With a myriad of supplements, snacks, and grocery items labeled with the "superfood" tag these days, you can forgive us for being a little skeptical when a new one comes our way. But one little green pill was too hard to ignore, thanks to its major celebrity fan base. Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr and Victoria's Secret model Rose Huntington-Whitely are both big fans of the nutrient-dense sea algae chlorella. In a recent Beauticate interview, Kerr said she takes chlorella “daily” along with vitamin C and probiotics. "If you have a healthy gut, you have a healthy brain and generally a healthy body. I think that is so important," she said. Rosie takes her chlorella in a green juice with kale, parsley, and cucumber from Open Source Organics. And when she looks that good, we definitely want what she's having.
While chlorella as a supplement certainly isn't new, the dark green algae made the recent leap from a health food store shelf into a hipster's cold-pressed juice. Aside from its pill and powder forms, you can now enjoy the health benefits of chlorella in specialty beverages and organic kombucha drinks from your local supermarket; it's even sold as a toner for your skin with spirulina and chlorophyll. Clean-eating Sakara Life founders Whitney Tingle and Danielle DuBoise said their mom used to give them chlorella as kids, which inspired the making of their famous Sakara Night Water. "We'd eat chlorella chips as snacks when we were kids, and it would turn our mouths super green!" they told us.
So what is this magical green algae, anyway? Gloria Tsang, registered dietician and author of Go UnDiet, told Cosmopolitan, "In Asia, chlorella is used as an anti-toxin, kind of like a cleansing agent. [It's] high in fiber, and a good source of magnesium, omega-3, calcium, iron, and various beneficial nutrients." DuBois and Tingle add, "This single-celled microalgae increases the “good” bacteria in the intestine to improve digestion and immunity; creates excess oxygen in your body so that cells can repair and rejuvenate rapidly; and binds to toxins to kindly escort them out of your body, giving your insides a healthy clean sweep."
So if all that's true, why should we take it? Because this superfood really does live up to the hype. A recent review of clinical trails found "chlorella may reduce high blood pressure, lower serum cholesterol levels, accelerate wound healing, and enhance immune functions." Superfood indeed!
Shop some of our favorite chlorella drinks and supplements below.
Have you tried chlorella? Would you consider taking it after reading this? Let us know in the comments.
Opening Image: Cru Juice