The composition of Spirulina
Spirulina contains practically all the components that would be found in the ideal whole food: a considerable proportion of proteins, vitamins, mineral salts, carbohydrates, pigments, trace elements, and essential fatty acids. Furthermore, unlike some other algae, Spirulina is easy to eat.
Spirulina is particularly rich in plant protein, which makes up 55%-70% of its weight. This is truly extraordinary, especially since the best sources of plant protein only offer half of these amounts. Soya flour, for instance, only contains 35% protein.
From a qualitative point of view, Spirulina provides complete proteins because it contains the full range of essential amino acids (47% of total protein weight).
The following vitamins (per 100 g.) are naturally found in Spirulina: • ß-carotene: 212 mg, • B1 : 3.5 mg, • B2 : 4.0 mg, • B12 : 350 mcg, • E : 10.0 mg.
Its ß-carotene content is unusually high, 30 times higher than what is found in a carrot. The bioavailability of Spirulina’s carotenoids has been demonstrated in a number of clinical studies.
Spirulina is also exceptionally rich in vitamin B12 (cobalamin). This vitamin is, by far, the most difficult to get from a vegetarian diet because no fruit, vegetable, grain, or legume contains it. Spirulina has 4 times as much vitamin B12 than raw liver, which was long thought to be the best source of this nutrient. One 4g. dose of dried Spirulina each day is amply enough to cover our entire all our recommended daily allowance of B12.
Spirulina also contains levels of vitamin E comparable to those found in wheat germ, which is recognised as an excellent source of vitamin E.
The main antioxidant vitamins contained in Spirulina are ß-carotene, other carotenoids, and vitamin E. They protect our cells against aggression caused by free radicals (anti-ageing effect).
What is especially interesting about Spirulina’s mineral content is its richness in iron, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus.
Spirulina is an excellent source of iron (containing 20 times more iron than wheat germ). Iron is a mineral that is mainly present in foods that come from animals, such as meat, offal, and fish). This algae is thus very beneficial for vegetarians, athletes, pregnant women, and growing teenagers. The bioavailability of the iron contained in Spirulina has been demonstrated.
Spirulina consumption significantly reduces the risk of essential micronutrient deficiencies. No contraindications have been found.
Average nutritional analysis per 100g
|Plant protein||63.0 g||
|Dietary fibre||7 g||
|Vitamin A (beta-carotene)||212 mg||
|Vitamin E||10 mg||Chromium||0.3 mg|
|Vitamin B1||3.5 mg||Potassium||1400 mg|
|Vitamin B2||4 mg||Gamma-linoleic acid||1000 mg|
|Vitamin B3||13 mg||Vitamin B8||0.005 mg|
|Vitamin B5||2 mg||Vitamin B9||0.05 mg|
|Vitamin B6||6 mg||Vitamin B12||0.35 mg|