Spirulina powder is a supplement used for different purposes, mainly by athletes and body builders. It is prepared from spirulina cyanobacteria, which is a unicellular linear blue-green alga, shaped like a spiral, belonging to the phylum cyanobacteria.
There are 35 species of spirulina, and the one that is most commonly used is Spirulina platensis. Spirulina can live in both salt and fresh water and it is used as human and animal food supplement.
Spirulina powder is obtained from algae that are grown in pools, pumped and sifted through fine mesh nets. After they are washed several times, they are thoroughly dried and the powder is ready.
Spirulina Powder Nutrition Facts
Since it is very rich in vitamins and minerals, spirulina powder is a popular supplement used to boost energy levels. It contains B complex vitamins, namely B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12, and also vitamins C, D and E. It is a good source of calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, sodium, zinc, and it contains large quantities of potassium. Spirulina is also a rich source of protein, with higher amino acid content.
Benefits of Spirulina Powder
Since it is very rich in protein, spirulina powder is used as protein supplement in poultry industry and in aquaculture.
Spirulina lowers the levels of blood sugar levels, and it is recommended for people who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
This supplement can be used to treat bone, muscle and joint problems because it is rich in B complex vitamins and minerals like potassium, calcium, sodium and magnesium.
Spirulina powder improves the quality of hair, skin and nails, promotes hair and nail growth and helps with hair breakage and brittle nails.
Thanks to its chlorophyll content, spirulina aids the regeneration of blood cells and relieves pain associated with joint problems.
A compound called phycocyanin, which is believed to have cancer-fighting properties, makes spirulina quite effective against cancer, especially oral.
Side Effects of Spirulina Powder
Spirulina powder is a natural supplement and as such it is not expected to cause significant side effects. However, some people have found that consumption of this supplement, especially long-term and in large amounts sometimes cause excessive thirst, slight fever, dizziness and nausea. It is recommended to drink plenty of water to prevent excessive thirst and also to prevent abdominal pain or other gastrointestinal problems.
Spirulina is high in nucleic acid and therefore it increases the levels of uric acid. This means that taking a lot of it over a long period of time may lead to kidney and liver problems.