Day to day many people lack the energy to effectively cope with their day. Do you suffer from diabetes and/or high cholesterol? Do you want to supplement your diet with a high-quality nutritional supplement? If you identify with any of these situations, spirulina may be the best option for you.

Spirulina is a cyanophilic micro-algae that offers exceptional health benefits beyond its diverse nutritional composition. Being a source of proteins, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, this superfood provides added value thanks to its energizing, antioxidant and immune stimulating properties.

Key Facts

  • Spirulina, belongs to the ‘superfoods’ group because it not only fulfills a nutritional purpose, it also improves health and prevents certain diseases.
  • This revitalizing, detoxifying and powerful antioxidant can be ingested in the form of powder, tablets or capsules.
  • Spirulina is a supplement that can significantly benefit the health of anyone consuming it. Another plus, it is apt for vegan, celiac, lactose and soy free diets.

Ranking: The best spirulina supplements you can find on the market

When it comes to choosing a spirulina supplement, you’ll find a multitude of brands and presentations. Here are the best options available to you. Read on and choose the one that’s right for you.

No. 1: Sevenhills Wholefoods, Organic Spirulina 500gr (powder)

This brand offers packaging of 500gr or 1 kg. This spirulina is 100% pure and organic, with no fillers, colours or binders. It is certified organic by the Soil Association and is suitable for vegans. It is also gluten and soy free. It is grown in fresh water under strict conditions and purity.

The manufacturer states there is no prescribed daily intake. However, many people believe that a food dose is one heaped teaspoon, taken once or twice a day with water, shortly before or after a meal. It is also recommended to start off with a lower dose and build up tolerance gradually over two or three weeks.

No. 2: Pure Hawaiian Spirulina, 500mg (tablets)

This product comes with 400 tablets composed of 500mg of spirulina produced by organic farming in Hawaii. It is of mild flavour since ingestion is so immediate. It is recommended to consume between 4 to 6 tablets a day, distributed throughout main meals. Third party certified free of gluten, lactose and allergens.

This supplement is highly recommended for those who don’t have time to think about how to add spirulina powder to their diet. Tablets are transportable and easy to take. This brand is considered to have excellent price-quality-quantity ratio.

No. 3: Organika Spirulina, 454gr (powder)

This Canadian company offers 454 grams of 100% natural spirulina powder. The recommended daily dose is 3 grams, so the contents of the bag yield supplementation for about 150 days. This makes it an ideal product for people who have confirmed the benefits of spirulina and are looking to supplement long term.

Keep in mind that when storing for a long time, it should be kept in a dark, dry place to avoid deterioration of some nutrients from exposure to light and moisture. The products from this family owned company have rave reviews. Consumers love that all products are of excellent quality and ethically sourced.

No. 4: Subi, Morning Energy Booster 280gr (powder)

This is a number one best seller on the Canadian market. Subi is a nutrient dense blend of multiple superfoods. Each serving represents >60% of the recommended daily nutrition. All these superfoods were carefully chosen to provide all natural energy.

This item has no GMOs, it’s gluten free and vegan friendly with no dairy, eggs or animal byproducts. After opening, the manufacturer recommends making sure to tightly seal the bag and store in a cold-dry place. The recommended daily dose is 1 serving (7gr.) mixed with 400 ml of water or any other liquid. It is reported best to take in the morning to prevent insomnia.

No. 5: Naturello, Raw Greens Superfood, 30 servings (powder)

This product is considered a one stop shop as it contains the largest inclusion of all possible nutrition-rich greens in one container. This powerful supplement combines the benefits of over 30 organic plant extracts like spirulina, chlorella, alfalfa and wheat grass.

Like all products in our ranking, it is suitable for vegans with no GMOs, soy, yeast, preservatives or artificial flavours and colouring. This product is loved by consumers and they report experiencing a tangible boost in energy and an overall feeling of better health.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about spirulina

Spirulina is undoubtedly a superfood with great potential for improving people’s overall health. However, it is important that before you buy it you have all the information available to confirm that it is the right supplement for you. If it is the right supplement for you, read on to learn how to take advantage of all its amazing properties.

Spirulina1

Many studies have shown that this micro-algae is able to reduce blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. (Source: Marinav: 36864940/123rf.com)

In the following sections, we look forward to answering all your questions regarding spirulina supplements.

What is spirulina exactly?

Collectively, we refer to spirulina as an algae because it grows in water. It has the ability to photosynthesize and when grouped together forms bluish-green filaments.

However, the supplement we know as spirulina is actually a photosynthetic cyanobacteria in the shape of a spiral. When it grows and achieves a sufficient density, it is dried and pulverized to be consumed in powder, or it is administered in the form of capsules or tablets.

What makes spirulina so healthy?

For starters, spirulina has a magnificent nutritional profile which consisting of:

  • 57-60% of its dry weight in the form of proteins, which contain all the essential amino acids. That is to say, those amino acids human beings can only obtain from foods or supplements because our bodies cannot synthesize them itself.
  • Approximately 20% complex carbohydrates.
  • Between 5% and 7% fat, with predominance of omega 3 and omega 6.
  • Contains provitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B9 (folic acid), and vitamin E (tocopherol).
  • Contains iron, zinc, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium, calcium and sodium.
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Did you know that a historic UNESCO publication (1969) defined spirulina as “seaweed three times more nutritious than a good steak”?

What other benefits does spirulina offer us?

Spirulina provides other benefits that go beyond its nutritional content. Exploring these benefits through consumption of spirulina is a real opportunity to increase health and well-being. It is considered a superfood for all the before mentioned reasons and also for possessing the following properties:

  • Energizers and revitalizers
  • Stimulates and supports the immune system
  • Antioxidants
  • Detoxifiers
  • Appetite suppressants through satiation
  • Hypoglycaemic (decrease of glucose levels during fasting and post-meals)

Why is everyone talking about spirulina?

Despite being a food that has been around for a millennial, research on the health benefits and properties of this micro-algae has only begun to emerge among Western health professionals and researchers a few decades ago.

One of the first records of recognition of the magnificent health benefits of spirulina dates back to 1974, when it was declared “the best food for the future” at the UN World Food Conference.

Spirulina2

Today, after numerous studies and research that have demonstrated its effects, spirulina is one of the most consumed supplements. (Source: Chepko: 82271552/123rf.com)

Why is it recommended to consume spirulina?

Those who have been consuming the supplement for a long time can testify to its benefits:

  • Increased energy levels and an overall revitalizing sensation. Less tired and fatigue.
  • Less appetite and more satiety. That is, the feeling of being satisfied for several hours after a meal.
  • Reduction of cholesterol and triglycerides in blood levels.
  • Improved insulin resistance and decreased blood glucose.
  • Strengthening of the immune system.

Why is it recommended to take a spirulina supplement to combat fatigue?

Spirulina is a concentrate of minerals and vitamins. Many of them are active participates in metabolic reactions that occur in our body to get energy from nutrients.

In short, tiredness can be the result of a deficiency of the vitamins and minerals involved in energy transformation. This supplement ensures that the body has the necessary nutrients to process into energy.

Moreover, this micro-algae is highly recommended when trying to prevent and/or treat anemia, as it provides a large amount of iron and folate. Both nutrients are key to the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow.

Is it true that spirulina is an indispensable supplement for vegans?

The truth is that one supplement, no matter how good it is, does not replace a balanced diet. Therefore, spirulina can be a great ally for vegans to improve their nutritional intake, but the overall diet must be carefully planned and supervised by a nutrition professional.

With that in mind, this micro-algae can also be an important source of protein for vegans. Since these proteins have a high bioavailable composition, they contain essential amino acids that the human body cannot produce on its own. It is also rich in iron, zinc and folate, nutrients that are often deficient in the vegan diet.

That being said, vegan people can significantly improve their nutritional intake by combining this supplement with a balanced diet.

Is spirulina a source of vitamin B12?

You’ll probably notice that all spirulina supplements are labeled with a significant amount of vitamin B12. Some authors even point to algae as a plant source of this nutrient. The reality is that this information is erroneous and risky.

Spirulina contains a false vitamin B12 that is not functional to our body. That is to say, it does not fulfill the role that the true vitamin B12 plays.

This can be risky because many vegans believe that with spirulina (or other algae) they can meet their needs for this vitamin and eventually end up developing a deficiency.

Is it good to consume spirulina to lower cholesterol and/or triglycerides?

The effects of lowered cholesterol and/or triglycerides thanks to consuming spirulina is certainly one of the greatest benefits you can get from adding this supplement to your diet. This effect from spirulina intake is thanks to the content of omega 3-6 and soluble fibre.

There is ample scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of spirulina supplements in reducing total cholesterol, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and blood triglycerides. This in turn decreases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, the world’s leading cause of death, according to the World Health Organization.

What does it mean when they say spirulina has antioxidant properties?

Beta-carotene, vitamin E, and spirulina chlorophyll have high antioxidant activity, which means they block free radicals that cause oxidation damage to cells.

Cardiovascular diseases, cancer, fibromyalgia and neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, Parkinson’s disease) are pathologies with oxidative stress. Hence the important role of spirulina supplements in helping prevent these conditions.

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Did you know that oxidative stress accelerates aging? If you want to be a long-lived person and age healthily, spirulina supplementation can be a great idea.

Are there contraindications regarding the benefits of spirulina supplements?

Spirulina supplements are generally safe for the healthy adult population, these are unlikely to produce adverse reactions, and there are no known pharmacological interactions.

However, the following people should consult their family doctor before taking spirulina to prevent any risks and complications.

  • Children
  • Pregnant and lactating women
  • People with renal, hepatic or hormonal diseases
  • Every individual who is taking chronic medication

Why is it important not to exceed the recommended dose of spirulina supplement?

Generally, the recommended dose of spirulina powder is 2 to 3 grams per day and, in the case of tablets, 4 to 6 units per day.

It is important not to exceed the amounts mentioned above, as some nutrients, like iron and vitamin E, accumulate in the body and can cause adverse overdose symptoms.

Romina CeruttiNutritionist and Dietician

“Excess iron is associated with negative gastrointestinal symptoms and heart problems, while hypervitaminosis E can lead to alterations in blood clotting.”

How should spirulina be taken to promote weight-loss?

To take advantage of the satiating and appetite suppressing capacity of spirulina, it is advisable to take the supplement 15 to 30 minutes before lunch and dinner, accompanied by plenty of water.

Spirulina micro-algae’s capture water and gel in the stomach. These gels remain in the digestive tract for several hours, prolonging the feeling of fullness and helping to curve the appetite. In this way, less food is consumed throughout the day, which in turn favours weight-loss.

What types of spirulina supplements are there and which one is right for me?

Spirulina supplements can be divided into two main groups: powder and tablets. Next, we will elaborate on the characteristics of each one, as well as its advantages and disadvantages.

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This superfood is the star of Instagram websites and accounts that promote a healthy diet. (Source: Gojda: 28875574/123rf.com)

Spirulina Powder

Spirulina powder is packaged in bags or jars and their content generally ranges from 100 to 500-1,000 grams. It is advisable to consume 2 to 3 grams per day, mixed with water, juices, shakes, smoothies bowls, yoghurts, dressings, soups, etc.

To choose the powder supplement, it is essential that you like the peculiar taste of spirulina – if you don’t you find it almost impossible to take it.

Spirulina in Tablets

The supplement in tablets or capsules consists of spirulina powder mixed with a very small amount of magnesium stearate, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose or silica. Its taste is mild and it is easy enough to take it with an abundant amount of water. It is easy to store and transport.

The calorie content of the supplement in tablets, as well as in powder, is negligible. In terms of nutritional composition, there are no significant differences with spirulina powder. Tablets and capsules usually involve more digestive work compared to spirulina powder.

Ingesting it in tablets or capsules is the ideal choice for you if you don’t like the taste of spirulina. In addition, if you usually eat away from home, the tablets and capsules are very practical and easy to take with you.

Powder Tablets
Dose 2-3 grams per day 4 to 6 units per day
Flavour Intense, peculiar. Mild
Colour Intense blue-green Greenish
Digestion Faster and more efficient. Requires more digestive work.
Versatility Very versatile, it adapts to multiple culinary preparations. It does not admit variations in the form of consumption.
Conservation It must be protected from light and humidity to avoid the alteration of its components. Easy to preserve.
Purity 100% spirulina Good quality tablets contain 99% spirulina.
Price More affordable More expensive

Purchase Criteria

Once you have decided to improve your health and nutritional status with a spirulina supplement, you should consider the following features in order to select the best alternative.

  • Flavour
  • Convenience
  • Price
  • Certifications
  • Presence of gluten, lactose and allergens

Flavour

Spirulina has an intense and distinctive taste, very noticeable in the powder supplement. So, if you don’t like the taste, you should opt for tablets or capsules, which are of much milder taste.

If this is the first time you are buying this supplement and you want to try spirulina powder, we recommend that you opt for a small package, for example, 100 grams (roughly 30 day supply).

Convenience

The tablets and capsules are much more convenient to take, store and transport, while the powder version must be mixed with water or other liquid (soups, juices, shakes, vegetable milks, etc.).

Price

The best way to compare the cost of supplements is to divide the price by the number of doses contained in the package. Spirulina powder is generally cheaper than tablets of the same yield.

Certifications

This is a fundamental aspect, since spirulina must be produced ecologically and with strict care. It is easily contaminated with toxic and heavy metals (lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium), if these substances are present along the culture process.

In addition, vegans must make sure that the excipients in the tablets and capsule materials are 100% of vegetable in origin.

Presence of gluten, lactose and allergens

Spirulina is free of gluten, lactose and allergens and must therefore not contain any of these substances unless it has been contaminated during processing or packaging.

Summary

Throughout this article we have presented the many beneficial properties of spirulina, the various supplements that are available to you and the characteristics of each of them. Our goal is to provide you with quality information so that you can make the best decision for your health.

If anything in this guide has been useful and interesting to you, share it and help us make more people aware of the benefits of spirulina supplements.

(Featured image source: Maddlen: 29370380/123rf.com)

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