Here are two great reasons to write about chlorella. 1. This superfood is the greenest of greens. 2. It’s a great detoxifier and thus, if you are into green beer, you might benefit from a dose of it the morning.
Chlorella is a single-celled, fresh water algae that is sold in dried form as a powder you can add to water or a smoothie, or put into capsules to be taken as a supplement. And let me tell you, this is one food deserving of the name superfood.
Interest in chlorella first appeared in the late 1930’s when researchers were looking for a cheap, nutrient-dense whole food source to accommodate the expected massive population boom to follow in decades to come. Because of expected food shortages, chlorella looked like it could become a viable primary food source for the population since meat is costly and took up too much space. Why was it such an attractive food in this context?
First off, chlorella is basically a complete food. It is a complete protein, offering all nine essential amino acids. For this reason it is a great food for vegans. It has has 38 times the protein density of soy beans! In fact, by weight, it is about 45 percent to 50 percent protein. It also contains essential fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
But where it really shines is its effect on disease. Chlorella has been found to have anti-tumor properties when fed to cancerous mice. Another study found it had the ability to lower blood pressure. Other studies have have shown that nursing mothers supplementing chlorella have less of the environmental pollutants called dioxins in their breast milk, as well as having higher levels of IgA antibodies, strengthening the infant’s immune system.
Chlorella has been found helpful in healing from radiation exposure as well as accelerating the healing of wounds and enhancing the function of the immune system. Recent research out of Japan has suggests that it is effective at improving the symptoms of linked to heart disease and type 2 diabetes known as metabolic syndrome. It has been found to help reduce blood sugar levels, reduce body fat and blood cholesterol.
Chlorella is green for the same reason vegetables are green; because of the presence of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is what makes photosynthesis possible, allowing the plants or algaes to feed off of sunlight and carbon dioxide. Luckily for us, chlorophyll is a fantastic source of magnesium. Daily chlorella consumption is a great way to make sure you’re getting enough of this important mineral. And, this green superfood is also thought to be a great detoxifier. It has chelating properties, meaning that it will attach to toxic products in our digestive tract and help to eliminate them from the body.
If you want to find some of this fantastic superfood, check your local health food store or try finding it online. Note, those who are taking the prescription drug warfarin are not recommended to take chlorella.
The Healthy Foodie is Doug DiPasquale