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Is Spirulina Safe To Consume During Breastfeeding?

4 min read

A healthy diet during breastfeeding is a must as your baby is completely dependent on you for nutrition. Though breast milk provides the baby with basic nutrition, many moms pay loads of attention to what they eat- and boost their nutrient intake with other supplementary foods. In the era of super-foods, it is important to understand what is safe and unsafe to consume during breastfeeding. Here is a look at Spirulina.
Spirulina drink and powder

  • What Is Spirulina?
  • What Are The Benefits Of Spirulina?
  • Is It Safe To Consume Spirulina During Breastfeeding?
  • How Can Spirulina Help During Breast Feeding?
  • Are There Any Harmful Effects Of Spirulina During Breastfeeding?
  • Is Spirulina Safe To Consume During Breastfeeding?

What Is Spirulina?

Spirulina is a natural algae, which is harvested and powdered for consumption. It is very rich in a number of nutrients, primarily essential amino acids. Due to the high protein content, it is often recommended for vegetarians who do not get meat proteins. Spirulina is also high in anti-oxidants, vitamin B group and iron. It is also reported to boost immunity, mental health, and other nutrients in the body, though research on the same is fairly limited.
You get spirulina in powder form which can be added to smoothies or plain water. But since it is an algae, it tastes a bit like pond water! So it is also available in capsule form.

What Are The Benefits Of Spirulina?

There are scores of benefits for taking Spirulina that is properly manufactured and processed. Apart from being a great source of proteins (the algae is 65% proteins!), it is also a rich source of Omega 3/6/9 fatty acids, chlorophyll (that is great as detox), naturally occurring iron, calcium and so on. So in short, it is a super-food!

Is It Safe To Consume Spirulina During Breastfeeding?

Your child gets all the required nutrition through your milk. So it is important to ensure you have a healthy and nutrient rich diet that will trickle down to your child through the breast milk. In this context, a super-food like Spirulina will definitely help a nursing mother. But, is it safe? There are few things to consider here:

  • Spirulina is safe, provided you buy high quality Spirulina, which is organic and non-toxic. The safety of the product depends a lot on the source and the way it was harvested. So, ask yourself, do you trust your brand to provide a safe, non-toxic product? Are you 100% convinced about the source?
  • Spirulina is not safe for some people with underlying medical conditions such as phenylketonuria (PKU) metabolic condition, sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis etc. So it is best to check with your doctor before consuming it

Spirulina powder

How Can Spirulina Help During Breast Feeding?

For starters, most new moms are known to have anemia. Even otherwise, the breast-milk is known to have only few traces of iron. And Spirulina is an excellent source of bio-available iron. Additionally, it also contains all the other amazing nutrients we mentioned in the sections above, all of which helps you and your baby. What is more, if taken with a healthy diet and disciplined workout, Spirulina is also known to accelerate body’s fat loss – something all new moms will appreciate. The algae is also known to detox the body and boost the immunity.

Are There Any Harmful Effects Of Spirulina During Breastfeeding?

While Spirulina as such, does not have any harmful effects, it can be toxic if the source is not clean. For instance, certain samples of Spirulina is known to contain higher than safe quantity of mercury – something you do not want in your body, let alone pass it on to your child. The “non-organic” forms of the algae is also known to be contaminated with various nitric compounds, which companies add as additives. Spirulina that is grown in contaminated water are also known to have other toxic metal traces. So the most important factor here is the purity and authenticity of the source.

Is Spirulina Safe To Consume During Breastfeeding?

Though highly nutritious and a health booster, we urge you to exercise caution when it comes to consuming spirulina during lactation. Because you can never be 100% confident of the source from which your Spirulina is harvested, we urge you to be sure of what you are buying and whether you should really consume it. Many products in the market also call themselves “organic” and “chemical free”, but none of us really do any chemical or lab tests to know if their claims are true. And unlike vegetables, we cannot quite “wash” Spirulina before we consume it. While under usual circumstances it would be alright to consume it (even then we request you to check with your doctor once), why take a risk when you are breastfeeding? There definitely is an increased potential risk of passing on any toxins to your baby. And unlike you, your baby hardly has any strong defensive mechanisms to fight these toxins as their immunity is still developing. And more importantly, you can still get all the nutrients in Spirulina and more by following a healthy, balanced and nutritious diet.

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