Let’s dig in and know about spirulina.
What is spirulina?
Spirulina is a biomass of cyanobacteria (blue green algae-only prokaryotes to generate energy via photosynthesis) which is perfectly safe to consume by both humans and animals. In terms of when this new food was discovered, it actually is not a new fad, but a very old superfood from the times of Aztec civilisation but with evidences of it being sold in the 16th century as well.
What are the benefits of spirulina?
Spirulina is by far the most nutritious food on the planet in modern day per gram basis comparison with any other food on earth. 15 grams of spirulina has following nutrition:
- 8 gram of protein (beating eggs, chicken and other conventionally thought of high sources of protein)
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): 22% of the RDA
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 30% of the RDA
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 8% of the RDA.
- Copper: 42% of the RDA.
- Iron: 22% of the RDA.
- Very rich source of phytonutrients (plant based nutrients that help prevent ageing and add longevity)
- Being only 40 calories with 3.4 grams of digestible carbohydrates, spirulina also contains decent amounts of magnesium, potassium and manganese, and small amounts of almost every other trace nutrient our body requires. It also contains omega 6 fats and omega 3 fats in the ratio of 1.5:1.
- Because of the nature of origin, the quality of protein in spirulina is far better than conventional protein sources like eggs and chicken.
- Spirulina also cleans body of heavy metal poisoning and is an excellent food for modern diet where the sea foods and conventional food items have traces of heavy metals.
- In addition to being highly nutritious food, spirulina is also known to reduce inflammation and is excellent for inflammatory conditions.
- Spirulina also helps control blood sugar levels, making it suitable for diabetics.
- Spirulina improves endurance and post workout recovery, making it a natural protein supplement for gym goers.
- Spirulina prevents free radical formation, and lowers LDL, all of which are in imbalance during obesity and weight gain. (1) Hence it is a superfood which helps the weight loss faster.
- Improved cellular strength, endurance, energy levels due to high levels of nutrition.
When should I consume spirulina?
You should ideally consume spirulina with lunch or dinner, once a day. The reason for consuming spirulina is that it is high in protein and nutrition and you always should consume your proteins with meals, and not as snacks or standalone meals (proteins have considerable insulin index)(insert link for insulin blog)
How much spirulina should I consume?
About 10 grams in a glass of cold water or 2 to 3 tablets a day. Powder has a very protein like taste which might not suit all and hence tablets are recommended to begin with.
What are the caution points with spirulina?
Spirulina is very nutrient dense. If you are exposed to a bad lifestyle with poor gut health, you might find the taste unpalatable and the after effects intense. Hence, while spirulina is perfectly safe, you should always start with very small amounts to see how your body is able to absorb it. Begin with 1 teaspoon (4g) and gradually increase to a tablespoon (15g). For best results, consume spirulina with a lemon and a drop of lemongrass oil. Avoiding sugars will aid in faster absorption and better effects of spirulina. If after weeks of usage you find spirulina is not getting absorbed, you can also switch to spirulina tablets. While I do have some tablets to share, I would urge powders are a better source for nutrients as you can have more of those and would suggest you begin with powders first. As spirulina also has high amounts of protein, some people might find it too strong. It’s normal and an acquired taste (most healthy foods are NOT supposed to taste gourmet, and hence a little patience and consideration towards spirulina would help massively). Having spirulina in cold water with some stevia powder and lemons definitely helps masks the taste.
Hope you enjoyed this article. Please leave your comments below for discussion. Have a healthy life and a enjoy clean eating!
Thank you for reading!