Top 9 Health Benefits of Blue Spirulina [Recipes, Usage and More]

Blue spirulina is a great supplement that you can add to your diet. It’s a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. It is also high in antioxidants.

Blue Spirulina is definitely all over the internet. But, what’s so special about it? What are Blue Spirulina benefits? Scroll down to find out.

What Is Blue Spirulina?

Before we get into what blue spirulina is and what is blue spirulina powder used for, let’s get to know what spirulina actually is.

Spirulina(Also known as green spirulina) is a blue-green alga believed to be one of the oldest life forms on earth. It is a biomass of cyanobacteria that is found all over the world, in marine and freshwater bodies. 

Did you know?

Spirulina was used as a food source by the Aztecs till the 16th century.

Green spirulina has blue color pigment, a phytochemical called ‘phycocyanin’.  However, this pigment is masked by chlorophyll in normal spirulina, hence the greenish color. 

Once you extract the blue pigment from green spirulina, you have blue spirulina in your hands.

Blue Spirulina vs Green Spirulina: The Difference

Simply put, green spirulina or normal spirulina is the whole food, while blue spirulina is just the blue color extract or isolate of green spirulina.

Color: Blue spirulina is blue in color while green spirulina or your normal spirulina is mostly green.

Nutrition: Naturally, since blue spirulina is just a little part of spirulina, you can find green spirulina to be more nutritious than blue spirulina.

Green spirulina is rich in proteins as well as antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals while blue spirulina is packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

Taste: Green spirulina has a strong taste while blue spirulina has a mild taste. For the same reason, blue spirulina can be a better choice if you want to avoid a strong fishy smell and still enjoy the benefits of spirulina.

Benefits: Green Spirulina aids in weight loss and also lowers blood pressure while blue spirulina has anti-cancer properties and can also lower bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) levels.

What are the Benefits of Blue Spirulina?

Blue spirulina uses are many not just for health but in cosmetics and food colorants as well [1]. 

  • A number of blue spirulina supplements are available in the market owing to their high level of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Blue spirulina powder is used as a natural food colorant and is used as a food additive
  • Since it has a deep and intense blue color, it is also used as a natural dye 
  • They are also used as fluorescent reagents/ fluorescent probes in various laboratory procedures.

Top 9 Health Benefits of Blue Spirulina

Let’s dive deep into the health benefits of blue spirulina! 

1. Is anti-inflammatory: 

Phycocyanobilin, a light-harvesting chromophore present in phycocyanin, is capable of inhibiting nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate hydrogen (NADPH) oxidase. 

NADPH oxidase is a significant source of oxidative stress in adipocytes, thereby playing a key role in inducing insulin resistance. 

Thus blue spirulina shows anti-inflammatory properties by suppressing oxidative stress in fat cells [2].

2. Is an antioxidant

Phycocyanobilin, a water-soluble photosynthetic pigment present in blue spirulina, has extensive antioxidant properties [2,3]. 

3. Has anti-cancer properties

Much research has shown that blue spirulina has anti-cancer properties. It might cause direct apoptosis to cancer cells and activate the immune cells against tumors [2, 4, 5, 6].

However, the exact mechanism of action and cellular targets have not been identified yet [7].

C-Phycocyanin is also helpful in sensitizing cancerous cells to radiation therapy [8].

4.Helps in the excretion of cholesterol and bile

Supplementation with blue spirulina (phycocyanin) helps in increasing the excretion of cholesterol and bile thus improving blood lipid levels [2]. 

5. Helps improve immune function

Blue Spirulina also helps improve immune function. Spirulina supplements mostly improve innate immunity. But much research is needed to confirm such findings [9].

6. Protects liver and kidney

Blue spirulina might also help in protecting the liver and kidneys mainly by preventing oxidative stress. However further studies – especially clinical studies are needed to confirm these findings.

7. Helps maintain blood sugar levels

Blue Spirulina, due to its anti-inflammatory nature might also prevent insulin resistance [2].

Blue spirulina contains phycocyanobilin which helps reduce insulin resistance by preventing oxidative stress [2].

8. Has neuroprotective effects

Phycocyanin is also said to be neuroprotective [3]. Phycocyanin might also promote the generation of new myelin sheaths in certain disease conditions like multiple sclerosis and ischemic stroke [10].

There is also the potential of using phycocyanin in treating Alzheimer’s disease, but much research is needed to confirm the use of blue spirulina in treating such diseases [11].

9. Has antiviral properties

Blue spirulina also shows antiviral properties mostly by binding with the viral proteins. 

Currently, the potential of blue spirulina in inhibiting SARS CoV 2 is being investigated [12].

Does Blue Spirulina Have Any Side Effects?

Though spirulina and blue spirulina are usually safe, they might cause a few side effects like allergy, headaches, insomnia, etc. Further studies are needed to confirm the daily dosage and safety.

Pregnant women, people on medications, those with thyroid or autoimmune disorders, etc. must definitely consult their healthcare provider before taking blue spirulina. 

How Do You Use Blue Spirulina?

Blue spirulina is usually available in powder form and can make you fall in love with it at the very first glance.

You can add this electric blue spirulina powder to a number of recipes, especially to your smoothies, shakes, and juices.

What Is The Best Blue Spirulina?

Blue Spirulina uses are many, that too in small doses of 0.5 to 3g and thus it is used as a supplement. 

And like any other supplement, it is important to look for pure, organic blue spirulina with no harmful fillers while getting your best blue spirulina.

Superfood Blue Spirulina Powder Benefits 

Blue Spirulina advantages are numerous- right from being an alternative source of protein to being an antioxidant, having anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, neuroprotective, liver protective, and kidney protective properties

It also helps in immunological development, improves brain health, reduces free radicals in the body, increases the proportion of excretion of cholesterol, improves insulin sensitivity, promotes the growth of new cells, etc.

How Do I Use Blue Spirulina Powder?

The most trending way of using blue spirulina is to add ½ to 1 tsp of blue spirulina powder to shakes and smoothies packed with fruit. You can also add it to lemonade or lattes.

1. Add a spoonful to your favorite juice – such as orange or pineapple juice.

Keep in mind that just a small amount of blue spirulina- ¼ to ½ spoon is enough to give your drink an electric blue color.

2. Make a blue spirulina almond latte. Add a little blue spirulina to your almond milk to get a little extra nourishment.

3. Blend it with your smoothies. Add 1/8th to 1/4th spoon of Blue Spirulina to your smoothies.

Blue spirulina smoothie

Take a frozen banana, 1 scoop of vanilla protein, 1/4th spoon blue spirulina, and 3/4th cup almond milk. Blend everything, drizzle with honey, and top with granola, nuts, and blackberries. 

4.  You can also add it to your ice creams and smoothie bowls.

Blue spirulina smoothie bowl

  • Add frozen banana, mango, blue spirulina powder, your choice of milk, and blend well.
  • Pour it into a bowl and top it with as many toppings as you like- almonds, walnuts, granola, strawberries, raspberries, pumpkin seeds, maybe a little coconut too.
  • Additionally, you can add a scoop of protein powder, chia seeds, or flax or hemp seeds too.

5. And the list doesn’t end with just juices. You can add Blue Spirulina to Raw vegan cheesecakes, chia puddings, etc.

Blue spirulina bliss balls

Take almond butter, oats, dates, hemp hearts, coconut flakes, blue spirulina, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt and blend in a food processor till it becomes a dough-like consistency. You can use 5 to 10 ml milk if needed for blending.

Roll the batter into small balls. Coat with coconut flakes if necessary.

Vegan blue spirulina-coconut barfi

  • Add a little blue spirulina to water. Whisk it till you see no lumps.
  •  In a pan, add coconut milk, blue spirulina, sugar, or any sweetener of your choice and mix on low heat.
  • Follow with fine desiccated coconut, crushed cardamom seeds, and almond meal.
  • Once the mixture forms a dough consistency, turn off the heat and continue to mix well.
  • Take a large dish, oil it with ghee or coconut oil using a brush. 
  • Transfer the barfi mixture into the dish and keep pressing it with the back of a spoon till the barfi starts to set and harden
  • Garnish with desiccated coconut and almond/ pistachio shavings.
  • Slice it up into large pieces and serve immediately

Difference Between Normal Spirulina and Blue Spirulina


Normal Spirulina

Blue Spirulina

Other Names

Also known as Green Spirulina

Also known as Spirulina Blue, Phycocyanin, Spirulina Extract


Green in color

Blue in color


Green Spirulina is whole spirulina- as is

It is just an extract 

Smell and Taste

It has a strong and fishy taste

Blue spirulina has a pretty mild taste

Wrapping Up

It is the bluish pigment phycocyanin that is extracted from spirulina which gives blue spirulina such a wonderful deep blue color. 

Blue spirulina benefits are profound. Though it is safe, it might cause a few side effects and is generally not recommended for people with autoimmune diseases. It can interact with a few medications too.

So, it is best to work with your healthcare provider, if you have any allergies, are on medications, or have a health condition before you start taking blue spirulina.


Q: Do blue spirulina and green spirulina just vary in terms of color?

A: No. While the difference in color is the most obvious, Blue spirulina is a compound extracted from green spirulina. So, they vary in terms of nutrition too.

Q: Is blue spirulina rich in protein?

A: Yes. It is definitely packed with protein.

Q: How to store blue spirulina powder?

A: You can just store it in a closed container in a cool place below 25℃.


  1. Kuddus, M et al. “Recent developments in production and biotechnological applications of C-phycocyanin.” BioMed research international vol. 2013 (2013): 742859
  2. DiNicolantonio, James J et al. “Effects of spirulina on weight loss and blood lipids: a review.” Open heart vol. 7,1 e001003. (2020) 
  3. Romay, Ch et al. “C-phycocyanin: a biliprotein with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects.” Current protein & peptide science vol. 4,3 (2003): 207-16.
  4. Lafarga, Tomas et al. “Spirulina for the food and functional food industries.” Food research international (Ottawa, Ont.) vol. 137 (2020): 109356.
  5. Deng, Ruitang, and Te-Jin Chow. “Hypolipidemic, antioxidant, and antiinflammatory activities of microalgae Spirulina.” Cardiovascular therapeutics vol. 28,4 (2010): e33-45.
  6. Kefayat, Amirhosein et al. “Spirulina extract enriched for Braun-type lipoprotein (Immulina®) for inhibition of 4T1 breast tumors’ growth and metastasis.” Phytotherapy research: PTR vol. 34,2 (2020): 368-378.
  7. Fernandes E Silva, Estela et al. “C-Phycocyanin: Cellular targets, mechanisms of action and multi drug resistance in cancer.” Pharmacological reports: PR vol. 70,1 (2018): 75-80.
  8. Kefayat, Amirhosein et al. “C-phycocyanin: a natural product with radiosensitizing property for enhancement of colon cancer radiation therapy efficacy through inhibition of COX-2 expression.” Scientific reports vol. 9,1 19161.(2019)
  9. Finamore, Alberto et al. “Antioxidant, Immunomodulating, and Microbial-Modulating Activities of the Sustainable and Ecofriendly Spirulina.” Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity vol. 2017 (2017): 3247528.
  10. Pentón-Rol, Giselle et al. “C-Phycocyanin and Phycocyanobilin as Remyelination Therapies for Enhancing Recovery in Multiple Sclerosis and Ischemic Stroke: A Preclinical Perspective.” Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 8,1 15 (2018)
  11. Matamoros, Beatriz Piniella- et al. “Nutraceutical and therapeutic potential of Phycocyanobilin for treating Alzheimer’s disease.” Journal of biosciences vol. 46 (2021): 42
  12. Naidoo, Devashan et al. “Structural Insight into the Binding of Cyanovirin-N with the Spike Glycoprotein, Mpro and PLpro of SARS-CoV-2: Protein-Protein Interactions, Dynamics Simulations and Free Energy Calculations.” Molecules (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 26,17 (2021) 5114.
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