Weight Loss

How Does Spirulina Aid Weight Loss?

Reviewed by Madhu Sharma, Registered Dietitian
by
ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition
How Does Spirulina Aid Weight Loss? Hyderabd040-395603080 December 31, 2019

Don’t you wish to go back to the time when you weighed 10 pounds less? Are you bored of wearing loose clothes, dark jeans, and body shapers to hide your figure? The fact is, these clothes cannot protect you from obesity-related diseases such as PCOD, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and infertility. But losing weight can.

If you are serious about getting back in shape, do more than just eating healthy and exercising. Having supplements can speed up the process, and one such natural weight loss supplement is spirulina (1).

This biomass of blue-green algae has been branded as “Best Food for the Future” by the UN for many reasons, weight loss being one of them (2). Read on to find out how spirulina aids weight loss, where to buy it, dosage, and more.

How Spirulina Aids Weight Loss

Spirulina is low in calories and high in protein. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, suppresses appetite, boosts fat mobilization, and lowers blood sugar and blood pressure. All of these factors aid weight loss.

Spirulina is a biomass of floating microalgae found mostly in the water reservoirs of Africa, India, Mexico, and America (3). It is highly nutritious, a reason it was promoted by the Intergovernmental Institution for the use of Micro-algae Spirulina Against Malnutrition (IIMSAM) to fight starvation and malnutrition (2).

The NASA recommends spirulina as food for astronauts on a space mission (4). It is also consumed by soldiers during wars that last long. Here is how spirulina benefits weight loss.

1. Low In Calories

One tablespoon (7 g) of spirulina contains only 20 Calories (5). Consuming low-calorie foods is critical if you want to lose weight. It will help create a negative energy balance. You can add spirulina to your morning smoothie or juice without having to worry about consuming too many calories.

2. High In Protein

When it comes to weight loss, a low-carb and high-protein diet works for most dieters. Spirulina contains about 60-70% protein and contains all the essential amino acids (5).

Proteins take longer to digest than simple carbs. Hence, spirulina can keep you full for longer (6). Also, proteins help build lean muscle mass, thereby making you look toned and increasing your muscle power and endurance and preventing post-exercise muscle damage (7).

3. Is Highly Nutritious

Spirulina is rich in vitamins C, B1, B6, B5 and E, minerals, such as copper, zinc, and manganese, useful enzymes, and dietary fiber that makes it a perfect weight loss supplement (5). These minerals, vitamins, enzymes, and dietary fibers help in digestion and metabolism, eliminate toxins, and prevent fat absorption.

4. Has Antioxidant And Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Spirulina has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (8). The antioxidants help to nullify the harmful oxygen radicals and prevent the body from producing pro-inflammatory molecules. This prevents the body from being in a state of stress and curbs inflammation. Toxic build-up and inflammation are two leading factors of weight gain, which spirulina can prevent.

5. Suppresses Appetite

Spirulina is also an appetite suppressant. It contains the amino acid phenylalanine that stimulates the secretion of cholecystokinin that helps to suppress appetite (9).

6. Lowers Cholesterol Levels

Many scientific studies conducted to find the benefits of spirulina have confirmed that spirulina possesses lipid-lowering properties. It helps lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglyceride levels and increase good cholesterol (HDL) levels in the blood. Consuming spirulina can boost fat mobilization, which is what is critical for weight loss (10), (11).

7. Lowers Blood Sugar

High blood sugar can increase the risk of developing insulin resistance, obesity, PCOD, and diabetes. Spirulina helps lower the blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Including spirulina in your diet can help in regulating insulin spikes, protecting you from diseases and preventing weight gain (12).

8. Lowers Blood Pressure

Spirulina also helps to lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure, making it a potent antihypertensive agent. High blood pressure and stress lead to weight gain. Spirulina supplementation can lower the concentration of fats in the blood, thus preventing weight gain (13).

These are the 8 reasons spirulina is considered one of the best weight loss supplements. Now, let’s find out how you can consume spirulina

and take a look at the spirulina dosage for weight loss in the powder and tablet forms.

Spirulina Powder

  • Stir a tablespoon of spirulina powder into your juice or smoothie.
  • Stir a tablespoon of spirulina powder into a glass of water.
  • Add a tablespoon of spirulina powder to your salad, soups, homemade salsa sauce, curries, and stir-fried veggies.
  • Add ½- 1 tablespoon spirulina to your cakes, pastries, and homemade energy bars.

Spirulina Tablets

If you want to take spirulina tablets, it is safe to take a 500 mg tablet 3-4 times a day. But make sure you talk to your doctor before using spirulina for weight loss.

The dose may vary with the problem. Further studies are required before a therapeutic recommendation is established.

But is consuming spirulina is safe?

The FDA has approved spirulina as safe for consumption. However, it is best to consult a doctor because you may be allergic to spirulina, do much better by consuming any other natural weight loss supplement, or not even need to consume spirulina.

Also, avoid consuming spirulina if you are allergic to seafood or have hypothyroidism. Though it is safe for consumption, you may feel feverish or fatigue after you consume spirulina.

Here is a list of things you should consider before buying spirulina for weight loss.

Things To Consider Before Buying Spirulina

You may buy spirulina online or at any pharmacy nearby. Check the label for the expiry date, buy from a known brand, and ensure it is organic.

You may not take an instant liking to the taste of spirulina in one go. Here are a few recipes that will help you consume spirulina powder without feeling uneasy. Check them out.

Spirulina Weight Loss Recipes

1. Spirulina In Veggie And Fruit Juice

1.-Spirulina-In-Veggie-&-Fruit-Juice Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon spirulina
  • ½ cup orange
  • ½ cup pomegranate
  • ¼ cup carrot
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • A pinch of Himalayan pink salt
How To Prepare
  1. Toss the fruits and carrot into a blender and give it a spin.
  2. Strain the juice into a cup.
  3. Add lime juice, spirulina, and a pinch of Himalayan pink salt.
  4. Stir well before drinking.

2. Spirulina In Smoothie

2.-Spirulina-In-Smoothie Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon spirulina
  • ½ cup celery
  • ½ cup tomato
  • ½ cup watermelon
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • A pinch of Himalayan pink salt
How To Prepare
  1. Blend all the ingredients using a food processor.
  2. Pour out the smoothie into a glass and add the spirulina, salt, and lime juice.
  3. Stir well before drinking.

3. Spirulina In Salad

3.-Spirulina-In-Salad Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon spirulina
  • ½ cup grilled and shredded chicken breast / grilled tofu
  • 1 cup blanched baby spinach
  • ¼ cup blanched and chopped asparagus
  • ¼ cup chopped tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons low-fat yogurt
  • Salt and pepper to taste
How To Prepare
  1. To make the dressing, mix low-fat yogurt, olive oil, lime juice, a pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl.
  2. Add the shredded chicken or tofu to the bowl.
  3. Add the spirulina, spinach, asparagus, and tomatoes.
  4. Toss and turn well. Add a bit of salt and pepper if needed.

You may consume the recommended amount of spirulina daily and not lose an inch if you do not watch what you eat. Here is a sample diet chart to help you figure out what you should eat to lose weight.

Sample Diet Plan For Weight Loss

Sample-Diet-Plan-For-Weight-Loss Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

MealsWhat To Eat
Early Morning (7:00 – 7:30 a.m.)1 cup fenugreek seeds soaked water
Breakfast (8:00 – 8:45 a.m.)1 egg + fruit & veggie juice with spirulina + 2 almonds
Mid- Morning Snack (11:00 a.m.)1 cup green tea or 1 apple
Lunch (1:00 – 1:30 p.m.)Tuna/chicken/tofu salad with spirulina
Evening Snack (4:00 p.m.)½ cup popcorn + 1 cup peppermint tea
Dinner (7:00 – 7:30 p.m.)Chicken/lentil soup with veggies
Why This Works

This sample diet chart clearly shows that you need to include a substantial amount of lean protein (fish, chicken, mushroom, lentils, tofu, soy, etc.), complex carbs (fruits and veggies), healthy fats (nuts and olive oil), and dietary fiber (fenugreek seeds, fruits, veggies, and lentil), metabolism boosting agents (green tea or peppermint tea), and weight loss supplements (spirulina) in your diet to shed fat.

There are other health benefits of consuming spirulina. Here’s a brief.

Other Health Benefits Of Spirulina

  1. Spirulina can help prevent the growth of Candida (14).
  2. It can help in the treatment of chronic arsenic poisoning (15).
  3. It may help reduce the risk of cancer (16).
  4. Spirulina is also found to inhibit HIV-1 replication (17).
  5. It increases stamina and energy (18).
  6. It can help in the treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases (19).
  7. It improves bone health (20).
  8. Spirulina can also help treat anemia (21).
  9. It can prevent brain damage and improve memory (22).
  10. It can alleviate symptoms of PMS (23).
  11. Spirulina was found to be effective against radiation sickness (24).
  12. It can help keep the skin healthy (25).

Keep the following points in mind when you start consuming spirulina for weight loss.

Useful Tips For Weight Loss

  • Workout regularly. You can train in a gym or exercise at home. Do a mix of cardio, strength training, and weights to get a slim and toned body.
  • Avoid stress. Start counting backward, starting from 5 (5,4,3,2,1) to stop yourself from getting anxious and worried.
  • Try to eat home-cooked food to avoid piling on hidden calories present in sauces, marinades, salad dressings, etc.
  • Get 7-8 hours of sleep every day to help your body repair and rejuvenate the wear and tear in the muscles and nullify the harmful toxins.
  • Drink water when you feel hungry at an odd time. Your brain gives you the wrong notion of being hungry when you are just thirsty.
  • Walk to and from office, take the stairs, stand and work for a few minutes. This will help you use up the calories.
  • Say no to foods that are high in calories, sodium, and sugar, such as aerated drinks, packaged fruit and vegetable juices, fried chicken, burger, pizza, fries, etc.
  • Reward yourself every once in two weeks for adhering to a healthy diet chart. Allow yourself to eat 500 calories extra that day.
  • Join a group where you can learn more about how to lose weight. Talk to people who have lost weight or are serious about losing weight to keep yourself motivated.

Follow these tips and boost your weight loss by consuming spirulina. Make sure to consult your doctor and dietitian to incorporate spirulina into your daily routine. Try it out, and don’t forget to share your spirulina weight loss results with us.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How much spirulina should I take daily to lose weight?

If you want to take spirulina tablets, it is safe to take a 500 mg tablet, 3-4 times a day. However, the dosage may vary depending on the problem. More studies are required to establish a proper dosage for weight loss. Hence, consult your doctor and dietitian.

Does spirulina suppress appetite?

Yes, spirulina suppresses appetite.

. Does spirulina give you energy?

Yes, spirulina is a high-protein and nutrient-dense supplement. It gives you energy.

Can I take spirulina on an empty stomach?

It is best to take spirulina with or after breakfast

Does spirulina boost metabolism?

There is no direct evidence that spirulina boosts metabolism. But on the whole, consuming spirulina aids weight loss by increasing satiety, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, and preventing inflammation and toxic build-up.

How long should you take spirulina?

Talk to your dietitian or a licensed doctor to know how long should you consume spirulina for weight loss.

25 sources

Stylecraze has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

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Charushila Biswas

Charushila Biswas is a Senior Content Writer and an ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist. She is an alumni of VIT University, Vellore and has worked on transgenic wheat as a part of her Masters dissertation from NRCPB (IARI), New Delhi. After completing her Masters, she developed a passion for nutrition and fitness, which are closely related to human psychology. And that prompted her to author a review article in 2015. She has written over 200 articles on Fitness and Nutrition. In her leisure time, Charushila loves to cook and enjoys mobile photography.