Why You Should Chlorella It Up!
Chlorella is a freshwater algae native to Taiwan & Japan & has similar properties to what is referred to as its “cousin”: sprulina. It’s ranked as one of the top 10 health foods in the world & is more nutrient-dense per gram than other greens, such as: kale, spinach & broccoli.
In a nutshell, it boosts energy, helps maintain healthy weight, detoxifies the body of heavy metals & is rich in phytonutrients, including amino acids, chlorophyll, beta-carotene, potassium, phosphorus, biotin, magnesium & B-complex vitamins. It supports healthy hormonal function, promotes heart health, helps fight the effects of chemotherapy & radiation, lowers blood pressure & cholesterol & helps reduce fasting blood glucose levels.
First things first, let’s talk about chlorella’s nutritional profile.
A tbsp. serving of chlorella has:
8g of protein
95% of the RDA of vitamin A
24% of the RDA of vitamin B2
11% of the RDA of vitamin B3
67% of the RDA of iron
7% of the RDA of magnesium
44% of the RDA of zinc
It also contains a good amount of B1, B6 & phosphorus.
Now, let’s talk benefits.
(1) Chlorella detoxifies & rids the body of heavy metals and toxins Whether you have mercury fillings in your teeth, have been vaccinated, eat fish regularly or have been exposed to radiation, you may have heavy metals lingering in your body! One of chlorella’s unique properties is that it has properties in its cell walls that make it wrap itself around & bind to toxins/contaminants/metals residing in our bodies, such as lead, mercury & uranium & keeps them from being reabsorbed.Research has even shown that if you consume chlorella regularly as part of a daily supplement routine, you can work towards keeping heavy metals from accumulating in your body’s soft tissues & organs in the first place.
(2) Chlorella also detoxifies the body from radiation & chemotherapy. Radiation & chemo are the most common forms of cancer treatment nowadays & while they are thankfully effective at fighting certain types of cancers, they do take a toll on the body. Chlorella’s high levels of chlorophyll have been shown to protect the body against UV radiation treatments while removing radioactive particles from the body. Its chlorophyll content is also an overall powerful cleansing agent for the body, as it aids in the processing of oxygen, cleanses the blood, primes the key elimination system of the body & promotes growth & repair of tissues.
(3) Chlorella supports & boosts the immune system & helps “natural killer” cell activity.
(4) Chlorella also helps maintain healthy weight as it reduces body fat, total cholesterol levels, as well as fasting blood glucose levels. It helps regulate hormones, boosts metabolism, improves circulation & promotes overall higher levels of energy. When we shed weight, toxins are released & can be reabsorbed by the body, but because of chlorella’s unique properties, these stored toxins are flushed out of our system as it surrounds the toxins & heavy metals & helps facilitate elimination, thereby preventing absorption.
(5) Chlorella promotes healthy skin & helps slow the overall aging process. Due to its antioxidant, phytonutrient & beta-carotene content, it’s no surprise that chlorella is effective at fighting off oxidative stress & free radical damage, caused by pollution, stress & a poor diet. It naturally increases levels of vitamin A & C, which also help eliminate free-radicals & protect the cells.
(6) As a fat-soluble vitamin, chlorella also helps with the functioning of the reproductive system & promotes eye & skin health.
(7) Chlorella promotes a healthy gut, digestive health benefits & may help with certain gut health issues. It stimulates the growth of friendly aerobic bacteria (PROBIOTICS BABY!!!), which has a beneficial effect on overall bowel health & boosts digestive health. Its cell walls act to absorb toxic compounds within the intestines, which also help restore gastrointestinal pH & help promote normal peristalsis (a.k.a. a series of wave-like muscle contractions that moves food to different processing stations in the digestive tract that begins when food is swallowed).Since chlorella also promotes muscle contraction, it gets things moving along more smoothly in the bowels. This makes it beneficial for those who might deal with chronic constipation.
(8) Chlorella is also effective at helping heal the symptoms of ulcerative colitis, which is a condition by which the large intestine is inflamed & ulcerated. It’s not curable, but its symptoms can be managed. Studies have shown that patients with this condition that were given chlorella supplements for one month reported significant relief of symptoms.
(9) Chlorella fights cancer. Research has shown that all human bodies at some point in time will develop cancer cells. Properly functioning immune systems should be able to attack & destroy these cells before they have the chance to take hold of our bodies & create the disease. When taken preemptively & preventatively, as mentioned above, chlorella strengthens & boost immunity. This means that the body is better able to respond. Chlorella also removes heavy metals & toxins from the body, which means that the body becomes less prone to developing environmentally-caused cancers.
(10) Chlorella also lowers blood sugar & cholesterol, making it an effective supplement for those suffering from type 2 diabetes. Improper eating, stress & not enough sleep can also contribute to irregular blood or cholesterol levels. Chlorella acts to activate a number of genes at the cellular level that improve overall insulin sensitivity, encouraging a healthy balance.
(11) Attention all nursing mamas: Chlorella detoxifies breast milk. As you guys know, breast milk is crucial for the optimal health of newborns as it provides them with needed nutrients & important antibodies from the mother, which helps to develop their new immune systems. Research in Japan has shown that women were found to have significant levels of dioxins in their breast milk. Dioxins are environmental pollutants that we are exposed to through foods we eat & newborns are especially more vulnerable to its negative health effects. Women in the study who took chlorella were measured again & found to have significantly reduced dioxin levels. Results therefore indicated that chlorella effectively detoxified the bread milk, making it safer for newborns. The women who took it also had increased levels of important antibodies in their breastmilk.
(12) Chlorella is rich in nucleic acids, key factors for RNA + DNA that protect cells and raise energy levels.
(13) Chlorella boosts energy, improves heart, nerve & brain health. Being vegan, I am all about the B12 (it’s important to many of the body’s essential functions & is most commonly found in red meat, which I don’t eat!). The importance of B12 is often overlooked, but it’s so important to provide the body with a sufficient amount. It does everything from keeping the nerves, brain & heart healthy & prevents anemia, which will make you feel tired & drained of energy.
How do you know if you are deficient in B12? The best way is a blood test! Empirical data FTW! But, if you’re feeling tingling or numbness in your hands & feet, fatigue, weakness, energy slumps, have jaundiced (yellowish) skin, balance problems, confusion, memory loss or paranoia, you may be suffering from a B12 deficiency! Chlorella might be just what you need!
Now, that we’ve established what some of the benefits of it are, what on earth is the difference between spirulina & chlorella?
They are definitely similar when it comes to their nature & benefits. Both spirulina & chlorella are algae. But, at the cellular level, they are different. They both have a concentrated balance of nutrients, which have been shown to help cleanse & detoxify the body & a high concentration of protein that supports energy & mental clarity & brain health. They are the highest source of protein (about 60%) of any food on the planet!!!!
Chlorella is a green algae (while spirulina is a blue-green one), which means that chlorella boasts more chlorophyll, which makes it better for all the detoxification & cleansing purposes I mentioned earlier. Spirulina is a better source of GLA (gamma-linoelic acid) than chlorophyll, which is an essential fatty acid essential for brain & heart function. Chlorella contains more nucleic acids than spirulina (although both are a potent source), with almost 2x as much as spirulina.
Spirulina can be consumed easily after harvest, whereas chlorella’s cell walls need to be broken down before the body can properly absorb it (a.k.a. to make it more bioavailable). WORRY NOT. This process is already DONE when you purchase good quality chlorella from a health food store. ALWAYS MAKE SURE TO CHECK YOUR LABELS: It should read “BROKEN CELL WALL”. Chlorella has unique properties in its cell walls that make it bind to heavy metals/contaminants & toxins, as mentioned earlier, while spirulina does not boast this same benefit.
Both chlorella & spirulina are obviously SUPER beneficial for many reasons, some of which are the same, others which vary! The key is to STAY CONSISTENT, with whichever supplement you decide to incorporate into your routine if you want to see long-term & longstanding results! I like to alternate between my green powders or add a bit of both to my smoothie bowls for an extra dose of nutrition & greens, because you can NEVER have enough greens!