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 the health benefits of chlorella.
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 amount 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. So much for the history behind this multitasking species of green algae.
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 food source during a global crisis. 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 and even prevent certain diseases. Initial research suggests that chlorella supplements can help modulate the responses of our immune system. The algae may also support cardiovascular health by controlling blood pressure. Other researchers found that chlorella can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in our bodies. In addition, chlorella supports detoxification because of its capacity to bind heavy metals.
Chlorella is an excellent source of 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 for humans.
Chlorella also contains essential vitamins and minerals that contribute to cholesterol management and may even help prevent and manage diabetes. 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. Evidence is starting to mount in favor of cardiovascular health benefits, such as improved blood pressure. The antioxidants in chlorella help fight potentially dangerous free radicals and decrease the stiffness of your blood vessels. Arterial stiffness is one of the main risk factors for heart disease, which remains the leading cause of death in developed societies.
Is Chlorella Good for You?
Yes, it is. More research into the benefits of chlorella is indeed needed. But the results we are seeing so far are beyond promising. Few other supplements can lay claim to the wide range of macro and micronutrients delivering an unparalleled level of support for good physical and mental health.
What are the Benefits of Chlorella?
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.
- Chlorella can help regulate blood pressure, either by reducing or helping maintain diastolic blood pressure
- Chlorella supplements can decrease so-called arterial stiffness in younger and older people. Stiff blood vessels are among the risk factors for developing heart disease
- The supplements have also been shown to moderate other risk factors of heart health, including cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels, and body mass index
- Early studies show that chlorella may help prevent diabetes complications such as cataracts. Chlorella supplements may also help people with diabetes control their blood sugar levels and may prevent insulin resistance if combined with exercise.
- Chlorella can help protect your liver from non-fatty liver disease by improving inflammation levels in the liver
- Chlorella acts as a detoxifier by binding with dangerous metals like mercury. Studies showed that regular chlorella supplements lowered the level of mercury in test subjects’ hair and blood
- Chlorella stimulates the immune system, helping prevent disease or fighting it more effectively
- Chlorella also has antioxidant effects that are beneficial for the prevention and treatment of various physical and mental health conditions
What are the Side Effects of Chlorella?
Chlorella is generally regarded as safe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Despite that, it is always worth consulting your doctor or another medical professional before adding a supplement to your diet.
In a study conducted in Poland, some participants reported diarrhea or feelings of constipation. If you are prone to those or fear that you may be allergic to chlorella, make sure you consult a physician first. It is also a good idea to introduce any new supplement slowly and monitor yourself for adverse reactions.
How to Use Chlorella
Dietary supplements are not as highly regulated by government organizations as medications, for example. For that reason, we recommend studying the label of any new supplement you are considering. This helps avoid ingesting a lot of unwanted additives.
Follow the instructions on the label and stick to the recommended dosage to get the optimum benefit from your chlorella supplement.
How Ensō Superfoods Can Help
At Ensō Superfoods, we aim to help you optimize your healthy eating habits without working hard. 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 Ensō Supergreens, a supplement that helps you get all the goodness from chlorella, spirulina, kale, and barley grass every single day.
We use only high-quality, certified organic ingredients to help you look and feel your best. It’s simple – just one scoop of Supergreens dissolved in water or added to a shake gives you all the nutrients you need to live your best life.
Frequently Asked Questions on Chlorella
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 Does Chlorella Do?
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 that can be hard to access through diet alone.
What are Chlorella Supplements Used For?
Chlorella supplements are a great way of optimizing your daily diet. High-quality supplements like Ensō Supergreens ensure your body gets all the essential nutrients it needs every single day.
Is Chlorella Good For You?
Yes! Chlorella has a wide range of health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It can also help protect you from heart disease and keep your blood pressure in check.
How Much Chlorella Should You Take Per Day?
The best way to introduce a new element into your diet is to start slowly and watch for any adverse reactions. Make sure you check the packaging of your chlorella supplement and stick to the recommended dosage.