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It' s small, green and nutrient-rich. What are we talking about?

Exactly! About the super algae chlorella! 

Have you ever heard of chlorella? But do you really know what it is?

In today's article, we want to give the algae the attention it deserves! We'll clarify what chlorella actually is, how it grows and what benefits it can bring us.

Are you ready for more GREEN in your life? Then let's get started!

What is Chlorella?

It's amazing really, but this algae, which has only gained such popularity in recent years, is actually one of the oldest plants on the planet. In fact, chlorella has been around for 2 million years. 

It is a unicellular green alga that gets its green colour from chlorophyll. 

Chlorella doesn't need much to grow and reproduce: carbon dioxide, sunlight, some nutrients and water. That' s all!

The name chlorella comes from the Greek word chloros, meaning green, and the Latin word ella, meaning small. The alga is not visible to the naked eye because it is a microscopic and very complex single-celled organism. It has a diameter that can vary between 2 and 10 micrometres.

Small but mighty! Chlorella scores with a unique combination of valuable ingredients for the human organism.

How does chlorella grow?

Chlorella is a freshwater alga. It was discovered in 1890 and is divided into three varieties: Chlorella vulgaris, Chlorella lobophora and Chlorella sorokiniana. Chlorella vulgaris is currently the most commonly cultivated variety, as it is best suited for algae farms.

Historically, chlorella was first produced and consumed in Asia, mainly in Japan. Very quickly, Taiwan became the world's leading producer.

Nowadays, however, chlorella is also cultivated in Europe in laboratories and greenhouses under strictly controlled conditions. 

Chlorella occurs naturally in the lakes and rivers of Southeast Asia and needs water, warmth and above all a lot of sunlight to grow.

Since World War II, chlorella has been studied very thoroughly scientifically. For a long time it was assumed that chlorella could be the answer to the rapidly growing world population and its need for proteins.

The reason for this was that chlorella only needs water and sunlight to grow and is very rich in amino acids. In addition, chlorella provides a large nutritional value per square metre, which is an important criterion when selecting food sources to feed the world's population.

However, it turned out that processing chlorella to make it suitable for mass consumption by humans was too costly.

In order to absorb the nutrients from chlorella, the tough cell wall must first be destroyed. This process is quite expensive, which ultimately makes chlorella not an affordable protein source suitable for mass production.

What are the benefits of chlorella?

Chlorella's impressive nutrient profile has led some to call it a "superfood". It is not only convincing because of the high amount of macronutrients and micronutrients, however. Chlorella is especially fascinating because of its detoxifying and body-cleansing effects. Here you will find 10 advantages that chlorella offers:

1. Fantastic source of protein

Chlorella is 50-60% protein and contains all 9 essential amino acids, making the algae a so-called complete protein! It is probably one of the most protein-rich edible "plants" around. The biological value of chlorella is very high at 75 to 88 percent. This means that so many percent of the protein it contains can be converted into the body's own protein.

2. Antioxidants for anti-aging

The green plant pigment chlorophyll makes chlorella a powerful antioxidant. No plant contains more chlorophyll! The chlorophyll contained in chlorella increases the protection as well as the regenerative capacity of every single cell in the body. 

3. Rich in minerals

Chlorella is a true multi-talent! It provides you with a multitude of minerals: Iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, potassium, calcium, folic acid. Regular intake of chlorella provides you with the best possible supply of the listed minerals.

4. Valuable vitamin supplier

Chlorella contains vitamin C & B vitamins, which can ensure healthy skin, hair and nails. With around 100 micrograms per 100 grams, chlorella contains a particularly high amount of vitamin B12 (cobalamin) that can be used by the body, which is otherwise only found in animal products. The alga is one of the few plant sources of vitamin B12. 5. 

5. Omega-3 fatty acids

Chlorella consists of 10 percent fat, especially omega-3 fatty acids. Just 3 grams of chlorella provide 100 mg of omega-3. Conscious intake of omega-3 fatty acids can improve cholesterol levels and prevent cardiovascular disease,

6. Detox of heavy metals

Heavy metals are naturally occurring elements found in the earth's crust.

They enter the human body through air, water and food. We are exposed to heavy metals every day. Chlorella can help your body to better deal with the exposure. On the one hand, chlorella algae can mobilize toxins and heavy metals from the connective tissue, and on the other hand, by binding these toxins to their cell walls, they can also cause them to be excreted.

Chlorella binds heavy metals, including some of the most toxic such as lead, cadmium, mercury and uranium, preventing them from being absorbed into the bloodstream.  

 7. Revitalizing & energizing effect

Chlorella stimulates the production of red blood cells and thickens the muscles. This is why it is especially appreciated by athletes. It also helps fight fatigue and stress. Iron and vitamin B12 play a role in the formation of red blood cells. In this metabolic process, vitamin B12 has a function in cell division. In order for your body to produce enough red blood cells, an adequate supply of vitamin B12 is important. Red blood cells transport oxygen to your organs and muscles. They are therefore not only essential for your muscles to work, but also vital for your life.

8. Regulates intestinal activity

The intestines have important functions. It is an important part of the immune system and also an important part of the nervous system. If the stomach or intestinal function is disturbed, various complaints can occur.  

Microalgae seem to have a positive effect on the intestinal flora. In studies, an increase in lactobacilli was recorded when Chlorella vulgaris was taken. These regulate the pH value in the intestine through the production of lactic acid, thus promoting digestion and also protecting against potential pathogens.

Chlorella has a positive effect on the intestinal mucosa and its barrier function. This prevents bacteria, bacterial toxins or other harmful substances from entering the bloodstream.

 9. Protection of the heart

Chlorella tends to lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol. Cholesterol is a fat-like substance in the blood. A distinction is made between LDL and HDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is the bad cholesterol and HDL is the good one. High LDL levels are associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. High HDL levels, on the other hand, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. It is therefore important for good health that LDL cholesterol remains below or at an acceptable level. Chlorella can help lower bad LDL. 10.

10. Can strengthen the immune system

Your immune system helps keep you healthy by fighting off infections. 

It is a complex system made up of several mechanisms and cells that kick into gear when an invader enters your body. Chlorella has been shown in several studies to boost immune function by increasing the activity of different parts of the immune system.

Chlorella has definitely earned its title as a power algae

Chlorella convinces with its high nutritional value. It provides you with vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids. Taking the freshwater algae can have a positive effect on your intestines, heart, immune system and hair, skin & nails. 

Besides chlorella, the algae spirulina is also very popular. To learn more about the benefits and effects of spirulina, read our article "5 reasons why you should include spirulina in your diet".

 At Aavalabs we offer a dietary supplement that combines the two algae Chlorella and Spirulina. OurSPIRULINA & CHLORELLA COMPLEX provides you with protein, vitamin B1, iron, phytonutrients, iron and calcium, amongst others.

Make sure to include more greens in your diet! Taking chlorella is a great step towards a healthier and greener diet. 

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