Spirulina for Kids: Health Benefits and More
Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and antioxidants that can help protect cells from damage. It contains nutrients, including B complex vitamins, beta-carotene, vitamin E, manganese, zinc, copper, iron, selenium, and gamma linolenic acid (an essential fatty acid).
Spirulina, like many other plant-based super foods, is absolutely safe for kids to eat. As food, spirulina represents a complete vegetarian protein source. When it is sourced safely and administered correctly, it can be a fantastic supplement for adults as well as children.
The keys to safely giving your kids spirulina is to know that you are getting it from a safe, reputable source, and to know how much to give them. Spirulina is like the fuel that will boost your child’s overall development, growth and boost immunity.
Spirulina’s Benefits for Kids
It is very important for children to begin healthy eating habits at a young age because rich nutrition is not only necessary for their bodies to grow, but it can also influence the way they eat throughout their life. Some of the benefits that Spirulina Possess are listed below:
GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid):
It is an essential fatty acid that is found only in mother’s milk, Gamma Linolenic Acid plays a very vital in balancing the hormonal system in the body. So it is actually very good to give Spirulina to the children. Because of this it is also believed to have anti-inflammatory properties and may help to relieve pain.
- Vitamin E: Children need plenty of vitamin E for proper growth, and this need begins before a child is even born, according to a 2006 article published in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.” Vitamin E also plays a role in gene expression and helps children convert the foods they eat into energy, according to the National Institutes of Health. Spirulina contains vitamin E that helps to supply the RDA for a child.
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid): It contains vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, this is one of the most essential elements of any diet, and is particularly beneficial to the immune system, in helping to prevent colds and flu which the children are quite prone to.
- Beta Carotene (Vitamin A): Children require 3 to 6 mg of beta-carotene (the equivalent of 5,000 to 10,000 Units of vitamin A activity) per day. Spirulina contains beta carotene, that is pure vitamin A, this antioxidant aids vision in dim light.
- Iron : Infants ages 7-12 months need 11 milligrams of iron a day. Babies younger than 1 year should be given iron-fortified cereal in addition to breast milk or an infant formula supplemented with iron. Spirulina contains iron that can meet the daily requirement of iron in children. Iron helps carry oxygen throughout the body and is essential for healthy blood cells and keeps muscle healthy.
- Magnesium : Magnesium is literally used for hundreds of different functions in the human body. If your growing child is short on this important mineral, any one of those hundreds of functions may be effected, like his ability to sit still, relax his facial muscles, stop twitches, process insulin, and deal with loud noises. Spirulina is a good source of Magnesium.
- Potassium : Getting children in the habit of eating foods high in potassium may help them keep blood pressure in check as they age. Potassium helps produce new cells and enzymes and promotes the healing of wounds in children. Kids, just like adults, don’t eat enough of the fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that are richest in potassium sp Spirulina is a great way that can help to meet up their requirement for potassium.
- Calcium : For growing children and teens, getting enough calcium is crucial to building bone mass, which may help guard againstosteoporosisand fractures later in life. But by age 12, fewer than 1 in 10 girls and 1 in 3 boys get adequate daily calcium: 700 mg for children ages 1 to 3; 1,000 mg for ages 4 to 8; and 1,300 mg — equal to about 4 cups of milk — for ages 9 to 18. Spirulina has enough calcium to fulfill this requirement of Calcium.
Children are more prone to flu, as they come in contact with different people while in school, in play grounds etc. So it essential to to build their immunity. A number of animal and test tube studies suggest that spirulina increases production of antibodies, infection-fighting proteins, and other cells that improve immunity and help ward off infection and chronic illnesses.
Supplements Protein Requirement:
Proteins are building blocks of our body, children are in a growing phase of their life and need more of protein to perform all the bodily functions. Amino acids make up 62% of spirulina. Because it is a rich source of protein and other nutrients, spirulina can be used as a nutritional supplement for children.
Prevents Allergic Reactions:
Animal and test tube studies suggest that spirulina may protect against allergic reactions by stopping the release of histamines, substances that contribute to allergy symptoms, such as a runny nose, watery eyes, hives, and soft-tissue swelling. All these symptoms are very common in children thus Spirulina can help the child fight these issues.
Although antibiotics destroy unwanted organisms in the body, they may also kill “good” bacteria called probiotics, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus. This can cause diarrhea. In test tubes, spirulina has boosted the growth of L. Acidophilusand other probiotics. Hence Spirulina can be beneficial for kids having frequent diarrhea and stomach infections.
Good For Liver Health:
Preliminary evidence suggests that spirulina may help protect against liver damage and cirrhosis . It also detoxifies the liver and enhances the production of liver enzymes whcih is good for the body. Giving Spirulina to the kids regularly can improve their appetite over time.
Correct Amount of Spirulina
Children are smaller than adults because of this, the correct amount of Spirulina to give your children will differ depending on their age and weight. The typical correct amount will be less than an adult serving. Consider consulting your health practitioner prior to giving your children any supplement, including spirulina. Don’t give spirulina to a child without talking to your doctor first.
Spirulina has the potential to stimulate the immune system of our body. For most of the people, Spirulina is an excellent supplement which is loaded with benefits, but individuals who have particular autoimmune conditions. It also can interact with a number of medications prescribed for immune system suppression, such as mycophenolate, mexotrexate and cyclosporine.