Chlorella may be one of the less well-known Superfoods. However, it is one of the most nutritious.
Many of us are looking for ways to elevate our healthy diet and reduce our risk of chronic diseases. Even when we eat well, cooking fresh and healthy foods can sometimes require an additional health boost.
This is because we live stressful, busy lives, and sadly, our food can often be depleted in nutrients due to poor soil quality and food processing techniques.
Here we will explore precisely how supplementing with chlorella can support our health and wellness from within.
- What Is Chlorella?
- What Does Chlorella Do For The Body?
- What Are The Health Benefits of Chlorella?
- How To Take Chlorella
- What Are The Side Effects Of Chlorella?
- The Takeaway
What Is Chlorella?
Chlorella is a type of fiber-rich green algae. You may see chlorella listed as either Chlorella Pyrenoidosa or Chlorella Vulgaris, but each refers to the same thing. They are both types of potent marine bioactives.
Chlorella grows in fresh water and is not usually part of our regular daily diet, despite substantial evidence indicating its wide-ranging health benefits. Chlorella is similar to spirulina, a saltwater alga, although chlorella has its own unique benefits.
The whole of the chlorella plant is used to form the many supplements and types of extract currently available on the market.
Usually, you will find chlorella in the form of tablets, powders, or extracts.
What Does Chlorella Do For The Body?
Chlorella is unique. Gram for gram, this green algae provides more nutrition than many of the fruits and vegetables we consider optimal to support our body.
Chlorella might offer us more health benefits than we can experience from our diet can alone.
This is because it can offer us two key advantages, it can help clear toxins from the body while reducing elevated cholesterol.
Many vegetables can offer us a wide range of nutrients, but chlorella can influence several critical biological processes in the human body. It is also unusually low in sugars, whether you consume it as a powder or an extract.
The research speaks for itself. Taking a chlorella supplement regularly works. It has the potential to impact many fundamental aspects of your well-being and is an effortless addition to your daily routine.
It works to top up our reserves of crucial nutrients, support our natural detoxification pathways, and improve key markers of heart disease such as cholesterol.
Animal studies have very impressive findings, and there is now a growing body of evidence demonstrating its benefits on humans.
This indicates that chlorella is a supplement worth taking and will offer you great value for money.
What Are The Health Benefits of Chlorella?
It’s hard to overstate the beneficial impact of taking supplementary chlorella, which is why it comes with such an excellent reputation.
Its high quantities of protein and vitamin B12 also make chlorella Vulgaris a superb addition to many beauty products, as it can help you inside and out.
Below we break down the key areas of our health which research has shown chlorella can positively impact.
It Is Very Nutritious
Chlorella is a source of vitamin B12. This form of Vitamin B is notoriously hard for plant-based eaters to get enough of, making it a practical way to top up on your essential nutrients.
Many vegans end up taking a supplement specifically for B12, but this way, they can also benefit from all the other health gains that chlorella has to offer.
In all its various forms, chlorella can also be a great source of Vitamin C, which is the essential antioxidant our bodies need for immune health, heart health, and inflammation management (1).
Conveniently, it also features reasonable amounts of Iron, another critical mineral that vegans can benefit from, especially when packaged neatly together with Vitamin C, for enhanced Iron absorption.
You can also benefit from the Calcium in chlorella significantly if, like many people, you have cut back on your dairy intake, making it hard for you to meet your daily Calcium requirements.
Last but not least, you can also enjoy the bonus of extra Zinc and Magnesium, both of which can be lacking in our western diets.
These minerals serve essential functions for our immunity and stress response, so we want to increase our intake wherever possible (2).
Aside from these benefits, chlorella has many other aspects of good nutrition; it is rich in the heart-healthy essential fatty acid omega 3. It also provides you with crucial plant-based protein.
It is rare for a supplement to have all these benefits while being a valuable source of fiber, but chlorella has this capacity.
Enhances Your Immune System
One of the best ways to enhance your immune system naturally is to increase your intake of a nutrient-dense superfood such as chlorella.
Impressively, food supplements containing chlorella might positively stimulate our immune response by increasing natural killer cell activity (3).
In addition to directly improving the infection response in both animal and human studies, the combination of immune-supportive nutrients present in chlorella also targets vital aspects of our immune system as a whole.
We can also increase our protein stores, which, in addition to B12, is needed to help us fight harmful bacteria.
This makes chlorella pyrenoidosa supplementation an excellent addition to nutrient-rich food choices.
Chlorella contains several antioxidants such as Beta Carotene, Vitamin C, and Lutein. A good nutritionist will always encourage you to increase your intake of antioxidants in your diet.
Chlorella consumption provides you with an easy way to increase the level of antioxidants in your body, which has the potential to reduce your risk of many chronic diseases, including heart disease, autoimmunity, and even certain cancers.
Antioxidants help to protect the body against the effect of oxidative damage and free radicals, which, when in excess, can damage the cell wall and promote unhealthy levels of inflammation (4).
Helps Your Body To Process Heavy Metals and Detox
Metals such as mercury often accumulate in the body via environmental exposures or through our diet, leading to heavy metal toxicity.
In particular, we may be vulnerable to an unhealthy level of heavy metals if we eat lots of tuna or have many mercury-based fillings.
One of the unique benefits of chlorella products is how they can bind to these unhelpful heavy metals and promote their excretion from the body (5).
It is not easy to remove these potentially harmful heavy metals from the body without taking chlorella regularly.
Chlorella tablets or extracts can also support your capacity to detox from other potential hormone disruptors such as dioxins, which are often present in our environment (6).
Enhances Endurance Capacity
Chlorella may improve our exercise endurance. In a human study, chlorella has been able to increase aerobic endurance in young individuals.
Likely, the unique combination of anti-fatigue minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and other ingredients is responsible for its effectiveness at increasing endurance capacity (7).
More studies are needed to prove that the same effect would occur in older individuals, but for now, the results are promising.
Promotes Weight Loss
In humans, chlorella supplements have reduced stored body fat levels in just three months. This makes it a helpful weight loss aid, which is entirely natural and does not pose the risk of side effects, unlike many fat-burning supplements.
These green algae supplements also led participants to have a reduced overall body fat percentage – despite not changing their diet or activity regime (8).
Part of the reason chlorella supplements can help with weight loss goals is their high amounts of protein, which can promote satiety and prevent overeating.
Similarly, by being high in B vitamins, such supplements might also increase energy metabolism, encouraging more physical movement.
Helps To Improve Cholesterol
Taking chlorella can support this process, as a study showed it could reduce both total cholesterols and LDL cholesterol, which is considered harmful for our health (9).
Aside from lowering hypertension, managing our cholesterol levels is one of the best things we can do for our heart health.
Just 5-10 g of chlorella powder, taken daily, can reduce cholesterol in people with unhealthy amounts.
This is likely because chlorella contains a helpful mix of vitamins and minerals that support healthy blood lipids and fiber, which helps the excretion of excess cholesterol from the body.
Promotes Healthy Blood Pressure
Research shows that just 12 weeks of taking chlorella supplements can reduce your blood pressure in a meaningful way (10). Hypertension remains one of the biggest ‘silent threats’ to our health.
Many people have high blood pressure without realizing it and can end up on medication to reduce it for life.
While the jury is still out on the effect for women, another study using chlorella also improved arterial stiffness in men, which is a crucial factor in developing high blood pressure (11).
Chlorella contains high amounts of omega 3s, which can improve our cell walls’ health while reducing inflammation levels, which has many health benefits for our cardiovascular system as a whole.
Improves Blood Sugar Levels
This multitalented supplement can also reduce elevated blood glucose levels, leading to pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
While we need more research, an early study result indicates that chlorella may reduce blood sugar in healthy people and those at risk of metabolic disease (12).
One explanation is that chlorella can increase the uptake of glucose by the liver, thereby reducing the circulating sugars.
Another possibility is that the protein level within these supplements helps increase satiety and reduce carb consumption.
Helps To Manage Respiratory Diseases
We have discussed chlorella’s ability to improve the health of our immune system, which is also relevant for our ability to manage respiratory disease.
The stimulation of white blood cells can also support our respiratory fitness by reducing infection risk.
Chlorella also helps us to “anti-inflame” due to its level of omega 3s, which is important as many respiratory diseases are inflammatory in nature.
Therefore, people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can gain from the health benefits of chlorella (13).
Supports Liver Health
A study has shown that chlorella can reduce the type of enzymes that show your liver is not working well. These enzymes may be a result of hepatitis C or general liver inflammation.
Hepatitis C or not, chlorella can support the health of your liver, so it is better able to perform its vital role of helping the body to detox, which can be particularly important for women with hormonal imbalances (14).
Of the most valuable benefits of chlorella is that it can reduce digestive distress, whether in the form of cramps, bloating, or altered bowel habits.
As a result of its high antioxidant levels, its content of Vitamin D, and its ability to stimulate beneficial gut bugs in the gut, chlorella is a great digestive aid (15).
How To Take Chlorella
Many experts agree that consuming between 2-5 g per day is ideal for the dosage.
You have many options for how you consume this about of chlorella in your daily life. You can choose from powder, tablets, or extracts, depending on which suit your lifestyle better.
You can add these to smoothies or juices with the powders or even drink them straight with a bit of water if you don’t mind the earthy taste.
You will likely find that the powders may also contain some additional superfoods such as spirulina or flaxseed for an added health boost.
However you choose to take chlorella, the research shows that most people should expect to see results within 12 weeks of starting your supplement.
What Are The Side Effects Of Chlorella?
Chlorella is considered a safe and side-effect-free source of nutrition for many people. After all, it is derived from natural algae.
Evidence indicates that chlorella is safe and even recommended during pregnancy.
However, it is essential to mention that a few people have experiences with minor side effects after starting their supplements. These can include mild stomach discomfort or slight stool discoloration.
For people taking other supplements or tablets for blood clotting, be aware that due to chlorella’s high Vitamin K intake, your capacity to clot may increase, so check with your doctor if concerned.
These issues should soon settle once your body gets used to the new tablets. However, one thing to be aware of is that chlorella can increase your sensitivity to the sun, making it extra important to take care of your skin when outside during the day.
We are all looking for a magic solution to our health needs. It seems as if chlorella is pretty close to perfect when we consider its wide-ranging benefits.
It is rare to find a supplement that provides us with a vital plant-based source of Vitamin B12.
It boosts our energy levels, tops up, or protein stores provide us with the fatty acids required for healthy blood lipid levels, all while being safe for use during pregnancy.
In fact, with its levels of folic acid, this algae is an excellent addition if you are looking to conceive.
The reality is, during pregnancy or not, we can struggle to get everything we need from food alone, and so taking a supplement which such a powerful effect is one of the best ways we can nourish our cells, detox harmful toxins, and more.
- Is it safe to take chlorella every day?
Yes, chlorella is designed to be taken on a daily basis. This will help you experience the effects more powerfully, whether as a treatment for or preventing chronic disease.
- Can chlorella and spirulina be taken together?
Absolutely, if you want to experience the benefit of extra fiber, brain-boosting fats, healthy proteins, and an additional form of supplementation which is suitable for vegans, then by combining chlorella and spirulina, you will benefit from the beneficial properties of each.
- How much chlorophyll is in chlorella?
In general, you can expect to receive 1-4% of chlorophyll per serving. This may vary slightly depending on whether you take your treatment from an extract, powder, or in the form of other supplements.
- Is Chlorella a Superfood?
Yes, it is classed as a superfood because of its exceptional properties. Its ability to reduce harmful chemicals in the body, its effects on liver disease, and its great advantage over many types of food.
Evidence suggests it is one of the most helpful supplements, whether you take it with other ingredients such as spirulina or not.