Like Spirulina, Chlorella is a form of algae with many potential health benefits. Here we are going to cover four of the primary benefits and why you may want to add this superfood to your diet.
What Is Chlorella?
Chlorella is a form of freshwater algae known for its deep green color and potential as an extremely powerful detoxifier. Chlorella comes in a variety of supplemental forms, but is most often taken in a capsule or powdered from.
Chlorella has been extensively studied and has been shown to have some amazing potential health benefits. Here are 4 of the most exciting benefits.
4 Key Health Benefits of Chlorella
Health Benefit #1: Chlorella is packed with nutrients
The most obvious health benefit of Chlorella is that it has an incredible nutrient profile. Though different species can have slightly different composition, most species of Chlorella generally contain the following nutrients in varying quantities.
Protein: Chlorella is a great plant based source of amino acids and is about 50% protein. If you're looking to ditch crappy bodybuilding "whey" protein powders, Chlorella could be a good option.
Vitamins and Minerals: Most species of Chlorella contain a variety of vitamins and minerals in various quantities, including: B12, Vitamin C, and Iron. Among many others.
Chlorophyll: Chlorella is a great source off Chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is amazing for a bunch of reasons. Actually, too many to cover in this post. You can read about them here.
Note: Though Chlorella contains valuable micronutrients, it is important not to assume each variety or brand contains significant amounts of any specific nutrient necessary to support optimal health.
Always read labels carefully to determine if you are getting a therapeutic dose of Chlorella or you may not be able to take full advantage of the health benefits of Chlorella.
Most studies show that you will need to consume 1-2 grams of Chlorella, or more to get any materially significant amount of it's key nutrients.
Many brands mix their ingredients with fillers and provide very low amounts of Chlorella per serving. Look for a good brand with a high dose per serving at the lowest cost possible. High prices don't mean you are going to get a large dose of Chlorella.
Health Benefit #2: Chlorella is a Great Detoxifier
In addition to its wide nutrient content, Chlorella is most popular as a detoxifying superfood that may help rid the body of toxins and heavy metals.
Researchers believe that Chlorella acts as chelating agent that attracts and binds heavy metals so they can be removed from the body. It has also been shown to increase liver activity, which can help accelerate the body's natural detox processes.
Health Benefit #3: Chlorella May Lower Cholesterol
Another great potential health benefit of Chlorella is its potential to help lower cholesterol naturally. Though more studies need to be conducted in this area, initial results from several studies are promising.
Two specific studies showed that daily doses of at least 5 grams may have helped lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the sample population. (See links below for the results of the studies.)
Health Benefit #4: Chlorella May Enhance Physical Performance
One of the lesser known health benefits of Chlorella is as a fitness and physical performance supplement. Not only is Chlorella a clean source of protein, it may also help the body absorb oxygen which can improved endurance and athletic performance.
One particular study showed that athletes supplementing with Chlorella has significant improvements in endurance and blood oxygen saturation levels. Researchers concluded that this may have been attributed to its high amino acid and Chlorophyll content.
Potential Side Effects
Chlorella is generally recognized as being safe for regular human consumption.
However, Chlorella has been shown to activate the immune system in high doses, so those with auto-immune disorders, or taking medications for immune system issues, should consult with their physician before supplementing with Chlorella.
Conclusion: Chlorella is one of our favorite superfoods that researchers have shown to have many potential health benefits that go beyond the scope of this post.
If you're looking for a natural source of plant based protein that contains a wide array of micronutrients, Chlorella may be the superfood you're looking for.
We recommend you speak with your Physician and determine if Chlorella is something you should be adding to your superfood regimen.
Sources and Additional Reading