How To Lose Weight With Spirulina
Keto Diet

How To Lose Weight With Spirulina?

Spirulina, a dietary supplement derived from algae, has long been popular as a “superfood” due to its high protein, vitamin, and mineral content, as well as its powerful antioxidant effects.

It has been widely used to fight inflammation, cancer, allergies, and high cholesterol, and has even been made into a special food by NASA as a source of nutrition for astronauts in space.

Spirulina is effective for weight loss, unlike other products that are used to lose weight through hormones and diarrhea. The algal polysaccharides contained in spirulina are water-soluble dietary fibers that dissolve in water in the gastrointestinal tract and expand rapidly in volume, creating a feeling of satiety and reducing food intake.

Also, it can adsorb food residues, toxic and harmful substances such as indole and nitrosamines, carcinogenic substances, and excess fat produced by the decomposition of intestinal bacteria, and discharged out of the body to play a detoxifying effect.

What Is Spirulina?

Spirulina has been living on earth for 3.5 billion years. It is a blue-green alga commonly found in alkaline warm seawater and freshwater and is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and other nutrients. It contains eight essential amino acids that cannot be synthesized by the human body.

It has been found that Spirulina also has a high content of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects and is of great nutritional value. As early as the 14th-16th centuries, the Aztecs living in Mexico discovered the potential benefits of spirulina and used them as a primary food source.

Nutritional Composition of Spirulina

Spirulina is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on earth, containing high levels of protein, essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals natural fatty acids, polysaccharides, and glycolipids. It has almost three times the protein content of beef protein.

This is why nutritional supplements made from it are very beneficial to health. Here are the nutrients contained in 1oz (about 28g) of Spirulina:

  • Calories: 81
  • Protein: 39g
  • Dietary fiber: 1 gram
  • Sugar: 0.9g
  • Fat:
    • Total fat: 3% DV
    • Saturated fat: 4% DV
    • Omega-3 fatty acids: 230 mg
    • Omega-6 fatty acids: 351 mg
  • Vitamins:
    • Riboflavin (vitamin B2): 60% DV
    • Thiamin (vitamin B1): 44% DV
    • Niacin (vitamin B3): 18% DV
    • Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5): 10% DV
    • Vitamin K: 9% DV
    • Vitamin E: 7% DV
    • Folic acid: 7%DV
    • Vitamin B6: 5%DV
    • Vitamin C: 5%DV
    • Vitamin A: 3%DV
  • Minerals:
    • Copper: 85%DV
    • Iron: 44%DV
    • Manganese: 27%DV
    • Magnesium: 14%DV
    • Sodium: 12%DV
    • Potassium: 11%DV
    • Zinc: 4%DV
    • Phosphorus: 3%DV
    • Calcium: 3%DV
    • Selenium: 3%DV

Note: DV (Daily Value) is the recommended daily intake issued by the U.S. FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration).

Spirulina also contains chlorophyll, phycocyanin, beta carotene, lutein, phycocyanin, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), and other phytochemicals, all of which are natural antioxidants and have a variety of benefits including immune enhancement and help eliminate free radicals that cause oxidative damage to the body.

Effects and Functions of Spirulina

Effects and Functions of Spirulina

As one of the most nutrient-rich dietary supplements, the main effects of spirulina on human health are:

1、Remove heavy metals from the body (especially arsenic poisoning)

In our daily life, we are often exposed to heavy metals, whether it is air, soil, drinking water, makeup, skin care products, or detergents, which all contain different kinds of heavy metal elements.

Common ones, such as lead, chromium, mercury, and arsenic, enter human blood in three ways: the respiratory tract, digestive tract, and skin mucosa. If not detoxified in time, it will cause serious health hazards.

Several scientific studies have shown that spirulina is an effective chelator that can remove heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury, and lead, as well as get rid of radioactive substances in the body, making it a true scavenger of free radicals.

2、Help weight loss

The most basic principle of weight loss is: if the calories consumed are higher than the calories eaten, the weight can be reduced. Spirulina is a highly nutritious, low-calorie food, the inclusion of spirulina in your daily diet can help you lose weight and ensure balanced and comprehensive nutrition.

It is rich in protein, which can prolong your satiety while preventing muscle loss during weight loss In addition, spirulina contains the amino acid – phenylalanine, which stimulates the secretion of cholecystokinin and helps suppress appetite.

3、Has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties

Oxidative damage can damage your DNA and cells, ultimately leading to chronic inflammation, cancer, and other diseases. The main active ingredient in spirulina is phycocyanin, a protein that fights free radicals and inhibits the production of inflammatory signaling molecules.

In the results of an in vitro study, researchers in Oregon elaborated that the natural synergy of phycocyanin and non-cyanobacterial protein compounds (such as polysaccharides, amino acids, and proteins) helped reduce recurrent inflammation without the known side effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

4、Lower blood pressure

High blood pressure is a major driver of many serious diseases, including heart disease, stroke, and chronic kidney disease. Taking 4.5 grams of spirulina per day will increase nitric oxide levels in the body. In the cardiovascular system, nitric oxide is a very strong signaling molecule that plays an important role in maintaining constant vascular tone and regulating blood pressure stability.

Three major effects of nitric oxide on blood vessels:

  1. Dilating blood vessels and regulating blood pressure
  2. Prevention of monocyte adhesion to blood vessel walls
  3. Reduce the viscosity of platelets

5、Lower cholesterol

Cholesterol is an unhealthy fat in the human blood and is associated with heart disease. Spirulina has been shown to prevent atherosclerosis and lower total cholesterol, “bad” cholesterol (LDL), and triglyceride levels while increasing “good” cholesterol (HDL).

In a study of 25 people with type 2 diabetes, taking 2 grams of spirulina per day significantly improved these markers. Another study in people with high cholesterol showed that 1 gram of spirulina per day reduced triglycerides by 16.3% and “bad” cholesterol levels by 10.1%.

6、Help Prevent Cancer

According to the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center: Many animal and test tube studies have shown that spirulina increases the production of antibodies, infection-fighting proteins, and other immune-boosting cells, and helps protect against chronic diseases such as infection and cancer.

Spirulina is the only natural food in the world that contains three natural pigments.

  • Beta-carotene (orange color): the most potent antioxidant. Spirulina contains 10-15 times more than carrots and 35-64 times more than spinach.
  • Chlorophyll a (green): Known as an antidote and purifier phytonutrient that improves the body’s defense function.
  • C-phycocyanin (blue): has the function of inhibiting the reproduction of cancer cells.

The above three natural pigments are the most effective nutrients against cancer and are recognized by the medical community worldwide, making spirulina one of the best natural anti-cancer foods.

7、Prevent Anemia

There are many different forms of anemia, the most common feature being a decrease in hemoglobin or red blood cells in the blood. Anemia is quite common in the elderly and can lead to chronic weakness and fatigue.

In a study of 40 older adults with a history of anemia, taking spirulina supplements increased red blood cell and hemoglobin levels and improved immune function. Spirulina is very rich in the minerals iron and folic acid, both of which are effective in increasing hemoglobin levels, thereby preventing or reducing anemia.

8、Helps Control Blood Sugar

A comprehensive study in 2018 found that spirulina supplementation significantly reduced fasting blood sugar levels, which are common in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This suggests that spirulina supplements can help people control their blood sugar and thus prevent diseases such as diabetes and hypertrophy caused by it.

In a 2017 animal study, researchers gave mice an oral dose of Spirulina extract, and the results showed changes in the mice’s physical signs of:

  • Decreased blood sugar levels
  • Increased insulin levels
  • Liver enzyme markers improved

The study concluded that the antioxidant effect of spirulina may help treat type 1 diabetes.

9、Improve the Symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis is an inflammation of the nasal passages, which is triggered by environmental allergens, such as pollen, animal hair, and even dust. Spirulina is a common alternative treatment for allergic rhinitis. In a study of 127 patients, taking 2 grams of spirulina daily significantly reduced symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, and painful itching.

10、Enhance Muscle Strength and Endurance

Oxidative damage from exercise is a major cause of muscle fatigue, and certain plant foods have antioxidant properties that can help athletes and fitness professionals reduce this damage, and this benefit of spirulina is even more prominent. Several studies have shown that taking spirulina is effective in improving muscular endurance during exercise and reducing or delaying the onset of fatigue.

Side Effects of Spirulina

Despite the many health benefits of spirulina and the fact that it has been consumed by humans for thousands of years, it still has some potential side effects, mainly from contaminated spirulina, which can cause the following adverse effects:

  • Liver damage
  • Abdominal pain
  • nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Thirst
  • Heart palpitations
  • Severe cases can cause shock or even death

Given these side effects, it is recommended that when purchasing spirulina products, it is important to choose a brand that is certified and reputable.

How to Take Spirulina for Weight Loss

How to Take Spirulina for Weight Loss?

Spirulina is the healthiest green health product of the 21st century, and its weight loss effect has been personally verified by many friends. So how does eating spirulina to lose weight have the best effect, and how to eat spirulina the best way?

  1. For mildly obese people: eat 3 grams of spirulina powder or 2 spirulina tablets 1 hour before meals, take 3 times a day, while controlling the diet, and adhere to the appropriate amount of aerobic exercise. In general, one month can reduce weight by about 2.5-5kg.
  2. Moderate obesity: daily half an hour before meals eat 5 grams of spirulina powder or 3 spirulina tablets, taken 3 times a day while controlling the diet and adhering to a longer aerobic exercise. In general, about two months can reduce weight by 10-15kg, back to the normal weight range.
  3. Heavy obese people: increase the number of daily consumption of spirulina and the number of times, while diet and aerobic exercise under the advice of a doctor or trainer, within 3 months can return to normal weight

Who Should Avoid It?

If you have any of the following conditions, please try not to consume spirulina or consult your doctor first.

  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Allergy to seafood
  • Autoimmune diseases such as lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.
  • Patients with phenylketonuria
  • Taking certain medications, such as antihypertensive drugs, cholesterol-lowering drugs, glucose-lowering drugs, etc.

How to Take It Correctly?

Spirulina is available in the two most common forms: powder and tablet. As with most supplements, it is important to start with a small dose and gradually increase the dose to allow your body to adjust and keep an eye on how it feels.

A small number of people (1-2%) may experience a slight digestive reaction during the first few days of taking spirulina, but the body will recover and adapt within a few days. Start with 2 grams of powder and gradually increase to 20 grams per day, and up to 50 grams for people who work out and exercise regularly; start with 1 tablet per day and gradually increase to the required dose.

You can take spirulina anytime, anywhere – before or during a meal, before or after a workout, or when you feel low on energy. The tablets can be taken as directed, while the powdered form of spirulina can be taken in a variety of ways:

  • Mix it with plain water, green tea, and juice, and drink it directly.
  • Add to shakes and smoothies
  • Use in baking pastries
  • Use in cooking, soup, stir-fry, salad, etc.

Note: Like many natural foods, too much heat can destroy the nutrient content of spirulina, so it is best to add it towards the end of cooking or baking. Spirulina powder is highly hygroscopic and usually needs to be stored in a sealed container, not refrigerated, but in a cool, dry place.