This week we are going to talk about the superfood called spirulina. By the way, don’t miss my spirulina and coconut chocolate truffle recipe.
What is spirulina?
Spirulina is a blue-green algae used as a dietary supplement, as well as a whole food. It is rich in protein (about 60% of dried spirulina is protein); B, E, K vitamins; antioxidants and minerals like iron and manganese. This makes it very beneficial for our immune system and heart health.
Why eat spirulina?
Here are some of the main reasons to incorporate spirulina in your diet:
Spirulina reduces blood pressure which lowers the chance of strokes, heart attacks and chronic kidney disease. It also prevents atherosclerosis and reduces cholesterol in your body. What’s more, spirulina improves symptoms of allergic rhinitis and may be effective against anemia. It improves immune system as well, and helps control blood sugar. It even reduces inflammation and may ease PMS symptoms.
Spirulina is a great source of antioxidant and it also can detox heavy metals, especially arsenic. In addition, spirulina promotes the growth of healthy bacterial flora in your intestines, which inhibits candida from thriving. Spirulina also appears to have anti-cancer agents and is very powerful against oral cancer.
Spirulina also boosts energy and speeds up weight loss thanks to the high levels of protein it contains. According to some studies, muscle strength and endurance may be improved as well.
Since it is rich in vitamin B complex and tryptophan (an essential amino acid), it can have positive impact on your nervous system and on your mood.
How to eat spirulina powder?
Add it to smoothies, juices, sauces, salad dressings, hummus, omelettes or desserts like raw energy bars and truffles. Cocoa powder masks the spirulina taste rather effectively.
I also sprinkle it over my dishes like I’d do with salt or pepper.
Daily dose, overdose and risks
No matter how many health benefits it has, spirulina has to be consumed in moderation. The standard dose of spirulina powder is between 1 and 10 grams. A teaspoon a day is enough as a supplement.
Overdose can cause side effects like liver and kidney problems due to the high content of vitamins, minerals and nucleic acid. Some other minor side effects include slight fever, dizziness and nausea, as well as thirst, diarrhea, constipation and stomach ache. That’s why you should increase your water intake when you are taking spirulina.
Another rare risk could be heavy metal poisoning due to the place the spirulina was grown, and in this case it is important to choose quality brands.
If you have B12 deficiency or are taking vitamin B12, consult with a specialist whether you should take spirulina. It contains pseudovitamin B12 which may prevent you acquire actual B12.
Stay healthy! 🙂
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