Spirulina is a unicellular, blue-green algae that reproduces in desert areas, especially in those places where the water is alkaline. It has a spiral shape, hence its name. It has become one of the most popular food supplements in recent years. Among its components are chlorophyll, which gives it the green colour, and phycocyanin, which gives it the blue pigment.
Spirulina, currently considered a "Superfood", is mainly consumed as a food supplement, as it provides a large number of vitamins and minerals that are essential for the body.
It became known worldwide because NASA used it on space missions as a food supplement for astronauts.
Benefits of Spirulina
The main benefits of spirulina are the proteins it provides, up to 65 percent, as well as fatty and polyunsaturated acids, and minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, phosphorus and selenium.
Spirulina is also a good source of vitamins like E and B, (although not vitamin B12). It also has antioxidant properties and helps reduce cholesterol. In addition, it is easily digested, so even people with intestinal absorption problems can take it. This super alga helps people suffering from diseases such as anaemia or who are low in minerals. It lifts the mood, improves physical condition, provides energy, vitality and helps detoxify the body.
Its intake contributes towards combatting mental fatigue and tiredness, thanks to the amount of minerals, trace elements and vitamins it provides. It also facilitates a proper cleansing of the body, since it helps the kidneys and liver to function properly for the elimination of toxins. Its iron concentration also makes it suitable for people in anaemic states and those who want to control their weight.
Finally, spirulina is great for athletes, as it increases their endurance and sports performance, in addition to reducing cramps and contributing to muscle recovery.
Benefits for the body:
. It helps the immune system as it has anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and antioxidant factors.
. It aids the nervous system as it contributes to the production of acetylcholine.
. It performs similar tasks to haemoglobin because it is anti-atomic.
. It stimulates intestinal transit.
. Helps to suppress appetite as it contains phenylalanine
. It contributes towards reducing cholesterol due to its cardiovascular benefits.
Contraindications and side effects
There are some people who should not consume spirulina, regardless of its benefits. They include pregnant women, nursing children, people with phenylketonuria and those suffering from hyperuricemia, liver diseases, hyperthyroidism, phenylketonuria, or some liver diseases and autoimmune pathologies.
It is also important to be aware that spirulina has an anticoagulant effect, so anyone suffering from any type of bleeding disorder should avoid its consumption, as well as those who are on medication for pathologies such as stroke or fibrillation.
As for allergy sufferers, they should be especially careful, as spirulina can provoke adverse reactions. If you already suffer from any type of food allergy , we recommend that you exercise care in trying spirulina as you are only likely to become aware that you are allergic to it through exposure.
. Skin rashes
. Uncontrolled thirst
. Stomach pain
How to consume it
The most common forms in which spirulina is taken are in tablet, capsule or powder form, so you will. find it for sale in granulated and tablet form. Capsules or tablets are taken in the same way as other dietary supplements, while the powdered form it can be added to salads, soups and stir-fries. It can even be mixed into beverages.
On the internet you will find numerous recipes that include spirulina. The chlorophyll it contains, which gives it that characteristic colour, will also add a lively hue to those dishes in which it is used.
If you are going to buy organic products enriched with spirulina, look at their labelling to check the amount they contain and remember the precautions we’ve already mentioned, as any contraindications will apply, regardless of the form in which you consume it.
And finally, remember that the usual dose is 3 to 5 grams per day for an adult person. However, before including spirulina in your diet, we recommend you consult your family doctor or nutritionist.