Spirulina powder is a health supplement used by many body builders and athletes. This article provides some information about its benefits, side effects, and dosage.
This nutritional powder is a dietary supplement prepared from Spirulina cyanobacteria. Basically, spirulina is a unicellular, spiral-shaped, blue-green algae, which belongs to the phylum Cyanobacteria. Out of nearly 35 different species of this algae, the most widely used form is Spirulina platensis. Unlike other algae, it lives both in sea and freshwater bodies, and is commonly used for human and animal food supplements.
The powder is prepared by pumping up the algae grown in the ponds, followed by sifting it through fine mesh nets. After washing it several times, the powdered form is obtained by drying it thoroughly.
Loaded with a variety of vitamins and minerals, the powder is a popular dietary supplement used to boost energy levels. It comprises vitamins like thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), nicotinamide (B3), pyridoxine (B6), folic acid (B9), vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin E, as well as minerals such as calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, sodium, zinc, and large amounts of potassium. Also, it is a rich source of proteins, when compared to most plants. It comprises significantly higher amino acid content.
- Being rich in proteins, the powder is used as a protein supplement in many poultry industries and aquaculture.
- It can lower the blood glucose levels, and is highly beneficial for people affected by type 2 diabetes.
- Since this powder comprises essential vitamins like vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sodium, it is used for curing problems related to bone, joints, and muscles.
- It also aids in healthy hair growth as well as makes the nails stronger and keeps them from getting brittle.
- Its chlorophyll content helps in the regeneration of blood cells, as well as provides relief from the pain or swelling associated with joints.
- The powder is quite effective in fighting against cancer, especially, oral cancer as it contains a compound called phycocyanin, which has the anti-cancer effect.
Although this powder is a natural food source and is not expected to cause any problems, some people on consumption experience slight fever, dizziness, and nausea. It is also known to increase thirst, and hence, it is recommended to drink at least half a liter of water before consumption. It lowers the risks of stomach ache and other gastrointestinal problems. Being high in nucleic acid content, it increases the levels of uric acid in the body and excessive intake could eventually lead to kidney, as well as liver problems.
This nutritional supplement can be incorporated in your diet in the form of the recipes mentioned below:
Smoothie: To prepare this smoothie, take ½ cup yogurt, one cup soy milk or a cup of fruit juice (apple, orange or pineapple), one papaya/peach/mango or half cup raspberries, one tsp. of the powder in a blender. Blend all the ingredients until incorporated well.
Salsa: In a bowl of salsa, simply add one tsp. of the powder to enhance its taste and texture.
Pate: Mix one tsp. of the powder with one clove and crushed garlic. Then add ½ lemon juice and 1 tsp. honey sauce. Mix well and stir in one tbsp. olive oil. Spread the mixture on toast with slices of tomato and onion.
Information on Powder Dosage
The dosage varies, depending upon the form in which one consumes this nutritional supplement. When taken in extract or powder form, a spoonful of spirulina daily is sufficient for an entire day. This being a natural food source, usually causes no adverse effects. However, it is advisable to not exceed the recommended dosage in order to avoid its unexpected side effects.
This powder provides more stamina, strength, better nutrient absorption, hence enhances the body’s immune system. It is also safe for children, pregnant women, as well as lactating mothers. However, it is recommended to consult a health care provider before incorporating this health supplement in your lifestyle.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.