You may or may not have heard of healthy freshwater algae, spirulina. It’s all the rage in the health food world, which is why you may be seeing pictures of bright green smoothies in your Instagram feed. Chlorella is a close cousin of spirulina. Also freshwater algae, chlorella is considered one of the most nutritious (and ancient) foods in the world due to its incredibly varied and rich nutritional profile. This blue-green algae supports many different functions in the body, so if you’re looking for a health boost, chlorella may be the answer. Read on to find out how chlorella can benefit your health.
One of the benefits chlorella is famous for is detoxification of heavy metals, radiation, and chemotherapy. It may surprise you to discover that heavy metal poisoning is not that uncommon. There are many ways in which people are exposed to heavy metals which include lead, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium. These toxins can be found in polluted air and water, food, food containers, medicines, and in paint. Chlorella helps to rid the body of these heavy metals, because it binds to them, and prevents them from settling in our soft tissues.
Chemotherapy and radiation save countless lives every day. Without these treatments, cancer cells would run amok, destroying so many more lives than it already does. The problem is, that while chemo and radiation destroy dangerous cancer cells, they also destroy healthy cells in their wake. These medications and treatments are toxic for the body, which is why they are able to kill cancerous cells. Cancer treatments can leave a person feeling drained, fatigued, weak, nauseated, anemic, constipated, and with a lack of appetite. Studies show that chlorella helps to protect healthy cells in the body during cancer treatment while encouraging the destruction of cancerous cells. The blue-green algae makes it easier on the body to endure cancer treatments because it speeds the detoxification process.
Chlorella is teeming with important antioxidants which protect the body from free radical damage and oxidative stress. The process of oxidative stress causes mutations in cell DNA, which is a prerequisite for cancer. Because antioxidants prevent this from happening, they have what is called chemopreventive properties. Research has pointed to a powerful cancer-fighting carotenoid antioxidant chlorella called C. ellipsoidea which may protect against colon cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, and others.
Chlorella helps to naturally boost immune system function first by providing a healthy gut environment. Since about 70 percent of our immune system cells live in our gut, it’s important to eat prebiotics — foods which support the activity of probiotics — like chlorella. Additionally, one study showed that chlorella stimulates and enhances immune cell, or Natural killer (NK) cell activity. This means that it kicks immune cells into high gear to search out and destroy foreign organisms before they are able to cause damage to the body. Chlorella has been shown to improve response to flu vaccine, prevent colds, and increase white blood cell count.
When either blood sugar or cholesterol levels are too high, a person is at risk for developing a chronic condition that threatens his or her health. Millions of Americans each year are diagnosed with conditions due to high blood sugar or cholesterol, such as diabetes, heart disease, peripheral artery disease, kidney failure, nerve damage, heart attack, or stroke. Studies show that chlorella has hypoglycemic effects — meaning that it lowers fasting blood sugar levels in people with hyperglycemia. Over time, it also has cholesterol-lowering effects in healthy individuals. One study concluded that it is an ideal supplement for delaying the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Chlorella has incredibly high levels of vitamin A, as well as vitamin C and vitamin E. These essential nutrients act as antioxidants in the body, protecting the skin against free radical damage. Harmful toxins, ultraviolet light, and blue light all cause damage to the skin by way of age spots, fine lines, wrinkles, and loss of collagen over time. The antioxidants present in chlorella help to reduce oxidative stress caused by pollution and light. Take chlorella daily, and you may benefit from younger-looking skin for a long time.
Since chlorella supports a healthy gut environment, it may help to treat all kinds of gastrointestinal problems including ulcers, colitis, Crohn’s disease, and diverticulosis. Experts recommend its supplementation for all kinds of gut diseases. Chlorella contains potent antioxidants which help to reduce inflammation — the culprit behind these gastrointestinal problems. It also supports adrenal function, which helps to reduce cortisol output. At chronically high levels, cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone” can wreak havoc on the body’s systems.
Chlorella has been known to boost energy levels naturally due to its high concentration of essential nutrients. Unlike caffeinated beverages, it provides energy at a cellular level. It also lowers blood sugar levels, which means that you’re less likely to experience a spike followed by a drop, which makes you feel groggy and slow. Blue-green algae have also been shown to increase strength and endurance by slowing muscle damage and delaying exhaustion when working out. This is the reason why many athletes choose to supplement with algae, like chlorella.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.