What is chlorella? Chlorella is a type of green, freshwater algae packed with immediately available very large amounts of chlorophyll, which is a vital nutrient when it comes to our health and bodies. It is a whole food, extremely rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, polysaccharides, and a ton of other beneficial compounds. Chlorella contains a whopping 60% of pure, easily digestible protein, and therefore is ranked as one of the highest sources of protein on earth. Chlorella contains more chlorophyll per gram than any other plant source.
The fibrous outer shell of the chlorella nucleus acts as a blood detoxifier by binding to pesticides and heavy metals, eliminating them completely from the body. Hilary Jacobson, in her book, "Mother Food for Breastfeeding Mothers," showed that chlorella can also help remove any mercury deposits in the body. Mercury can come from eating certain fish known to contain mercury, such as tuna, or from amalgam dental fillings as well as other environmental sources. Mercury is a heavy metal that destroys the nervous system over time. There’s more on this below…
Chlorella supports the optimum functioning and cleansing of the liver, which is the organ chiefly responsible for the general day-to-day body detoxification. A Japanese study showed that taking 4-6g of chlorella before consuming alcohol can prevent hangovers 96% of the time, even after a night of heavy drinking (* a note to my breastfeeding mommies: If you are planning on consuming or do currently consume a responsible amount of alcohol while breastfeeding, I highly recommend taking 10-15 chlorella tabs before having your weekly/bi-weekly glass of wine or beer!!! If you are a pregnant mom who has personally chosen to sip wine here and there during your pregnancy, which I am not suggesting, condoning, encouraging or otherwise supporting here, I would strongly encourage you to consider taking 10-15 chlorella tabs (or 3-6 grams) prior to consuming your wine.)
Since we’re on the note of breastfeeding, let me tell you new mommies how important chlorella is for you specifically. Breastfeeding provides your baby with a huge extra load of nutrients and boosts his/her immunity. The exact composition of breast milk changes with each feeding to adapt to your individual baby's needs. A study in Japan followed 35 breast-feeding mothers. Eighteen of them took chlorella supplements and were compared to the rest. Breast milk from mothers who supplemented with chlorella had higher concentrations of Immunoglobulin A (IgA), which is an antibody. These antibodies help prevent viruses, bacteria and fungus from creating infections (very important if you are doing an alternative vaccine schedule, or choosing not to vaccinate at this time). IgA, in particular, helps protect the surfaces of the body that are exposed to foreign substances like the nose, digestive tract, eyes, ears, saliva and tears. This is a big advantage to young babies. This same Japanese study showed that dioxins, a toxin that is prevalent in all modern human environments, is excreted to the baby through breast milk. The mother absorbs the toxin from her environment through her skin, respirations and diet. Chlorella supplementation actually decreased the dioxin amounts in the breast milk, making the milk safer for babies. Some people do have trouble tolerating chlorella. If this is you, then consider supplementing with an AFA blue-green or spirulina algae, or marine phytoplankton.
Chlorella rejuvenates the blood, cleanses the bowls and liver. Chlorella helps to protect against radiation, relieves inflammation, supports healthy weight loss via digestion and elimination (my postpartum mommies!), reinforces the immune system, and accelerates the healing process. For digestive detoxification and weight loss, chlorella can absorb toxins from the intestines, and in combination with its ability to favorably alter the bacterial flora content of the bowels, it is able to help relieve chronic constipation and eliminate intestinal gas. “Chlorella causes the lactobacilli bacteria in our intestines to multiply at four times the normal rate. Taken with meals, chlorella helps provide great digestion and more importantly, better assimilation of nutrients.” However, be warned that when you initially begin taking chlorella, you may experience some gas, cramping, constipation and/or diarrhea. Therefore I recommend slowly introducing chlorella into your diet, to avoid these side effects. And as with any supplement or superfood that I suggest and/or talk about, never over do anything. Take the recommend amounts found on packages or in your own personal research. Be your own educator! And please talk to your Naturopath, Pediatrician or General Practitioner before starting any new supplements.
“Chlorella has even been known to reduce some side effects (like fatigue) from chemotherapy treatment. It is able to do this because research suggests that chlorella is able to accelerate the recovery of developing immune system cells and restores the population of mature white blood cells (WBC’s). And there is a newly available strain of chlorella which contains a significant portion of the blue pigment phycocyanin (found in high amounts in AFA blue-green algae and spirulina) which helps the body produce more stem cells. When superfoods containing phycocyanin are consumed with superherbs such as reishi, maitake or chaga mushrooms, the immune response is significantly improved.”
As far as detoxification, chlorella is capable of removing alcohol from the liver in addition to the cleaning out of heavy metals, certain pesticides, herbicides and polychlorbiphenyls (PCB’s) from human tissue (which is why it is so strongly recommended for breastfeeding mothers, above).
Numerous research projects here in the US and in Europe indicate that chlorella can aid the body in breaking down persistent hydrocarbon and metallic toxins, specifically mercury (have you been vaccinated? Are you vaccinating your baby/children?), as well as the cadmium, arsenic, lead and DDT in addition to PCB. Complete elimination and detoxification of heavy metals or other chemical toxins in the blood can take anywhere from 3-6 months or more, depending on how much chlorella you are taking, and how contaminated your blood is.
Yet another amazing benefit of chlorella is its ability to increase our resistance to viral infections (are you choosing not to vaccinate your baby at this time? Or did you have your baby prematurely? Are you doing a delayed vaccine schedule?) and enhance our body’s ability to kill bacteria. For example: “Cytomegalovirus is a herpes-type virus that can cause serious illness in patients treated with immune-suppressing drugs. Mice treated with chlorella extract prior to introduction of this virus survived lethal infection doses. Chlorella extract decreased virus replication in the organs by 58-65% and the extract increased the activity of gamma interferon, which stimulated the NK (natural killer) cells to attack the virus.”
Lastly for now, I’ll mention the CGF (chlorella growth factor) that David Wolfe talks about. This is an amazing property which has scientists baffled around the world. “Chlorella is able to quadruple itself every twenty hours, growing faster than any food crop known to man. When chlorella is ingested by the human body, it dramatically increases the rate of rebuilding and healing in tissues, multiples the growth rate of the lactobacillus (good flora/bacteria) in the bowel, boosts the immune system, and fights free-radical damage. Chlorella also helps rebuild nerve tissue damage throughout the body and is excellent for treating degenerative brain and nerve disorders. This superfood is being used to help treat patients with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.”
There you have it. Chlorella is a must for our diets. Especially us pregnant and lactation women! What a rich and easily accessible source for so many good nutrients that provides such an outstanding array of benefits to our bodies and support immune system, not to mention its amazing detoxifying properites. Chlorella is super easy to find… You can order it online, find it in your local health food store, or in powder form to mix into your smoothies and superfood treats. I add it in wherever I can; smoothies, a pinch in superfood or raw treats I am making, you can even add a pinch to salad dressings, or just take the tabs (pretty easy). Now that you know, you have to do!
One of the most reasonable sources for Chlorella online:
References & Resources:
Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future –David Wolfehttp://www.amazon.com/Mother-Breastfeeding-Mothers-Hilary-Jacobson/dp/1589612299