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  • Writer's pictureRayki Goh, MSc

Spirulina - Explained

 
Spirulina contains proteins, B vitamins, copper, iron, and potent antioxidants like phycocyanin, known for its anti-inflammatory powers. Can this superfood really provide potent nutrients with health benefits while also combating modern health issues?

Spirulina

Dear Food People,

 

Today, I'm here to chat about spirulina—that super cool blue-green algae that's been making waves for its health benefits. Whether you're familiar with it as a powder or tablet supplement, there's quite a bit to know about this nutrient powerhouse. So, let's dive in without getting too technical or imaginative, just straight-up facts and insights.

 

Spirulina is a real treasure trove of nutrients, loaded with proteins, B vitamins, copper, iron, and some pretty potent antioxidants like phycocyanin, known for its anti-inflammatory powers. Think proteins, B vitamins, copper, iron, and some pretty potent antioxidants like phycocyanin, known for its anti-inflammatory powers. Pretty impressive, right?

 

Now, onto the good stuff—how spirulina can boost our health. For heart lovers, spirulina is indeed a friend, helping lower those pesky triglyceride and cholesterol levels and even blood pressure. It doesn't stop there; studies are hinting at its potential to fight off cancer by curbing inflammation and blocking tumour growth. Got allergies? Spirulina might just be your seasonal ally, easing up congestion and sneezing. This algae is like hitting the gym for the immune system, ramping up white blood cells and antibodies. Even your eyes and mouth get a piece of the action, with spirulina helping to protect your retina and reduce dental plaque.

 

But, as with most things, it's not all sunshine and rainbows. There are a few considerations before making spirulina your new best friend. For starters, the wild-harvested kind might bring along unwanted guests like heavy metals and bacteria. Pregnant folks and anyone with bleeding disorders or diabetes should tread carefully, given the potential risks and impacts on blood clotting and sugar levels.

 

Side effects can pop up too; some folks might notice allergies, headaches, muscle pains, or digestive issues.  Growing spirulina in contaminated water can lead to toxins that are harmful to our liver and overall health.  And for those with autoimmune conditions or phenylketonuria (PKU), it's a no-go since spirulina can either rev up the immune system or pose issues due to its phenylalanine content.

 

Before you jump on the spirulina bandwagon, chatting with a healthcare provider is a smart move, especially to navigate any personal health nuances. And if you're good to go, choosing products from trusted brands with third-party testing, such as USP or NSF International, can help you avoid contamination risks.

 

In the world of spirulina production, it's a journey from outdoor ponds or controlled greenhouses through filtration to capture the algae, then washing, dehydrating, and drying to lock in all that goodness. It is then transformed into the familiar forms we adore, such as powders and tablets. Each step is key to ensuring what ends up on your spoon is both safe and packed with nutrients.

 

So, that's the scoop on spirulina! It's fascinating how much good can come from these tiny algae, with just a few caveats to keep in mind. If spirulina sparked your interest or if you've got more topics, you're curious about, don't hesitate to drop a message over at dearfoodpeople.com. I'm all ears for your thoughts and suggestions!

 

 

Further Reading:

  1. SP100. (2024). Production Process. [Online] Available at: http://www.sp100.com/spirulina/spirulina_3.html

  2. Aurospirul. (2024). Production Process. [Online] Available at: https://www.aurospirul.com/production-process.html

  3. Raw Living Spirulina. (2024). How Raw Living Spirulina is Grown. [Online] Available at: https://www.rawlivingspirulina.com/how-its-grown/

  4. National Center for Biotechnology Information. (2024). Spirulina in Clinical Practice: Evidence-Based Human Applications. [Online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3136577/

  5. Natural Ways to Health. (2024). Spirulina References. [Online] Available at: https://naturalways.com/spirulina-references.htm

  6. Ro, C. (2024). Spirulina Side Effects. [Online] Available at: https://ro.co/supplements/spirulina-side-effects/

  7. Lybrate. (2024). Spirulina Benefits and Side Effects. [Online] Available at: https://www.lybrate.com/topic/spirulina-benefits-and-side-effects

  8. Healthline. (2024). Spirulina Side Effects. [Online] Available at: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/spirulina-side-effects

  9. Stylecraze. (2024). Dangerous Side Effects of Spirulina. [Online] Available at: https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/dangerous-side-effects-of-spirulina/

  10. Health.com. (2024). Spirulina. [Online] Available at: https://www.health.com/spirulina-7497604

  11. Verywell Health. (2024). Spirulina. [Online] Available at: https://www.verywellhealth.com/spirulina-89079


 

The information provided in our articles is for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The content on our website, including articles, is not meant to endorse or promote any specific medical treatments, products, or procedures. The information provided is based on general knowledge and research at the time of writing. Medical practices and knowledge are constantly evolving, and what may have been accurate at the time of publication may not be current or applicable today.

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