The health benefits of chlorella are that numerous that you could call it the world's most nutritious food, although it is most commonly known as a dietary supplement taken in capsules or powder form. Chlorella is one of the most familiar of the single-celled edible organisms known as green algae.
Chlorella contains 58% highly-digestible, complete vegetarian protein. It is a superior source of chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. To get the full story of chlorella's nutritional value, see my page on chlorella's nutritional content.
Chlorella provides natural detoxification, inflammation control, cholesterol control, immune system strength, estrogen balance, blood sugar stabilization, and digestive health. Regular consumption also provides the following specific benefits of chlorella:
Health Benefits of Chlorella: Cleansing & Detoxification.
Chlorella helps keep the blood clean by cleansing your bowel and other elimination channels, as well as protecting your liver. A clean bloodstream, with an abundance of red blood cells to carry oxygen, is necessary for a strong immune system. Clean blood assures that metabolic wastes are efficiently carried away from the tissues.
If you’re engaged in intense physical training, you’ll find the health benefits of chlorella to offer valuable support. When you put your body under stress, toxins and free radicals are released from your tissues. The chlorophyll in chlorella helps eliminate these waste products, and cleanses your liver, kidneys and blood.
cleansing effect is also important if you're on any sort of low-carb
diet (Atkins diet, South Beach diet, etc.) since such diets can place a
heavy burden on the liver and kidneys. (Eliminating excess ketones puts
your body under additional stress.)
One of the most important health benefits of chlorella is its ability to remove toxic heavy metals from your body, particularly mercury.
Mercury is one of the most toxic substances in our environment. It's widely found – in seafood, vaccines, compact fluorescent lights and mercury fillings still used by some dentists.
Chlorella binds to mercury and helps remove it from your body, safely and naturally. It has also been shown to bind with heavy metals such as cadmium, uranium, lead and pesticides that can accumulate in your body.
Chlorella can remove other toxic chemicals such as dioxin and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), chemical compounds used in plastics, insulation, and flame retardants which can cause cancer and liver damage.
Studies have been shown that most people have excessive amounts of these toxins stored in their body fat. Anyone who is trying to lose weight should be aware that these environmental toxins are released into the blood stream as fats cells are broken down. They need to be cleared from the body by a natural detoxification system such as that offered by chlorella.
Health Benefits of Chlorella: Protects the Liver.
Studies shown that chlorella stimulates a protective effect on the liver, which supports the body's natural defenses. Chlorella lowers blood cholesterol and triglycerides, improving the function of your liver and strengthening your cardiovascular system.
Health Benefits of Chlorella: Improves Digestive System.
The fibrous cell wall of chlorella helps to enhance digestion and keep the digestive tract healthy. One of the ways chlorella eases digestion is through its broad spectrum of enzymes, including pepsin and many others. Chlorella also stimulates the growth of friendly bacteria, which has the probiotic effect of strengthening your intestinal flora and help you resist diseases.
Health Benefits of Chlorella: Balancing Blood Sugar.
Chlorella has been shown to normalize blood sugar and is helpful in the treatment of diabetes and hypoglycemia. Proper levels of blood sugar are necessary for normal brain function, heart function and energy metabolism. Chlorella supports and balances liver and pancreatic function; these two organs are critical in the regulation of your blood sugar.
Health Benefits of Chlorella: Preventing Cancer.
Cancer cells are a normal occurrence in everyone. You normally have hundreds, maybe thousands of pre-cancerous cells in your body all the time. It's the job of your immune system to make sure these dangerous cells are found and destroyed before they can develop into full blown cancers.
This means that one of the best ways to prevent cancer is to strengthen your immune system. Chlorella will stimulate your immune system and your body's production of interferon, one of your greatest natural defenses against cancer.
When your immune system is strengthened, your body is able to fight off cancer as well as defend itself against viruses, bacteria, chemicals, and foreign proteins. Chlorella's potent cancer-fighting abilities include its ability to repair damage to DNA and influence gene expression.
Genes have to be "turned on" or activated before they can be expressed. If your DNA become damaged by free radicals, it could activate bad genes that would otherwise lay dormant.
Elsewhere on this website, I promote the nutritional value of many types of fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and exotic superfoods. However, nothing I've come across has the total wide-spectrum nutritional value of chlorella, except for spirulina. Modern science hasn’t even isolated all of the beneficial phytonutrients found in these algaes, much less studied their combined effects in full detail. Nutritional algaes provide an abundance of synergistic nutrients that work together in the human body in ways that we don't fully comprehend.
Chlorella is my personal favorite among all the green superfood powders because of its ability to draw out toxins from your system and eliminate them. Most of the green superfood powder blends include chlorella in their recipes because its nutritional value is second to none.
For all these reasons, I highly recommend making nutritional algaes a part of your daily diet, whatever it takes! I firmly believe that no other single addition to your diet will benefit your health as much.
Chlorella is a Whole Food. Think of chlorella as a nutrient-dense green food, rather than a nutritional supplement. The more of it you can fit into your diet, the better. Start out with about a half-teaspoon a day and work up to a tablespoon or more — you can't eat too much.
Just one teaspoon of chlorella powder has the nutritional value of several servings of dark green leafy vegetables! I personally use chlorella daily, simply for this reason. If you don't eat many dark green leafy vegetables every day, chlorella can make up for it — and then some. Chlorella also contains concentrated, easy-assimilated nutritional benefits not found in any other food.
Smoothies are a great way to get the health benefits of chlorella every day!
My favorite method to get more chlorella (and spirulina) is to blend them into a smoothie every morning. This way, it's easy to mask the algae taste with other ingredients.
If you haven't discovered smoothies yet, they're hands-down the best way to put together a nutrient dense, high protein meal in just a few minutes!
My favorite green smoothie recipe uses sweetened coconut or some other nut milk milk, a banana, raw organic eggs or protein powder, and a spoonful of chlorella and/or spirulina combined in a blender. Bananas blend well with chlorella, and mask the bitterness very well — just make sure you use very ripe ones. You can add more ingredients to flavor your smoothie to your liking.
Chlorella can turn your ordinary smoothie into
a nutrient-dense meal with the antioxidant benefits
of 6 servings or more of fruits and vegetables —
your entire minimum daily requirement!
I've devoted an entire section on smoothies elsewhere on this website. If you click over to my page on how to make a healthy smoothie, you'll find some great tips on how to get started.
I'd recommend getting chlorella in a bulk powder form, since you'd have to swallow more than 20 tablets or capsules a day to get the equivalent of one tablespoon of chlorella powder.
Tablets or capsules are convenient to take with you, and you can swallow them quickly to avoid the taste. They do end up costing more than twice as much as the powder, though.
It's important to get a chlorella product that features a “broken (or cracked) cell wall.” This means that they’ve taken the tough, indigestible portion of the cell wall and broken it apart so that your body can get to the many nutrients that are found in chlorella. Most chlorella products you see use the term “broken cell wall” to describe this characteristic.
Yaeyama chlorella is the highest quality in the world. Yaeyama chlorella is grown in the environmentally pristine coral reef region of Japan's Ishigaki Island, using mountain spring water and intense tropical sunshine. In case you're wondering, this is at least 1,500 miles away (and upstream from the prevailing current) from the Fukishima nuclear disaster. It's actually closer to Taiwan than mainland Japan.
Jarrow Yaeyama is the chlorella powder that I use and recommend. If you're looking for the best bargain in green superfood powders — this is it! A one-kilogram tub of Jarrow Yaeyama Chlorella yields about 250 generous teaspoon-size servings.
What's the best place to buy chlorella and other natural health products? I recommend iHerb.com. For price, selection and service, they're hard to beat. Just take a look at what they have to offer:
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There are other green food supplements that blend chlorella and spirulina with other high-antioxidant superfoods. I prefer straight chlorella myself (there's a reason why most green superfoods use it as their primary ingredient), but the superior flavor of a superfood blend may make it easier for you to include one in your daily routine. Some of these products even come in flavors like chocolate or berry that taste so good you won't believe that there's green superfoods in them!
You can find more details about
these other green superfoods at my page on
Green Superfood Powders
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