Chlorella might look like an unassuming green algae, but this superfood is making waves among nutritionists and scientists alike. Native to Taiwan and Japan, chlorella is rich with phytonutrients such as potassium, carotene, amino acids and chlorophyll – the compound that gives this all-natural supplement its distinctive green color.
Until recently, chlorella was relatively unheard of, but its impressive nutrient profile is starting to attract attention as a detox agent, immune booster, and has even been suggested as a future potential treatment for cancer. So the future’s looking bright for this green algae.
What is Chlorella?
Chlorella is a unicellular green algae, that when grown in large quantities gives fresh water lakes a distinctive green tinge. First discovered by a Dutch microbiologist in 1890, its health benefits were researched after World War Two, when scientists saw its potential as a nutritious and cheap food source. Sadly, the project was abandoned, but the health properties of chlorella are still being studied to this day.
Nowadays, chlorella algae is gathered, dried and crushed to form a supplement. This water-soluble powder is loaded with amino acids, peptides, proteins, sugars, vitamins and nucleic acids. In fact, its impressive health profile makes chlorella one of the most nutrient-dense superfoods in the world with plentiful quantities of vitamins A, B2, B3, iron, magnesium and zinc.
Chlorella’s effectiveness in treating heavy metal toxicity has already been well established. The algae works by binding itself to heavy metal toxins, such as lead, mercury and uranium. This makes it far easier for our body to excrete these toxins safely, in turn preventing them from being reabsorbed.
You may not be worried about heavy metal toxicity, but toxins do make an appearance in more foods and products than you may think. From tuna to mercury fillings, heavy metals can turn up where you least expect them, so taking a daily dose of chlorella is a good way to give your body a helping hand in the detoxification process.
Supports the Immune System
In 2012, researchers from Yonsei University in Seoul carried out a double-blind and placebo-controlled study into the effect of chlorella on the immune system. Their results showed that chlorella has a beneficial immunostimulatory effects, while boosting “natural killer” cells – a type of cell that’s essential for a healthy immune system. This research, and others like it, suggests that consuming a regular dose of chlorella can work wonders in warding off illness.
Lowers Blood Sugar And Cholesterol
High cholesterol and diabetes are two huge problems facing modern Americans. That’s why chlorella’s potential to lower both blood sugar and cholesterol has attracted so much attention from scientists. And the results look promising. According to a 2008 human study, consuming 8,000 mg of chlorella per day can have an astonishing effect on blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
Potential Cancer Treatment
Thanks to its amazing nutrient profile, scientists have suggested that chlorella could offer a two-fold attack against cancer. As cancer is intrinsically linked to immune system dysfunction, immune-boosting superfoods such as chlorella and spirulina can help your body prevent or even fight off cancer.
In one Japanese study, researchers fed lab mice a chlorella regimen for ten days before injecting them with three types of cancer. The results were incredible. More than 70 percent of the chlorella-fed mice did not develop cancer, while all the untreated mice died with a few days. Although there needs to be more human studies into the effects of chlorella, its effectiveness in boosting the immune response to cancer is definitely something to get excited about.
Take a look at our Top 10 Amazing Health Benefits of Chlorella for more reason to make sure this superfood is a staple part of your diet.
Tips for Buying Chlorella
When it comes to buying supplements like chlorella, it’s definitely worth opting for a 100 percent organic product. That way you can avoid any nasty fillers or additives – ensuring you get the best product for your money.
As with any nutritional supplement, the method of processing matters. The way in which a supplement is processed can have a huge impact on its effectiveness, so always make sure you do your research before buying. In the case of chlorella, it’s important that the cell wall is broken down during processing. This makes it much easier to digest, boosting its nutritional power.
Buy From a Trusted Brand
Not all chlorella supplements are created equal, so make sure you buy yours from a brand you can trust such as Fresh Healthcare. And remember that the labelling should be clear about the product’s origin, method of processing, and organic credentials. To learn more you can read our article on The Best Chlorella brand here.