It’s time, my friends: We’re cartwheeling into the new year with our best intentions to be rocking and rolling with health and vibrancy for 2017. To make this happen, it means breaking some old habits and, more importantly, bringing in some new ones. I know change can be sticky at times, but it’s the good kind of stress – the kind that lets us shake up our old routines and sparkle with freshness.
This year, I want to see how much sparkle you can handle with the introduction of one of my super-faves: chlorella. This food-based supplement is a powerhouse on the detox front, and your cells are going to thank me! What may not thank me is your sense of smell – this goodness is strongly scented. You’ve been warned, but have no fear: I know you can handle it! Read on for the health benefits of chlorella.
Chlorella is a blue-green algae that grows on the surface of fresh water. The kind we consume is most commonly cultivated in controlled environments. Just as it can help pull heavy metals from our bodies, it can also absorb them from the environment, making the quality of chlorella important. As with many supplements, you get what you pay for. The cheap and cheerful chlorella may be laden with heavy metals, so indulge in a good-quality product that’s regularly tested. My go-to source is Canada’s superfood company, Giddy Yoyo.
The Health Benefits of Chlorella
Chlorella is an all-natural detox food that boosts energy, supports fat loss and helps detox heavy metals like lead and mercury from your body. This über-rich green colour comes from its high concentration of chlorophyll. When we buy it as a powder or tablets, it’s always in dried form. When dried, chlorella can be 45 percent protein in a very digestible form.
Given that chlorella is a superpowered detoxifier, the first place you’ll often notice this is in your skin (assuming that you’re keeping to your other low-booze and low-sugar New Year’s promises!). It reduces the effects of oxidative stress in smokers. An extra bonus: It may also increase the activity of natural killer cells – the white blood cells that work to battle infections in the body – thereby giving your immune system a boost.
Even as a health food junkie, I have to say that chlorella can be a tough one to get down. It’s part fishy-tasting, part super-green-tasting. But finding a way that works for you is definitely worth the effort. You can purchase chlorella from most health food stores and online, and it’s easy to add to salad dressings, hummus and, of course, smoothies. Chlorella also comes in tablet form, though the recommended dose may be up to 15 or even 20 tablets a day. Be sure to start on it slow and steady. It’s a power food, so you want to build up slowly, following the recommendation on the package to avoid detox issues. Common detox reactions may include mild headaches, nausea and some rapid evacuation.
Ready to give it a go? Try this recipe for Hunger Kicker Chlorella Cacao Balls.
Meghan Telpner is a bestselling author of UnDiet and The UnDiet Cookbook and founder of the Academy of Culinary Nutrition. More at meghantelpner.com. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at: @meghantelpner.