Spirulina has an abundance of nutrients, but many are too low in amounts to even matter. The amount of zinc in spirulina happens to not be too much and for this reason I would NOT recommend taking spirulina for its zinc content alone. Per “normal” serving you just won’t benefit from that much.
And believe me, you NEED zinc
Zinc is an “essential” mineral. This means that your body is not able to make its own so it solely relies on getting zinc through foods.
It plays a role in hundreds of different activities throughout your body and is essential to good health. Zinc can improve the health of your heart, prostate, sperm, and (for women only) can help during menstruation and pregnancy. This is just a small sample of the many things that are benefits to getting the right amount of zinc.
So what exactly is the RIGHT amount of zinc?
To see how good of a zinc source spirulina really is you first need to know the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for zinc.
Depending on your age and sex the recommended dietary allowance varies. So first find how much you need by looking at the table below (source – USDA).
And now what you’ve been waiting for. Now that you know how much zinc you need, the last thing you need to know is
How much zinc is in spirulina?!
In 100 grams of spirulina you will get about 2mg of zinc. And in in 7g, which is one tablespoon, there is 0.14mg of zinc.
Since one tablespoon is more realistic for a serving of spirulina than 100g, lets compare this to the RDA.
If you are a male 19 years or older, the 0.14mg of zinc in one tablespoon of spirulina will satisfy ONLY about 1.3% of your RDA. And if you are a female 19 years or older this amount of zinc will satisfy about 1.8% or your RDA.
Either way the amount of zinc that you will be getting in a serving of spirulina is absolutely minuscule. If you are looking for a good food source of zinc, its best you look elsewhere.
So what are some GREAT zinc food sources?
Oysters is the best food source you are going to find. In one medium oyster you can expect to get about 5.3mg of zinc! Thats all just in one oyster. Crab and lobster are also VERY good sources. But I know that oysters, crabs, and lobsters aren’t exactly the most common food.
So if you are looking for more common foods with zinc you should be eating your meats and vegetables. Mushrooms and kale both provide about 0.4mg per cup and one serving of chicken breast (3oz) will give you about 0.9mg of zinc.
There are plenty of other food sources of zinc out there including nuts, seeds, whole wheat, and the list goes on. But the only GREAT sources out there seem to be the seafoods such as oyster, crab, and lobster. All other foods do not even come close.
As for spirulina, its just not a good source. Sure, the zinc it provides is a benefit and can help, but its so little that you better be getting your zinc from other sources.
I hope you found this helpful. Please leave your comments and questions below.