Article at a glance:
- Spirulina powder is a popular superfood that draws its origins from the Aztec times.
- Scientific claims have been made about its potential health benefits, but more research is necessary to validate its full effects on one’s well-being.
- There’s no suggested daily intake for spirulina. However, experts suggest consuming between 1 and 19 grams of the supplement daily is safe.
Searching for a natural way to boost your health and nutrition? Look no further than spirulina powder.
In this article, we’ll explain what this superfood is and how you can easily integrate it into your diet to reap the many health benefits it offers.
What Is Spirulina Powder?
Powdered spirulina comes from ancient blue-green algae that humans have historically used around the globe as a nutritious food source. In fact, WebMD suggests that ancient Aztecs and their kingdom’s messengers were the first to use organic spirulina to improve their endurance and strengthen their immune systems for marathon runs.
Presently, continuous research is done to examine spirulina’s potential health benefits against heart disease, cancer, and various diseases. Nonetheless, many studies have so far considered it a great source of protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, beta-carotene, and essential amino acids.
In the past, you could only find spirulina supplements in health food stores. However, according to a 2010 review article published in an international journal, this specific type of algae became even more well-known after NASA astronauts successfully used it as a dietary supplement for space missions. Eventually, its mounting popularity also contributed to the increasing demand for its availability in supermarkets.
Take note that the United States (U.S.) Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has no legal authority to review and approve dietary supplements for safe and effective use before reaching consumers. It does recognize spirulina as “generally safe” for use in the following cases, among others:
- Beverage mixes and powders;
- Coating formulations on dietary supplement tablets and capsules;
- Coloring confections;
- Condiments and sauces;
- Cottage cheese;
- Dessert coatings and toppings;
- Ice cream and frozen desserts (counting non-dairy frozen desserts);
- Non-alcoholic beverages;
- Ready-to-eat cereals (with the exception of extruded cereals); and
- Unheated seasoning mixes.
This is good news for many consumers who want to get their hands on spirulina supplements for the nutrients and health benefits.
What Makes Spirulina Powder More Convenient to Take Than Other Forms?
Spirulina is commonly available as:
- Dissolvable powder
What makes spirulina powder more convenient to take is its greater adaptability to any diet. For example, its powdered form means you can easily mix it with other foods and drinks, like smoothies.
When taken alone, this can be a godsend for people who cannot handle the strong and slightly bitter taste of spirulina powder. It also makes adding spirulina supplements to your everyday routine much more convenient.
Also, taking spirulina in powdered form means your body doesn’t have to wait long to absorb the nutrients. This is because powdered spirulina doesn’t have the binding agents that tablets often need to hold their form and ingredients together. It has more surface area than a spirulina tablet, so your body can absorb more of the nutrients as soon as it enters your mouth.
Nutrition Information of Spirulina Supplements
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that one tablespoon of spirulina is approximately equivalent to 7 grams of dried spirulina. And according to Medical News Today, this amount typically consists of the following nutrients:
- 20.3 Calories
- 8.4 milligrams of Calcium
- 1.67 grams of Carbohydrates
- 0.54 grams of Fat
- 2 milligrams of Iron
- 13.6 milligrams of Magnesium
- 6% of the recommended daily value (DV) of Niacin
- 8.26 milligrams of Phosphorus
- 95.2 milligrams of Potassium
- 4.02 grams of Protein
- 73.5 milligrams of Sodium
- 14% of the recommended DV of Thiamin
- 20% of the recommended DV of Riboflavin
- 0.7 milligrams of Vitamin C
What Is Spirulina Powder Good For?
Healthline mentioned that spirulina is potentially good for many things related to your health. Here’s a list of some of the possible spirulina powder benefits:
- It’s rich in antioxidants, which are components that can lower the risk of chronic inflammation.
- More research is necessary on its anti-cancer properties. However, some evidence shows it may be potentially valuable against oral cancer cells.
- Existing research indicates that spirulina may positively impact many risk factors related to heart diseases, such as high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. It’s possible, therefore, that taking it may be good for your heart health.
- One study found that spirulina is a good alternative for improving symptoms of allergic rhinitis and reducing inflammation. However, more research is needed.
- Some scholars suggest the potential ability of spirulina to lower blood sugar levels, but there’s currently not enough reliable information on the subject.
- Cleveland Clinic cited a 2017 study saying spirulina may potentially improve dental health.
- Research indicates that spirulina also plays a role in promoting a healthy immune system.
- Evidence also exists that spirulina may improve blood lipids and help you lose weight.
- It’s also highly abundant in omega-3 fatty acids, which may positively influence the health condition of your brain.
How to Take Organic Spirulina Powder
Having a general idea of how to use spirulina powder is very helpful. After all, an overabundance of anything—even the good stuff like spirulina—could cause a problem.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, humans should take at most 8 grams of certified organic spirulina daily. This is almost equivalent to two teaspoons. However, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have also accounted for people safely taking up to 19 grams (or roughly 4 teaspoons) full of spirulina per day for up to 2 months.
Scientists have not yet confirmed the safe upper limit for spirulina dosage. Because of this, we suggest that you talk with your healthcare provider before taking it. You can add it to various foods like guacamole and pesto or mix it with your favorite drinks to boost your nutrition.
Just ensure that the spirulina you buy comes with a certified organic label. Also, it must be free of contaminants and heavy metals and should have undergone some safety testing.
Who Shouldn’t Take Spirulina?
For all the promising benefits that spirulina provides as a source of nutrition, it is not advisable for everyone. This is because health experts still need to confirm its impact on various diseases and other health conditions.
If you have one of the following applies to you, you should consult with your physician before adding Spirulina to your daily regimen:
- Those with auto-immune diseases, as it can worsen symptoms
- Those who are about to undergo and those who have undergone surgery, since spirulina supplementation may potentially affect your blood sugar levels
- Those who have seafood allergies
- Those who have blood disorders
- Those who are taking other prescriptions
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Spirulina Powder Per Day Is Safe to Take?
There’s no recommended daily allowance (RDA) for spirulina, but experts suggest consuming between 1 and 19 grams of the supplement is safe. Gradually increase your dose to see if there are any adverse side effects. We advise you to consult with a registered dietitian or licensed healthcare professional when in doubt.
What Happens When You Take Spirulina Every Day?
Research suggests that spirulina contains many nutrients that can lower your risk of diseases and help with your overall health. However, it’s still a good idea to follow the advice of your healthcare providers to find out what is best for you to take every day and for how long.
Make the Most Out of the Health Benefits of Spirulina Powder
While more research is needed on what spirulina supplementation can do, what’s clear is that it has promising health effects that can potentially influence your well-being. And now that you already know what to do with spirulina powder, why not add the best spirulina powder brand to your daily routine?
Start experiencing the many benefits it can offer today!
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