Spirulina – advices on how to start, how much to take and what to take.
A friend of mine decided to start taking spirulina (yeahh, congrats Louise!) but she’s not too sure where to buy spirulina, which one to buy spirulina and how much to take . There is so much spirulina out there, so many different forms, different origins, different dosages… it gets confusing.
This is not the first friend asking me to guide them on their first steps in their spirulina journey so I decided to write this article for people who are know to spirulina and wonder where to buy spirulina and which one to buy! If you wonder if you should buy ORGANIC spirulina, head over this page.
Different type of spirulina
First you will find different forms of spirulina on the market:
- and of course incorporated in many dishes.
The best spirulina is the FRESH spirulina. It’s a little bit like comparing fresh strawberries and dry strawberries, which one do you like better? The fresh spirulina is a watery paste that is almost neutral in flavor and smell. The texture of the fresh spirulina is somewhere between tofu and cream cheese.
Fresh is the BEST spirulina you can give to your body as it is strait out of the water, live, raw spirulina with the highest level of anti-oxidant, enzymes, pigments, proteins, etc.
The problem is that fresh spirulina has a shelf live of only a couple of days. This is why you can’t find it in the shops, you either have to live close to a spirulina grower or you have to grow it your self!
The different form of dried spirulina is usually not very important. It’s really a question of taste. Some like the powder form because it’s easier to incorporate to recipes other like crunchies better because you can sprinkle it and the taste is not as powerful. So give yourself sometime to try out different forms and make your decision based on your own taste.
Dry spirulina as a taste much more pronounced that the fresh spirulina but is still light. People usually finds that it has a nutty flavor.
One important factor to consider when buy spirulina is to know how it was dried. Why? Because heat will actually denature the enzymes, proteins and other good stuffs (like the pigments) in spirulina. You can usually find low temperature dried spirulina in different forms like crunchies, spaghetti or flakes (see the pictures). Head to the producer website and look for that info. If you can’t find where the spirulina was produced I would recommend to avoid that braand! Lower quality (and cheaper) spirulina can try to hide their origin as some countries do not have the highest standard in production you want. Most of the time, production in China do not have the same standard that we can find in the Western production facilities. US, India, Costa Rica produce very good quality spirulina. If you are not sure about the spirulina you can find in your local shop, try to google them.
How much spirulina should I take?
One important fact to know about spirulina is that it will detoxify your body.
How? By binding all the toxins in your body and eliminate them through your kidneys by urination. This means that if you’ve been exposed to a lot of toxins (and you’ll be surprised sometimes how much toxins our bodies can accumulates!) and if you start a full dose of spirulina, your body might overreact. You’ll feel nauseous, you might sweat a lot and maybe even have some fever.
This means that your body is overwhelmed by the work it has to do to get rid of the toxins. So the best is to start slowly.
It’s recommended to increase gradually the dosage and to build up to 10g.
The recommended introductory period is as follow:
As always, listen to your body. Not everybody reacts the same way. If you started slowly and it doesn’t feel right, STOP.
Spirulina Side Effects
There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.
Persons with the rare metabolic condition called phenylketonuria (PKU) (inability to metabolize the amino acid phenylalanine) should not take spirulina. Spirulina is rich in all amino acids, including phenylalanine. Persons with hemochromatosis (iron overload disease) should avoid taking spirulina as it is rich in iron (and Vit B12).
Head to this page for more information about spirulina side effects
I hope this helps. Let us know if you have any additional questions