Spirulina is a natural algae supplement that can be found in either powder or tablet form. It has been used as an endurance booster and dietary supplement for centuries because of its high nutrient density including riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, copper, iron, and a full list of amino acids that make Spirulina a surprising source of vegetable protein.
In this article, we’ll explore its benefits, possible side effects, the best time during the day to consume it, and the nutrition facts of this super-food including its protein content.
What Are The Benefits And Side Effects of Spirulina?
The benefits of Spirulina are vast and have been well documented. Spirulina has been the subject of over 50 scientific studies and it’s believed to have a strong effect on immunity, energy levels, heart health. Some of its key benefits include:
- Boosting energy levels and endurance due to its high nutrient density
- Enhancing the immune system with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients
- Enhancing natural detoxification pathways in the body
- Helping with weight loss and maintaining a healthy body mass index (BMI)
- Supporting your skin health and natural beauty with vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and chlorophyll
- Acting as an anti-inflammatory agent
Although it is safe to be consumed by the majority of the population, Spirulina does have the potential to cause side effects in some people with any supplement.
Spirulina Side Effects:
Some professionals have suggested some side effects caused by spirulina like:
- Muscle Fatigue
- Allergic reactions in people with other seafood-related allergies.
However, as with most herbs, there is little to no evidence for some of these side effects.
The best way to minimize the risk with spirulina or any other dietary supplement is to start with a low dose and increase gradually over time if you don’t experience any adverse effects.
When to take spirulina morning or night?
There isn’t really a “wrong” time to take Spirulina, but there are some times that may be more beneficial than others.
Generally speaking, Spirulina is most effective when taken on an empty stomach, usually during the morning, so that your body can better absorb its nutrients.
This is especially true when Spirulina is used for detoxification purposes since it can be more effective if you haven’t eaten anything else.
How To Take Spirulina:
The best way to take spirulina that allows your body to get the most out of this superfood and minimize the risk of side effects while maximizing its benefits is in powder form mixed into a smoothie or juice.
We recommend Organic Spirulina Powder from the brand Zazzee as it has received the USDA certification which means it is not only made from organic ingredients but its processing methods have also been approved under stringent supervision. Zazzee’s spirulina powder has also been tested by an independent lab and is free of nitrates, heavy metals, pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, microcystin, east, BMAA, mold, and chemicals.
If you are looking for a more affordable option take a look at Organic Spirulina by the brand MicroIngredients, another option without any: Additives, GMOs, Fillers, Preservatives, Artificial Colors, Gluten, or Soy.
You can also take it in tablet form, but you’ll want to make sure that you’re making a quality product and not just a cheap supplement.
Spirulina is also available as an extract which some people find more beneficial than the powder or tablet form.
What Are The Nutrition Facts For Spirulina?
One serving of Spirulina (a tablespoon) contains about:
- Protein – 4g
- Fiber – 1g
- Vitamin A – 12% of the daily recommended value
- Iron – 11% of the daily recommended value
- Calcium – 4% of the daily recommended value
- Copper – 21% of the daily recommended value
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine) – 11% of the daily recommended value
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) – 15% of the daily recommended value
- Vitamin B3 (niacin) – 4% of the daily recommended value
Spirulina Protein Content
Protein is one of the three macronutrients, along with carbohydrates and fat, that the human body needs to survive. Spirulina has a protein content of about 71% by weight with a high density of 9 essential amino acids which the body can not synthesize naturally
Having all 9 amino acids make spirulina a complete and superior protein source than most vegetable proteins which lack the essential amino acids. This makes this alga the ultimate nutrient for people following a vegetarian or vegan diet.
- Leucine – (540 mg) stimulates optimal brain function
- Valine – (400 mg) improves mental and physical capacity
- Isoleucine – (350 mg) which aids to the body’s optimal growth
- Threonine – (320 mg) enhances digestive and intestinal functions
- Lysine – (290 mg) required to produce hormones, enzymes, and antibodies
- Phenylalanine –(280 mg) thyroid correct functioning
- Methionine – (140 mg) antioxidant properties
- Tryptophan – (90 mg) regulates serotonin production
- Histidine – (1.9 mg) bio synthesizes proteins – synthesizes hemoglobin, repairs damaged tissue, and strengthens the immune system.
Fatty Acids in Spirulina
Omega 3 Fatty Acid
These kinds of Fatty Acids are a central component of human cell membranes, they are also important to keep a normal metabolism. There is an increased amount of chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease in the west given that our diet lacks the necessary amount of Omega 3.
Spirulina possesses ALA, DHA, and EPA, all of which are Omega 3 Fatty acids that aid in making our skin look beautiful, production of healthy cells, and reducing inflammation in the body.
Omega 6 Fatty Acid
Omega 6 Fatty Acid, also known as Linoleic Acid, is another type of polyunsaturated essential fatty acid. It possesses anti-inflammatory properties and helps hormonal balance in both men and women.
Given that the body does not produce them we need to obtain them from our diet. The body uses Omega 6 primarily as a source of energy.
Supplementing your diet with spirulina, whether it is on tablets, powder, or any of its forms is a great way to improve your overall health and wellbeing.
This super-food contains high levels of protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help to fight off disease, support weight-loss efforts, and slow the aging process.
It’s also a good source of protein for people following a vegetarian or vegan diet as it contains all nine of the essential amino acids…
- Nutritional and Therapeutic Potential of Spirulina – https://sci-hub.se/https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ben/cpb/2005/00000006/00000005/art00002
Current knowledge on potential health benefits of Spirulina – https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00004024