LIFESTYLE

What Is Chlorella? Health Benefits Of The Green Algae (Including Why It's The Ultimate Hangover Cure)

26/03/2015 11:34 | Updated 07 January 2016

You might be surprised to hear that chlorella is not some distant relative of Cinderella.

In fact, it's a type of algae which promotes detoxification and helps the liver deal with excess toxins - making it a great little number to knock back after a heavy night on the tiles.

We've got the low-down on the Incredible Hulk of the super food world...

chlorella

What Is It?

Chlorella is a single-celled, fresh water algae which is cultivated mostly in Asia. It has a very tough, indigestible cellulose wall, so it is milled after harvesting into powder or tablet form to enable it to be absorbed by the body.

Tipper Lewis, head herbalist at Neal's Yard Remedies, tells HuffPost UK Lifestyle that chlorella has the highest chlorophyll levels of the plant world at 3-5%. That'll explain why it's so green.

"It's also packed with a substance called Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF) which allows chlorella to go through its reproductive cycle in one day."

In Japan, it's one of the top super foods. Lewis says that seven million people consume it daily.

"Research after nuclear disasters showed it helps eliminate uranium, cadmium and lead. It’s used to eliminate mercury from amalgam fillings" and is also great to take after a boozy bender - "another Japanese study showed taking 4-6g of chlorella before drinking reduced hangovers by 96%".

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Health Benefits

According to Lewis, chlorella is the "number one algae for liver detoxification" as it removes alcohol, heavy metals and environmental pollutants from your system.

Jam-packed of vitamins, minerals and nutrients, chlorella is great for the body - inside and out.

Katya Igumentseva, co-founder of Organic Burst, says: "It's great if you live in a city, drink alcohol and coffee, eat non-organic food, or do a job where you’re exposed to chemicals.

"Chlorella is full of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that have fantastic effects on your body, including radiant skin with Vitamin B2 and healthy hair with biotin and copper.

"If you’re tired of catching colds, Vitamins B6, B12 and iron from chlorella give the immune system support."

How To Eat (Or Drink) It

To drink chlorella (who doesn't love a tasty algae-filled beverage?) stir the powder into water and add a good squeeze of lemon to tone down the taste.

Additionally, blend into your favourite smoothies (try this Hemsley and Hemsley number) or juices.

Failing that, you can purchase easy-to-swallow tablets or granules that can be sprinkled onto salads and dips. Or try this vegetable sushi bowl recipe for size.

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