The chlorella is a green microalgae that has high nutritional value, is rich in fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals and chlorophyll. Not for nothing, it has become one of the most consumed food supplements in the world. Therefore, in this article, you will understand everything about the benefits of this algae and find out how to buy the ideal supplement for you.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The best Chlorella: Our Picks
- 4 Buying Guide
- 4.1 What is chlorella?
- 4.2 What are the nutritional properties of chlorella?
- 4.3 What are the benefits of chlorella?
- 4.4 Does chlorella lose weight?
- 4.5 How to consume chlorella and what is the recommended dosage?
- 4.6 What are the side effects and contraindications of chlorella?
- 4.7 What is the difference between chlorella and spirulina?
- 5 Purchase Criteria: What you should look at when buying chlorella
- The consumption of chlorella helps regulate the intestine, and protect and strengthen the immune system, preventing disease.
- Furthermore, chlorella strengthens the bones, helps the brain function properly, prevents hypertension and lowers cholesterol.
- Supplementation with chlorella can also help in the weight loss process.
The best Chlorella: Our Picks
Starting to take a supplement always requires some care. But the main one is information. Before buying chlorella you need to consider your goal and your health condition. To help you clear up all your doubts about chlorella, we have created this Buying Guide. Here you will have access to the main information about this food supplement.
What is chlorella?
Chlorella, or chlorella, is a freshwater microalgae. The story goes that it was discovered by the Japanese, precisely because of the traditional custom of consuming algae in their diet. Because of this, chlorella became known for promoting a feeling of well-being in the long term. This is because chlorella has a high nutritional value and is rich in fibre, protein, iron, iodine and vitamins B and C. In addition, chlorella, as its name indicates, has a high concentration of chlorophyll. So much so that this is the algae with the highest amount of chlorophyll currently known.
Because of its nutritional value, this seaweed is indicated to improve and stimulate the immune system and combat gastrointestinal problems and degenerative diseases. Furthermore, chlorella is highly recommended for vegetarians and vegans because it is high in protein. But it is important to note that the benefits of chlorella are only obtained when it is consumed in supplement form, since, according to some experts, the algae in natura is not digested by the intestine.
What are the nutritional properties of chlorella?
As we have seen, chlorella is an alga whose nutritional properties are very rich and, therefore, beneficial to the health of our organism.
Approximately 60% of chlorella is made up of proteins. And the fact is that proteins, which are formed by amino acids, are essential for the construction and maintenance of our organs and tissues. And the best part: chlorella contains eight essential amino acids (isoleucine, lysine, phenylalanine, methionine, threonine, tryptophan, valine, histidine).
Iron and Vitamin C
Chlorella is also considered a good source of iron. This is because it can provide between 6% and 40% of your daily requirement of this mineral. In addition, this seaweed is a source of vitamin C, a substance that helps the body absorb iron.
This microalgae is also capable of providing our body with a wide variety of antioxidants.
Other vitamins and minerals
Chlorella also provides magnesium, zinc, copper, potassium, calcium, folic acid and other B vitamins, which are vital for our health.
As with other types of seaweed, chlorella also has omega-3s in its composition. Omega-3 is a powerful anti-inflammatory and helps to reduce the risk of arthritis and skin ageing.
As we have seen, chlorella is a very rich source of fibre. Fibre aids good digestion, and supports good bacteria in the gut.
Chlorella is known as the "astronaut pill". This is because it is already being used in Nasa tests as a possible food for space travel (1).
But despite having so many nutritional benefits, the fact is that the nutritional composition of chlorella varies from one food supplement to another. Still, it is possible to have a general notion of its nutritional values. Check out the table below.
|Components||Amount in 100g of Chlorella|
What are the benefits of chlorella?
With so many vitamins, minerals and nutrients, consuming chlorella provides several health benefits. Briefly, we have listed below the main benefits that consuming chlorella offers to our body. Take a look:
- It promotes the gain of muscle mass;
- Prevents anaemia and cramps
- Improves the health of the skin and hair, stimulating the production of collagen and preventing wrinkles
- Reduces inflammation
- Detoxifies the body;
- Reduces LDL cholesterol
- Controls high bloodpressure
- Helps control blood sugar
- Healswounds, ulcers and hemorrhoids.
Does chlorella lose weight?
The fact is that no food supplement alone is able to lead to weight loss. As with other supplements, there must be a set of factors for you to lose weight effectively and healthily.
The main thing is to combine a balanced diet with constant and adequate physical exercise. With this, chlorella can play an important role in the weight loss process. As it is rich in fibres, this alga generates a feeling of satiety, which leads to a lower consumption of food, especially sweets.
How to consume chlorella and what is the recommended dosage?
The most common way to consume chlorella is as a food supplement, which can be in tablet or powder form. When in powder form, for example, you can add chlorella to natural juices, water or vitamins. It is recommended to start consuming Chlorella gradually, after meals. And, although there is no single daily dose, experts suggest that consumption should not exceed 10 grams per day. Still, we suggest that you consult a nutritionist or doctor before you start supplementing with chlorella. Only a specialist will be able to recommend the right dose for you.
What are the side effects and contraindications of chlorella?
Like all supplements, chlorella must also be consumed with balance. The fact is that too much chlorella can cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, itching and even skin rashes.
Furthermore, although there are no severe contraindications to chlorella, health professionals warn that not everyone should consume this algae. Pregnant and breastfeeding women, children and people with compromised immune systems are particularly concerned. In this case, it is necessary to consult a nutritionist before considering the intake of chlorella.
What is the difference between chlorella and spirulina?
Not infrequently when you go to buy the chlorella supplement you will also come across another substance, spirulina. Although the two are similar, it is important that you understand the difference between them. The first difference is that only chlorella is an algae. Spirulina is categorised as a cyanobacterium, meaning it is a micro-organism that feeds itself through photosynthesis. Not to mention that chlorella is green in colour, while spirulina is blue. But they also have different nutritional profiles. Although both have a high protein content in their composition, the fact is that spirulina has even more vitamin B12.
Spirulina is also richer in essential fatty acids, both omega-3 and omega-6, than chlorella. On the other hand, chlorella, as we have seen, has more chlorophyll and high levels of beta-carotene.
In short, spirulina is best known for providing energy and strength to the body, health for skin, hair and nails, and protection against ageing.
Chlorella stands out for its power to eliminate impurities from the body and promotes cell renewal. Therefore, it is often recommended that the consumption of these two supplements occurs together.
Purchase Criteria: What you should look at when buying chlorella
If you have come this far, you already know the wonders that chlorella can do for your health. But when it comes time to buy this food supplement, several doubts may arise. After all, besides the guarantee of quality and efficiency, you need to choose the one that will actually deliver the expected results. Therefore, the first factor you should take into account before buying chlorella is to make sure that the supplement is approved by the National Health Surveillance Agency, Anvisa. In addition, we recommend that you analyse other equally important criteria. They are:
Below, we will explain in detail how to analyse each of these criteria.
Before you hit the hammer and buy your chlorella, check the composition of the supplement. Here you can choose to consume chlorella pure or combined with another substance. According to experts, it is ideal to opt for chlorella in its pure form. And in this way, make sure that there are no other substances in the supplement's formula. However, as we have seen, it is possible that you may prefer to complement the benefits of this algae as occurs with the supplement that mixes chlorella and spirulina, for example.
Form of consumption
Next, take into account the way you will consume chlorella. You can choose to take it in capsule or powder form. The choice here is very personal. But be aware of what is the most practical and comfortable way to consume it. It is not uncommon for some people to feel uncomfortable when ingesting pills, and in this case, the powdered option is the most recommended.
On the other hand, chlorella in tablet or capsule form ensures more convenience when it comes to consuming, as you can use it anytime and anywhere.
Also take into consideration the dosage, which will vary greatly according to the marked manufacturer. Note the recommended amount of capsules and also the dose in milligrams. To give you an idea, in general, you will find chlorella supplements whose recommended intake can range from 3 to 20 capsules per day. As chlorella is not a medicine, the dosage will depend on factors such as weight, age and medical conditions. To get it right, consult a dietician.
Finally, evaluate the cost-effectiveness according to the time you intend to consume the chlorella supplement. This way, it is important to consider the amount of capsules or powder that comes in the package. (Featured image source: Lukas Gojda/ 123rf.com)
NASA. (2019). Better Life Support Systems for Space Travel. [online][Accessed 5 Dec. 2019].