Spirulina is a naturally occuring algae, which has inhabited the earth for around 3.5 billion years. It has a green-blueish colour, and can be bought as supplement in either power or tablet form to provide outstanding health benefits!
From its staggeringly high protein content to the wealth of micronutrients it contains, spirulina is one of the best superfoods out there.
What are the health benefits?
✔ High protein content
Spirulina is 65% protein. That’s right, 65%. This is extremely high for a plant, and one of the reasons it is becoming more and more popular. It also contains sources of all 8 essential amino acids. It’s an easy, healthy way to boost your protein intake, and a great source of protein for vegetarians. Furthermore, this protein is highly absorbable.
✔ Contains essential fatty acids
Spirulina is especially high in Omega 3’s, and also has a significant amount of Omega 6s and Omega 9s.
✔ High in Chlorophyll
This helps to flush out toxins from the blood, acting as a natural detox. It also helps to boost your immune system.
✔ Source of Iron
Spirulina is a fantastic source of Iron, meaning it is excellent for women during pregnancy. In face, 100g of Spirulina contains 158% of your daily Iron requirements!
✔ High in betacarotenoids
Betacarotenoids (antioxidants) help your immune system and hello clear your skin.
✔ High in Calcium
Spirulina is also very high in calcium, meaning it is excellent for growing children to help their bones and teeth develop. It contains over 26 times the calcium in milk.
✔ Source of many micronutrients
It is also a great source of many other micronutrients, such as vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin D and vitamin A. It is also a source of potassium, chromium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, selenium and zinc.
Potential side effects
Though Spirulina is a safe and healthy source of protein and micronutrients, your body could react to it depending on your current state of health.
✘ Slight Fever
Since your metabolism will be boosted after taking Spirulina, there is a potential that you may experience symptoms of slight fever as your body temperature increases slightly.
✘ Green Coloured Waste
Spirulina helps flush out any waste that may have accumulated in your colon, meaning it could turn your waste green. Furthermore, your waste may have a slightly greenish hue, due to the chlorophyll concentration.
✘ Breakouts or Irritated Skin
These are only temporary, as a result of your colon being flushed of toxins and waste. In the long run, taking a Spirulina supplement will clear your skin.
✘ Sleepiness or Fatigue
Again, this is only temporary. You may experience this as a result of your colon being cleansed. This will quickly pass.
It is important to remember that with anything, your body needs to adjust. These symptoms will surpass fairly quickly, but if they do not, it is advised that you stop taking the product. If you wish to continue, it is advised to consult your doctor.
Experiment with small doses at first to ensure your body gets accustomed to the change. Gradually up the dosage, as time progresses.
It is most popular among those who want to boost their daily protein intake since it is very high in bioavailable protein. It is also very popular amongst vegetarians and vegans.
It is also popular among those who lack any of the vital micronutrients listed above since Spirulina is a great source of micronutrients.
It is most popular in powdered form and can be mixed into water, smoothies, soups and dishes such as stir frys. It can also be purchased in capsule (tablet) form.
Those who suffer from PKU should consult a doctor before taking Spirulina, due to its amino acid content. If you have a pre-existing medical condition and are unsure whether you should take it, consult your doctor.
Take Home Message
Spirulina is a fantastic Superfood, rich in protein and micronutrients.
Mix it into food or drink – you can’t really beat it!