Superfoods have taken center stage for their health benefits and, in many cases, adaptability in a variety of recipes. One of the newest superfoods gaining attention is chlorella, an alga that has largely supplanted spirulina in the superfood world.
Chlorella has gained notoriety due to its ability to improve cholesterol levels, rid the body of toxins, and bring about other positive changes, including weight loss. In this article, we’ll discuss what chlorella is, its wide range of health benefits, and the different ways you can take it.
What is chlorella?
Chlorella is a green freshwater alga. Most available chlorella is grown in Japan or Taiwan and it’s processed and made into a variety of supplement forms, including pills, liquid extracts, and powders.
Because it’s harvested in a variety of places, chlorella products can vary significantly in their composition. In fact, some investigations have revealed that it can contain anything from 7 to 88 percent protein, 6 to 38 percent carbohydrate, and 7 to 75 percent fat. So it’s important to choose your supplement wisely.
5 health benefits of chlorella
There are more than 5 health benefits of chlorella. However, starting with 5 is an easy way for you to understand why you should be taking it!
1. It’s a nutritious superfood
Because there are so many varieties of chlorella, the nutritional profiles vary. However, most key nutrients tend to fall within standard ranges.
- Protein – most chlorella contains between 50 and 60 percent protein and all nine essential amino acids. This makes it a complete protein source, which is important because your body can’t produce essential amino acids.
- Iron and vitamin C – chlorella supplements can contain from 6 to 40 percent of your daily recommended iron intake. They also contain vitamin C, which helps your body absorb and utilize the iron more effectively.
- Other antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals – chlorella contains trace amounts of a variety of other antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. These include magnesium, zinc, potassium, folic acid, and even calcium.
2. Chlorella may help improve cholesterol levels
There are several studies that show that chlorella supplements may help lower cholesterol. Specifically, taking chlorella lowers LDL cholesterol, or “bad” cholesterol, especially in people with high blood pressure.
Chlorella has this effect because it contains the following nutrients:
- Niacin – a B vitamin
- Carotenoids – studies show that carotenoids also reduce cholesterol.
- Antioxidants – chlorella is rich in a variety of antioxidants, which help prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. This lowers your risk of heart disease.
3. Chlorella aids in weight loss
Recent studies have found that increased chlorella intake is related to reductions in body fat percentage, serum total cholesterol, and fasting blood glucose levels.
Specifically, chlorella helps to:
- Regulate hormones
- Boost metabolism
- Improve circulation – chlorella is high in iron, which feeds red blood cells. This brings more oxygen to the muscles and brain, giving the entire circulatory system a boost.
- Boost energy – toxins rob the body of nutrients and tax your body’s resources. Because chlorella detoxifies the body, you’ll get a natural energy boost every day.
- Remove stored toxins – more on that below!
4. Chlorella detoxifies the body
Chlorella’s recent rise to fame is due in part to its ability to detoxify the body. Recent studies conducted on animals reveal that chlorella is effective at removing heavy metals and other harmful substances from the body. These heavy metals may include iron and copper and can also include others like cadmium and lead.
This is important because the body releases toxins as you lose weight. If you aren’t able to efficiently flush these toxins from your system, they’re likely to be reabsorbed by the body. Chlorella can help by eliminating toxins already in the body and lowering the amounts of other harmful chemicals sometimes found in food.
5. Chlorella may enhance aerobic endurance
While research is limited on chlorella’s potential boost to aerobic endurance, existing studies show a positive effect. One study examined oxygen saturation in the lungs to measure endurance. At the end of four weeks, the test subjects showed increased endurance, whereas the placebo group showed no change.
Of course, there are other ways to boost endurance in the gym! One way is to take a comprehensive dietary supplement, like PhenQ, to boost energy and keep you going through your workout. When combined with a supplement like chlorella, you’ll be able to achieve your dream body even more quickly.
How to add chlorella supplements to your diet
There is no recommended dosage of chlorella, nor is there one way to take the supplement. The primary issue is that there is no scientific evidence for the “best” dosage. Many studies have mixed reports on what dosage you should take for it to be most effective.
Some studies recommend taking as little as 1.2 grams per day whereas others recommend taking as much as 5 to 10 grams per day. The choice is yours, though you should consider the recommended dosage on any supplements you purchase. These will probably recommend you take a lower dosage – between 2 and 3 grams daily.
Why aren’t you taking chlorella?
Though chlorella isn’t most notable for its ability to help you shed the pounds, the potential weight loss effects combined with other benefits – such as general health and wellness boosts, improved cholesterol levels, and detoxification – are all great reasons to incorporate chlorella into your routine.
As always, be careful where you purchase your supplements. Getting a high-quality product with the nutrient ratios you want is more important than any other factor.
So why aren’t you taking chlorella already? As a smart dieter, you know it’s time to get started and finally look and feel your best!