Best Spirulina Health Food: What Is It?
A growing part of the world’s population is looking to invest in foods which are packed with good health and are easy enough to consume. This has led to the development of some so-called ‘health foods’, many of which wouldn’t even have been considered edible until a few years ago.
One such category has been micro-organisms, which have gained widespread attention as important biofortified foods, in the past decade or so.
Among a number of microbes currently being promoted as health foods, Spirulina, a single-celled microbe, and a member of the cyanobacteria or blue-green algae family, has become very popular.
Spirulina is known as a nutrient-packed food and is rich in a number of Vitamins, such as Vitamin A, C, E and B. It also contains a variety of different minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, selenium, and zinc.
Selenium and Vitamin C act as antioxidants, and are known to prevent tissue and cell damage. Spirulina can be supplied in many different types of dosage forms, including traditional ones like tablets, capsules, and powders, as well as newer ones, such as popcorns, smoothies, and energy bars.
HEALTH EFFECTS OF SPIRULINA: THE PROS AND THE CONS
Spirulina is one of the most popular food supplements in the world, and is full of many different nutrients, as well as a great deal of health benefits. The normal daily dose is about 1-3 grams per day, but doses up to 10 grams have often been recommended.
- Packed with Nutrients: One tablespoon carries about 7 grams of Spirulina, and contains:
Proteins (4 grams), Vitamin B1/Thiamine (11% of RDA), Vitamin B2/Riboflavin (15% of RDA), Vitamin B3/Niacin (4% of RDA), Copper (21% of RDA), Iron (11% of RDA), Magnesium, Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, about 20 calories, and 1.7 grams of digestible carbs.
- Antioxidant and Antiinflammatory: The vitamin C, and the minerals present in Spirulina function as excellent antioxidants, and protect cells and tissues from damage, while also acting as anti-ageing agents.
- Lower Bad Cholesterol: Spirulina can lower LDL levels in the body, which is good for the heart, and for overall health. The antioxidants also prevent the oxidation of LDL, which can cause release of free radicals.
- Spirulina may also have some positive effects on cancers and blood pressure. The iron and vitamin B can also be beneficial against anaemia.
- Spirulina has also shown efficacy against allergic rhinitis, and is also said to improve muscle strength.
Spirulina has been associated with relatively few adverse effects, which can include headaches, muscle pains, allergic reactions, insomnia, and sweating. It should be avoided by people who are allergic to seaweed, and seafood in general.
People with phenylketonuria, gout, thyroid disorders, autoimmune disorders, and kidney stones, or pregnant and nursing women, may do better to avoid spirulina.
Spirulina obtained from natural sources run the chance of being contaminated with aquatic toxins, like microcystins which are known to damage the liver.
A GUIDE TO HELP YOU BUY YOUR IDEAL SPIRULINA HEALTH FOOD (Top 10 Product Reviews)
Down below, we have compiled a list of some of the best Spirulina health food products available for sale in the market, along with detailed reviews and descriptions.
The pros and cons of each product have also been included wig each review, to help you know what edge one product has over the others, in order to make an informed decision between different brands available.
This product, marketed in powder form, is certified fully organic and non-GMO, and is an excellent nutrient rich addition to smoothies. Certifed pure, this Spirulina is rich in Vitamin A (beta carotene), as well as the highest known vegetable source of Vitamin B-12.
It also has a very high protein content and is rich in Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA). Also present in Spirulina are a host of different vitamins, minerals, amino acids, cell salts, trace elements, and enzymes.
Apart from being organic and non-GMO, this product is Kosher (conforming to Jewish food norms) and Halal, along with a GMP-assured quality, is vegan-friendly, and is free from soy and sugar.
With an NPA A-rating certification, NOW assures buyers that each product is manufactured using processes which are fully tested, including laboratory assessments and stability tests. The company also states that they deliver the natural nutrient profile of the product.
The Spirulina product is not manufactured near areas where allergens like yeast, gluten, wheat, milk, soy, shellfish, fish, or tree nut ingredients.
Nutrient Information: 1 Level Teaspoon (3.3 g) Servings Per Container: about 138 Description Amount per Serving % Daily Value * Percent Daily Values are based on 2,000 calorie diet.† Daily Value not established. Calories 15 Total Fat 0 g 0% Sodium 35 mg 1% Total Carbohydrate 1 g
Package Dimensions: 4.13 x 4.13 x 7.3 inches
Package Weight: 10.58 Ounces
- Packed with nutrients: Vitamin A and B-12
- Vegan-friendly, Kosher, Halal, non-GMO
- Low chances of allergens
- May contain anatoxins and microcystins
- May cause some side effects
HealthForce Spirulina Manna contains abundant amino acids, chlorophyll, minerals, and vitamins. Composed up to 60 to 70% by proteins, and complete with all 9 essential amino acids, this product is a powerhouse of strength.
Additionally, Spirulina also contains high levels of phycocyanin, which provides a good inflammatory and antioxidant effect, and also promotes kidney health.
Moreover, this product is free of gluten and is non-GMO, and has an assured quality and purity. It does not contain any binders, flow improvers, or fillers. Heavy metal and microbiological testing are also duly performed by the manufacturer.
The manufacturing unit is cGMP-compliant, and production is not carried out near regions where gluten, tree nuts, or peanuts are processed.
Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 5 x 4.5 inches
Product Weight: 1.45 Pounds
Contains 450 capsules
- Good antioxidant properties
- Free of fillers, flow enhancers, and binders
- Duly tested for microbial and heavy metal contamination
- Spirulina may cause some side effects
This product, manufactured by GNC, is rich in phytoconstituents, and helps in the cleansing and healing of the body. This product is rich in chlorophyll, iron, and Omega-3 fatty acids, and the high protein content present in Spirulina is beneficial in diabetes, as it helps stabilise blood sugar levels.
Product Dimensions: 7 x 6 x 2 inches
Product Weight: 3.99 Ounces
Contains 100 capsules
- Contains phytoconstituents
- Rich in Omega-3, chlorophyll, iron, and proteins
- Stabilises blood sugar in diabetes
- Quality assurance/certification not provided
Manufactured by Source Naturals, this product contains completely vegetarian proteins, and is a source of essential fatty acids. The Spirulina is completely organic, and is cultivated under strict regulations from the USDA, which ensures purity. Moreover, this product is free of any binders
It is also rich in chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids, and is good for the immune system, and acts as an antioxidant, while also improving circulation.
Ingredients: Sodium, Organic Spirulina (Spirulina plantensis)
Nutrient Information: Yielding approximately:Protein,Vitamin A (as beta-carotene),Calcium,Iron,Chlorophyll,Carotenoids
Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 1.3 x 1.6 inches
Product Weight: 1.6 Ounces
Contains 100 pieces
- Rich in many nutrients
- Fully organic as per USDA guidelines
- Spirulina does not alter the taste and/or smell of the smoothie/drink
- The taste may occasionally be very strong
This non-GMO and preservative-free formulation is suitable for being consumed as it is, and can also be blended into smoothies, baked foods, and savoury items.
The Spirulina contained in this product is produced in the freshwater ponds of California, ydner abundant sunlight. As such, the manufacturers claim that the phycoconstituent levels are enhanced, and they are the water-sensitive components are protected by rapid drying.
The testing is carried out by a third party, ensuring unbiased judgement.
Moreover, this product is fully vegan, and offers 2 grams of proteins in every teaspoon. Additionally, it is also rich in antioxidants (especially zeaxanthin) and vitamin A (one teaspoon of Spirulina has about 5 times the vitamin A present in baby carrots), and promotes cell and tissue health. Vitamin A is beneficial for the eyes as well, and the antioxidants protect the eyes from damage.
Another nutrient present in this product is Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA). It has a natural sea taste which balances out the sweetness present in smoothies and baked products. An additional benefit is that it is gluten-free.
Ingredients: Spirulina Powder (Arthrospira platensis), Phycocyanin, Clorophyll, Zeaxanthin, Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA).
Product Weight: 8 Ounces
- Rich in Vitamin A and Zeaxanthin
- Fully vegan, and gluten-free source of protein and gamma linolenic acid
- Third party testing confirms purity
- May not blend very well with smoothies
- Taste may not appeal to some people
This product from Solaray is rich in proteins, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins like beta carotene, and provides a natural way to boost the immune system and increase energy, as and when needed.
The natural amount of vitamin A is further fortified by additional vitamin A, in order to increase the antioxidant effects.
Ingredients: Vitamin A Amt Per Serving:2400 IU % Daily Value :48%,Organic Spirulina (Arthrospira plantensis) (whole) Amt Per Serving:1230 mg % Daily Value :N/A,Daily value not established.,Other Ingredients: Gelatin capsule
Product Dimensions: 2 x 2×4.19 inches
Product Weight: 3 Pounds
Contains 100 capsules
- Increases energy and boosts the immune system
- Fortified with vitamin A,to enhance antioxidant properties
- Spriulina may contain toxins like microcystins or asatoxins, which can cause allergies
Spirulina boosts immunity by its positive effects on the antioxidant activity, as well as the immune system markers, in the body’s cells.
Hawaiian Spirulina is one of the most healthy varieties of Spirulina and contains about 3900% more beta carotene than carrots, and 31 times higher antioxidant properties than blueberries, iron which is higher than in spinach, and calcium much more than that present in milk.
When compared on a gram-to-gram basis. This is known to be beneficial for immune cell health.
Moreover, Hawaiian Spirulina contains very high levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and contains higher amounts of proteins than in any plant or animal sources.
It has up to 70% of digestible, complete proteins, in addition to high levels of iron, antioxidants, beta carotene, vitamin K and vitamin B12, along with phycocyanin and chlorophyll.
The Spirulina used in this product is of the highest quality, and is produced naturally. The manufacuring unit is GMP-compliant, to give a product which is Kosher, Halal, vegan, soy and gluten free, and contians no preservatives, dyes, or fillers. Also, the company claims that their spirulina is less prone to being contaminated by heavy metals.
Ingredients: Pure Hawaiian Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis), Pycocyanin (c, allo), Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), Cholorphyll a , Total Carotenoids, Zexanthin, Silica, chicory inulin, vegetable magnesium stearate, contains antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase from Arthrospira platensis.
Product Dimensions : 6×5×4 inches
Product Weight: 15.84 Ounces
Contains packs of different sizes: 400 count; 100 coumt; 180 count; 200 count.
- Contains high leveks of many essential nutrients, especially beta carotene, proteins, antioxidants, iron, and calcium
- Vegan friendly, gluten and soy free
- Good for immune system
- Contains Arthospira plantensis, not Spriulina pacifica
- Contains iodine which may not be tolerated by some people
This product is different from other organic Spirulina, as it is not contaminated with heavy metals and have higher nutrient levels without being harmful to health. Moreover, it has a robust and potent nutrient profile.
Since these tablets make use of only certified, raw Spirulina, and so, its rich enzymatic activity is maintained, enhancing the bioavailability of the nutrients.
The Spirulina in this product meets the strict organic product certifcations of all the major organic regulatory bodies. These include the USDA, OCIA, Ecocert, and Natureland. Moreover, is USP-verfied, Halal, Kosher, and California Preposition 65 Certified.
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Additionally, these tablets are free of yeast, E. coli, Mold, BMAA, Phrophorbides, Microcystins, gluten, GMO, soy, solvents, and binders, and is not treated with chemicals or radiations. Toxin testing is performed on over 130 toxins, by an external third party.
Ingredients: Spirulina; Organic, Yeast-free
Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 2.25 x 2.25 inches
Product Weight: 3.99 Ounces
Contains 120 tablets
- Certifed organic, vegan, Kosher, gluten and soy free
- Free from aquatic toxins and microbes
- No Cons
Non-GMO, gluten free, and soy free, this product helps suoport the brain and eye function, as well as the cardiovascular and immune systems. The Spirulina is combined with astaxanthin, which can promote detoxification and protect against oxidative stress.
The Spirulina is produced without treatment with herbicides or pestcides, and is low on heavy metal, mold, and yeast contamination. Moreover, the processing does not involve any irradiation.
One good thing about this product is that it comes wih a full 90-day, no-questions asked, money-back guarantee.
Ingredients: Spriulina, Vinegar; Gluen free, Soy free.
Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 2.1 x 3.5 inches
Product Weight: 3.2 Pounds
- Contains astaxanthins, which synergise with spirulina
- 90-day full money-back guarantee
- Gluten and soy free
- The name may be misleading, as this product does not contain blue Spirulina, and instead only has normal Spirulina tablets coated with a blue colour.
Spirulina is among the most potent and most easily digestible sources of proteins among green foods. It is known to boost the immune system by its antioxidant action, and promotes cardiovascular health and helps cleansing the body.
The manufacture of this product is carried out as per GMP guidlines. The Spirulina used in this product is fully organic, and more than 60% is comprised of protein.
It also possesses high amounts of nutrients like beta carotene, minerals, essential amino acids, vitamin B and vitamin A, Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), and chlorophyll.
Additionally, the manufacturer complies with the regulations of the FDA, and is accredited eith an ISO certifcation.
Nutrient Information: Protein <1 gram,Iron 0.7 mg 4%,Magnesium 6 mg 2%,Selenium 1.25 mcg 2%,Manganese 20 mcg 1%,Chromium 3.5 mcg 3%,Parry’s Vegetarian Organic 1 gram *,
Product Dimensions: 2×2×5 inches
Product Weight: 0.35 Ounces
- GMP and ISO compliant
- Packed with many essential nutrients
- The source of the organic Spirulina is not specified, and so, it may be contaminated with heavy metals
THE BUYER’S GUIDE: THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHILE PURCHASING SPIRULINA HEALTH FOODS
While buying a Spriulina health food, or any food supplement in general, the consumer needs to keep certain things and considerations in mind, to ensure that they get the correct value for their money.
The rule of thumb is to examime the label of the product you’re thinking of buying, and take a mental note of the ingedients, and the price.
- First, ensure that the product actually contains Spirulina. The label should prominently mention the words like ‘Spirulina’,’Arthospira plantensis’, or ‘Spirulina plantensis’. In tablets, the Spirulina content should at least be 98% while powders/granules should be 100% Spirulina.
- The colour of good quality, natural Spirulina is dark matte green. A shiny surface indicates crushing and compacting, followed by covering with a material to prevent further crushing.
- The smell should not be very unpleasant. A strong odour is indicative of oxidation of constituents.
- The Spirulina should be able to dissolve easily into smoothies etc.
- Try to check the source of the Spirulina, especially if it is organic. Ideally, Spirulina should not be contaminated with heavy metals or aquatic toxins.
- The product should ideally not contain many additives, like binders or fillers.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SPIRULINA HEALTH FOODS
What are the different types of Spirulina used in health foods?
Many different types of Spirulina are used as componenets of health foods. Out of these, Spirulina (Arthrospira) plantensis is the most commonly utilised. It is the normal Spirulina found in the highest concentration. Spirulina pacifica (Hawaiian Spirulina) contanins higher levels of vitamins and iron. In india, Spirulina fusiformis is also frequently used.
What are the health benefits of Spirulina?
Spirulina is one of the richest sources of nutrients, especially vitamins, beta carotene, minerals, and proteins. It is also filled with antioxidants, and is known to boost the immune system. Also, the antiinflammatory properties help maintain cell and tissue health. Spirulina is also believed to be good for cardiovascular health, and to lower bad cholesterol, as well as manage blood glucose levels in diabetes. Some evidence has shown its use in improving brain health.
Does Spirulina have any side effects?
Spirulina has been seen to possess a few adverse effects. As it is rich in proteins, theoretically, it can contain the amino acid phenylalanine, and hence, can cause adverse reactions in people with phenylketonuria. The other side effects are relatively less prominent. These can range from insomnia, headache, and muscle pains. Spirulina products should be avoided by people with gout, kidney stones. Some heavy metal contaminants and aquatic toxins may be present, which are harmful to the nerves.
Is organic Spirulina good for health?
Organic Spirulina, if derived from a genuine source, is an excellent product, as it is low in contamination with heavy metals, and have a lower chances of containing aquatic toxins like microcystins or anatoxins. However, many studies have shown that there are a number of products making use of organic Spirulina from China, which is said to be highly contaminated with heavy metal pollutants, contain low levels of nutrients, and be at a higher chance of containing aquatic toxins. As such, it is always better to consult with the manufacturers, and inquire about where they derive their Spirulina from, before making your purchase.
What are some of the most well-known brands of Spriulina health food? What are their best features?
There are many brands selling Spirulina health foods. These include, Swanson, Dr. Mercola, Solaray, GNC Superfoods, Source Naturals, HealthForce, and NOW Supplements.
Most of these products are vegan and gluten free, and are produced in GMP-complaint facilities. Tedting is often performed by third parties, and due certifcation is obtained. Some of them are also obtained from organic sources, and have a lesser degee of contamination with heavy metal pollutants, and aquatic toxins (which are dangerous to the nerves and to the digestive system). Moreover, the some of these products are also biofortified to contain higher leveks of vitamin A, proteins, and calcium.
In this review, we prepared a list of (and tried to describe in depth) some of best products containing Spirulina health food, which are sold in the market, all of which will give you the best value for your money. Each product listed here has unique features, which are different from the rest of the products on the list.
As such, different brands have an edge over others in different categories, and the pros and cons of each product are also listed along with each review, to consumers make a decision after thorough research, about which brand best fulfils their requirements.
While all of these products contain Spirulina, some of them contain additional agents such as biofortified, binders, and fillers, while some others are completely free of them. Moreover, the form in which the product is supplied also varies, from capsules to powders.
An important thing to consider when buying Spirulina health foods is that the natural taste of Spirulina is like seaweed, which may be unacceptable to some people, and some brands provide masking of this taste, while others don’t. Apart from a well-detailed review, we have also included a segment describing the nutrients present in, and the health effeCTS of, Spirulina.
Additionally, we have also mentioned some key points that the consumer should keep in mind while looking for Superfoods in general, and Spirulina health foods in particular.
Finally, we have answered some of the questions which are frequently asked by people looking to buy spirulina health foods, to help the consumers choose between different products in a better manner, and compare their properties as well.
Make sure to go through this review before buying your Spirulina health food, to help you get the product which gives you the best return on your money.