With the boom of the supplement industry in recent years, there is now a vast array of supplements that are readily available for consumption.
However, with the substantial growth of the supplement industry, it can be challenging to differentiate between supplements that are truly effective and supplements that are nothing more than a use.
Spirulina is a commonly used supplement that many believe can have significant positive effects on health. This article will provide a review of the potential benefits of spirulina.
Table of Contents
What is Spirulina?
Spirulina is a cyanobacteria or “blue-green algae” that is safe for human consumption. While it can be consumed in powder form as a whole food, it is most commonly taken in tablet form. Spirulina typically grows in lakes and can even thrive in conditions that are too extreme for other organisms.
In terms of manufacturing, spirulina is collected, freeze-dried and then sold as a powder, added to specific drinks and foods, or used in supplements.
Spirulina is believed to have been used as a food source since the 16th century and has been linked to a number of health benefits, including reducing inflammation, lowering cholesterol levels, lowering blood pressure, and improved immune function. .
nutritional value of spirulina
Spirulina contains a wide range of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, all of which are important for promoting health. One teaspoon (7 grams) of spirulina contains the following nutrients:
- Total Calories – 20
- Protein – 4.02 g
- Carbohydrates – 1.7 grams
- Fat – 0.54 g
- Fiber – 0.3 g
As shown, spirulina has been found to have a high protein content of 60% – 65% which is much higher than most vegetables.
Protein is an important nutrient for recovery and growth and there are many studies that suggest the use of a high protein diet.
Therefore, for those who struggle to consume enough protein each day, taking spirulina or adding it to foods and beverages can be a quick and easy way to increase daily protein consumption.
All the above nutrients play an extremely helpful role in maintaining good health. Taking spirulina regularly will ensure that you are consuming a large amount of nutrients that will greatly benefit your health.
Health Benefits of Spirulina
This section will examine the scientific literature that has been published on spirulina and the effects of supplementation found on human health and function.
While there are few studies that have been completed on spirulina, they are a limited number and therefore more research is needed to support many of these proposed benefits.
1. Excellent Nutrition Profile
The three most abundant micronutrients in spirulina are potassium, sodium and vitamin A. Both potassium and sodium contribute to fluid balance, muscle contraction, and regulating nerve impulses.
Vitamin A plays an important role in maintaining the health of organs (heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, etc.). In addition, it is also essential for vision, reproduction and a healthy immune system.
Other notable nutrients found in spirulina that contribute significantly to health include both calcium and magnesium that help keep bones strong and healthy, regulate heart rate and contribute to a strong immune system. Huh.
2. Better Heart Health
It has been suggested that spirulina may have a positive effect on the heart by reducing the amount of bad cholesterol and blood pressure. One recent study examined the effect of spirulina supplementation on LDL levels and found that taking just 1 gram of spirulina every day over a 3-month period reduced participants’ LDL levels by 10%.
There are a few more studies that have examined the effects of spirulina on cholesterol levels using different dosages. The results suggest that spirulina may actually lower LDL levels.
3. Anti-inflammatory Properties
Antioxidants protect the body from oxidative stress. Spirulina is rich in antioxidants and consuming it regularly can help reduce the effects of oxidative stress, thereby reducing inflammation and reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases such as cancer.
The primary antioxidant in spirulina is known as phycocyanin It is the substance that gives spirulina its greenish-blue color. Phycocyanin has been found to be particularly effective in inhibiting inflammatory responses.
4. Performance Enhancement
Spirulina supplementation may also be useful in physical training. Oxidative stress is a by-product of exercise and, therefore, consuming higher amounts of antioxidants may reduce the amount of stress experienced during exercise.
little by little studies has indicated that spirulina can actually improve both strength and endurance abilities leading to improved exercise performance.
5. Effects on Medical Conditions
While more research is needed to confirm the findings, preliminary studies suggest that spirulina may have a positive effect on specific medical conditions.
One recent study Spirulina was found to be effective in reducing the number of symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis. In addition, there is evidence that spirulina may also help in the management of type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure,
Best Ways to Take Spirulina
As reflected, the two most common ways to take spirulina are:
If you regularly take supplements such as multivitamins and fish oil, simply add a spirulina tablet to your routine. In general, a dosage of anything between 1-8 grams per day has been found to be effective.
There are many different foods and drinks to which powered spirulina can be added. The most basic way to mix spirulina is to mix the powder with water and drink it. However, keep in mind that spirulina is usually an acquired taste and it can take time to become accustomed to it.
If you find that the taste of spirulina is overpowering or difficult to drink, consider adding it to smoothies or fruit juices instead. Not only will the drink become more palatable, but adding fruit will boost micronutrients with potential health benefits.
Spirulina can also be added to many foods, including salads, stocks, soups, stews, pesto, hummus, omelets and energy balls.
Is Spirulina Good For You?
Given that spirulina nourishes the body with essential micronutrients in large quantities, it can be clearly stated that spirulina can have positive effects on health and function.
As mentioned in previous sections, research has indicated that spirulina may have significant benefits on health and wellness. It can also be used by people who have chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, anemia and high blood pressure, however, more research is needed to confirm this.
side effects of spirulina
- It should be noted that some users of spirulina have reported a small number of adverse side effects including: Headache, pain, nausea, allergies, and insomnia.
- Spirulina may interfere with medications And therefore, it is important that you consult a medical professional before starting spirulina supplements.
- People who suffer from a condition known as phenylketonuria (or PKU) should not take spirulina because it contains an amino acid called phenylalanine that they cannot break down.
- People who suffer from an autoimmune condition like multiple sclerosis, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis should also avoid the consumption of spirulina. This is because spirulina is rich in phenylalanine (an amino acid) which stimulates the immune system, people with immune system disorders will be negatively affected.
While more research needs to be done to confirm the health effects of spirulina, there appear to be several benefits associated with spirulina. That being said, it should be supplemented with caution and people with medical conditions should consult their physician before taking spirulina.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What does spirulina do to the body?
Spirulina contains three micronutrients which are potassium, sodium and vitamin A. Both potassium and sodium contribute to fluid balance, muscle contraction, and regulating nerve impulses. Vitamin A plays an important role in maintaining the health of organs (heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, etc.). In addition, it is also essential for vision, reproduction and a healthy immune system. Other notable nutrients found in spirulina that contribute significantly to health include calcium and magnesium which both help to keep bones strong and healthy, regulate heart rate, and contribute to a strong immune system.
Does spirulina cause weight gain?
No spirulina causes weight gain. In fact, spirulina can be a catalyst for weight loss as it meets the nutritional demands of the body and thus prevents unhealthy cravings that lead to weight gain.
Can Spirulina Be Harmful?
Yes, spirulina can be harmful for some people. People have reported suffering from headaches, pain, nausea, allergies, and insomnia after having spirulina. Spirulina can also interfere with medications and therefore, it is important that you consult a medical professional before starting spirulina supplements. People who suffer from phenylketonuria (PKU) and autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis should also avoid consuming spirulina as it can have serious side effects.
What does spirulina do for your skin?
With its high content of vitamins like A, E and B-12, spirulina benefits the skin in various ways. It promotes the overall health of the skin making it softer, brighter and younger looking. The antioxidants present in spirulina fight free radicals that damage the skin and make it blemish-free.
Does Spirulina Make Hair Thicker?
Yes, the zinc present in spirulina promotes proper cell formation which further leads to structurally formed hair follicles. Spirulina is also packed with micronutrients such as iron, protein, essential fatty acids, amino acids and vitamins such as A and B-12. All these together contribute to better quality hair while fighting hair fall.
Is it safe to take spirulina daily?
Yes, 5-8 grams of spirulina is safe for daily consumption.
How long does it take for spirulina to work?
It may take about 1-3 weeks for spirulina to show its effect on your body. Many other factors, such as your health, activity status and food consumption, can also play a part in its effectiveness. The healthier your lifestyle, the sooner you will feel the positive effects of spirulina.
Who should not take Spirulina?
People who suffer from phenylketonuria (PKU) and autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis should also avoid consuming spirulina as it can have serious side effects. Spirulina can also interfere with medications and therefore, it is important that you consult a medical professional before starting spirulina supplements.
Which foods contain spirulina?
Spirulina is a cyanobacteria or “blue-green algae” that is safe for human consumption. While it can be consumed in powder form as a whole food, it is most commonly taken in tablet form. You can also add spirulina powder to your smoothies or fresh fruit juices or sprinkle it on your salads.
Does spirulina turn your stool black?
Spirulina is a great detox agent. It can also remove waste products accumulated in your colon that can give your stool a dark green/black color.
Is spirulina good for gray hair?
Yes, spirulina contains amino acids and various micronutrients that make hair strong and shiny. It provides essential amino acids and thus delays graying of hair.
Is Spirulina Good for the Eyes?
Yes, spirulina is rich in zeaxanthin, an important nutrient associated with eye health. Zeaxanthin protects the eyes from sun damage and may reduce the risk of cataracts and other age-related macular degeneration.