Chlorella is a single-celled green alga that can be a great source of macro and micronutrients. Having been used in Japan for centuries to support a range of bodily functions and general well-being, it is now becoming more popular in the West. Here is what you need to know about chlorella and all of its potential health benefits.
What Is Chlorella?
Chlorella refers to a group of single-cell, green, freshwater microalgae. Like its better-known cousin, spirulina, chlorella is packed with nutrients. This algae contains a significant amount of protein and is also an excellent source of vitamin D and B12. Chlorella also contains a significant number of minerals like iron and folate that can be hard to find in other plant-based foods.
Scientists discovered the first species of chlorella during the late 19th century when microbiologist and botanist Dr. Martinus Willem Beijerinck described Chlorella vulgaris. Since then, more than 20 species have been discovered. They are now grouped into three varieties.
Since the 1950s, researchers have investigated the nutritional properties of chlorella. A global food crisis triggered their interest because chlorella was known to multiply quickly. In the end, advances in food production technology meant that we didn’t need to rely on chlorella as a source of protein, for example.
Nevertheless, by that time, the commercial production of chlorella had been fully established in Japan, where people enjoy the supplement for a wide range of potential health benefits. In the West, we are catching up. As more research is starting to confirm the benefits of chlorella, supplements containing this superfood are becoming more of a dietary staple.
What Does Chlorella Do?
Chlorella first piqued the interest of researchers because of its ability to grow and replicate fast, making it a potential fast food source. Today, the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food industries are examining chlorella to better understand the potential of its nutrients, bioactive compounds, and pigments.
Bioactive compounds and nutrients in chlorella have incredible potential to promote human health. Initial research suggests that chlorella supplements may help modulate the responses of our immune system. Other researchers found that chlorella can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in our bodies.
Chlorella is an excellent source of essential vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients, especially protein. Because of the algae’s cell structure, with walls made of cellulose, we cannot access these nutrients directly. Cell walls are broken down mechanically to produce effective, high-quality dietary supplements and to allow us to access all the goodness of chlorella. Research has shown that leading chlorella supplements contain more protein than soybeans and give you access to the full range of essential amino acids.
Further research is needed for many of these benefits, but initial results are promising.
What Are Chlorella Supplements Used For?
While research on chlorella’s benefits is still emerging and developing almost daily, chlorella supplements are growing in popularity. Put simply, they are an excellent way of optimizing your diet if a busy lifestyle is preventing you from getting all your nutrients through meals alone.
Chlorella supplements are an excellent source of vitamin D and B12, two vitamins that are notoriously difficult to access from other plant-based sources. Vitamin B12 is essential for the formation of red blood cells as well as nerve function, and the production of DNA. Vitamin D keeps muscles, bones, and teeth healthy. Lacking one or both vitamins can lead to serious health consequences.
Scientists have studied the positive effects of chlorella in animals as well as humans. The antioxidants in chlorella may help fight potentially dangerous free radicals and decrease stiffness.
How to Use Chlorella
Chlorella is frequently consumed as a supplement, pill, tablet, or powder, and it can be added to smoothies, beverages, or cooked with food. However, always check the product label for the recommended dosage and instructions. Be sure to look specifically for broken cell wall chlorella so that its nutrients are more bioavailable. If you have any specific health concerns, consult a doctor to see if chlorella is safe.
Although chlorella comes in various forms, a greens powder like Super Greens is a nutritious and convenient way to consume chlorella every day. Simply combine the powder with your favorite liquid or recipe to help support immunity, digestion, energy, and overall health.
What Are the Benefits of Chlorella? Our Top 3
Here is a closer look at some of the benefits of the biologically active compounds in chlorella, as proven by initial studies on animals and humans.
1. Source of Essential Nutrients
Because of its high nutrient content, chlorella is frequently referred to as a superfood. This green alga is high in nutrients such as protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Chlorella contains high levels of vitamin B12, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids, all of which potentially benefit overall health and well-being.
Furthermore, because chlorella is a complete protein with all nine essential amino acids, it is an excellent choice for vegans and vegetarians looking to supplement their diet. Adding superfoods like chlorella to your diet can help you get a lot of important nutrients that can help your health as a whole.
2. Helps Balance Energy and Focus
Chlorella and its nutrients may also help maintain your energy and assist with maintaining your focus. Though more research is needed, this natural supplement may be just the thing you need to help fight off fatigue and allow you to keep doing the things you love.
Chlorella is high in iron, magnesium, and vitamin B, which can help your body convert food into energy. As a complete protein, chlorella has shown possible improvements in focus and alertness. Along with these possible benefits, chlorella is also high in chlorophyll, which can help promote a rise in the body's oxygen levels.
3. Supports the Immune System
Chlorella can assist in maintaining immune resilience, which could potentially improve overall health and well-being. This alga can stimulate immune cell activity, assisting the body in fighting illnesses. Chlorella has been shown to aid with a balanced immune response in both humans and animals, but more research is needed to comprehend chlorella's full effects.
Also, chlorella has many vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, like vitamin C, B12, and iron, that can help contribute to immune wellness. In the same way, the antioxidants in chlorella can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, which can help support your body's natural defenses.
What Are the Possible Side Effects of Chlorella?
Chlorella powder is generally regarded as safe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, it is always worth consulting your doctor before adding a supplement to your diet. Here are a few possible side effects to look out for:
Consuming large quantities of chlorella can lead to excess fiber, which may cause digestive issues for some people. Bloating, gas, discomfort, and constipation are common and usually mild and short-lived symptoms. While the fiber in small doses of chlorella is generally manageable for most people, ensuring that your body gets enough fiber to avoid digestive issues is essential.
Some people are allergic to chlorella, other algae, seafood, or seaweed. Allergy symptoms, while uncommon, include inflammation, difficulty breathing, and swelling. If you are allergic to seafood or algae, consult your doctor to ensure chlorella is safe.
Heavy Metal Toxicity
Chlorella can filter toxins and heavy metals from the body, but it must come from a safe and tested source to be free of contaminants. Chlorella comes from the sea and may come into contact with harmful substances, so make sure the chlorella you buy comes from reputable sources.
Consider Trying Live it Up
At Live it Up, we understand that most of us lead busy lives, and despite our best intentions, our diets are not always ideal. That is why we have developed Super Greens, a supplement that helps you get all the goodness from chlorella, spirulina, kale, barley grass, and more superfoods every single day.
We use only high-quality, all-natural ingredients to help you look and feel your best. It’s simple—just one scoop of Super Greens dissolved in water or added to a shake has the nutrients you need to live your best life.
Frequently Asked Questions on Chlorella
Chlorella is one of the superfoods that supports a multitude of physical and mental functions in our bodies. It is packed with macro and micronutrients, and with so many supplements to choose from, it is only normal to have a few questions. Here are answers to some of the questions we get most.
What are chlorella supplements used for?
Chlorella supplements are a great way of optimizing your daily diet and ensuring your body gets all the essential nutrients it needs every single day.
Is chlorella good for you?
For most people, yes! More research into the benefits of chlorella is indeed needed, but the results we are seeing so far are beyond promising. Chlorella has a wide range of advantages, including high nutrient content and anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Side effects are possible, however, so be sure to speak with a healthcare professional about adding it to your diet, especially if you believe you may have a chlorella allergy.
How much chlorella should you take per day?
The best way to introduce a new element into your diet is to talk to your doctor, start slowly, and watch for any adverse reactions. Make sure you check the packaging of your chlorella supplement and stick to the recommended dosage.