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We know you have heard about it before. This miraculous natural supplement can help you lose weight while keeping you satisfied, but do you know what spirulina is? In this article, we cover the health benefits of spirulina and how you can incorporate it into your daily diet.
There are many myths about spirulina, but few know it is not just a joint dietary supplement. Spirulina is a cyanobacterium, a kind of blue-green algae that lives in warm, freshwater and the fantastic benefits of spirulina have been well documented over centuries.
Its characteristic blue-green color comes from the chlorophyll and phycocyanine it contains, which is necessary to produce its food and energy.
For those like me who have problems understanding scientific words, spirulina is some sort of super seaweed that produces its food and energy.
It has been an essential part of everyday diets for many civilizations throughout centuries, but today it is mainly found in Asia and the Pacific.
It has always been popular in Latin American countries like Ecuador and Mexico, where Spanish missionaries described its use after the conquest in the XVI century.
According to these descriptions, the Aztecs let spirulina dry out until it was reduced into a green powder.
They used that every day sprinkled in their food. Its flavor was described by the missionaries as strong, similar to fish or cheese.
Modern Day Use of Spirulina
Today, the United Nations (UN), through the Intergovernmental Institute for the Use of Microalgae against Malnutrition, recommends using microalgae (such as spirulina) to treat acute malnutrition.
Athletes from countries like Cuba and China consume spirulina to improve their sports performance and speed recovery after an injury.
The health benefits of spirulina gained widespread attention after NASA talked about its success in using it as a supplement for astronauts in space missions. Still, many researchers have talked about its benefits for years. Some of the fantastic benefits of spirulina are:
- It has a high protein level (Approx. 60% of its dry weight).
- It contains vitamins like A, B, and D and essential fatty acids.
- Due to its content of selenium, chlorophyll, tocopherol, and retinoid, it has an excellent antioxidant capacity.
- In patients with diabetes, it has an antihypertensive effect. This helps to prevent fatty liver disease.
- It strengthens the immune system in hypertensive patients and oral cancer patients.
- Due to its nutritional content, it reduces the damage caused by stress in general.
Potential Side-Effects of Spirulina
Because spirulina is a food, not medicine or artificial supplement, its secondary effects are few. However, some people have experienced some of the following:
- Thirst and constipation. After taking a large volume of spirulina, taking at least a full glass of water or more is convenient to help your body absorb it.
- A slight fever due to the body’s need to burn the extra protein of spirulina
- Slight dizziness. If this occurs, take less product. If the symptom does not improve, stop taking spirulina and consult a qualified doctor.
- Stomach ache.
- Mild itching or skin rash.
How can Spirulina help me lose weight?
In all honesty, Spirulina is not a miracle weight loss pill like most manufacturers will make you believe. As we explained, it is a superfood rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
It is excellent as a supplement, but it won’t make you lose 30 pounds in one week if that is what you expect. Spirulina is related to weight loss because of a straightforward fact: the high levels of vitamins, minerals, and protein will satiate your appetite sooner when you eat.
Spirulina will help you control what you eat rather than your weight.
How can I take spirulina?
Spirulina today can be found as tablet-like many natural supplements on the market or as a powder. The suggested dose is between 2 to 3 grams a day. Consuming spirulina and foods rich in vitamin C is recommended to facilitate absorption.
If you go for tablets, each one contains approx. 500mg of spirulina, and most brands can list other ingredients too.
The issue with tablets is that you need to have a most minor 4 to 6 pills a day (usually what the directions of use suggest), and to make spirulina a tablet, it has to meet specific standards and go through some processes.
You must be careful and look for a certified 100% spirulina brand. We suggest Triquetra Health because it is certified 100% organic spirulina. You can read more about it here on Amazon.
If pills are not for you, we recommend taking spirulina in its more natural form as a powder like the Aztecs used to eat centuries ago. It is much less processed, and one teaspoon is enough to cover your daily dose.
You can add it to fruit, juices, smoothies, or even sprinkle it on food. It’s much more convenient, and you can be creative.
We also suggest Triquetra Health because it is certified organic, meets quality standards, and is approved by the FDA. You can read more about this product here on Amazon.
Do not forget that “miracle” foods do not exist, and spirulina is not a “magic” ingredient. However, it can be an ally to take care of your health and control your weight if consumed regularly.
Due to its protein content, it is also an excellent complement to vegetarian and vegan diets.
Remember that a balanced diet and physical activity will always be the key to staying healthy, but the health benefits of spirulina are pretty evident!