Lately, chlorella has been garnering acclaim due to its many purported health benefits. What is chlorella, and what are its actual health benefits?
Algae are becoming popular worldwide courtesy of the many health benefits associated with them. Besides spirulina, there is yet another alga; chlorella, and this too is fast becoming popular. Research and science have made us think past the pool and music festival when we mention chlorella. In fact, this alga is trending big time as a superfood. It’s rich in fibers, proteins, antioxidants, and plant compounds. As a supplement, chlorella is one of the best in the market today. Treat this article as your primer and learn all there is about chlorella.
Understanding what chlorella is
Is chlorella new to you? No worries, we’ll make you understand. You’ve probably heard about spirulina. Chlorella is a close cousin of spirulina. It is a single-celled green alga that grows in fresh water. It’s commonly market as a green powder, capsule, or tablet. More than 30 species of chlorella have been discovered, but research has majorly focused on two species; Chlorella pyrenoidosa and Chlorella vulgaris.
The cell of chlorella has a hard cell wall, and this cannot be digested by the human digestive system. Therefore, your gaining health benefits come from taking the available supplements, which you only need to source from a reputable source. Besides its use as a supplement, chlorella makes a great biodiesel fuel. After years of studies, researchers believe that chlorella has the following incredible health benefits.
Chlorella 101: The Incredible Health Benefits
Here are the health benefits linked to chlorella;
i. Chlorella boasts of a great nutritional profile
Nutritionists, dietitians, and researchers often examine the nutritional profile of a given food or dietary component in gauging how useful it is. When the nutritional profile of chlorella is broken down, the alga has a lot to offer, although this will depend on the supplement’s processing, the growing conditions, and the type of chlorella used. The alga has everything from proteins, fibers, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. 60-75% of the alga is purely protein, and the alga also has the nine essential amino acids, meaning that it’s such a great source of proteins. You also find trace amounts of zinc, selenium, magnesium, calcium, vitamin B12, vitamin C, and iron in chlorella.
ii. Enhances the body’s ability to clear toxins
Lead, cadmium, and iron may be needed in small amounts in your diet, but have high amounts of these constitute the heavy metals that become dangerous to the body, eve carcinogenic. Although this is rare, heavy metals still find their way to the body through pollution, blasting, and mining. Chlorella has been found to have a unique ability to bind to such heavy metals and help the body detox. Dioxin is a compound that disrupts hormone, and often contaminate animals in a food chain, ultimately finding its way to human beings. Chlorella lowers the toxicity of such compounds and also protects the brain, kidney, and heart from their effects.
iii. A good boost for your immune system
If you want to give your immune system some oomph and help it ward off infections better, think about taking chlorella supplements. These supplements have antioxidants and immune-stimulators which enhance the immune system’s fighting mechanism, and even keep it in fighting mode.
iv. It is good for your brain
Cognitive decline is a serious problem that surfaces in many ways, including mild forgetfulness to serious conditions like dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s diseases. To help with these brain problems, you need to supply the brain with enough vitamin B12 that it desperately needs. Chlorella does not only provide vitamin B12 but does so in the form that the body readily absorbs. In fact, clinical studies show that chlorella is one of the few plant sources that provide vitamin B12 in this ready-to-absorb form.
v. It May be needed to keep your heart pumping
Your heart health is important for your overall well-being, which is why you might want to consider chlorella. Because of vitamin B12, chlorella supplements keep your blood cell counts and protect the blood arteries. In addition, chlorella is a multi-front protector of the heart, maintaining desirable levels of cholesterol and blood pressure.
vi. May ward off oxidative stress
Oxidative stress and inflammation are the primary causes of both chronic and short-term diseases. Oxidative stress results from an accumulation of free radicals which can happen to pollutant exposure, metabolism, or high-intensity exercises. Chlorella has a handful of antioxidants compounds, including lycopene, lutein, vitamin C, chlorophyll, and beta-carotene, all of which fight free radicals and minimize the effects of oxidative stress.
vii. It May be good for lowering cholesterol levels
High amounts of cholesterol are associated with many health challenges, including heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Chlorella supplements come in handy when you want to lower the levels of the bad cholesterols. In several studies, taking 5-10g daily for 8weeks significantly cut down the triglycerides and LDL cholesterols. The fibers, antioxidants, niacin, and carotenoids in chlorella are especially responsible for this line of appreciation.
viii. Could help control blood sugar levels
Besides lowering cholesterol levels, chlorella could help lower blood sugar levels. In one study, individuals with a high risk of getting lifestyle diseases and healthy ones were given a dose of chlorella for twelve weeks. At the end of the study, the fasting blood sugar levels had considerably decreased. Studies also reveal that chlorella could help boost insulin sensitivity.
ix. Might help with managing respiratory diseases
Chlorella could help you manage respiratory diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (OCPD). To handle such complications, you need something that curtails inflammation. And because of the antioxidants and plant compounds that chlorella has, it can fight inflammation. In one study, patients with asthma and/or OCPD were given chlorella, within a short time, their antioxidants status had incredibly improved. However, their breathing did not improve. For this reason, you can use chlorella alongside other therapies to manage your respiratory issues.
Chlorella is an alga that’s first becoming popular. Apart from spirulina, this alga is garnering a lot of buzz and acclaim, especially due to its claimed health benefits. This article helps you understand what chlorella is, and its incredible health potentials.