Article at a glance:
- Spirulina comes from blue-green microalgae with high protein content and is rich in vitamins and minerals.
- The easiest way to consume spirulina without worrying about its taste and smell is by taking spirulina tablets.
- Spirulina tablets can be taken at any time of the day, but they may be best taken in the morning as part of a high-protein breakfast and to benefit from its energy-boosting effect.
There’s a reason why spirulina tablets are the most common way to consume this amazing superfood supplement. You’ve likely heard about spirulina’s taste and smell, which are often described as “fishy,” “seaweed-like,” or “earthy.”
It’s understandable how those things aren’t the most enticing, but you don’t have to miss out on the healthy benefits of spirulina. If its natural smell and taste are holding you back, the best solution is to go for spirulina tablets.
Where Do Spirulina Tablets Come From
Spirulina supplements come from the same-name multicellular blue-green microalgae, also known scientifically as Arthrospira. Although technically it’s not a plant, it contains natural pigments (mainly phycocyanin and some chlorophyll) that make it photosynthetic cyanobacteria.
There are about 15 species of spirulina, but Arthrospira platensis is one of the most researched, so it’s also the most widely cultivated species to produce spirulina tablets, powder, and capsules.
Spirulina grows naturally in alkaline bodies of water rich in minerals and thrives in freshwater and seawater. Many commercially available supplements come from spirulina cultivated in ponds treated to achieve the necessary alkalinity, saltwater level, and minerals to mimic the same conditions of spirulina’s natural habitat.
How Are Spirulina Tablets Made?
Spirulina has a long history of being used as a nutritious food source. It goes back to the 15th century during the Aztec civilization when messengers consumed it to boost their stamina for marathon runs. Another fascinating thing about this green superfood is that most of the steps in processing spirulina have remained the same as how the Aztecs and the Kanembu people did it years ago. This includes a few steps, including harvesting with filters, dehydration, and drying.
Today, once spirulina is cultivated, it’s harvested using several filters to scoop out the blue-green microalgae biomasses. Then, it’s washed repeatedly with clean water. Fresh spirulina is then spread onto another fine-mesh filter and pressed to remove most excess water. It’s followed by dehydration, which sometimes uses vacuum machinery to turn spirulina into a paste.
The remaining excess water is removed through the drying process. Most natural spirulina supplements are processed through an open-air drying method or by exposing the spirulina paste to sunlight for a certain period.
The drying process of spirulina can be a multi-step process. It may also involve indoor mechanisms, such as using hot-air drying systems.
Once the spirulina is completely dried, it can be used as a supplement. It’s crushed into fine powder and then molded into tablet form.
What’s the Right Daily Dosage of Spirulina Tablets?
Spirulina supplements, whether in tablet or powder form, are generally safe to take. Still, you’d have to be mindful of your daily dosage.
Spirulina Tablets Dosage Per Day
Most spirulina tablets in the market are labeled with a suggested daily dose of 3 to 5 grams, but you can also start with as low as 1 gram per day. However, the U.S. National Institutes of Health says supplements made from blue-green algae can be consumed safely at 10 to 19 grams daily for a certain period.
The daily dose of spirulina you can consume remains the same, even if you take spirulina powder instead.
How Many Spirulina Tablets Can Be Taken per Day?
This will depend on the particular product you purchased because spirulina tablets can contain 250mg, 500mg, or 1,000mg per piece, so you must read the label. The best brands of spirulina tablets will come with a specific recommended serving size (number of tablets) you can have per day. It’s usually mentioned on the back label under the supplement facts.
Can you take spirulina tablets daily? Yes. Spirulina is one of the few dietary supplements you can safely take regularly, as long as you stay within the right daily dosage.
What Are Spirulina Pills Good For?
It’s great having spirulina tablets as an option because they make it so easy for this incredible superfood to be included in people’s daily diets. You’d also want it to become part of your routine once you see that spirulina is good for many health concerns. Here are some of the notable spirulina tablets benefits.
1. Highly Nutritious Supplement
A 2019 nutritional analysis of spirulina found that protein makes up 65-70% of its dry weight. It has an incredibly high protein content from a food source that doesn’t come from animals.
That makes spirulina a desirable dietary supplement for those looking for a vegan protein source. It can also be a great diet addition for people trying to build muscles.
It’s an excellent source of B vitamins, including biotin, folate, riboflavin, thiamine, and niacin. Spirulina also contains the body’s minerals, such as potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.
The nutrients we can get from spirulina go beyond that. It’s also a rich source of essential amino acids and fatty acids, which the body doesn’t naturally produce.
2. May Promote Heart Health
A 2021 meta-analysis of clinical studies on spirulina supplementation found that it may help improve cardiovascular health factors. Supplementing spirulina was particularly effective in lowering hypertensive patients’ systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Its hypotensive effect may be due to spirulina’s potassium content and the high phycocyanin pigment in this algae.
Phycocyanin’s antioxidant properties help improve the body’s nitric oxide production, which allows the blood vessels to relax. Nitric oxide improves one’s blood flow, leading to healthy blood pressure.
3. May Have an Antioxidant Effect
The antioxidant properties of spirulina are exceptional, owing to its high content of phycocyanin. Studies found that it can scavenge free radicals, which cause oxidative stress and damage that can lead to serious diseases like cancer.
4. May Have Potential Skin Benefits
Scientists have found spirulina to be uniquely rich in natural gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). It’s an omega-6 fatty acid that our bodies can’t produce and is known for its amazing anti-inflammatory properties.
GLA’s ability to help reduce inflammation means it can also provide some skin benefits, especially to those with skin conditions. One study found it may improve the skin barrier of patients with mild atopic dermatitis.
5. May Boost Energy
Does spirulina help boost energy? Yes, it can. The vitamins, minerals, and other healthy components of spirulina may help boost your energy. It’s a good source of vitamin B1 (thiamine) that plays a role in converting carbohydrates into energy. GLA fatty acid also helps the body to release energy.
How to Choose the Best Spirulina Tablets
Here are the most important factors to consider before buying a spirulina supplement.
1. Is It Pure Spirulina?
This is the first thing you must consider when shopping for dietary supplements. Find products that are labeled “100%” or “pure” to enjoy the maximum benefits of this superfood, especially its high protein content, without unnecessary additives.
You should also look for other label keywords like “filler-free” that indicate the product has no binders and is purely the blue-green algae superfood.
2. How Much Protein Is in It?
Many are turning to spirulina tablets because of their protein content. Make sure that it’s clearly indicated how much protein you’re getting from their spirulina tablets. The best spirulina tablets will have at least 60% protein.
You can get more specific information on the protein content from the supplement facts on the label. You should also find that it has very low calories and carbohydrates here.
3. Look for the Word “Micronized”
You may be concerned if your body will digest spirulina tablets well. In that case, opt for spirulina tablets that are labeled “micronized.” This simply means it was processed into a fine powder, and the supplement particles were made small enough to be easily digestible.
4. Buy From a Brand You Can Trust
Spirulina is undoubtedly a great source of the nutrition we need, but it can be harmful when it’s not cultivated and processed properly.
When it’s not grown in the right condition and environment, it could get contaminated with toxic substances from waterways. Hence, it’s always advised only to buy your dietary supplement from a reputable brand.
5. Is It Certified Organic?
The word “organic” is not just a buzzword when it comes to buying supplements that come from algae sources. When you see the “USDA Organic” certification on the label, that’s a stamp of assurance that you’re buying true organic spirulina tablets.
This is one way to assure you that your dietary supplements are from naturally grown spirulina and was processed irradiation-free. So, you can be certain that your body is only getting the best of spirulina’s effects.
6. How’s the Color?
Before buying, check the reviews and look for photos shared by previous buyers. Are the spirulina tablets dark green in color? That’s another indication that the tablet contains pure spirulina. Even in its fresh, raw form, spirulina is dark green with a slight hint of blue color.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Take Spirulina Tablets
Many people, especially those new to adding spirulina to their diet, find that powder supplements have a strong smell and flavor not to their liking. That makes spirulina tablets the easiest way to include this fantastic superfood in your diet.
You can easily swallow it with water — with or without food, any time of the day. So you can enjoy its nutritional and health benefits without worrying about the smell and taste.
Is There Another Way to Take Spirulina?
Some people who are used to spirulina’s taste and smell choose to consume it in powder form. They like the idea of adding spirulina powder to their foods and drinks.
Spirulina powder has an earthy or seaweed-like smell and taste, especially if you simply dilute it in drinking water. But you can lessen both by adding spirulina into soups, smoothies (bowl or drink), juices, and baked goods.
When Is the Best Time to Take Spirulina Tablets?
There’s really no specific time of day to take spirulina tablets. You will enjoy its health benefits whether taken in the morning or at night. That said, you can choose a preferred time depending on your health goals.
Taking spirulina tablets in the morning could help improve your weight management. A small study in 2018 found that people who consumed high-protein breakfast had less appetite and lower blood sugar throughout the day.
Start Taking Spirulina Tablets — It’s Worth It!
Spirulina has been an important food source for humans for centuries. Several studies in recent decades strongly suggest how beneficial it is for us to continue incorporating spirulina into our diet.
Spirulina contains high amounts of vegan protein, amino acids, fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Together, these may help us have a healthy immune system, lower the risks of getting heart disease, and improve digestive function, and many more.
We need more studies to confirm its direct therapeutic effects on the body, although mounting research shows it can do wonders for the body. Just the nutrition we can get from it shows spirulina tablets are worth taking.
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