Article at a glance:
- The digestive system is crucial for our body to gain energy and absorb nutrients.
- Spirulina can help your digestive system remain in perfect working order thanks to its many nutrients and antioxidants.
- Spirulina can improve gut health and help people with IBS and ulcerative colitis.
Is spirulina good for digestion? Among the many positive effects this superfood has are its benefits for your digestive system.
Digestion is a crucial process as we mainly get the nutrients and energy we need to grow. To ensure that we get enough, our digestive system should be working properly. Luckily, spirulina can help with that. With its many nutrients, spirulina can potentially help many digestion-related disorders – from chronic illnesses to acute conditions.
Ready to learn more about the spirulina digestion benefits that you can reap? Continue reading to discover more.
The Role of Our Digestive System
Digestion is one of the most essential processes in our body since we need vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. These include proteins, carbohydrates, fats, water, and other vitamins and minerals our body must absorb and use for energy, repairing cells, and cell growth.
Through digestion, our bodies process the food and drinks we intake to get the nutrients necessary for our bodies to run. More specifically, digestion helps turn proteins into essential amino acids, fats into lipids or fatty acids, and carbs into simple sugars.
This process is done by the digestive system, which includes our gastrointestinal tract. Through this system, food is physically broken into small parts that are minute enough for our bodies to absorb.
Common Digestive Health Problems
Since digestion is a vital part of our everyday lives, our GI tract and the entire digestive system are prone to some disorders. This means there are times when one or more digestive organs fail to function properly. Experts categorize digestive health problems into two groups: organic and functional.
Organic gastrointestinal problems are those a person experiences if he or she has structural abnormalities in one of their digestive programs.
Meanwhile, functional gastrointestinal disorders are those in which there are no abnormalities in any digestive organs’ structure but still fail to do its job properly.
Some common digestive help problems a person may encounter include the following.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Poor Gut Health
- Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth
One incredible superfood that may help promote digestive health is spirulina, but what is it exactly?
Spirulina is a species of blue-green algae usually found growing in fresh and saltwater. This is a popular nutrient-dense food used as a supplement thanks to its numerous health benefits. It contains many vitamins, minerals, and other incredible nutrients.
Through regular spirulina consumption, you may reap the many positive effects it brings. It can help your body’s overall health – from helping lower blood sugar to lowering your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, here are just some nutrients one tablespoon of spirulina contains.
- Calcium: 8.4 mg
- Copper: 0.427 mg
- Iron: 2 mg
- Magnesium: 13.6 mg
- Niacin: 6% of daily recommended value
- Essential Fatty Acids: around 1 g
- Phosphorus: 8.26 mg
- Potassium: 95.2 mg
- Protein: 4 g
- Riboflavin: 20% of daily recommended value
- Thiamin: 14% of daily recommended value
Spirulina Benefits on Digestion
1. Spirulina Benefits for the Gut
Does spirulina get rid of bloating? Is spirulina good for gut health?
One of the common signs of an unhealthy gut microbiome is bloating, among many other digestive issues. Luckily, a well-known health benefit spirulina may provide to our gastrointestinal tract is gut health support.
Is spirulina a probiotic?
Spirulina is known to have probiotics, which are healthy bacteria that may aid in regulating your gut’s bacterial community. A study conducted in 2017 pointed out spirulina’s promise in this area. The study found that this superfood can potentially preserve healthy gut bacteria and maintain good gut health as one ages.
2. Spirulina for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Is spirulina OK for IBS? Is spirulina IBS friendly?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome happens when a group of symptoms occur together. You may feel abdominal pain or experience diarrhea and/or constipation.
The causes of IBS are plenty. For some, it’s a problem in their GI tract, but did you know that others may experience IBS because of their mental state?
Spirulina, IBS, and Mental Health
What does mental health have to do with this?
Yes, psychological factors play into a person experiencing IBS symptoms. Studies have found that many people with this digestive disorder also have anxiety disorders affecting their everyday lives.
While it may seem like a long shot, taking spirulina can ease your IBS symptoms, thanks to its benefits to your mental health.
In a 2018 study, it was suggested that spirulina supports the treatment of mood disorders like anxiety and depression. The study indicates that this superfood provides tryptophan, an amino acid that supports the production of serotonin.
3. Spirulina for Constipation
Does spirulina make you constipated? Does spirulina make you poop more?
One possible manifestation of IBS is constipation. Spirulina supplements don’t have a lot of side effects. It doesn’t make you constipated. In fact, it can help ease your constipation symptoms. Thanks to this cyanobacteria’s magnesium content, it may help loosen your stool, promoting healthy and regular bowel movements.
4. Colon Cleansing Effects of Spirulina
How does spirulina cleanse the colon?
Other than providing magnesium and a bit of fiber to help your stool pass, spirulina can also help cleanse the colon in another way.
One of spirulina’s main benefits is its potential to help in detox for good health. This freshwater plant-derived supplement binds to heavy metals and toxins in your body to get rid of them, and yes, this includes toxins in your colon.
5. Spirulina for Ulcerative Colitis
Is spirulina good for stomach inflammation?
Inflammatory Bowel Disease is another common condition that affects the digestive system. Several disorders are under this umbrella term; among them, spirulina helps with one called Ulcerative colitis.
This specific type of IBD causes a person’s digestive tract to become inflamed. There are also cases wherein ulcers may form in your colon and rectum.
Spirulina supplementation may help those with ulcerative colitis because of its potent anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that this blue-green algae helps minimize the body’s inflammatory response. This includes inflammation in a person’s colon due to ulcerative colitis.
Improving the Quality of Life of UC Patients
Other than helping mitigate inflammation, a study in 2021 has found that adding spirulina to your diet may also help improve the quality of life of ulcerative colitis patients.
The said study involved 73 patients split into two groups: a placebo group (37) and a group asked to take spirulina (36) with their daily diet for 8 weeks. Based on the trial, those who took spirulina platensis daily experienced better quality of life, less sleep disturbance, and lower stress levels than those who took the placebo.
Other Spirulina Health Benefits
- Spirulina helps improve immune function and boost immune responses. It also contains infection-fighting proteins to help your immune system during your recovery.
- Spirulina’s anti-inflammatory effect helps alleviate symptoms of allergic rhinitis and other mild allergic reactions.
- Spirulina helps with weight loss.
- Spirulina helps minimize a person’s risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, and lower bad cholesterol.
- Spirulina supplements may also help lower blood sugar.
- Spirulina is an excellent supplement for improving brain function and avoiding brain fog.
- Thanks to its phycocyanin content, which is a potent antioxidant, dietary supplement is good at blocking oxidative damage.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Take Spirulina for Digestion?
There are numerous ways for you to incorporate this extremely promising supplement into your diet. You may find spirulina supplements in different forms easily found from online retailers and health stores. The most common ones are powders, tablets, and liquid extracts.
Taking spirulina in tablet form is straightforward; simply take the daily recommended dose with some water. Meanwhile, you can take spirulina powder for digestion in various ways. Mix it with water or add it to food or drink recipes.
Like spirulina in powder form, liquid extracts can also be incorporated with food and drinks.
The recommended daily dose of spirulina is anywhere between 3 and 3.5 grams.
What Happens if You Take Spirulina on an Empty Stomach?
Is spirulina safe to take with an empty stomach? Yes, it is. The only people who may experience side effects are those with autoimmune diseases, as it can mess with immunosuppressant medication and those with allergies.
What Other Superfoods Can Help With Digestive Health?
Other than spirulina, chlorella gut health benefits are also well-known and well-documented. Apart from providing good fiber content, studies have also found that chlorella can help maintain a healthy gut microbiome.
Spirulina for Better Digestive Health
Being an excellent supplement with an impressive nutrient profile, the positive effects of spirulina are too good to be ignored. It’s a supplement for your overall health. This blue-green algae provides many benefits, ranging from heart health to skin health.
So, what are you waiting for? Reap the many digestive benefits of spirulina by adding it to your daily diet.
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