A SUPER FOOD FOR OPTIMUM HEALTH*
Chlorella is a "green food", a single-celled micro-algae (so called because it is a microscopic form of algae). It belongs to the phylum Chlorophyta. It is spherical in shape, about two to ten microns in size (similar in size to a human red blood cell). The name is derived from the Greek Chloros, meaning green, and the Latin diminutive suffix ella, meaning small.
Chlorella contains the green photosynthetic pigments chlorophyll-a and chlorophyll-b in its chloroplast. Through photosynthesis, it multiplies rapidly, requiring only carbon dioxide, water, sunlight, and a small amount of minerals to reproduce.
Chlorella can be considered a potential source of food and energy because its photosynthetic efficiency can reach as high as 8%, comparable to other highly efficient crops such as sugar cane.
Chlorella is high in protein and other essential nutrients. Www.naturalways.com/chlorella-nutritional-analysis.htm gives its approximate composition as:
Chlorella is a complete protein source with a content of up to 58%. Www.naturalways.com/chlorella-nutritional-analysis.htm compares the protein content of chlorella to other sources of protein as follows:
|Source of Protein||Per 100 grams|
It is also high in calories, fat and vitamins. It contains oils that are high in polyunsaturated fats. One analysis yielded the omega-3 essential fatty acid EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) at 40% of total lipids.
As well as the above listed content, chlorella also contains chlorophyll and a wide variety of phytochemicals. It would seem that it contains almost every nutrient required by the human body.
Chlorella is a very rich source of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is said to act as a cleansing agent on the body, and it aids in detoxification. It is also said to help remove heavy metals from the body, and to support liver function which allows the liver to do a better job of eliminating toxins from the body.
Chlorophyll is known (Dr J. Mercola) to:
- "Aid you in processing more oxygen
- Cleanse key elimination systems like your bowel, liver, and blood
- Help purify your blood and clear away toxins
- Aid in promoting optimal blood pressure
- Support elimination of moulds in the body
- Promote growth and repair of your tissues."
Chlorella is said to have the highest known source of chlorophyll, with nearly 10 times the amount of chlorophyll as that found in alfalfa.
Health Benefits of Chlorella
Chlorella is an alkali-forming food. The importance of a dominantly alkali diet is set out in my September 2005 newsletter Acid / Alkaline Balance - The Ideal Diet. It is recommended that 75%-80% of foods ingested should be alkali-forming foods for optimal health. Chlorella would assist in achieving this level.
As the result of the high chlorophyll content and the minerals, trace elements and vitamins present in chlorella, it has a wide range of health benefits. These include (Dr J.Mercola):
- "Boosting your immune system
- Improving your digestion
- Providing B vitamins from a non animal source
- Enhancing your ability to focus and concentrate
- Increasing your energy levels
- Balancing your body's pH
- Normalizing your blood sugar and blood pressure
- Reducing your cancer risk."
Chlorella is also an excellent source of complete amino acid protein which, as indicated previously, makes up a high percentage of the dried product (up to 58%).
Chlorella contains a large concentration of iron, 130mg /100gm, and it is therefore an excellent source of organic iron, especially when a supplement is required.
Chlorella has a unique ability to bind mercury, lead and cadmium and thus it has become increasingly popular as a heavy metal "detoxifier". Studies have shown that chlorella demonstrates a superior ability to (safely) draw these toxic metals from the gut and intestinal tract (where they tend to accumulate). Clinical studies on chlorella suggest effects including poly-chlorinated dibenzodioxins detoxification in humans and other animals, healing from radiation exposure in animals, and the ability to reduce high blood pressure, lower serum cholesterol levels, accelerate wound healing, and enhance immune function in humans. (Multiple references).
Dosage of Chlorella
Maintenance dose: 3-5 grams per day in divided doses.
Detoxification dose: 10 or more grams per day in divided doses.
It is claimed that there is no upper limit to the dose. A high dose may cause diarrhoea, so it is suggested that chlorella is introduced into the diet gradually, building up the dose to the desired level. It is recommended that it be taken before food to aid with digestion.
To quote Earl Mindell's Vitamin Bible: "Chlorella has been touted as the perfect whole food. Aside from being a complete protein source and containing all the B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, with the major minerals (with zinc and iron in amounts large enough to be considered supplementary), it has been found to improve the immune system, improve digestion, detoxify the body, accelerate healing, protect against radiation, aid in the prevention of degenerative diseases, help in treatment of Candida albicans, relieve arthritis pain and, because of its nutritional content, aid in the success of numerous weight loss programs."
*Copyright 2012: The Huntly Centre.
Disclaimer: All material in the huntlycentre.com.au website is provided for informational or educational purposes only. Consult a health professional regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations expressed herein, with respect to your symptoms or medical condition.
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