Chlorella is a popular addition to green smoothies and juices thanks to its vibrant color and impressive nutritional credentials. But what exactly is this superfood? And how can it help boost your health? In this chlorella fact file, we give you the lowdown.
Like its cousin spirulina, chlorella is a blue-green freshwater algae with a whole host of health benefits. As a single-celled algae, this superfood is one of the oldest species on the planet. And with the ability to reproduce around eight times a day, it’s perfectly sustainable.
Unlike many other superfoods, chlorella can’t be eaten straight from the source. Instead, to make it digestible for humans it has to undergo special processing. The result is a bright colored powder with a subtle taste, making it perfect for green smoothies and juices.
Despite being a single-celled organism, chlorella happens to be one of the most nutritionally dense foods in the world. Why? The clue is in the color. Chlorella’s rich green hue comes from a high concentration of chlorophyll, which has the potential to improve digestion, speed up wound healing and improve liver detoxification. But that’s not all.
Chlorella provides a huge number of the vitamins and minerals our bodies need on a daily basis. For example, per 100g, the algae provides 1,026 percent of your recommended vitamin A intake and 70 percent your vitamin B6 intake.
With such impressive nutritional clout, chlorella is more nutrient-dense per gram than other superfood greens, including spinach, kale and broccoli.
Chlorella may be one of the oldest food sources known to man, but it wasn’t until the late 1940s that its potential was understood. This single-celled algae was seen as a promising new solution to the world hunger crisis caused by the war and food shortages. While the full potential of chlorella was never realized, its popularity continued to rise, and it continues to be one of the most-used supplements in Japan, where most of the world’s supply is produced.
With heavy metals found in everything from tuna to fillings, it’s almost impossible to avoid them completely. While our livers do a good job of filtering most of these toxins, taking proactive steps to boost detoxification in the body can also help.
That’s where chlorella comes in. Studies suggest that regular consumption of this superfood can both prevent heavy metals from accumulating in soft tissue and organs, and help filter them from the body.
The detoxing potential of chlorella is especially important for those undergoing radiotherapy or chemotherapy. According to a study carried out by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical College, chlorella really can help combat the side effects of these therapies, with glioma-positive patients reporting fewer respiratory infections and flu-like illnesses when taking a regular dose of the supplement.
A healthy immune system is key to keeping you happy and healthy. Luckily, chlorella has been proven to help support immunity, boosting your body’s ability to protect itself. A recent double-blind placebo study found that a regular dose of chlorella can increase natural killer cell activity and early inflammatory response.
If you’re trying to lose weight, you may want to consider adding chlorella to your supplement regime. In a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, researchers conducted chlorella ingestion tests on 17 participants with high-risk factors for lifestyle-related diseases.
They found that for all participants, chlorella intake resulted in noticeable reductions in body fat and fasting blood glucose levels.
High blood sugar levels are one of the main contributing factors to Type 2 diabetes. However, changes in lifestyle, including eating and exercise habits, can help lower these levels. Chlorella has been shown to be particularly successful in controlling blood sugar, with one study concluding that a dose of 8,000 mg of chlorella per day can help lower cholesterol and blood glucose levels.
Chlorella is a fascinating superfood with a huge range of potential applications. You can find out more about chlorella’s detoxification properties here.