Our mums have been telling us to eat more greens, and by that they mean veggies - leafy green vegetables, peas, or long beans. Those green things! However, there’s a other kind of green thing that’s taking the (super) food world by storm. And it’s a form of single celled green algae.
Chlorella is an algae that belongs to the division Chlorophyta. It comes from the word chloros, meaning green, and ella, meaning small. It is jam packed with nutritious goodness and is 45% protein. It also has 20% fat, 20% carbohydrate, 5% fibre, and 10% minerals and vitamins.This isn’t the first algae to be inducted into the super foods category.
You’ve all heard about the benefits of Spirulina. It’s an algae that grows in high levels of sunlight. It’s one of the most nutrient dense superfoods. If you’re curious to find out more about it, we’ve written about Spirulina here.
These two are as different as night and day. Spirulina takes little time to digest (having no cell wall) and is an great source for instant energy, protein, and vitamins. Chlorella has one of the strongest cell walls in the plant kingdom so it is digested slowly making way for its high chlorophyll content to detoxify your body.
Chlorella has a very impressive nutritional profile. It has as much as 45% up to 60% protein and contains all of the nine essential amino acids. It is a good source of iron and vit C (which helps you absorb the iron). Aside from that, it has B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, copper, potassium, and calcium. It’s an excellent source of fibre and an even better source of omega-3. Chlorella has a hard cell wall that we can’t digest so it has to be taken as a supplement to take advantage of its amazing benefits.
Chlorella contains a good line up of antioxidants like, chlorophyll, vitamin C, beta-carotene, lycopene, zeaxanthin, and lutein. All of these help reduce oxidative damage. Antioxidants can also help fight chronic diseases. Zeaxanthin and lutein are two carotenoids that help improve eye health and reduce the risk of macular degeneration. The rest of the antioxidants are great for keeping cells healthy and fighting free radicals.
One of the most important benefits of Chlorella is its ability to detoxify your body. Anyone who’s ever had a mercury dental filling, has eaten seafood, has been vaccinated, has been exposed to pesticides or has been exposed to radiation, would have traces of heavy metals inside their bodies. This is all of us.
Chlorella works by attaching itself to these heavy metals (lead, cadmium, mercury, uranium, etc.) and keeps them from being reabsorbed. Chlorella can also help combat radiation damage. Isn't it such a powerful little green thing?