I’ve been spending a lot of time this week looking into the supplement called chlorella. As a result, I’ve often had the Cruella De Vil song running through my head. They sound alike, right?
Fun fact: The Replacements did a cover of Cruella De Vil (though it was called Cruella DeVille on the track listing) as part of a compilation album of modern interpretations of Disney songs back in 1988 and I thought it was THE MOST AMAZING THING IN THE WORLD. The album was called Stay Awake and I have a copy of it around here somewhere. Bonus: The version I’ve linked to is way better than the one on that album.
But, back to the much nicer and more humane topic at hand…CHLORELLA.
It is similar to spirulina in flavour and colour. It’s even similar in nutrient content. I used to take spirulina regularly to ensure that I was getting vitamin B12 – that’s what we did with vegetarians in the late 80s – but then discovered that I was getting all the nutrients I needed so I traded it in for some other supplement, I’m sure.
Chlorella is nutrient-dense, often referred to as a superfood (what isn’t?) and is readily available in powder, capsule or tablet form. I found all three options on the shelf of my go to Whole Foods. Since I don’t drink a smoothie every single day, I opted for the tablet form which was made by Vega, a brand to which I’m loyal for my protein and workout supplement needs.
There are many reasons to consider taking chlorella, but what brought me to trying it out is its unique ability to bind to heavy metals and flush them out of the body. It’s hard to avoid the topic of heavy metals these days, most commonly though our food consumption and dental care (metal fillings.) Our immediate thoughts go to absorbing mercury from eating fish, but did you know that arsenic found in rice has been a red hot health topic lately? Well, it has.
Helpful hint: Rinse your rice thoroughly before cooking and cook it in excess water, then drain off leftover water when it’s done to reduce the amount that you and your family might be consuming.
When you take chlorella regularly, it latches itself onto these toxins and removes them from the body. It is said to combat the negative effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatments, lower cholesterol and blood sugar, help with detoxing the body, weight loss and energy gain.
Graphic originally found here
but, what is chlorella?
Chlorella is a single-cell green algae that is grown in fresh water. Most of it derives from Japan, China, Taiwan and Korea. Chlorella’s ability to multiply four times in twenty hours makes it one of the fastest growing organisms in existence. It is regaled for being a rich source of vitamins B, C, D, E, K, and minerals phosphorous, calcium, zinc, magnesium and iron. It is high in protein and contains more chlorophyll than any other plant known to us at this time.
how do i choose a chlorella product?
Here are a the two tips I picked up through my research…
- Be sure to select a product that has been processed for proper human consumption. The cell walls of the chlorella must have been treated in order for you to get the most out of the product. The packaging will mention something like broken or cracked calls to indicate that it’s what you’re looking for.
- Be careful where your chlorella is sourced. Ironically, this great detox agent can sometimes be retoxing instead. Many reports suggest buying chlorella that originates in Japan, but this report found that the cleanest product comes from Taiwan. Unfortunately, it can be hard to find in North America because of its hefty price tag.
I chose to start taking chlorella in tablet form, but if you want to try it as a powder, here’s a great smoothie recipe. If your loyalty and/or familiarity lies with spirulina (though, why choose?) here’s a more complete comparison between the two. And, for your reading pleasure, here’s an older post about chlorella in general that I mostly enjoyed for the opportunity to discover its origin, The Full Helping.
Have you taken chlorella before? How would you use it in, say, a smoothie?