Chlorella is an ancient single celled freshwater micro algae containing chlorophyll and many other useful phytonutrients. Thought to have had its genesis 2 billion years ago, chlorella is found naturally in freshwater rivers and waterways, but is now grown by aquaculture for human consumption. Chlorella is unicellular which means each cell is self sufficient allowing it to perform all its functions inside itself. Each cell measures only 2.8 microns ( 1 micron = 1/1000th of a mm) about the size of a human red blood cell. Chlorella is so small that 1 litre of chlorella in a thin suspension contains over 20 billion cells.
Together with other photosynthetic micro-algae, Chlorella played an important role in converting the carbon dioxide rich atmoshere to oxygen through the process of photosynthesis. Micro-algae are largely responsible for converting the Earth’s atmospheres 0.1% Oxygen, content to the 20% mix we have today, allowing all current organisms to thrive.
Due to it’s hard outer wall, there were initial concerns with the digestibility of Chlorella. These were addressed in the 1970’s with the development of various cell wall breaking technologies. Since then, numerous studies have confirmed Chlorella’s nutritional and health benefits and Chlorella today is recognised amongst the most nutritious and useful of the ‘Green Superfoods’. Chlorella has been the most popular food supplement in Japan for over 20 years and has today an estimated 10 million users. With its outstanding healing, nutritional, detoxification and anti-inflammatory properties, Chlorella has outlived many health fads and continues to grow in popularity.
When using plant based superfoods it is important to know that your are purchasing a trustworthy product whose benefits are un-affected by pollution, destructive processing and poor packaging. We looked extensively at the different Chlorella available and soon realised the superiority of Yaeyama Pacifica.
The Yaeyama strain of Chlorella was originally found on Ishigaki Island where it is still grown today and is unique to YaeyamaPacifica. Over forty years this strain has been improved to deliver excellent flavour and nutritional profile. Total carotenoid and RNA levels, for example, are higher than in competitor products.
Chlorella has a hard indigestible cell wall, which has to be opened to allow its abundant nutrients to be absorbed. Some producers use chemical bleaching, heat treatments or milling to ‘crack’ the hard wall – these harsh treatments can have a detrimental effect on the valuable nutrients within.