Are you familiar with spirulina? I’ve heard of this food being referred to as a super food, but I’ve not looked into it much until today. Let me share what I’ve learned.
What is spirulina?
Spirulina would be comparable to a sea vegetable such as kelp or wakame. It is both a human and animal food or supplement. Spirulina is a member of the “blue-green” family, but it’s not considered algae. It’s actually a type of bacteria - cyanobacteria. Its primary source includes two species of cyanobacteria: Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima. Japan is currently the largest producer and consumer of spirulina.
Spirulina can be purchased as a tablet, flake, or powder.
What nutrients are provided by spirulina?
Spirulina is up to 70% protein by weight and contains all the essential amino acids, which makes it a good alternative plant protein source. Spirulina also contains various B vitamins (although not a reliable source for vitamin B12), beta-carotene, calcium, iodine, iron, magnesium, selenium, manganese, potassium, and zinc.
What are the health benefits have been linked to spirulina?
Many of the vitamins and minerals contained in spirulina have antioxidant properties. Especially relevant if you are trying to treat or prevent heart disease where inflammation plays a major role. These antioxidants work to eliminate toxins and prevent disease.
Some studies have found spirulina to be a natural cancer fighting agent and an effective tool for heavy metal detoxification. The research to date shows the potential for spirulina to play a role in a variety of health issues:
Decrease in eye disese
Reduced allergic reactions
Treating and preventing thyroid disorders
Healthier immune system
Improve gut flora and reduced Candida
Blood sugar management
Protection from radiation
How much spirulina?
The recommended dose is 3000 mg per day for adults and 500 to 1500 mg per day for children as use as a preventative. If used as a means of treatment, doses may range between 10,000 to 20,000 mg per day.
Should you supplement spirulina?
Research is ongoing, so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend you run out and add this supplement to your daily regime. Depending on your health situation there may be potential benefits of adding spirulina and you should explore the option further with your doctor.
Keep in mind that spirulina is considered a dietary supplement; therefore, it’s production and product quality is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.
Be sure to access the free e-course _How to Lower Cholesterol in 8 Simple Steps _ at http://lowercholesterolwithlisa.com.
Lisa Nelson RD, a registered dietitian since 1999, provides clients step-by-step guidance to lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure, so they can live life and enjoy their family for years to come. Because her own health is the foundation of her expertise, you can trust that Lisa will make it truly possible for you to see dramatic changes in your health, without unrealistic fads or impossibly difficult techniques. She can be found on Twitter @lisanelsonrd and Facebook at hearthealthmadeeasy.