Chlorella 101: Everything You Need To Know About Chlorella

  Reviewed
 by Dr. Steve Hruby
Reviewed by Dr. Steve Hruby

I am a chiropractor, father, husband, coach, entrepreneur, and motivational speaker. Feeling good about yourself is a choice: My mission is to transform lives through optimized health and overall well-being.

  Fact Checked
 by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT
Reviewed by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT

I’ve been called a Data Ninja, The Fact Checker, and a Human Search Engine. I’m an indie content curator who does research daily, and quizzes myself on the important issues of the day.

chlorella

You can’t get any closer than chlorella if you’re looking for a natural miracle supplement. This alga contains many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can boost your health in various ways.

Chlorella is an excellent source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and chlorophyll. It also contains all the essential amino acids your body needs to function correctly. The superfood boosts immunity, improves digestion, and promotes detoxification.

Chlorella is available in powder, tablet, or capsule form. You can add it to smoothies, juices, or water. It is also easy to incorporate into a healthy diet. Chlorella is a versatile solution that can help to improve overall health and well-being.

What Is Chlorella?

Chlorella is an alga housed in a green, spherical cell wall. It is a single-celled, photosynthetic microorganism.

This plant belongs to the phylum Chlorophyta, class Chlorophyceae, and order Chlorellales. It is one of Earth’s oldest (around two billion years) living organisms.

Over the millennia, chlorella’s simple form spread worldwide, adapting to various conditions and transforming. Today, there are over 20 chlorella kinds, with the most common species being vulgaris and pyreinoidosa.

The alga produces the chlorella growth factor during photosynthesis. This hormone stimulates cell division and growth in chlorella. It regulates cell size and number.

Chlorella is a common ingredient in green drinks and powders. It is often found in supplement form and is also used as a food coloring agent.

Nutrients in Chlorella 

Chlorella is rich in chlorophyll, carotenoids, proteins, essential lipids, vitamins, minerals, and nucleic acids. It is also a good source of beta-carotene, iron, and magnesium. 

Here’s a summary table of top chlorella ingredients:

IngredientAmount
Chlorophyll1-4%
Fat13%
Fibre12.8%
Calories372 Kcal per 100g
Ash4.5%
Moisture5.4%

Fatty acid distribution is as follows:

  • Saturated- 21.2%
  • Unsaturated- 72.1%
  • Other- 6.7%

Top vitamins are:

  • A
  • C
  • E
  • K1
  • B1
  • B2

The top five minerals include:

  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Iron
  • Calcium

Benefits and Uses of Chlorella

Chlorella is rich in chlorophyll, an antioxidant that helps ward off damage from free radicals. Chlorophyll also boosts immunity by stimulating white blood cell activity.

woman in the sunflower field putting her hands up

Besides this, chlorella provides many other benefits like:

  • Aids in Digestion

Chlorella may help reduce bloating and gas. Due to its fiber, chlorella may help improve bowel movements and reduce constipation. The supplement may help promote digestive health by stimulating the growth of healthy gut bacteria and improving gut barrier function.

  • Helps Detoxify the Body and Fight Cancer

Chlorella may help fight cancer by activating the immune system, reducing inflammation, and detox. It binds to and removes heavy metals lowering the body’s toxicity and exposure to carcinogenic compounds.

  • Reduces Inflammation

Chlorella contains chlorophyll that has anti-inflammatory properties. Chlorophyll reduces inflammation by inhibiting pro-inflammatory cytokine production and modulating immune cell activity.

Chlorella may improve asthma due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

  • Lowers Blood Sugar Levels and Therapeutic use for NAFLD

Chlorella improves blood sugar control by increasing insulin sensitivity. Hence, the body can better use insulin to regulate blood sugar levels.

Chlorella can also help those with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). It keeps glucose levels in check, decreases weight, and enhances the lipid profile.

  • Reduces Cholesterol Levels

Chlorella decreases bad cholesterol, LDL, while boosting good (HDL) cholesterol amounts. Since HDL also lowers cholesterol levels in the body, chlorella is a double threat to your body’s enemies.

illustration of good and bad cholesterol
  • Improves Brain Function

The brain is an energy-hungry organ and needs a constant supply of oxygen to function properly. When we consume chlorophyll, it enhances the amount of oxygen our brain cells can take. Chlorella may help improve memory, attention, and executive function in users.

  • Improves Skin Health

Chlorella may help increase skin elasticity and moisture by restoring collagen production. Its proteins allow the skin to grow healthily while vitamins boost immunity helping the skin fight infection. Moreover, its anti-inflammatory properties keep the skin smooth and glowing.

These reasons explain why chlorella is desired by many as a natural acne treatment solution.

  • Candidiasis Remedy

Chlorella is an excellent candida supplement that helps keep yeast numbers in check. Through its detox capabilities, it eliminates mercury reducing the places for candida to flourish. The superfood also fights candidiasis using chlorophyll’s and iodine’s antimicrobial functions.

  • Combats Iron Deficiency

Chlorella prevents iron deficiency during pregnancy. The superfood supplies iron as it is one of its most abundant minerals. It also works by increasing the absorption of iron from the diet. Plus, chlorella improves the efficiency of iron utilization in the body.

Ways to Consume Chlorella

What is the best form of chlorella to take? While you can add chlorella to your meal for a dramatic green tint, excessive cooking may lower its other benefits. Here’s how to take chlorella to get the most from this superfood.

  1. As dietary supplements in the form of powder, tablet, or capsule. Taking chlorella supplements with water half to one hour before meals may be most beneficial. Though some may experience gut discomfort, this means may enhance absorption.
  2. If option one isn’t suitable, include chlorella in your meal, a smoothie, or juice in the morning or before bedtime. The powder is the best form of chlorella due to its versatility and lower likelihood of fillers.
  3. You can apply it to your hair or skin when mixed with water or essential oils. 
woman pouring green smoothie into the glass

Safety & Precautions

Too much chlorella intake may result in undesired effects. Also, not everyone can take chlorella. So, it’s best to understand your conditions, age, and familiarity with the superfood before taking it.

Dosage 

There is no recommended dose on how much chlorella per day is adequate. Generally, those new to or returning to usage after long breaks should start with smaller portions and then scale.

Many consider a three-gram stater dose to be okay. However, 3-9-year children can begin lower at about 600mg a day. Adults and frequent users can take up to ten grams on regular days.

You may need to take more based on your needs. For instance,

  • How much chlorella to take for constipation- 12g or more daily
  • How much chlorella to take for detox- up to 20g daily.

Side Effects of Chlorella

The potential side effects of chlorella often affect the GI tract. When you take excess chlorella or are sensitive to its ingredients, you may experience

  • Allergic reactions (like itching and swelling)
  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Green stool
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting.

Some may experience headaches, fatigue, and muscle pain.

Who Should Not Take Chlorella

While safe for most, some people should not take chlorella. These include:

breastfeeding women should not take chlorella
  • Hyperthyroidism patients due to its iodine content
  • Those with allergies to its ingredients
  • Immunodeficient patients,
  • Pregnant/breastfeeding women.

The iodine content in chlorella could worsen symptoms in hyperthyroidism patients. Also, chlorella could potentially make allergy or immunodeficient patients more susceptible to infection. 

Pregnant or breastfeeders should avoid chlorella because it is unknown if it is safe for them and their babies. However, it may be ok to use chlorella during early pregnancy till six months to boost iron supplies.

Chlorella Production

It takes several steps to nurture and produce chlorella. The simplicity, produce quality, and expenses incurred vary based on the adopted method.

How Is Chlorella Grown

Commercial chlorella production is often in sterile containers with filtered water and nutrient culture. The temperature of the water should be between 25-32-degrees-celsius. The ideal pH is slightly alkaline during culture introduction, between 7.5 and 8.5.

Farmers opt for two methods when rearing this superfood.

Different Production Methods

Due to its cellulose cell wall, consuming chlorella direct from harvest only provides a fraction of its nutritional perks.

chlorella powder and tablets

Hence, there are various methods to prepare chlorella to unlock maximum benefits, including:

  • Fermentation- Fermented chlorella grows in arctic acid and glucose environments without sunlight. After harvest, the produce gets heated to 120-degrees-Celcius to soften the cell wall.
  • Cracked or Broken– Chlorella from this method has better nutritional value than fermented. The method involves using sound to open the plant’s cell wall.
  • Pulverized– This method provides the best chlorella. Rather than breaking or softening, it removes most of the cell wall to enhance absorbability.

Chlorella Alternatives

Maybe, you are intolerant to a chlorella ingredient or dislike something about it. Here’s what you can use instead.

Spirulina– Although it has notable differences in appearance and some components, it’s the best chlorella alternative. But, can you take chlorella and spirulina together? Yes. The two supplements share many nutrient similarities and can complement each other’s deficiencies.

Wheatgrass – It is a nutrient-dense superfood with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Wheatgrass is also a natural detoxifier that can help to cleanse the body of toxins and promote overall health.

Barley – It is a good alternative because it is high in fiber and low in calories.

Moringa – For those intolerant to iodine, this option is excellent for obtaining many benefits chlorella offers. Studies are yet to report iodine presence in moringa leaves.

Chlorophyll – One of the biggest questions is: Is chlorophyll and chlorella the same? No. Chlorella provides up to 4% chlorophyll. If this is the main ingredient you want, a dedicated chlorophyll supplement is the best option.

Conclusion

Chlorella is a great option if you want to add more nutrient-dense foods to your diet. It’s easy to add to smoothies, juices, and soups, or you can take it in supplement form.

Chlorella is a nutrient-dense superfood that has a host of health benefits. It is a type of algae that is rich in chlorophyll, protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Chlorella boosts the immune system, detoxifies the body, and improves digestion. It is an excellent energy source and can help improve mental clarity.

So, are you ready to enhance your health? Get chlorella supplements and cultures from our store at reasonable prices.

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