Spirulina is a single-cell, blue-green algae. It grows in fresh water and is packed with chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein and essential fatty acids like gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). Specifically, it contains the vitamins K, E, A (beta-carotene), B1, B2 and B6.
Spirulina also contains about 70 percent protein. It is not an appetite suppressant. However, the high protein content in spirulina may help you eat less if you take it about an hour before meals. Taking spirulina on a daily basis as part of a healthy diet can not only help you lose weight; it can also help restore nutritional balance to your body. Spirulina is also easier for your body to digest and absorb than meat is.
How to Take Spirulina
Look for spirulina in your health food store. It is sold as a powder and as tablets, as well as in certain spirulina energy bars. You can take the tablets before a meal or mix the powder into smoothies, juice and salad dressings. Try adding the powder to soups or even pasta – just add it after the food is cooked, as heat can break down spirulina’s nutrients. If you’re taking tablets, be sure to take them at least an hour before a meal, as they break down slower in your body. You can chew them to speed up the process.
Try about six to 10 grams per day, or 11 to 20 grams for a therapeutic dose. Children ages 2 to 9 can safely take three to five grams per day. The calorie count for spirulina is about four calories per gram. If you are prone to kidney stones or gout, be sure not to exceed 50 grams daily. This is because spirulina has a high amount of nucleic acids, which create uric acid when they are metabolized.