Chlorella is a genus of single-celled, green algae that grow in the sunniest parts of freshwater bodies.
According to Dr. Beth M. Ley, author of the book Chlorella: The Ultimate Green Food, it is one of the earth’s oldest living organisms and has been harvested as a food source for thousands of years.
However, a true understanding of chlorella’s nutritional value only emerged in the 20th century, when Western scientists began to study its chemical composition.
By the beginning of the 21st century, chlorella had earned “superfood” status. This article contains a list of studies proving that this status is well-deserved.
Extremely dense in nutrients
First and foremost, chlorella is densely packed with large concentrations of vitamins and minerals. Spectral analysis provided by Self‘s “NutritionData” shows that a 28 gram (1 ounce) serving of dried chlorella contains 202 percent of our recommended daily intake (RDI) of iron, 287 percent of our RDI of vitamin A, 133 percent of our RDI of zinc, 33 percent of our RDI of protein and large quantities of B vitamins, magnesium and phosphorus.
It also contains smaller quantities of calcium and vitamins C and E. Many of these vitamins and minerals are antioxidants that protect our bodies from the cell-destroying effects of free radicals, which in turn, guard us from degenerative diseases.
Chlorella’s high protein content has made it a particularly popular health supplement among bodybuilders, especially vegetarian bodybuilders.