Spirulina During Pregnancy (Safety, Benefits, Side Effects)
Pregnant women need to take precautions while consuming any foods or drinks during pregnancy due to the importance of nutrition on the health and growth of the baby. Spirulina is one of those options that you may want to consume while pregnant. But is it safe to consume spirulina during pregnancy? Yes, it is known as a pregnancy-safe dietary supplement. However, in some cases, it may become harmful and put you at the risk of health issues.
In this article on Hipregnancy, we will cover all important points you need to know about consuming spirulina for pregnancy, including its health benefits, side effects, etc. , to help you choose the best food options to eat while pregnant.
Read this article to the end, if you want to learn new points about spirulina and pregnancy.
What is Spirulina?
Spirulina, known as cyanobacteria, is a microscopic organism that is usually found in all types of water. It is a kind of bacteria that provides essential nutrients, but is not completely safe to consume. In other words, sometimes it is safe to consume spirulina, and sometimes it may cause side effects. You may wonder why this happens. Let us tell you! Your body is the only factor that makes spirulina a good or bad option.
Several forms of spirulina, including tablets, capsules, and powder forms, are easily found online or at drugstores, grocery stores, health food stores, and certain health care offices.
Let’s take a look at spirulina in details to see whether pregnant women can add it to their diet or not. The following parts help you decide what is best for you when it comes to eating spirulina during pregnancy.
Also Read: maca during pregnancy
Can pregnant women consume spirulina during pregnancy?
As you know, pregnant women should consume only pregnancy-safe foods to have a healthy pregnancy, which are scientifically proven to be safe and healthy for pregnant ladies to eat. The question arises here is; “Is it safe to consume spirulina during pregnancy?”
To answer the above question, we should say that there is no scientific evidence to prove that spirulina is a safe option for pregnant ladies. According to Hipregnancy research, it is hard to say whether spirulina is good or bad for pregnancy because the number of studies on this type of bacteria is not enough.
We can’t say that spirulina doesn’t have any health benefits. Of course, it has, due to key nutrients that exist in it. But the most important point is that we don’t know the exact effect of spirulina on pregnant women due to a lack of studies on consuming spirulina during pregnancy. It is best to consult your doctor if you want to eat spirulina while pregnant to prevent any risks associated with spirulina consumption during pregnancy.
For more information about pregnancy-safe foods and fruits, you can read our other article about the best food in pregnancy.
Health benefits of consuming spirulina during pregnancy
Here are possible health benefits of taking this dietary supplement during pregnancy based on a few pieces of research on this type of bacteria;
- Spirulina provides you with nutrients, which are biosynthesized and can be easily absorbed.
- This kind of bacteria can protect your body against free radicals due to its antioxidants.
- Several fatty acids of spirulina can keep your blood pressure under control and boost your hormonal balance while pregnant.
- It can be good for the baby’s brain development, as it contains nutrients such as vitamin B, iron, and folic acid as well.
- It is good for the production of hemoglobin and red blood cells and as a result, prevents fatigue and anemia.
- Consuming spirulina during pregnancy seemes to be help relax blood vessels, decrease blood pressure, and lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- It can be a part of a list of foods for gestational diabetes, as it can reduce glucose levels and keeps your blood sugar levels in control.
Side effects associated with the intake of spirulina for pregnant
Although there are several health benefits to consuming spirulina, some risks are associated with the intake of spirulina during pregnancy. Here are some possible side effects which may happen to those ladies who want to consume spirulina while pregnant;
- Spirulina, which you want to take, may contain heavy metals and mercury, which are harmful to the growing baby and can damage the developing baby’s brain and nervous system and lead to liver damage.
- Also, it can make your nausea and vomiting worse, especially during the first trimester.
- If you take spirulina regularly, you may face difficulty breathing, kidney failure, stomach pain, the pancreas inflammation, and weakness .
- Last but not least, consuming spirulina during pregnancy is not a good idea for those suffering from autoimmune diseases.
Hiperegnancy recommends you talk to your doctor or health care provider before eating any form of spirulina, if you want to be safe. This is the best decision you can make to care of your unborn baby.
Blue spirulina during pregnancy
Spirulina is available in green and blue shades. Blue spirulina is safe for pregnant women, similar to green ones, but there are some differences between them. Green spirulina is made from the entire algae; blue spirulina is an extract.
They are also different in taste. Blue spirulina doesn’t taste fishy, but green spirulina tastes like seaweed. Pregnant ladies may find blue majik the best spirulina for pregnancy due to its neutral flavor and smell, making it easier to consume while pregnant.
Hipregnancy recommends you consult your doctor before taking spirulina powder during pregnancy: whether blue or green, as the number of studies on spirulina during pregnancy side effects is limited.
Are spirulina and chlorella safe during pregnancy?
Spirulina and chlorella are considered cousins due to their similarities. To answer the question mentioned above, both are safe for pregnant women, but consultation with a doctor before taking them is essential.
You might have heard that chlorella can cause birth defects to its high vitamin A content; however, no scientific evidence proves this idea. It is true that chlorella is rich in provitamin A, but it will not cause any adverse effects.
It is recommended to consult your healthcare provider if you want to take supplements like spirulina or chlorella while taking any prescription. Why? Because your supplement may interact with medications. For instance, chlorella may interact with blood thinners and should be avoided if you take such medications.
How to add spirulina into your diet while pregnant?
As we mentioned earlier in the previous parts, you can use spirulina during pregnancy in several forms, like tablets, capsules, or powder. Here are some ways to add spirulina to food recipes for those who don’t like to take capsules or tablets. Let’s take a look at this applicable list for consuming spirulina;
- Add spirulina to Greek yogurt and enjoy it. (Read more about the benefits of yogurt during pregnancy)
- Sprinkle spirulina in hummus or even salad dressings.
- Mix it into smoothies.
- Add a small amount of it into a glass of water or natural and fresh juices like orange juice or the juice of other best fruits for pregnancy.
- Mix it into your homemade puddings to cover its bitter taste.
Generally speaking, the safety of consuming spirulina during pregnancy is not been sceintifically proven. It means we can’t certainly say that taking spirulina is safe for pregnant women. We just know some health benefits and side effects associated with spirulina intake based on s few studies.
Do you know any other new points about consuming spirulina during pregnancy? Do share your ideas with us and other moms-to-be worldwide to help them make the best decision about this kind of supplement.