I’m going to start with one premise: Food is medicine. Everything we put into our bodies has an effect, and we can either support our health or diminish it. There are a number of superfoods out there that have awesome health benefits, like avocados for cancer prevention and blueberries for antioxidants, but what about super supplements?

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While there are many to choose from, Chlorella in particular is an absolute powerhouse. All natural and completely safe for consumption, it is a freshwater blue-green algae which boosts energy, supports fat loss, improves skin, and helps detox heavy metals like lead and mercury from the body. Chlorella gets it rich green colour because of the high concentration of chlorophyll, and it comes in both powder and pill form, making it easy to include into your routine.

I’ve been taking 4-5 of these little green guys every day since mid-January and I can honestly see and feel a major difference in my health.

Chlorella is similar to spirulina but even more beneficial because it has shown to be an immune booster and it increases good bacteria in the GI tract, which helps treat ailments such as ulcers, colitis, and Crohn’s disease. It has even proven to help treat constipation, fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

In Japan, Chlorella has been used to treat cancer and help protect the body from the effects of radiation treatment. It supports the entire body’s hormonal function and aids in detoxification by surrounding heavy metals and preventing them from absorbing into the body. I wasn’t kidding when I said it’s probably the only supplement you need to take.

Eating enough nutritionally dense foods, like leafy greens, to meet your recommended daily intake of vegetables ( 5-7 servings a day) can be tough sometimes, and juicing them can be pretty time consuming. Taking Chlorella definitely helps support a healthy diet, filling in the gaps on those days when eating all the right things just isn’t feasible.

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1 ounce or 3g of it contains: 16g protein, 287% Vitamin A RDA, 71% Vitamin B2 RDA, 33% Vitamin B3 RDA, 202% Iron RDA, 22% Magnesium RDA, and 133% Zinc RDA. Chlorella contains 18 amino acids (including all the essential ones) and various other minerals. It’s no wonder it is ranked as one of the top 10 nutritious foods on the planet; per gram, it actually blows kale, spinach, and broccoli out of the water.

5 Benefits of Chlorella:

1. Heavy Metal Detox

We all have metals in our bodies. From the foods we eat (especially fish) to the fillings in our teeth, vaccines, and deodorants, numerous foods and products contain metals that go into our bodies. Regular consumption of Chlorella helps to keep heavy metals from accumulating in our body’s soft tissues and organs in the first place. (1,2)

2. Immune System Support

A study conducted in 2012 in the Nutrition Journal saw that after 8 weeks of Chlorella intake, ‘natural killer’ cell activity improved. Healthy individuals saw their immune systems respond well to Chlorella supplements. (3)

3. Look Younger

A study published in the journal Clinical Laboratory revealed that Chlorella greatly reduces oxidative stress. Caused by pollution, stress, and poor diet, it is this phenomenon which causes our skin to age prematurely. More research still needs to be done on the effects of Chlorella in this regard, but preliminary results suggest it can actually slow down the aging process. Because it naturally increases levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, and glutathione in our bodies, which help eliminate free-radicals and protect cells, it makes our skin look younger.(4)

4. Weight Loss

At some point in our lives we will or have tried to lose some weight, and I think we all know how challenging it can be. In a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, researchers note that “Chlorella intake resulted in noticeable reductions in body fat percentage, serum total cholesterol, and fasting blood glucose levels.” It does this by helping to regulate hormones, improve circulation, and steady metabolism. In general, when we lose weight we also lose toxins, but the problem is we then reabsorb them. Chlorella’s ability to surround the toxins and heavy metals that are in our bodies helps facilitate their elimination and also prevents their reabsorption.(5)

5. Blood Sugar and Cholesterol

Type 2 Diabetes and high cholesterol are two issues which affect millions of people around the world, and can often be attributed to lifestyle — poor diet, chronic stress, or lack of sleep are all major culprits here.  A study conducted on people with high risk factors found that doses of 8,000 mg of Chlorella per day (divided into 2 doses) helped lower cholesterol and blood glucose levels. Researchers observed first a decline in cholesterol levels, and then the improvement in blood glucose, and concluded that Chlorella activates a number of genes at the cellular level that improve insulin sensitivity, encouraging a healthy balance.  (6,7)

Consumption

Chlorella’s tough exterior cellular walls are difficult to digest, and a significant amount of research has gone into optimizing our ability to digest it effectively. When purchasing a Chlorella supplement, be sure to buy “cracked cell wall Chlorella,” which can actually be absorbed by the body properly.

Side Effects

There can be some side effects to taking chlorella but are mainly due to detoxification. Some of the symptoms include swelling of the face or tongue sensitivity to sunlight, digestive upset, acne, fatigue, lethargy, headaches, vertigo, and shaking.

Studies:

1.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20016697

2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12781705

3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3511195/

4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23865357

5. http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/jmf.2006.0180

6.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18800884

7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24331771

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-907-chlorella.aspx?activeingredientid=907&activeingredientname=chlorella

http://draxe.com/7-proven-chlorella-benefits-side-effects/


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