The marketing buzzwords “detox” and “cleanse” should typically be taken with a grain of salt. After all, it can be a real challenge to determine what’s actually helpful in supporting your body’s clearing processes. However, chlorella is the real deal in a *sea* of fakers. Keep reading to learn more about this single-celled green algae and the bountiful benefits of chlorella.
What is chlorella?
Native to the waters of Taiwan and Japan, chlorella is a type of algae and a green superfood. Chlorella is abundant in vitamins, minerals, proteins, and omega-3 fatty acids. It has a rigid cell wall that must be broken down in order to make its nutrients readily available to humans.
Note that chlorella shouldn’t be confused with spirulina, another alga touted for its health benefits.
A Healthier Detox
When it comes to detoxing, it’s important to make something clear. Quick fixes and fad cleanses that promise to clean your blood and magically remove toxins aren’t just generally ineffective, but can also be dangerous. While we can’t “clean our blood,” we can support the organs whose function it is to do so.
Similarly, downing pulverized celery and kale isn’t going to replace toxic substances with an internal vegetable garden. But still, getting in more greens and superfoods can be the right step in aiding your body’s natural detoxifying process.
Enter chlorella, which does exactly that. By supporting the body’s systems, chlorella helps make cleansing more efficient in a number of ways.
Benefits of Chlorella
1. Promotes Clear Skin
There’s evidence to suggest that chlorella may largely reduce the appearance of breakouts and improve skin quality. One hypothesis as to how this works is that the lipids in chlorella kill microorganisms that cause breakouts. It’s also possible that the chlorella’s fatty acids disrupt the pro-inflammatory cytokine response that leads to more breakouts. In sum, research supports the notion that clearer skin is one of the biggest chlorella benefits.
2. Helps Remove Heavy Metals
Another compelling possibility surrounding chlorella is its capacity to help the body remove heavy metals. It’s likely that chlorella is one of our more powerful chelators, meaning it bonds to metal ions in the body and incapacitates their chemical effects.
We also know that there are numerous compounds released into the atmosphere from nuclear power plants, which can compromise your health. Fortunately, however, a 2016 study shows that chlorella may have a substantial effect in helping remove even these compounds from the human body.
3. Supports Immunity + Nutrition
As if being the literal terminator of toxic substances wasn’t enough, chlorella may also help support your immune system. One study showed enhanced cytokine production, lending credence to the idea that chlorella may stimulate immune response.
Additionally, the nutrient density of chlorella is likely to help improve overall health. Finally, beyond the health benefits of chlorella, it serves as a nourishing food source.
How to Take Chlorella
You can take chlorella in both capsule and powder form. If you want to get creative, you can add chlorella powder to smoothies, sautéed vegetables, and even baked goods. There’s no definitive standard dose, so follow instructions on whichever chlorella supplement you take.
A Note About Sourcing
Part of what makes chlorella such a valuable health supplement is the very reason you need to be selective about its sourcing. Chlorella is incredibly sensitive to its environment. Just as it’ll pull metals and toxins from your body, it’ll also draw them from wherever it’s growing.
As a result, more so than other products, the best chlorella supplements will be non-GMO and/or organic from a reputable source.
Side Effects of Chlorella
While chlorella is considered to be generally safe, there are some reported side effects, which include diarrhea, nausea, gas, stool discoloration, and stomach cramping. It can also make your skin more sensitive to sun, so be sure to practice sun safety and regularly apply SPF.
If you’re allergic to molds, are immune-deficient, or have a sensitivity to iodine, it’s best to avoid chlorella. Lastly, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should also hold off on supplementing with chlorella, as there isn’t enough research to determine its safety for these groups.
We could go on about the benefits of chlorella for your health and beauty alike. But for now, we encourage you to supplement with this green superfood to see firsthand what this H2O-dwelling plant can do. Jump in—the water’s fine.