Chia Substitutions and Spirulina « Health Now, Wealth Forever

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By Marilyn, on July 29th, 2013

Felicia has shared about the wonderful chia seeds; how they are full of iron, even better than flax, hemp, sunflower, pumpkin, and sesame seeds and don’t forget the fiber it adds to your diet.  In the latest Costco Connection magazine, Yael Grauer also informed us that not only can you add chia seeds to your omelets, cereal, pancakes, salads, yogurt, well almost anything, you can also use chia seeds to replace eggs and oil in your recipes [1].  This I did not know.  To replace an egg, simply grind the chia seeds in a food processor, (I personally would use a coffee grinder or smaller similar grinder).  Add 1 tablespoon of ground chia with 3 tablespoons of water to replace the egg.  According to nutritionist Kurtis Frank, you can also substitute up to ¼ of the oil in baking with chia seeds without adversely changing the flavor.  I thought that this is a great way to get in extra iron and fiber, but also more healthy omega-3 fatty acid, calcium, magnesium, and protein.  Chia seeds are a wonderful gift from nature.

Another new find for me and gift from nature was spirulina.  I have seen the signs in my local health food store, but I really never investigated it until I saw an ad in my email from about  it.  I thought now is the time to find out about this spirulina.  Spirulina is new only to me, as it has been used since the 9th century.  Spirulina is a blue-green algae rich in protein, minerals, vitamins, carotenoids, and antioxidants.  It is one of the world’s superfoods.  The nutrients found in spirulina include vitamin-B complex, beta-carotene, vitamin E, manganese, zinc, copper, iron, selenium and gamma linolenic acid.

Spirulina is used as a protein supplement (which is how I have seen it in the health food store); but also has these added attributes: immune-system power booster, helps with allergies, balances blood pressure, helps to normalize cholesterol naturally, helps to lower stroke and cancer risk, antibiotic-related illnesses, and candmium-induced fetal damage.  It has also been tested in Bangladesh as a help for people with arsenic poisoning.

“Besides being a powerhouse of essential vitamins and minerals, spirulina is a potent detoxifier.  So as a precaution start with a small dose and work your way up.  The articles I read did list some adverse reactions.  Dr. Mercola listed as prominent reactions you may experience:

  • Slight Fever — The high protein content in spirulina increases metabolism, which may elevate body temperature.
  • Dark Green Waste Matter — Spirulina can remove accumulated waste product in your colon, which may cause darker stool. Also, spirulina is high in chlorophyll. This will also turn waste matter green.
  • Excessive Passing of Gas — This may indicate that your digestive system is not functioning properly or you have an extreme build-up of gas.
  • Feelings of Excitement — Your body is converting protein into heat energy, which may cause temporary feelings of restlessness.
  • Breakouts and Itchy Skin — This is caused by colon cleansing process and is only temporary.
  • Sleepiness — This is caused by the detoxification process and may indicate your body is exhausted and needs better rest.

Remember, your body may go through an adjustment period with spirulina, and your best bet to reduce reaction is to dose gradually to see how your body will react. Increase your water intake, reduce your stress levels, eat according to your nutritional type, and get plenty of rest.”

As spirulina is grown in water and is an algae, it can contain heavy metals from the water where it is grown.  Also, if you are allergic to seafood or iodine avoid spirulina. And Dr. Mercola cautions that if you are pregnant or nursing or have hyperthyroidism, consult your healthcare provider before taking spirulina.

Please also research where your potential source of spirulina comes from.  Spirulina grows in fresh water, so you want your spirulina to come from a clean and safe environment  Buying organic is a must.


1. Grauer, Yael. “ Ch-ch-ch-chia!” Costco Connection, July 2013, pp.47.