I have been taking a decent dose of spirulina every day for years . At my already quite high energy level, it turned out that I could go a little extra. What started as a misunderstanding (years ago I got 1500 spirulina tablets that had to be used very quickly because of the expiration date), is now a regular part of my daily routine. In any case, it is high time to take you into the wonderful world of spirulina.
What is spirulina?
Spirulina falls under the blue-green algae . The Latin word spirulina means ‘little spiral’ which refers to the structure of this small algae; it looks like an IUD. Spirulina is almost as old as the Earth itself: about 3.5 billion years. There are sources that say that it is actually not an algae, but a bacterium . Bacteria are the oldest life form on Earth. We could say that from an evolutionary point of view spirulina is somewhere between bacteria and plant life.
Spirulina originally lives in alkaline water; mineral-rich lakes and waters. The commercial spirulina is now grown in special outdoor tanks in areas around the equator. This is because of the heat and many days of sun a year that are present there.
Why should you use spirulina?
Algae are at the base of our food chain. The nutritional value of spirulina is broad and also highly concentrated, which makes this blue-green algae so interesting as a food source.
- Spirulina is rich in vitamins A, C, E, K and the B vitamins B1, B2 and B6 . Because they are a natural source of vitamins, they are very easy to absorb by our body.
- Spirulina is rich in the minerals that we as women need very much and are often short of; especially calcium, magnesium and iron.
- Spirulina is also a good source of trace elements that we often have to miss in our current diet.
- It is rich in high-quality and easily absorbable and digestible proteins. The protein concentration is about 70% and therefore the highest of all foods. Higher than meat or soy.
- It is a rich source of the essential fatty acids GLA, DHA and EPA; nutrition for your brain, but also important to keep joints flexible.
- It is a rich source of antioxidants; these help you get rid of toxins and free radicals in your body. The chlorophyll in spirulina detoxifies the liver.
- Spirulina is unique in that it contains phycocyanin, the substance that gives this algae its blue color. Phycocyanin is a very powerful antioxidant that stimulates the immune system . There are studies that attribute anti-cancer properties to this.
- Like chlorella, spirulina is effective at detoxifying heavy metals from the body.
- Research has shown that spirulina has high anti-inflammatory properties. This means that spirulina can be used for PMS complaints, arthritis and allergies, among other things.
- Spirulina helps to bring the intestinal flora back into balance .
- Spirulina is known for its ability to stabilize blood sugar levels. This means that binge eating can be better controlled.
- It provides more energy when tired.
- Spirulina supports the thyroid gland because it contains iodine.
- Because of this combination of properties, spirulina can help you boost your energy levels .
Sunlight keeps you healthy
Spirulina is grown in areas where the sun shines more than 320 days a year. That’s not for nothing. Let me explain to you how this is.
The earth gets its energy from the sun. Scientists have discovered that energy from the sun is very important for our health. That won’t surprise you; everyone knows the soothing feeling of a spring sunbath after a long winter.
Plants use photosynthesis to convert this solar energy into edible substances such as proteins, fatty acids and carbohydrates.
Solar energy has therefore taken shape in fresh fruit and vegetables in particular, which have been allowed to ripen in the sunlight. That is why this food is so good for us. Well, spirulina is the richest form of this type of solar energy . This solar energy is also called photon energy; from biophotons.
Biophotons: edible light
Bio means life and photon means light. Biophotons stands for light of life; light emitted by any living tissue (human, animal and plant) and which can be measured by special equipment. I’ll leave the physics here (too complicated for me), but assume for a moment that your body is a source of life light, and that it is healthy for your body to get as much other light as possible. This can be done by getting sunlight, but also by eating solar energy.
Eating a good quality and quantity of solar energy improves the health and vitality of you as a living organism.
You achieve this vitality by eating fresh, organic (sun-ripened) products, but also by using spirulina.
Would you like to read more about biophotons and how they can help you to gain more vitality; then read the booklet Biophotons; source of energy and light of life by Yvonne Sangen and Karin Tazelaar.
Why does spirulina have so much solar energy?
All plants have some degree of chlorophyll in them. Chlorophyll is the substance that ensures that light energy can be absorbed and converted into energy usable for the plant. However, chlorophyll can only absorb a certain part of the light spectrum. The phycocyanin, which is unique for spirulina, has the capacity to absorb the missed part of the light spectrum and store it as energy.
Spirulina can therefore absorb and convert the entire light spectrum.
In addition, because spirulina is so tiny, this sunlight is stored in all of its cells and not just in the cells on the side of the plant that is exposed to sunlight (which is usually the case with thicker green leaves). Spirulina is therefore also called “sun food” .
Spirulina or Chlorella? Or both?
After writing my blog about chlorella, I got a lot of questions about what the difference was with spirulina and what I preferred. I usually use them both at the same time, especially spirulina at the moment. If you are prone to diarrhea, spirulina is a better choice. Do you quickly suffer from constipation? Then chlorella is better . If you ingest a lot of toxins (smoking, alcohol or you work in a carpet store, for example), chlorella is a good choice. If you are looking for a good source of proteins (athletes!) then spirulina is better and this also applies to support in weight loss. I think it’s important to note that I see them both as high-nutrient foods that help me with keeping my energy levels high (and longer term health).
There is a caveat to the use of both chlorella and spirulina in certain conditions. If you have an autoimmune disease, gout or kidney stones and/or take medications that suppress the immune system, consult a doctor before using spirulina/chlorella. Sometimes symptoms worsen because your chlorella/spirulina immune system becomes even more active and/or because the effect of your medicines is suppressed.
How much spirulina is recommended?
A normal dose for adults is about 5 grams per day and athletes can use 10 grams or more per day. Spirulina is sold as a powder or tablets . I don’t like them as a powder, not even in a green smoothie, so I use them as tablets. Make sure that you buy a good, reliable, preferably organic quality. Read labels and avoid fillers.
Finally: superfoods only become interesting if you have already opted for healthy food. Using superfoods as a supplement to junk food or food made in a factory doesn’t make much sense. That is a waste of your money. First healthy food, then superfoods!