Physical Health, Wellness / Self-Care

What is Chlorella and should I be drinking it?

Short answer: Yes.

words by: Natasha Marsh
Mar 4, 2022

As a new wellness gal, I have been learning about all the healing benefits of adaptogens, super herbs, and more recently, chlorella. I now add all these to my post-run smoothies, and relish in their affects. Chlorella has quickly become my favorite superfood supplement of the moment. Ahead, we break down all you need to know about chlorella, including the potential side effects and benefits.


What exactly is chlorella?

Chlorella is a green algae plant grown in freshwater (as opposed to being grown in seawater, like lettuce). Similar to spirulina, most of the chlorella we consume in the United States is grown in Japan or Taiwan. It is nutrient-dense and rich in vitamins, protein, omega-3s, iron, B12, calcium, antioxidants, and minerals.


What are the benefits of chlorella?

Packed with all the right proteins, antioxidants, fatty acids, and vitamins and minerals, chlorella helps the body process heavy metals, detox, and aids in weight loss.


Chlorella also helps the body rid itself of all the bad bacteria and viruses that comes from processed foods, the environment, or other elements. It binds to heavy metals and assists in detoxifying the body of all the negative toxins found in our food and environment that could disrupt the body’s balance, leading to diseases and illness.


In addition, chlorella acts as a protective layer for the body by strengthening the immune system. There are also some preliminary studies showing that the super ingredient could lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and manage blood sugars. And lastly, since it helps improve gut health, you can also lose or maintain a healthy weight when you consume chlorella.


Got it, how do you take chlorella?

It’s very important to only enjoy chlorella in a supplement, tablet, powder, or capsule, as taking it directly is too strong for the body to digest. Capsules and powder supplements are the easiest way to get the green in your diet. You could also add the powder version to your morning coffee or tea, smoothies, soups, and sauces.


And are there any side effects?

Sadly, there can always be too much of a good thing, and chlorella is no exception. Some people have claimed to experience abdominal discomfort when they first ingest chlorella. Similar to retinol, it’s best to start slowly. Introduce a small amount to your diet and see how you do. If you experience zero to minimal side effects, you can gradually work your way up to larger doses.

Photo via BBC GoodFood/pilipphoto