Many people don’t have the energy to go through their whole day. Do you suffer from diabetes and/or high cholesterol? Do you want to add a high quality nutritional supplement to your diet? If you’ve answered yeast any of these questions, spirulina may just be your new best friend.

Beyond its nutritional composition, this cyanophilic micro-algae offers exceptional health benefits. This superfood is a valuable source of proteins, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals; its energising, antioxidant and immunostimulant properties make it a worthy addition to your diet.

Key Facts

  • Spirulina is considered a superfood not only because it has a genuine nutritional function, but also because it improves health and prevents certain diseases.
  • It is revitalising, detoxifying and antioxidant, and is available in powder, tablets or capsules.
  • Suitable for vegans and gluten-intolerant individuals, spirulina is a supplement that can have a truly positive impact on the level of well-being of its consumers.

Ranking: The best spirulina supplements in the market

There is a multitude of brands and different methods of ingestion available on the market, and you could be overwhelmed when buying your spirulina supplement. Here are the best options you’ll find on the Australian market, so you can choose the one that’s just right for you.

No. 1: Swisse Ultiboost High Strength Organic Spirulina (tablets)

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Melbourne-based company Swisse sells this bulk-sized pack of 200 tablets of 1,000 mg of organic spirulina. A renowned health and wellness brand, Swisse offers quality products, as showcased by their partnerships with top-level sports entities such as the Australian Olympic Team or the Wallabies. These tablets will help you reach your daily dose in various vitamins and minerals present in spirulina.

Made with 98.5% organic spirulina powder, each tablet also contains silicon dioxide and magnesium stearate. They are suitable for people following vegetarian and vegan diets. Although the recommended daily dose is 3 tablets per day, the manufacturer recommends taking 1 to 2 tablets daily at first to accustom your body with breaking down spirulina.

No. 2: Biofinest Organic Spirulina Powder

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According to Biofinest, their organic spirulina powder is 100% pure and unrefined. This product contains 100 grams of spirulina and is therefore ideal for first timers who want to try the powder without committing to a large quantity, due to the peculiar taste of the superfood.

This organic spirulina powder is certified organic by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Recommended intake for this premium grade product is 1 to 3 teaspoons, 1 to 3 times daily unless prescribed otherwise. This vegan-friendly spirulina powder comes in a resealable bag for easy transportation and better conservation.

No. 3: Nature’s Way Double Strength Spirulina (tablets)

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American company Nature’s Way blends tradition and technology to bring the best out of what Nature has to offer. These 1,000-mg tablets contain 99.4% spirulina powder, silica colloidal anhydrous and magnesium stearate. Directions for use are 3 to 8 tablets a day depending on needs and objectives. This product is gluten-free and suitable for individuals with vegan diets. Contains 150 tablets.

No. 4: PureWellness Organic Spirulina Powder

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This spirulina powder by Nerang-based company PureWellness offers great value for your money. Specialised in in bulk whole and organic food, the brand offers 1 kilo of organic spirulina powder at an incredible price. This Australian-made product is 100% pure. Note that its use during pregnancy is not recommended by the manufacturer.

No. 5 (Bonus): Bare Blends Organic Greens Powder

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Bare Blends is a young Australian company focusing on offering the healthiest, rawest organic supplements. This gluten-free, vegan-friendly blend of greens, grasses, algae, fruits and matcha tea can provide much needed vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Bare Blends claims 7 grams of their Bare Greens powder is the equivalent of 70 grams of fresh greens.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about spirulina

Spirulina’s great potential for improving people’s health is no longer a question. However, we want you to have all the information available to make sure that this superfood is the right supplement for you. If it turns out to be the case, you’ll know everything you need to make the most of its properties.

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

We hope that the following sections we have designed will help you answer all your questions regarding spirulina supplements.

What is spirulina exactly?

Spirulina is commonly referred to as an algae because it grows in water, has the ability to photosynthesise and forms bluish-green filaments when grouped together.

However, the supplement we call spirulina is actually a spiral-shaped photosynthetic cyanobacteria. After growing and reaching the density required, it is dried and pulverised into a powder that can be directly consumed. After pulverisation, it can also be sold in the form of capsules or tablets.

What makes spirulina so healthy?

This superfood boasts an incredible nutritional profile consisting of:

  • 57-60% of its dry weight in the form of proteins containing all the essential amino acids. Our body cannot synthesise these and they must always be obtained from food or supplements.
  • Approximately 20% complex carbohydrates.
  • Between 5% and 7% fat, with a predominance of omega-3 and omega-6.
  • Provitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B9 (folic acid), and vitamin E (tocopherol).
  • 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 are the other benefits of spirulina?

As we mentioned earlier, spirulina offers many other advantages that go well beyond its nutritional intake: this superfood can genuinely increase your health and well-being. The following list includes additional properties of spirulina:

  • Energising and revitalising
  • Immuno-stimulant
  • Antioxidant
  • Detoxifying
  • Satiating and appetite suppressant
  • Hypoglycemic (decrease in fasting and post-meal glucose levels)

Why is spirulina the new craze everyone talks about?

Spirulina isn’t actually new and has been used for hundreds of years by indigenous peoples. However, the interest of Western health professionals and researchers for its health properties only emerged a few decades ago.

One of the first very written records of the fantastic 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

Numerous studies and researches have shown its effects, and spirulina has become one of the most popular supplements in the world. (Source: Chepko: 82271552/ 123rf.com)

Why is it recommended to supplement with spirulina?

Those who have been taking this supplement for a long time bear witness to its benefits:

  • Increased energy level and sensation of revitalisation. Decreased tiredness and fatigue.
  • Less appetite for greater satiety – the feeling of being satisfied for several hours after eating.
  • Reduction of cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood.
  • Improvement of insulin resistance and decreased blood glucose.
  • Strengthening of the immune system.

How does spirulina help combat fatigue?

We’ve already said that spirulina was a concentrate of minerals and vitamins. Many of them participate in tour body’s metabolic reactions that help create energy from nutrients.

Fatigue can often be the consequence of a deficiency in the vitamins and minerals involved in energy transformation; this superfood can make sure our body has the necessary reserves to break down nutrients into energy.

This micro-algae is also highly recommended to prevent and/or treat anaemia. A large amount of iron and folate are found in the superfood, both of which are key nutrients in the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow.

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green superfood smoothies 🌿✨ made with @bareorganicssuperfoods spirulina & wheatgrass! #Ad These super green powders are vegan, gluten-free, nonGMO, and rich in phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Get the recipe below 👇🏼 – Ingredients • 2 cups spinach • 1.5 cup frozen mango • 2 frozen bananas • 1 tbsp lime juice • 1 tbsp hemp seeds • 1/2 tbsp spirulina powder • 1/2 tbsp wheatgrass powder • 2/3 cup almond milk Instructions • Combine all ingredients into a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend until smooth & creamy. After, transfer to bowls & add your favorite toppings. I added coconut flakes, banana, kiwi fruit, dragonfruit, blackberries, and hemp seeds on top ✨ – Head over to @bareorganicssuperfoods or click the link in my bio to browse their collection of super fruits, herbs & roots, super greens, snacks & seeds, baking items, and brew cups! 🌿 – #bareorganics #superfood #vegan #veganfood #smoothie #smoothiebowl #greensmoothie #spirulina #wheatgrass #healthyrecipes #healthyeating #veganrecipes #veganfood

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Is spirulina an essential supplement for vegans?

No matter how good a supplement may be, you should never forget that nothing can substitute for a balanced diet. Spirulina is indeed a great ally for vegans by helping them increase their nutritional intake; however, the overall diet must be carefully planned and supervised by a nutritional expert.

But we won’t lie: this micro-algae is genuinely an important source of protein for vegans. This is because spirulina is made up of proteins of high biological value that contain the essential amino acids that your body cannot produce on its own. It is also rich in iron, zinc and folate, nutrients that are often lacking in vegan diets.

That being said, vegans will significantly improve their nutrition if they combine spirulina with a balanced diet.

Is spirulina a source of vitamin B12?

You may have realised that almost all spirulina supplement labels claim having a significant amount of vitamin B12. Some scientific authors even point to algae as a plant source of this nutrient. In reality, this statement is a bold misinformation.

Spirulina actually contains a vitamin B12 analogue – an inactive form of the vitamin. This means that it does not fulfil the role of active vitamin B12 in the organism.

This can be a slippery slope as many vegans are led to believe that they can meet their vitamin B12 needs with spirulina (or other algae), which can eventually cause a deficiency.

Is spirulina good to lower cholesterol and/or triglycerides?

The hypolipidemic quality of spirulina is certainly one of the greatest benefits this supplement has to offer. The omega-3, omega-6 and soluble fibres present in the superfood are the reason for this phenomenon.

Scientific proof supporting the effectiveness of spirulina supplements in reducing overall cholesterol, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and blood triglycerides is aplenty. This leads to a decreased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, the world’s leading cause of death according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

What are the antioxidant properties of spirulina?

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

Cardiovascular diseases, cancer, fibromyalgia and neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, Parkinson’s disease) are pathologies with oxidative stress. This is why spirulina supplements are important to prevent these conditions from developing.

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Did you know that oxidative stress accelerates the ageing process? Supplementing with spirulina could actually help you live a long life and age healthily.

Can the use of spirulina supplements be contraindicated?

Spirulina supplements are generally safe for the healthy adult population: they are unlikely to produce adverse reactions and no drug interactions have been observed as of yet.

However, the following groups should check with their general practitioner before taking spirulina to prevent any potential risk or complication.

  • Children
  • Pregnant and lactating women
  • People with renal, hepatic or hormonal diseases
  • Any individual on chronic medication

Why should I avoid exceeding the recommended daily dose for spirulina supplements?

The recommended dose of spirulina powder is generally 2 to 3 grams per day, which is equivalent to 4 to 6 tablets daily.

Some of the nutrients present in this superfood, such as iron or vitamin E, can accumulate in the body and cause illnesses due to excess, hence why there are strict quantities to respect in regards to spirulina supplementation.

Romina CeruttiNutritionist and Dietitian

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

How does spirulina promote weight loss?

We have already mentioned the satiating and appetite suppressing quality of spirulina. Put this to good use by taking the supplement with plenty of water 15 to 30 minutes before lunch and dinner.

After capturing water, the spirulina’s mucilages gel in the stomach. These gels can remain several hours in the digestive tract, therefore extending the feeling of satiety and controlling your appetite. This helps you consumer less food throughout the day and weight loss is promoted.

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

We can divide spirulina supplements into two main groups: powder and tablets. Let’s have a look at the characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of each of these.

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Superfoods are celebrities on websites and Instagram accounts that promote healthy lifestyles. (Source: Gojda: 28875574/ 123rf.com)

Spirulina powder

Spirulina powder is packaged in bags or jars whose size range varies between 100 and 500-1,000 grams. General recommendation is to consume 2 to 3 grams per day, mixed with water, juices, shakes, smoothies bowls, yoghurts, dressings, soups, etc.

If you opt for spirulina in powder, note that you should first try the peculiar taste of this superfood; you might just find it impossible to consume.

Spirulina in tablets

Tablet or capsule supplements are made up of spirulina powder mixed with a very small amount of magnesium stearate, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose or silica. Its taste is mild and all it takes is swallowing it with plenty of water. This form is particularly easy to store and transport.

The calorie content of both tablet and capsule supplements is trivial. Its nutritional composition presents no significant differences with spirulina powder. One slight change is that tablets and capsules usually require more digestive work than spirulina powder.

If you don’t like the taste of spirulina, don’t think twice about buying these. As we mentioned above, tablets and capsules are also very practical to carry around if you often eat away from home.

Powder Tablets
Dose  2 to 3 grams per day 4 to 6 units per day
taste  Intense, peculiar Soft
Colour  Intense bluish-green Greenish
Digestion Faster and more efficient Requires more digestive work
Versatility Very versatile, adapts to multiple culinary preparations Does not allow variations in the method of ingestion
Conservation  It must be protected from light and humidity to avoid the alteration of its components Easier
Purity 100% spirulina  Good quality tablets can reach 99% spirulina
Price More affordable More expensive

Shopping Criteria

When you’re sure that spirulina supplements are wha you need to improve your overall health and nutrition, there are certain aspects you should take into account to choose the product that best suits your needs. We have detailed these factors in the following section.

Taste

As you now know, spirulina’s intense and distinctive taste is very noticeable in its powder form. If you don’t like that taste, don’t hesitate and opt for the subtlety of tablets or capsules.

If this is your first time taking spirulina and you want to try the powder, save yourself the trouble by buying a small package of no more than 100 grams.

Convenience

Generally speaking, tablets and capsules are much more convenient to ingest, store and transport. Spirulina powder will always need to be mixed with water or other liquids (soups, juices, shakes, vegetable milks, etc.).

Price

If you want to compare the cost of supplements, we suggest you divide the product price by the number of doses contained in the package. Spirulina powder tends to be proportionally cheaper than tablets.

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Spirulina – The vibrant green powder you’ll want to add into your life ASAP! Although Spirulina became widely popular only a few years ago, its benefits have greatly helped all those who use it, especially Vegans and Vegetarians. Its packed with important antioxidants, protein, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals! 🌿 Here’s some of the benefits you’ll get from adding Spirulina to your routine: – Excellent source of Protein – Packed with Vitamin B-12 – Vitamin A – Iron – Antioxidants – Soothes Allergies – Boosts the Immune System – Regulates Blood Pressure – Aids Good Bacteria in the Intestines Spirulina can be sweet, so smaller amounts to start is recommended. Try adding it to your morning smoothie and enjoy! 😊

A post shared by Jennifer Nour Pourtovosi (@nourish_lifestyle) on

Certifications

We cannot emphasis enough on this point: spirulina must be produced ecologically and with strict care. It can easily become contaminated with toxic and heavy metals such as lead, mercury, arsenic or cadmium if these substances are present in the culture medium.

Vegans naturally have to make sure that tablet excipients and capsule materials are 100% of vegetable origin.

Presence of gluten, lactose and allergens

Spirulina is free of all these substances and shouldn’t contain any of them, unless contamination has occurred during processing or packaging.

Summary

Throughout this article, we have introduced you to the benefits and properties of spirulina, the various supplements available on the Australian market and the characteristics of each of these products. We strove to provide you with quality information to help you make the very best decision for your health.

We hope this guide has been both useful and interesting for you. Feel free to share it and help us spread awareness on the advantages of spirulina supplements!

(Source of featured image: Maddlen: 29370380/ 123rf.com)

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