What is chlorella?

Chlorella is a nutrient-dense green freshwater algae with numerous health benefits. While there are various types of chlorella, Chlorella pyrenoidosa and Chlorella Vulgaris are the most studied and the commonly used. See what chlorella benefits are below!

Chlorella contains a tough cell wall that’s difficult for humans to digest. This makes supplementation the ideal and easiest way to increase digestibility and nutrient bioavailability. 

Read about other supplemental greens, Spirulina and Bladderwrack!

Chlorella benefits:

This healthy green algae is often used as a nutritional supplement, and it’s often available in capsule, powder, tablet, and extract form.

1.  It’s rich in nutrients

Chlorella is considered a superfood in the health and wellness industry because of its rich nutritional profile.

For example, it’s a complete protein with all the amino acids the body needs. It’s also 50-60 percent protein, making it an excellent protein source, especially for vegans and anyone on a plant-based diet.

Chlorella is also rich in vitamin B12, another nutrient lacking in plant-based diets.

Additionally, chlorella offers substantial amounts of vitamin C, minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium, copper, folic acid, and calcium, omega 3s and a wide range of antioxidants.

However, these nutrients may differ depending on the growing environment and the chlorella species used.

2.  It can boost the immune system

A strong immune system is essential to help you fight off infections and stay healthy.

According to research published in the Nutrition Journal, chlorella consumption can improve natural killer cell activity and stimulate the necessary inflammatory responses needed to fight off infections.

In another study, chlorella supplementation was shown to increase antibody production in the body, which helps fight infections and prevent disease-causing pathogens from invading.

3.  Enhances mental detoxification

Research shows that chlorella can help detoxify the body from heavy metals like lead and mercury.

These metals often find their way to the body through the work environment, pollution, and even food. For instance, if you consume fish a lot, have mercury teeth filling, have been exposed to radiation, or have been vaccinated, you probably have these metals lurking in your system.

The most significant ability of chlorella to aid this process is that it wraps around the metals and any other toxins and prevents them from being absorbed into the body. This also prevents metal accumulation that may lead to tissue damage.

In addition, chlorella prevents heavy metal toxicity to the kidneys, liver, and brain.

4.  It lowers cholesterol

According to various studies, chlorella supplementation may help lower cholesterol levels.

It’s rich in antioxidants, fiber, niacin, and carotenoids, all of which are known to lower cholesterol.

A daily intake of 5 grams of chlorella may help lower total cholesterol and triglycerides in patients with mildly high cholesterol levels.

chlorella benefits

5.  Improves blood sugar levels

According to research, chlorella may help reduce and stabilize blood glucose levels in healthy individuals and those with a high risk for lifestyle diseases.

Moreover, a study found that chlorella can increase insulin sensitivity and improve blood sugar control even in patients with conditions like non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

6.  Regulates blood pressure

Nutrients like omega-3s, arginine, calcium, and potassium in chlorella help decrease blood vessel stiffness. This reduces tension and causes the vessels to relax, thus allowing blood to flow freely.

The fact that chlorella also lowers cholesterol helps prevent its buildup in the arteries, which over time may narrow the blood vessels and make it difficult for blood to pass, causing a rise in blood pressure.

In one study, a daily intake of 4 grams of chlorella for 12 weeks was shown to lower blood pressure in patients with mildly elevated blood pressure.

7.  Promotes eye health

Chlorella is rich in two powerful carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, which have been shown to promote eyesight and prevent age-related macular degeneration.

This combination may also prevent cataracts, eye strain, and fatigue.

Furthermore, the amount of these carotenoids in your retina is directly dependant on the amount consumed, and adding chlorella to your daily routine may keep your levels high.

8.  Supports liver health

Chlorophyll, a significant component in chlorella, is known to detoxify the liver and improve its functions. In one study, patients with fatty liver showed improved liver function, blood sugar control, and weight loss after 2 months of chlorella supplementation.

Chlorella can also protect against chemically-induced liver damage. According to other studies, chlorella can reduce alanine transaminase (ALT), a liver enzyme that indicates liver inflammation in hepatitis C infections.

All these studies show that chlorella can indeed promote liver health.

Safety and side effects:

According to the food and drug administration (FDA), chlorella is considered safe for consumption.

However, some sensitive individuals may experience nausea and abdominal discomfort. So if you are new to using chlorella, start slow and see how it goes.

Also, keep in mind that chlorella benefits may vary depending on the species used.

Furthermore, since supplements are often not regulated in some countries, including the US, some products may not meet the standard and claims on the label.

To ensure you’re getting the best value for your money, always look for a quality assurance seal.

How much chlorella should you take?

There is no specific recommendation on how much chlorella to take because there is no conclusive evidence on how much one needs to experience maximum benefits.

While some researchers believe 1.2 grams taken daily is sufficient, some think anything between 5-10 mg daily is okay.

That being said, most companies indicate a dosage of 2-3 grams daily which seems okay compared to the research.

Final thoughts on chlorella benefits:

Chlorella is a green algae that grows in freshwaters.

It’s rich in various nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Chlorella is often available as a supplement, and regular consumption has been shown to lower cholesterol, improve eye health, boost immunity, and regulate blood glucose and blood pressure levels, among other benefits.

Selecting the best product is always essential to reap the benefits. So buy from a reputable source and always look for the authenticity seal.

While a small percentage of people may experience some side effects, chlorella is safe to consume overall and may provide a great addition to your diet.

More sea greens:

What is Sea Moss?

Sea Moss Gel

Bladderwrack

Hijiki

Nori

Kombu

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