Chlorella (Chlorophyta sp.) is a genus of single-celled green algae belonging to the division Chlorophyta. It has a spherical shape, about 2 to 10 μm in diameter, and is without flagella. Since it has a hard cell wall that is indigestible to humans, it needs to be taken in powdered form for the benefits to be reaped.
Chlorella has amazing health benefits that have only been discovered relatively recently:
Packed with nutrients
Chlorella is called a superfood for many reasons, one of the being the high and diverse nutrient content. 50-60% of its cell mass is protein and it also contains all nine essential amino acids.
It's also rich in iron, vitamin C, magnesium, zinc, potassium, copper, calcium, folic acid, and other B vitamins.
Like other algae, it's also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, as well as fibers.
Rich in antioxidants
Chlorella contains several compounds that are considered antioxidants, including vitamin C, beta-carotene, lycopene, chlorophyll, and lutein.
These antioxidants help with removing free radicals that cause oxidative stress, which leads to many health issues and diseases.
Some of these antioxidants seem to reduce the production of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which drive many of the complications of diabetes.
There are studies that have shown that chlorella can help with increasing aerobic endurance in individuals taking daily supplements for four weeks.
At the end of the studies, subjects have shown a significantly improved ability to saturate their lungs with oxygen, which is a measure of endurance. This effect may be due to chlorella's branch-chain amino acid content.
There are some new potential applications of chlorella - aiding in body detox. Several studies have shown that it could help with binding and removing heavy metals and other harmful compounds from the body. Heavy metals and compounds like dioxide can, unfortunately, be found in food, but they can also reach the body through pollution or certain jobs, such as mining.
There are many other potential benefits of chlorella, some of them need deeper exploration, some have many studies underway. Some of these potential health benefits include immune system enhancement, blood cholesterol improvement, blood pressure regulation, blood sugar balancing, eye health, and liver health promotion.