ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Spirulina, superfood of the century

Updated on August 17, 2014

Do you use Spirulina?

See results

What is spirulina?

Spirulina....some sort of insect?

This is what some people said when I mentioned the word to them. Of the 20 random people I asked about this plant, only one was a bit familiar with it and this was because his closest friend was a vegan.

This makes me wonder, how many more valuable organisms are out there that I have never even heard of. Our world is full of gifts and surprises. We need to take advantage of them.

Think banana is a super food? Think again. Spirulina is a highly nutritious aquatic plant. It somewhat resembles moss and is packed with vitamins, minerals and rich vegetable protein. Its amino acid spectrum is wide and it contains almost every vitamin and mineral you can think of in highly concentrated quantities. Spirulina contains more nutrients in one serving than what we would have in a typical day of complete meals. Even better, this plant contains far less calories for its dense nutrient base.

Spirulina could be the answer for world starvation and nutrient deficiency. Imagine what cultivating large volumes of this plant can do for hunger and health issues worldwide.

Spirulina Nutritional Facts

Nutrient
% Value per 112g serving
Nutrient
% Value per 112g serving
Calories
325 cal.
Niacin
72%
Calories from fat
72 cal.
Vitamin B6
20%
Total Fat
15%
Folate
26%
Sodium
49%
Pantothenic Acid
39%
Carbohydrate
9%
Iron
117%
Dietary Fiber
16%
Calcium
13%
Protein
64 grams!
Magnesium
55%
Cholesterol
0 grams
Phosphorus
13%
Vitamin A & Calcium
16%
Maganese
106%
Vitamin C
20%
Zinc
15%
Vitamin E
28%
Copper
349%
Vitamin K
36%
Potassium
44%
Thiamin
178%
Selenium
12%
Riboflavin
242%
Omega-3 & 6 fatty acids
over 2400mg combined

As outlined in the table above, spirulina contains a wide variety of nutrients. This is impressive for any one food. It also contains a whopping 63% chlorophyll content. This element is vital for plants to convert sunlight to nutrients and is beneficial detox agent when consumed by humans. To get through the day a serving of spirulina with a portion of a single meal will provide proper nourishment for one day. For someone who is trying to lose weight, you could eat minimally and supplement your diet with a single spirulina tablet. For someone trying to gain weight, you could eat your typical meals and supplement your diet with a spirulina tablet three times daily.

Ways to prepare and consume spirulina

Spirulina can be bought at many local herbal or organic food stores. It can be bought at some pharmacies in the form of a tablet, capsule or powder. Spirulina is somewhat rare but not too expensive for the average consumer. Some people grow spirulina at home as they would any other plant. It is not difficult to grow but spirulina needs special care. It needs sunlight and rich water to strive and produce nutritious sprouts.There are large farms in the United States and worldwide that specialize in the production of spirulina, algae, mosses and other rare water vegetation.

Spirulina has a deep green blue color due to its high chlorophyll content. It might not look very appealing, but it does not have an unpleasant taste. It will blend well into almost any dish.

To benefit from its high nutritional content or to give yourself an amino acid boost, up to 112g serving or 4 ounces of Spirulina can be added to:

  • Power punches
  • Protein shakes
  • Smoothies
  • Shakes
  • Ice-cream
  • Sauces and dips
  • Soups
  • Pasta sauces

There are various snacks at health food stores that contain spirulina. These include baked chips, brownies, cookies and savory pastries.

Probably the easiest way to consume spirulina is by taking it in tablet or capsule form. Based on your brand of purchase, one to two tablets should provide you with the nutrients you need each day.

When purchasing spirulina, organic brands are always best. This plant is nutritious but will absorb impurities that contaminate its surroundings and pass them on to you. So don't just buy spirulina in its raw form and believe its safe to gulp down.

Health benefits of spirulina

The benefits of spirulina is widely due to its nutrient composition. We all know the benefits of most vitamins and minerals, proteins, fats and carbohydrates. The benefits are vast, in fact, this may require an entirely different article. However, apart from the nourishment it provides, spirulina is used successfully for the following:

  1. Great for weight loss
  2. Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  3. Detoxification through its high chlorophyll content
  4. Boosts immune system to fight flu, cancers and inflammations
  5. Reduces arsenic in the blood and skin
  6. Boosts blood red blood cells through its high iron and vitamin B content
  7. Reduces the symptoms of allergies over time
  8. Great for sports performance enhancement
  9. Lowers LDL or bad cholesterol
  10. Improves liver function in people with hepatitis C
  11. Beneficial for malnourished children
  12. Helps people with iron deficiency anemia who have difficulty tolerating and digesting synthetic iron supplements.
  13. Reduces oral cancer risk in people who chew tobacco
  14. Great for memory, depression, anxiety, digestion and other conditions.

Possible adverse effects

Spirulina can contain a wide variety of contaminants such as chemicals and germs. It is best to consume pure spirulina from reputable manufacturers. Powder or capsule forms of spirulina can greatly reduce the risk of organic contaminants.

People with auto-immune disorders such as lupus should avoid taking supplements containing spirulina. Spirulina boosts the immune system and this can be deadly for people whose immune activity need to be suppressed.

Spirulina pond farm
Spirulina pond farm

Spirulina's benefits far surpasses its negative effects. It is a good food to consider consuming on a daily basis. In fact, you could use it to substitute or supplement fruits and vegetable intake each day. It is a valuable plant that should really be farmed and processed on a larger scale. It will do wonders for our health and wellness, fighting disease and hunger throughout the world.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • earnforlife profile image

      earnforlife 2 years ago

      Great hub. Interesting plant. I heard about it but never went on to find out more. Thanks for the information. This plant is like a dietary supplement. I do suffer from low iron sometimes and I don't like taking supplements, so maybe adding some spirulina powder to my shake is a good idea.

    • momsdoworkathome profile image

      Katina Davenport 2 years ago from Michigan

      I have actually heard of this plant before. I have found them to be an ingredient of a vitamin I take from the health food store.

    • profile image

      Maria 2 years ago

      Thanks a lot for providing iniavdduils with a very pleasant chance to read from this blog. It is usually very ideal and stuffed with amusement for me personally and my office colleagues to search your site the equivalent of three times per week to find out the fresh items you will have. And lastly, we are certainly impressed concerning the eye-popping principles you serve. Some 4 areas in this post are essentially the most beneficial I've had.PoIuYt

    • ladyweight profile image
      Author

      ladyweight 2 years ago

      Thanks Maria, it means so much to me to know that you find this blog insightful.

    Click to Rate This Article