Superfood spirulina

Spirulina is a blue-green algae that is rich in nutrients. It is a good source of protein (60%), iron, calcium, B vitamins, carotene, omega 3 and iodine. But be sure to buy responsibly sourced spirulina to avoid the risk of contamination by heavy metals and bacteria. Below are just some of the benefits of spirulina:-

  • The B vitamin content means that spirulina can help relieve stress and fatigue. Note however that spirulini is not a source of B12, at least not in a bioavailable form so vegans may still need to supplement this B vitamin.  
  • Spirulina can stabilise blood sugar levels.This can help with weight loss by reducing cravings.
  • It is a vegan source of omega 3s promote heart health and brain health.  See 'Where do vegans get their omega 3s from'
  • It is a vegan souce of iron, helping to prevent anaemia
  • Spirulina can lower cholesterol levels - more specifically in lowers LDL cholesterol (the 'baddie') and raises HDL cholesterol (the 'good guy')
  • Phycocyanin, a pigment protein in spirulina is anti-inflammatory which helps prevent many degenerative diseases and antioxidant which means it 'mops up' the free radicals which cause aging.
  • Spirulina has anti-viral and cancer preventing properties.

You can add it to your smoothie if you wish but many people find it has an unpleasant flavour so an alternative would be 1 teaspoon in half a glass of water or follow the guidelines given on the packaging.

Spirulina should be avoided if you have phenylketonuria as it is a source of phenylalanine. It should also be avoided if you have thyroid issues due to its iodine content although it is possible to buy spirulina that does not have iodine. It also causes allergies in some people so check with your doctor before taking spirulina.  

Stay healthy, stay happy

Janet x

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