It seems like the term “super food” gets thrown around a lot, leading you to believe there are single foods that can make or break your health and fitness. While most of these foods are indeed healthy and nutrient dense, the truth is they’re not the “magic bullet” you may have been led to believe.

Yet, there is a food worthy of such a lofty label: the “super sea vegetable” spirulina. Spirulina is a blue-green microalga (cyanobacterium) that naturally grows in high-salt alkaline water reservoirs in subtropical and tropical areas. It’s found in the United States, Mexico, Asia, Central Africa, and others. There are several different species, with the most researched being Spirulina platensis, Spirulina maxima, and Spirulina fusiformis.

As you’ll see, spirulina is supported by robust scientific evidence. The health benefits of spirulina are far-reaching, ranging from antioxidant protection to enhanced immunity to improved metabolic function to weight loss to increased energy levels to improved quality of life and more.