Reasons You Should Eat Blue-Green Microalgae

If you are looking for a superfood that has benefits for the whole body, comes in a convenient and powdered supplement, is rich in protein and rich in phytonutrients, then look no further than Spirulina and Chlorella. These algae are cousins ​​that have similar – but different – ​​health benefits and are well worth adding to your daily routine.

If you’re not fond of leafy greens or don’t get enough of them in your diet, spirulina or chlorella may be beneficial (although fresh greens are irreplaceable). When you mix it into a smoothie, you’ll hardly notice it, but you’ll benefit from all of its green benefits.

Chlorella is a blue-green unicellular microalgae native to Japan and Taiwan that is an excellent source of amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, phosphorous, biotin, magnesium, B vitamins, beta-carotene, and chlorophyll. Three tablespoons (about one ounce) of chlorella powder provides 16 grams of protein, 287 percent of the RDA of vitamin A, 202 percent of iron, 133 percent of zinc, and 71 percent of vitamin B2. And 33 percent is vitamin B3, and 22 percent is magnesium.

(Editor’s note: Many people have too much iron in their blood, which can cause adverse health effects. Beware if you eat processed foods fortified with iron, high iron in well water, or take a multivitamin that includes iron .]

What is spirulina?

Like chlorella, spirulina is a single-celled, blue-green microalgae that is rich in protein (more than chlorella), has a detoxifying agent, and contains amazing levels of nutrients, including omega-3s, iron, magnesium, copper, and several B vitamins. It has been called “the single most nutritious food on the planet.”

Three tablespoons (21 grams) of dried spirulina contains 12 grams of protein, 33 percent of the RDA of vitamin B1 (thiamine), 45 percent of vitamin B2 (riboflavin), and 12 percent of niacin. It is 62 percent copper, and 33 percent iron, as well as good amounts of magnesium, manganese, potassium and omega-3 fatty acids.

The use of chlorella and spirulina has many health benefits. Here are some of the highlights.

Detoxification of heavy metals and radiation

Chlorella has the ability to stick to toxins in the body, including cadmium, lead, mercury, and uranium, and prevent their absorption. These and other heavy metals can enter the body through food (such as fish), mercury dental fillings, air pollutants, impacted water, paint, environmental factors, and vaccines. The chlorophyll in chlorella can also protect against damage from UV treatment. Regular intake of chlorella can help prevent heavy metals from accumulating in the body and eliminate radioactive particles.

Promote gut health and digestion

Spirulina and Chlorella both support and promote healthy digestion and an environment for beneficial bacteria thriving in the gut. A healthy gut in turn supports an optimally functioning immune system.

Enhance immune function

Korean researchers say cells of the immune system known as natural killer cells are getting a boost from chlorella. Other research has shown that individuals with brain tumors who took chlorella had fewer respiratory infections and flu-like illnesses than those who didn’t take the supplement.

slow aging

Who does not like this feature? Spirulina contains a successful combination of carotenoids and the enzyme SOD (superoxide dismutase, a powerful antioxidant), which has been shown to be beneficial for skin health by improving age spots, acne, rashes and eczema.

Research published in a clinical laboratory article indicated that chlorella significantly reduces oxidative stress, a major factor associated with aging. Oxidative stress results from poor diet, pollution and stress. Microalgae also naturally increases the levels of glutathione, vitamin A and vitamin C in the body, which in turn get rid of cell-damaging free radicals.

Helps lose weight

Chlorella facilitates weight loss in a number of ways, including regulating hormones, improving circulation, stimulating greater energy levels, reducing body fat, eliminating toxins, and boosting metabolism. In a Japanese study, the authors found that chlorella supplementation led to a “significant decrease in body fat percentage” among healthy adults and those at risk for lifestyle diseases.

fight cancer

Taking chlorella supplements may help fight cancer by boosting immune system function, removing toxic heavy metals from the body, and boosting the activity of T cells (immune cells that fight off abnormal cells).

As a plant-based protein alternative

Spirulina and chlorella are better sources of complete protein than red meat and most vegetable proteins. In fact, beef contains 22 percent complete protein and lentils contain 26 percent, while spirulina contains about 65 to 71 percent protein and chlorella contains 58 percent protein.

Cardiovascular health support

Spirulina has a special cellular structure consisting of mucopolysaccharides, which is easy to digest. This feature is the reason for the algae’s ability to lower triglycerides and cholesterol and thus support cardiovascular health.

The authors of one recent study reported that overweight adults with high blood pressure who took spirulina daily for three months showed improvements in blood pressure and endothelial function, as well as in weight and body mass index, all of which have an effect on cardiovascular health.

How to buy and take spirulina and chlorella

Both supplements are available in powder, tablet, and capsule form. The recommended form is powder, as it is easy to add to smoothies and liquids. Because chlorella cell walls are challenging to digest, you should look for supplements that read “chlorella cell wall cracking,” which means your body will be able to absorb the supplement more easily.

The suggested preventive and curative doses of spirulina for adults are 6 to 10 grams per day and 11 to 20 grams per day, respectively. For chlorella, it’s 3 to 4 grams per day and 5 to 7 grams per day, respectively.


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Deborah Mitchell is a freelance health writer who is passionate about animals and the environment. She has authored, co-authored and co-authored over 50 books and thousands of articles on a wide range of topics. This article was originally published on


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