Chlorella, a blue-green algae native to Taiwan and Japan, boasts some amazing health benefits. In fact, this little algae superfood is filled with phytonutrients that work to detox heavy metals from the body. Also, chlorella benefits include improved cardiovascular health, healthy hormone function, lower blood pressure levels, and lower cholesterol levels. Amazing, right? But while chlorella has many nutritional benefits, it’s important to remember that chlorella side effects can occur in some individuals.
1. Detoxes Heavy Metals
First, chlorella benefits the body by supporting the body’s detoxification processes. In fact, chlorella helps you detox by “chelating” or binding to heavy metals that can then be eliminated. It works by wrapping itself around stubborn environmental toxins, such as lead, cadmium, and mercury, to prevent them from being reabsorbed. Taking chlorella on a regular basis can help stop heavy metals from accumulating in the body and causing damage. (1)
2. Detoxes Radiation and Chemotherapy
Similarly, chlorella benefits include the ability to detox the body from radiation and chemotherapy damage. Both forms of cancer treatment take a harsh toll on the body, and the high protein content and nutrients in chlorella support the body during treatment. Also, chlorella has high levels of chlorophyll, which helps protect the body from ultraviolet radiation treatments, while removing radioactive particles from the body. (2)
3. Supports the Immune System
If you’ve tried chlorella, then this will come as no surprise. According to a 2012 study published in the Nutrition Journal, chlorella benefits the body by supporting the immune system. The study found that after eight weeks of chlorella intake, “natural killer” cell activity improved. The study also suggests that chlorella may help the immune system fight off illness and infection. (3)
4. Makes You Look Younger
Thanks to the antioxidants it contains, chlorella promotes a youthful appearance. Studies have shown that chlorella reduces oxidative stress caused by pollution, a poor diet, and stress. In addition, it naturally increases Vitamin A and Vitamin C levels in the body to help protect the cells and eliminate free radicals that can damage the skin and other parts of the body. (4)
5. Promotes Weight Loss
Another way chlorella benefits the body is by naturally promoting weight loss. Actually, weight loss is a side-benefit that happens naturally as your body becomes healthier. When you increase antioxidants and support detoxification, your body can move out many of the toxins it has put into fat storage. That’s right. Your body will take toxins out of your system and hide it away in fat cells to protect you. When you start to detox and add in powerful superfoods like chlorella, your body can release the toxins and the fat cells that were holding them. Chlorella also helps regulate hormones to improve metabolism and provide the body with energy.
6. Fights Cancer
Chlorella benefits include protection from cancer. Research has shown that chlorella can be taken preemptively to strengthen the immune system and remove heavy metals from the body, reducing the risk of cancer. As noted above, chlorella also helps fight cancer by reducing the negative side effects caused by chemotherapy and radiation. (5)
7. Lowers Cholesterol and Blood Sugar
Because of its strong antioxidant properties, it makes sense that chlorella benefits blood sugar and cholesterol levels, too. High cholesterol and high blood sugar can go hand-in-hand. Consuming chlorella on a daily basis can help reduce the risk of diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity and encouraging healthy cholesterol levels.
Chlorella Side Effects
Yes, chlorella side effects may occur in some individuals, including symptoms that may occur in any detoxification program. Possible chlorella side effects may include swelling of the face or tongue, acne, fatigue, lethargy, headaches, vertigo, and an upset stomach. If you are allergic to iodine, consult a health care professional before using chlorella.
If the amazing benefits of chlorella have you intrigued, check out its sister superfood, spirulina, too!