I regularly eat what I call ‘vegan superfoods,’ or foods that provide a multitude of benefits: nutritional multi-takers, if you will. People often ask me for lesser-known nutritional tips or foods that I found most valuable. As a result, I’m starting this feature to shine the spotlight on some of my favorites. I’m starting with Chlorella because it’s one of my absolute favorites and because it’s a bit of an unknown powerhouse.
Chlorella, a freshwater green algae, contains more chlorophyll than any other known plant and is replete with protein, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Talk about a multi-tasker. Additionally, chlorella contains vitamin B12. As B12 is not often found among plants, this makes chlorella especially important for plant-based eaters. Indeed, chlorella truly earns its status as a vegan superfood.
Chlorella contains 19 amino acids, including the 10 considered ‘essential.’ This amino acid profile combined with chlorella’s ease of absorption is one of the main reasons I’ve added chlorella to my diet.
But, I’m not yet done preaching the benefits of chlorella! It also contains detoxifying properties by reducing free radical damage we all experience in our modern world. Chlorella also helps build the immune system and enhances recovery by speeding the rate of cell regeneration. As such, Chlorella may be particularly important during times of high stress and intense training.
To ensure you purchase a high-quality chlorella supplement, look for a product with high levels of protein (around 70%) and chlorophyll (around 7%). I like this powdered variety and add one teaspoon per day to my smoothies. Chlorella mixes will with tart fruit flavors such a lemon and berry. You also can take chlorella in tablet form.
If you aren’t supplementing with chlorella, I encourage you to give it a try. Let us know in the comments below how you like to incorporate chlorella in your vegan diet!
Brazier, B. (2007). Thrive: The vegan nutrition guide to optimal performance in sports and life. Da Capo, Philadelphia.