution to iron deficiency. So, those who struggle with anemia or heavy menstrual cycles may want to take a further look into the powers of this popular superfood. "Spirulina is blue-green algae that is rich in vitamins and minerals, including calcium, niacin, potassium, magnesium, B vitamins and iron," Keri Gans, RDN, a nutrition consultant and the author of The Small Change Diet, told Byrdie. It's the impressive iron content that's the real hero, especially for vegans looking to add more iron to their diet.


The antioxidants in spirulina powder are responsible for its anti-inflammatory powers. Anyone facing inflammation knows what a hindrance it can be in daily living. "Antioxidants can help reduce inflammation, which is the key driver behind many chronic diseases, like Type 2 diabetes and heart disease," Diana Gariglio-Clelland, a registered dietitian with Soylent, told Bustle.

Spirulina is also known for its ability to improve gut, eye, and oral health. It can lower cholesterol and blood pressure and boost your metabolism. Essentially, the answer is a resounding yes: spirulina is as healthy as TikTok says it is.

How to add spirulina to your diet

Spirulina is, well, potent, and you'll likely want to cover up the taste and smell in order to digest it. If you already drink a morning smoothie, just add the suggested amount of powdered spirulina to your blend. If you aren't a smoothie person, capsules of spirulina are available and you should be able to find them at your local health food store. Alternatively, you could use it as an added ingredient to savory dishes, like soups or salad dressings. As with anything, be sure to do your research before you start taking vitamins. 


If you're short on time, just add a spoonful to a glass of fruit or vegetable juice and, hopefully, that'll disguise the somewhat earthy smell. "Spirulina does have a mild fishy taste, so be sure to add sparingly and taste as you go, not to overwhelm the palate," Cathy Holligan, a certified holistic health coach and founder of Intentioned Wellness, told Byrdie. "I'd recommend starting with ⅛ teaspoon and working your way up from there, adding ⅛ teaspoon at a time." From there, you can determine if you're receiving any benefits. If not, you can stop taking it, or you might find that you particularly like it.