Do you struggle to stay energised throughout the day? Do you suffer from diabetes or high cholesterol? Do you want to add a high-quality nutritional supplement to your daily diet? If you've answered yes to any of these questions, spirulina may be just the product for you.
Beyond its incredible nutritional composition, this blue-green micro-algae provides unparalleled health benefits. Spirulina is a valuable source of proteins, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. Its energising, antioxidant and stimulating properties make it a great addition to any diet.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best Spirulina: Our Picks
- 4 Buyer's Guide: Everything You Should Know About Spirulina
- 4.1 What exactly is spirulina?
- 4.2 What makes spirulina so healthy?
- 4.3 What are other benefits of spirulina?
- 4.4 Why is everyone starting to talk about spirulina?
- 4.5 How can spirulina help fight fatigue?
- 4.6 Is spirulina essential for vegans?
- 4.7 Is spirulina a good source of vitamin B12?
- 4.8 Is spirulina useful for lower cholesterol or triglycerides?
- 4.9 What are the antioxidant properties of spirulina?
- 4.10 Are there any risks from spirulina use?
- 4.11 What happens if I exceed the recommended dose of spirulina?
- 4.12 How can spirulina promote weight loss?
- 4.13 What types of spirulina supplements are available?
- 4.14 Spirulina Powder
- 4.15 Spirulina Tablets
- 5 Shopping Criteria
- 6 Summary
- Spirulina is considered a superfood because it has powerful nutritional functions, and also because it improves health and helps prevent some diseases.
- Spirulina is revitalising, detoxifying and antioxidant. You can find it in powder, tablet or capsule form.
- Spirulina is suitable for vegans and those with gluten-intolerance.
The Best Spirulina: Our Picks
There are many different spirulina brands and methods of ingestion available on the market, so picking out the right one can be overwhelming. We've picked out a handful of the very best options on the market, to make the process easier for you.
Buyer's Guide: Everything You Should Know About Spirulina
Spirulina's amazing potential to improve people's health is no longer in doubt. Still, you should have all the information about this product so you can be sure this superfood is the right supplement for you. We hope this guide will answer all of your questions regarding spirulina supplements.
What exactly is spirulina?
Despite this, the supplement we call spirulina is actually a spiral-shaped photosynthetic cyanobacteria. Upon growing and achieving the density needed, it's dried and pulverised into a powder that can be easily consumed. After pulverisation, it can also be made into capsules or tablets.
What makes spirulina so healthy?
- 57-60% of spirulina's dry weight forms proteins, including all the essential amino acids. Our body can't synthesise the essential amino acids, so they need to be obtained from food or supplements.
- About 20% complex carbohydrates.
- Between 5% and 7% fat, with a significant amount of omega-3 and omega-6.
- Provitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B9 (folic acid), and vitamin E (tocopherol).
- Iron, magnesium, zinc, manganese, selenium, potassium, calcium and sodium.
Were you aware that a historic UNESCO publication in 1969 referred to spirulina as "seaweed three times more nutritious than a good steak"?
What are other benefits of spirulina?
- Energising and revitalising
- Satiating and appetite suppressant
- Hypoglycemic (reduction in fasting and post-meal glucose levels)
Why is everyone starting to talk about spirulina?
One of the first written records indicating the health benefits of spirulina comes from 1974, when it was declared "the best food for the future" at the UN World Food Conference.
How can spirulina help fight fatigue?
Fatigue is often the consequence of a vitamin deficiency, so this superfood can ensure the body has the needed nutrient reserves to form energy.
This micro-algae is also recommended for preventing or treating anaemia. Spirulina contains a large amount of iron and folate, both key nutrients in the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow.
Is spirulina essential for vegans?
That said, this micro-algae is a great source of protein for vegans. That's because spirulina is made up of proteins with high biological value. They contain the essential amino acids that your body can't produce on its own. Spirulina is also rich in iron, folate and zinc, nutrients that are commonly lacking in vegan diets.
Vegans can significantly improve their nutrition when they combine spirulina with a balanced diet.
Is spirulina a good source of vitamin B12?
Spirulina contains a vitamin B12 analogue, which is an inactive form of the vitamin. That means that it doesn't fulfill the usual role of active vitamin B12.
Many vegans are led to believe that they can get their vitamin B12 needs using spirulina (or another algae), so be careful not to fall into this trap!
Is spirulina useful for lower cholesterol or triglycerides?
There is much scientific proof supporting the effectiveness of spirulina supplements in reducing overall cholesterol, LDL ("bad") cholesterol and blood triglycerides. The effect is a decreased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, which is the world's leading cause of death, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
What are the antioxidant properties of spirulina?
Cardiovascular diseases, fibromyalgia, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases (like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and dementia) are pathologies with oxidative stress. That's why spirulina supplements are crucial to prevent such conditions from developing.
Were you aware that oxidative stress speeds up the aging process? Supplementing with spirulina can help you age healthily.
Are there any risks from spirulina use?
Nonetheless, the following groups should be sure to speak with their doctor prior to taking spirulina to prevent any potential risk or complication.
- Pregnant and lactating women
- People with renal, hepatic or hormonal diseases
- Any individual on chronic medication
What happens if I exceed the recommended dose of spirulina?
Some of the nutrients present in spirulina, such as iron or vitamin E, can accumulate in the body and result in illnesses due to excess, which is why there are strict dosage recommendations to respect.
How can spirulina promote weight loss?
When it mixes with water, the spirulina's mucilages form gel in the stomach. These gels can stay for several hours in the digestive tract, prolonging the feeling of satiety and helping you to control your appetite.
What types of spirulina supplements are available?
If you prefer spirulina in powder form, you should be sure to try it first. The taste is off-putting for some.
The calorie content found in tablets and capsules is minimal. Its nutritional composition presents no significant difference from spirulina powder. One slight difference is that tablets and capsules often require more digestive work than powder does.
If you don't like the taste of spirulina powder, then definitely go for capsules.
|Dose||2 to 3 grams each day||4 to 6 units each day|
|Digestion||Faster and more efficient||Requires more digestive work|
|Versatility||Very versatile, adapts to multiple culinary preparations||Can only be ingested in one way|
|Conservation||It should be shielded from light and humidity to avoid alteration of its components||Easier|
|Purity||100% spirulina||High quality tablets can reach 99% spirulina|
|Price||More affordable||More costly|
Once you've made up your mind that spirulina is a product worth trying, there are a handful of factors you should take into account when choosing the specific product for your needs.
As we mentioned, spirulina's intense and distinct taste is very present in the powder form. If you don't like the taste, try the tablets or capsules.
If this is your first time taking spirulina, try buying a small package of no more than 100 grams to see if you like the taste.
In general, tablets and capsules are more convenient to ingest, store and transport. Spirulina powder, meanwhile, needs to be mixed with water or other liquids for consumption.
In order to compare the cost of various supplements, we suggest you divide the product price by the number of doses found in the package. Spirulina powder is usually proportionally cheaper than tablets.
Spirulina should always be produced ecologically and with special care. It can easily get contaminated with toxic and heavy metals like lead, arsenic, mercury or cadmium if these things are present in the culture medium.
Vegans should also be sure that tablet excipients and capsule materials are 100% of vegetable origin.
Presence of Gluten, Lactose and Allergens
Spirulina is free of all these substances and won't contain any of them, unless contamination occurred during processing or packaging.
We have now introduced you to the many benefits and special properties of spirulina; the various kinds of supplements available on the US market and the characteristics of each one. We hope that this information will help you make the very best decision for your health.
If you found this guide useful, please share it and help us spread awareness of the advantages of spirulina supplements! Thanks!
(Source of featured image: Maddlen: 29370380/ 123rf.com)