Spirulina algae: characteristics, uses and side effects

Spirulina alga is a micro-algae with many healthy characteristics: it is rich in nutritional properties, it gives you energy, it helps you to lose weight, it is useful in case of anemia and more! Let’s discover all the healthy characteristics of this excellent natural food supplement.

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By Cookist

Spirulina algae (Arthrospira platensis) is a blue-green micro-algae with a spiral shape that grows spontaneously in few areas of the world, such as Mexico or Africa, where the water of the lakes has a high alkalinity, the temperatures remain constant between 30C degrees and 40C degrees and there is a high concentration of mineral salts. It is an alga rich in vegetal proteins very useful for the well-being of our organism: it strengthens the immune system and the bones, it is useful for the nervous system and it lowers bad cholesterol, as well as having a very low-calorie content. But let's discover more about the characteristics and uses of this healthy micro-algae.

Healthy characteristics of spirulina algae

Spirulina is rich of healthy, nutritional and therapeutic characteristics: it provides proteins of high biological value, as it contains all the essential amino acids, that are not produced by the body, but that must be introduced in the diet. Spirulina also contains essential fatty acids, Omega 3 and Omega 6, useful to fight triglycerides and bad cholesterol, as well as vitamin A, D, E and K and those of B group. Among the mineral salts of spirulina we find calcium, iron, iodine, potassium, magnesium and sodium. Here are its characteristics in detail.

Spirulina algae is an excellent antioxidant and a natural detoxifier: spirulina algae contains ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, vitamin E, all antioxidant substances that create a powerful mix against the damaging action of free radicals, slowing down cellular aging and preventing serious pathologies. This microalgae also contains chlorophyll and other vegetal pigments that help detoxify the body, a useful characteristic against cellulite.

Spirulina helps to lose weight: spirulina also helps to lose weight as it contains very few calories and reduces the sense of hunger thanks to phenylalanine, a substance that acts on the nervous system inducing the sense of satiation. The high content of mineral salts and vitamins, moreover, makes spirulina algae a food able to provide the right nutritional intake to pregnant and lactating women.

Spirulina algae protects the heart and lowers bad cholesterol: the presence of Omega 3 and Omega 6 is essential to reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase the good cholesterol (HDL), also thanks to the alpha-linolenic acid which fluidifies the blood. This helps keeping total cholesterol levels in line by helping to prevent cardiovascular disease.

Spirulina algae strengthens the immune system and increases concentration: spirulina algae is one of the vegetal food more rich in vitamin, amino-acid and anti-oxidant, a food that works as a true natural restorative food supplement useful to strengthen the immune system. Introducing this micro-algae in our diet also means reducing stress and increasing the level of concentration; therefore it is an ideal food supplement in busy periods of intense study and work.

Spirulina algae is useful in case of anemia: spirulina algae is able to supply iron to the body, helping to fight anemia, also thanks to the presence of chlorophyll. We are talking about natural iron with high digestibility due to the lack of cellulose in its composition that, moreover, does not make the work of the stomach and liver more demanding.

Spirulina algae is an excellent food supplement for sportsmen and sportswomen and for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet: unlike sea algae, spirulina algae does not contain iodine but it is rich in vegetal proteins that make it an ideal food supplement for those who practice sports but also for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. The best to give energy to our muscles thanks to healthy proteins that often haven’t any side effects.

Spirulina algae is rich in calcium: in addition to its very high protein value, spirulina algae contains highly assimilable calcium for the body, much more than the synthetic one. Spirulina algae contains 8 times more calcium than milk and it is very digestible, it helps prevent osteoporosis and bone fragility, as well as strengthening the teeth.

How to take spirulina algae and recommended doses


Spirulina algae can be taken in the form of powder, capsules, tablets, and it can be purchased in herbalist’s shops, organic stores or specialized websites. For the quantity to be taken, it is always better to consult the doctor or herbalist: the dose to be taken however oscillates between 1gr and 5gr per day, beyond this amount it could have some side effects. The advice is to start with small doses until arrive to 5 grams per day, so that the body gets used to the high concentration of nutrients present in this precious micro-algae: a real super food included in the astronauts diet during space missions. The best thing is to take it for 3 or 4 months, then stop for 2 months, and finally repeat another cycle. Spirulina powder must be diluted in water, tea or fruit juice.

Side effects

If taken in the right doses, spirulina algae does not present any particular side effects, and moreover it can be taken at any age. However, the advice is not to exceed 5 grams per day to avoid side effects such as diarrhea, nausea or fever. Spirulina algae contains a high concentration of iron, so it is not recommended for those suffering from hemochromatosis, a genetic disease that causes hyper-absorption of this mineral salt by the intestine. However spirulina algae is not recommended for use if you suffer from autoimmune diseases, and in case of thyroid problems.

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