Do you get enough greens? Health experts are always stressing the importance of eating nutrient-rich greens. So how about adding algae to your diet?
Before you get too disgusted, we’re actually talking about taking it in supplement form. The algae, in this case, is called chlorella and it’s a powerhouse of health-boosting nutrition.
In fact, there are so many health benefits of chlorella, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. Check these out.
Chlorella Is Loaded with Antioxidants
Oxidation and oxidative stress can be harmful to the body and can cause chronic illness and disease.
Antioxidants are a well-known aid in fighting such diseases.
Chlorophyll, lycopene, lutein, vitamin C, and beta-carotene are highly respected oxidation fighters. And they just happen to be among the many antioxidants found in chlorella.
Some of these antioxidants appear to reduce the production of advanced glycation end products which can create complications for those with diabetes.
And chlorella supplements can also increase antioxidant levels in chronic cigarette smokers. This is good news since smokers tend to have a higher risk of oxidative damage.
It Promotes Heart and Kidney Health
Normal blood pressure relies on the health of your heart and kidneys. Chlorella supplements may just promote the health of these organs.
In one study, people with somewhat high blood pressure took four grams of chlorella each day for 12 weeks.
At the end of the study, those who took chlorella had measurably lower blood pressure readings than those who took a placebo.
In addition, chlorella supplements include potassium, calcium, omega-3s, and arginine which are all nutrients that help protect arteries from hardening.
Chlorella Boosts Immunity and Natural Healing
A study was conducted to see the effects of chlorella on patients with malignant brain tumors.
While chlorella obviously did not cure these patients, they did experience fewer instances of illness or infections than those who were not given the supplement.
And since chlorella is a natural chelator, it also helped to naturally flush out toxins associated with radiation and chemotherapy and reduce some of the harsh side effects of these treatments.
In a nutshell, chlorella provided these patients enhanced quality of life.
It Could Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Just as with the information above regarding cancer, it’s important to acknowledge that taking chlorella to manage your blood sugar is not advised as a sole treatment plan.
There needs to be more research.
But at this point, there have been numerous studies showing that taking chlorella for an extended amount of time lowered fasting blood sugar levels in both healthy individuals and those at high risk of lifestyle-related diseases.
Researchers also discovered that supplementing with chlorella improved blood sugar control and increased insulin sensitivity – particularly in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
So while chlorella cannot stand in alone to help lower blood sugar levels, it could be part of a larger overall treatment plan.
It Offers Nutrition
Because it’s so packed with nutrients, chlorella is often considered a superfood.
Exact nutrient content depends on growing conditions for the algae, the species used, and the way it’s processed. But the right combination of these factors can really pack a powerful nutritious punch.
The most surprising nutrient is protein. In fact, chlorella is made up of at least half protein. And since it contains all nine essential amino acids, it’s a complete protein source too.
Chlorella can also be a good source of iron, vitamin C, and vitamin B12. It also provides small amounts of calcium, zinc, potassium, magnesium, copper, folic acid, and other B vitamins.
Then there are the antioxidants and omega-3s we already discussed.
Chlorella Algae Aids in Detoxing
You’re probably familiar with at least some of the detox drinks and formulas on the market.
But have you ever heard of an algae detox?
It’s not unusual for people to have at least some small level of heavy metals in their bodies- typically from pollution. Though certain jobs do present a higher risk of exposure.
Whatever the case, chlorella has the ability to bind to heavy metals and remove them from the body. It can also help lower the number of harmful chemicals found in foods.
On such chemical is dioxin, which is a hormone disruptor that can contaminate animals in the food supply.
It Might Enhance Aerobic Endurance
There have not been extensive studies in this area.
It is known, however, that branched-chain amino acid can improve aerobic performance.
And since chlorella has these amino acids, they could help to saturate the lungs with oxygen during endurance exercises.
It May Improve Cholesterol
When it comes to improving blood lipid levels, chlorella has three key nutrients that could contribute to this.
It has niacin which is a B vitamin that’s known to lower cholesterol; carotenoids which have been shown to naturally lower cholesterol; and antioxidants which help to prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.
Since diet and exercise are often cited as ways to lower cholesterol levels, it seems that adding a chlorella supplement to your diet could be a big step in the right direction toward improving cholesterol.
Chlorella Assists with Regularity and Digestion
Chlorella is very fibrous. Especially if taken in large amounts.
Of course, in the case of supplements, those large amounts are compressed down to a more concentrated form.
But it has to be.
Because chlorella is so fiber-rich that the human body can’t digest it whole. It has to be consumed in a “broken cell wall” state.
Even so, there’s enough healthy fiber to improve regularity.
Plus, all this fiber makes for a much friendlier environment in the gut biome to foster more probiotic growth.
And with more probiotics comes improved digestion.
Are You Sold on the Health Benefits of Chlorella?
It’s amazing that something like algae could boost your health and performance in so many ways.
But it’s clear that there are many health benefits of chlorella. So why not see what it does for you?
And for more great articles, keep checking back with our regularly updated diet and fitness blog. There’s always something new to learn.