Chlorella is a type of freshwater algae that is taken as a supplement because of its many claimed health benefits, some of which we will delve into below. Nutritionally, you will often hear Chlorella referred to as a Superfood. It is rich in several different vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is 50-60% protein and it is a complete protein at that, meaning that it contains all 9 amino acids that are essential for optimal body function. Chlorella also has a high content of Iron, Vitamins C and B12 and a host of other antioxidants. In smaller amounts, Chlorella contains magnesium, zinc, copper, potassium, calcium, folic acid, omega-3s and fiber.
Generally available in capsule, tablet, powder and extract form, Chlorella’s big claim to fame, other than it’s nutritional value, is that it can help support your body’s natural detox processes by helping remove toxins from the body. Let’s find out more!
Health Benefits of Chlorella
As I mentioned above, Chlorella has been hailed for its detoxing abilities, especially when it comes to heavy metals found in the body. Metals like mercury, cadmium and lead which enter our body through pollution and over environmental factors, can be toxic to humans in large quantities. Chlorella is able to actually bind itself to these heavy metals and prevents them from being reabsorbed into the body. It has been found to lessen the toxicity levels in the liver, kidneys and even the brain. So Chlorella works with your body’s natural ability to clear toxins and helps to keep these heavy metals and other toxins from accumulating in your tissues and organs.
But the benefits don’t end there:
Research on Chlorella as a dietary supplement has also revealed it can help to regulate blood sugar as well as promote heart and kidney health which can directly improve blood pressure levels. The thought process is that since Chlorella contains potassium, calcium and some omega-3s, and these nutrients are essential in keeping your arteries healthy and functioning, this could be why Chlorella helps to lower blood pressure.
Chlorella has been found to stimulate the immune system as well. The human immune system is what jumps into action when invaders enter the body – it keeps you healthy by working to fight off infections. Supplementing with Chlorella can actually enhance your body’s immune system response, preventing colds and even improving your response to the flu vaccine. Evidence on this one is limited, though, and may only provide benefits in the younger generation. More research is needed to confirm said benefits.
For those looking to drop a few pounds, Chlorella can also help you in your weight loss journey. Chlorella works to regulate hormones which help boost your metabolism, improve circulation in the body and give you a little energy boost.
There are also a few more supposed benefits of Chlorella for your body, though these are in need of more research to confirm for sure. At this time there has not been any specific research done to back up the following claims, the minerals and nutrients found in Chlorella could, in theory, provide these benefits:
- Eye Health – could lower the risk of macular degeneration
- Liver Health – improve liver health in those suffering with non-alcoholic liver disease
- Benefits Digestion – Reduce bloating and improve digestion
How to use Chlorella
The easiest way to incorporate it into your daily diet is by adding it to your morning or post workout smoothie/protein shake. Chlorella definitely has a strong taste to it, so adding it to a smoothie is an easy way to bury the flavor. It blends very well into a smoothie, without leaving any gritty bits in the bottom of the glass. Try a half a teaspoon (to start, you can work up to higher doses later!) with a banana, coconut water and an organic vanilla protein powder for a delicous and healthy way to start your day!