A form of blue-green algae called spirulina is rich in nutrients and is referred to as a superfood. In Mexico and several African nations, it has been consumed as food for many years; in the United States, it has been available as a supplement since the 1970s.
Spirulina is a popular addition in smoothies and other everyday foods like popcorn and energy bars nowadays and is available as a capsule, tablet, or powder.
Here are the health advantages of organic spirulina powder and any possible negative effects you should be aware of if you’re considering including it in your diet.
What Is Spirulina?
An abundant source of protein, vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and antioxidants is the blue-green algae spirulina. It’s often found in the waters of warmer areas. Because of its abundance of flavonoids and polyphenols, including phycocyanin, she claims that spirulina has strong antioxidant levels.
The following nutrients are found in 1 teaspoon of spirulina, per the U.S. Department of Agriculture:
- 5 calories
- 1 gram of protein
- 1.08 milligrams of iron
- 0 milligrams of cholesterol
- 30 milligrams of potassium
- 1 gram of carbohydrates
- 0 milligrams of sodium
Spirulina is a Superfood
Spirulina was provided by NASA as a food supplement for astronauts travelling to space. Did you know that the United Nations has named spirulina the finest food of the future?
The finest superfood is undoubtedly spirulina.
Spirulina has so many nutritional advantages that, if I ever decided to stop taking my daily multivitamin, I would switch it out for one tablespoon a day of the leafy-green superfood powder.
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Uses of Spirulina
Spirulina supplement use should be evaluated on an individual basis by a healthcare professional, such as a pharmacist or a registered dietitian nutritionist (RD/RDN). No dietary supplement is meant to treat, prevent, or cure disease.
Spirulina contains minerals, protein, phycocyanins, beta carotene, and fat-soluble vitamins (such as A, E, and K) (pigments that produce a blue colour and have antioxidant effects). Pharmaceutical, culinary, and even cosmetic industries have all used phytocyanins as a dye.
Scientists have investigated the effects of spirulina on various aspects of health, including but not limited to:
- capacity for antioxidants
- the heart rate
- Control of blood sugar
- Amounts of cholesterol
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and other disorders’ effects on liver health
- Metabolic syndrome
Spirulina Nutrition Benefits
Spirulina, in the opinion of Emmie Satrazemis, RD, a board-certified sports nutritionist, registered dietitian, and director of nutrition at Trifecta, should be a staple in many diets. She notes that the naturally vegan diet is nutrient-rich.
1. It’s packed with vitamins and protein.
A food that “is fairly protein-dense and low in calories” is spirulina, just like eleuthero. Also included are significant levels of calcium, niacin, potassium, magnesium, iron, and B vitamins.
2. Reduce your risk of developing macular degeneration
“Phytonutrients,” or plant-based substances, are known to provide preventive health advantages, and spirulina is a prominent source of these nutrients, says Satrazemis. Spirulina is particularly high in a class of phytonutrients known as carotenoids.
3. It’s packed with brain-healthy omega-3 fatty acids
According to a nutritionist and certified personal trainer Josh Schlottman, spirulina is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. The ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in spirulina is actually about 1.5 to 1.
Numerous studies have proved that omega-3 fatty acids can prevent age-related mental deterioration as well as sadness and anxiety.
Risks associated with Spirulina
Despite its many advantages, spirulina use carries some danger. In maritime conditions, heavy metals, dangerous microorganisms, or microcystins, which can affect the liver, may collect during the development cycle of algae. She adds that because spirulina powder also has anticoagulant (or blood-thinning) effects, people who have clotting issues or are using blood thinner drugs should use it with caution.
Make sure any supplement you purchase has undergone independent testing to guarantee that it is safe to consume.