Utmost care must be taken when purchasing spirulina – especially given the number of new companies that have entered the market to take advantage of spirulina’s growing popularity in recent years. Many of them offer very poor-quality spirulina, or even different types of algae that simply resemble spirulina – the consumption of which can actually be quite dangerous to one’s health!
1. Labeling and composition
In order to ensure that you are getting a quality product, the label must include terms such as “spirulina”, “spirulina platensis”, or “Arthrospira platensis”. When purchasing tablets, the spirulina content should be at least 98% and they must not contain any preservatives or artificial colorings. If purchasing a product in granule or powder form, its content should be 100% spirulina.
2. Visual appearance
Good spirulina features an attractive dark green matte color.
A shiny surface indicates that the spirulina has been crushed, compacted, and then covered with a coating to prevent it from breaking apart again.
It also should not contain much dust – the presence of dust likewise indicates that the product has been broken apart and compacted, losing some of its nutritional benefits in the process.
While good spirulina certainly does feature its own particular smell, it should not be an unpleasant one. A very strong odor indicates a high rate of oxidation, and thus a damaged product.
The rate of the spirulina’s dissolution should be:
– not too fast – in order to ensure that it reaches the stomach and releases its active ingredients in the intestine where they can be absorbed by the body, and
– not too slow – which would result in it only being absorbed very little as it passes through the digestive tract. The nutrients contained in products only get absorbed by our bodies in smaller amounts. Carefully choosing a good-quality spirulina will ensure that it has the greatest possible positive effect on your health.
In rare cases, spirulina may cause slight gas during the first few days; gradually increasing the dosage is thus recommended. Lots of gas, however, is generally an indication of a poor-quality or damaged product.