Spirulina & Weight Loss

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Spirulina is used effectively as a nutritional supplement to aid in weight-reduction diets. It's recommended to eat more whole grains and vegetables, while limiting sugar, salt and fats in order to optimize the results of this natural, high-energy food. With spirulina, it's possible to eat very low-calorie meals without restricting important nutrients.

Woman with Spirulina beverage
Woman with Spirulina beverage (Image: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

The Facts

Spirulina is a member of the single-cell blue algae family. It is about 70 percent protein and contains more vitamins, minerals and amino acids than any food, including steak, which contains about 22 percent protein. It's more easily digested and absorbed by the body than any other source of protein. This concentrated form of nutrients is a complete food and one of the best natural sources of beta carotene.

Spirulina drink next to wheatgrass plant
Spirulina drink next to wheatgrass plant (Image: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Function

Spirulina is used as a supplement to a weight-loss diet because of its convenience, low fat content and high nutritional value. The powdered form can be added to drinks, soups, sauces or sprinkled over any food. It should be heated as little as possible to retain its effectiveness. Since it's a whole food, any amount is safe, but regular users have between one and two heaping tablespoons with a meal.

Woman standing on scale
Woman standing on scale (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Features

Spirulina promotes health by supporting the immune system, protecting against inflammation and the effects of stress on the body. It provides large amounts of nutrients that will help stop the cycle of binge eating and overeating due to nutritional deficits. The risk of heart attack and symptoms of PMS will lessen as the balance of nutrition in the body is restored. Anti-oxidant properties protect against the risk of cancer and signs of aging.

Young woman drinking smoothie
Young woman drinking smoothie (Image: Visage/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Effects

Spirulina doesn't act as an appetite suppressant since it contains no chemicals. In its own natural way, it eases appetite by supplying the nutrition that the body is hungering for. When nutritional needs are met, metabolism is more efficient and weight loss becomes easier. By taking spirulina powder (a heaping teaspoon) or six to ten spirulina tablets an hour before a meal, the body will feel satisfied with a meal lower in calories and carbohydrates.

Close-up on Spirulina drink
Close-up on Spirulina drink (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Considerations

Spirulina is not meant to replace nutritious meals and snacks, but rather to be used as a supplement for a balanced, low-carbohydrate diet with whole foods and an exercise program. As you continue to diet, you will be able to slowly increase the quantities of spirulina in order to make meals lighter. Spirulina should be continued after a healthy weight is achieved as part of a program to maintain long-term health.

Woman cutting vegetables in kitchen
Woman cutting vegetables in kitchen (Image: Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images)

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