Chlorella (is not an STD)

December 7th, 2011 | Posted by Alison Spath in Vegetable Lovin'

Nope, Chlorella is a super food.  And lately, it’s been on my radar.

Chlorella is a green algae. It’s high in protein, essential fatty acids, amino acids and a slew of vitamins and minerals. It’s an immune enhancer and when dried and processed, it looks like it would make great fake grass in your kid’s next diorama project.

The first time I paid attention to Chlorella was when I read about it in Thrive by Brendan Brazier. I paid close attention to his few pages on this food item when I was brushing up on nutrition for athletes during last minute marathon training at the end of the summer. My eyebrows perked up when I saw that Chlorella can help speed muscle repair and recovery, as well as slow the signs of aging when consumed regularly.

Slow the signs of aging? Well let’s HURRY UP and get some!

Chlorella is a known detoxifier and helps remove heavy metals (like mercury) from the body.  It’s also a great plant based source of Vitamin B12, something that is of particular importance for non-meat and non-dairy eaters.

Now as awesome as Chlorella sounds, it seems to me that there are a million of these obscure miracle plants out there that claim to do much of the same stuff.  How on earth does one keep them all straight? After a while my eyes start to glaze over and it seems a heck of a lot easier to just make a salad and forget about them all.

Maca. Spirulina.  Dulse.  Acai.  Goji.  Samoas. Trefoils. Thin Mints. (OK, so those last three might be Girl Scout Cookies.) What about the stuff the guy in the seafood department scrapes off the side of the lobster tanks? That’s probably good for us too!

The best I can do with this myriad of possible snake oil supplements is to focus on them one at a time, answering the call of whatever sea vegetable/mystery fruit is beckoning to me at the moment. And like I’ve mentioned, these days I’ve been on the hunt for Chlorella.

Except Problemo Numero Dos; Chlorella supplements are crazy expensive! I nearly fell over in the supplement aisle when I went to check them out in person. I’m sorry, but I’m not dropping $50 on what feels like an experiment. The brands that are cheaper make me question their source and cultivation and leave me wondering if someone just dumped the contents of their lawnmower bag into a bottle and are now trying to sell it to me.

So for me, given that I’m just starting to learn more about some of these super foods and what they can do for us, I’m content to find it in foods on the store shelves in the health food freak section of the grocery store.

One place I know I can find Chlorella is in the Multi Green Kombucha – my favorite green shrubbery drink.

Multi Green Kombucha has Chlorella

(If you’ve never had Kombucha, you don’t even notice the green bits or weird things floating around there, especially if you keep your eyes closed when you tip the bottle up. And besides, it’s super good despite the floaters. Really.)

But see?

Kombucha Ingredients

Chlorella! And even spirulina! Score! And maybe even some lobster tank scrapings!

(Dear GT’s Kombucha, I’m just teasing. I know you don’t put lobster tank scrapings in your bottles.)

(I hope.)

I just recently discovered this Salad Booster by Living Intentions.

Salad Booster

I found this by chance in the salad dressing aisle and was very happy to see “Chlorella!” blasted on the front of the package. I decided to give this product a try and recently we’ve been adding it to salads.

Spoonful of Salad Booster

I’ll be honest that the taste of this is just “OK”. Knowing that it’s good for me makes it easier to power through. (I’m really selling this, aren’t I? YOU’RE WELCOME LIVING INTENTIONS!)

To be fair, my taste buds are a bit picky right now when it comes to the vegetable department, so don’t necessarily take my word on it. The husband likes this just fine, and I haven’t even blathered on and on to him yet about how good Chlorella is for you.

So that you have it; a Chlorella primer. Ever heard of Chlorella? Got anything fascinating or interesting (or even boring!) to share with the rest of us about this miracle plant? I’d love to hear it!

Until then, I’m off to pick the green floaters out of my teeth.

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14 Responses

  • Lisa says:

    Ok, I am a big fan of chlorella. BIG.
    I take SunChlorella (and yes, it costs an arm and a leg). But I’ve tried other brands and they don’t hold a candle.
    First, chlorella smashes my carb cravings. Second, it instantly made my menstrual cycle normal (after it had been awful for 2.5 years—it un-regulated itself again when I stopped the SunChlorella and tried another brand). I think it also makes a big difference in my energy level/mood—I don’t get the blahs as often now.
    I took it several years ago, and had great benefits, but then at some point just stopped buying it (b/c I’m lazy). This time, I think I will just keep it up (it’s been over a year now).

    I love kombucha (grape is my fave tho, not the green one—but I can’t find grape anywhere anymore). I also love salad booster—the cheesy one is my fave.

    • Lisa, thank you! I totally appreciate your experience, especially that you stopped taking it for a while and noticed a difference. Very cool.

      Ginger is my other favorite Kombucha flavor, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Grape… we recently tried the one with chia seeds in it (Raspberry) and it wasn’t nearly as gross as it looked. Much to my surprise, it was actually awesome!

      Thanks for the SunChlorella rec, I’m definitely going to check it out.

      • Lisa says:

        I just tried the chia-kombucha (grape)—-I loved it! I was a little hesitant before you mentioned that it was good, but now I’m happy I tried it (or maybe I’m not happy because they’re expensive, and I can see myself spending lots of money on them!)

  • rawkinmom says:

    OMG!! Your title is hilarious!!!!!!!!!!!
    I love using chlorella….although I have tried to eat it just plain…I prefer to throw it in my smoothies! I buy the chlorella nuts (which are just tablets) and throw 15-20 in my smoothie at a time!

  • Alysia says:

    Neato!! When ever I get rich I’m so trying this stuff! =P
    So Brenden says
    “If you choose to take a chlorella supplement, look for one that’s had the cell-walls cracked so your body can digest its goodness. (I use ChlorEssence because it has no additives and has the highest CGF content I’ve found in a chlorella supplement.)”
    When you go to the ChlorEssence website
    it says that they jet spray it to crack the cell walls and achieve 80% digestibility. Do you think this makes it “the p word” (processed).
    Do you think that to get it to sell-able form that they have to heat it up and kill enzymes and stuff? Also do you think they do that in the Kombucha or other products? Do you think its so bad if they do?
    Always love your posts Alison! =D

    • It must be processed to some extent, but apparently some of the benefits must remain intact? I don’t know the answers to many of these questions, but I do know that I trust what Brendan says! I too read that it’s necessary to break down the cell to improve digestibility, and that chewing tablets is recommended (vs. just swallowing them)

      Not sure about Kombucha… but that’s a good question. If I find out I’ll come back and share what I learn!

  • Katheryn says:

    I keep trying Kombucha, wanting to like it. I’ve decided to stop. It makes me ill just thinking about it, and I end up feel queasy every time I’ve had one. Maybe I’ll have to try the salad topper.

  • MaryBe says:

    Chlorella sounds too much like cholera to me 😀 Although I’m really sorry to pass on something as exciting as ‘floaters’! I’m really impressed that you can choke any of this stuff down right now ha

  • Cindy says:

    never tried it, and I am glad to hear it’s NOT an STD.

    SHEW for that!

  • mike lally says:

    Hi Alison!

    Two questions about the Kombucha:
    1. what is the sugar content per serving? really looking for the carbohydrate amount.
    2. where did you buy it?

    Then….where did you find the Salad Booster?

    Hope you are doing well. And congrats on baby #3! Not sure how I missed that in all of my catch up reading! Zak never tells me anything! :)


    • Hey Mike! The sugar content of Kombucha is very low… that Multi Green Kombucha has to 2g of sugar per serving, (2 servings per bottle). Carbs per serving is 7g. The other Kombucha’s are similar. Ginger is another one of my favorites.

      There are two kinds of drinks made by GT though, both containing Kombucha… the other is called “Synergy” and it has more sugar than the regular Kombucha.

      I get Kombucha at Wegmans in Nature’s Market. Locally, you can also find it at Lori’s Natural Foods and Abundance Co-op off of Marshall St (off Monroe near Strong Museum). It’s cheapest at Wegmans.

      I also found Salad Booster in Nature’s Market at Wegmans, near the dry packages of Simply Organic salad dressing!

      (And thanks for the congrats on #3!)

  • Yoda says:

    Remember to opt for organic Chlorella – the non-organic stuff can BRING heavy metals into your body.

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