Chlorella; green algae with high nutritional value

Chlorella is a single-celled green algae that belongs to the green algae family, a family with more than 8,200 species. Chlorella has many properties that may promote health and is therefore a rapidly becoming popular dietary supplement, which is used, among other things, for detoxification.

Chlorella

  • History of Chlorella
  • Nutritional value
  • The importance of Chlorella in the present tense

 

History of Chlorella

Chlorella is an algae that can reproduce very quickly under the influence of sunlight and heat. The algae is very good at photosynthesis , the process in which energy from the sun is used to build organic substances. For its very rapid cell division, the algae only needs sunlight, carbon dioxide, water and small amounts of mineral salts.
The name Chlorella comes from the Greek word chloros, meaning green, and the Latin word ella, meaning small. Chlorella literally means little vegetables. This is how the first researchers saw the algae with their primitive microscopes. The German biochemist Otto Heinrich Warburg received the Nobel Prize in 1931 for his research into photosynthesis in Chlorella. Later in 1961, this algae won another scientist the Nobel Prize. Melvin Calvin from the University of California received the prize for his research into the assimilation of carbon dioxide in plants, using Chlorella as a model. At the time, many were convinced that Chlorella could be used as a potential food and energy source. The problem at the time was to develop a cheap way to harvest this algae. Nowadays, this algae is artificially grown in large quantities in large round ponds, in which the growing conditions are optimal.
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, food supply for a rapidly growing world population was increasingly seen as a growing problem. It was thought that Chlorella could partly solve this problem because it would be cheap and easy to produce. As a result of this idea, large institutes began to research its possible uses. Many top institutes were concerned with this, especially shortly after the Second World War, because at the time the world’s food supply was not yet up to standard. There was a shortage of protein-rich products, and meat in particular was expensive to produce.
Post-war researchers focused on the oceans due to the expected lack of sufficient agricultural land. This suddenly made Chlorella a potential means of producing sufficient protein. After all, Chlorella consists of 50% proteins, various amino acids and vitamins. Due to its good photosynthesis, this algae was able to produce more protein per square meter than any other plant. Unfortunately, the Chlorella hype passed after a few years. Progress in the production of other agricultural products attracted all the attention. Another reason for the waning popularity was that Chlorella turned out to be more difficult to harvest than previously thought. The yields in practice were not nearly as high as in the laboratory. The result was that the green algae disappeared again into anonymity.

Nutritional value

Dried chlorella contains per 100 grams:

  • Protein 58.4%
  • Total fat 9.3%
  • Carbohydrates 23.2%
  • Fiber 0.3%
  • Minerals (per 100g): Calcium, 221mg, Iodine 0.4mg; Iron, 130mg; Magnesium, 315mg; Phosphorus, 895mg; Zinc, 71.0mg.
  • Vitamins: Vitamin C, 10.4mg; Niacin 23.8mg; Biotin 0.2mg; Pantothenic acid 1.1mg; Vitamin B1 7mg; Vitamin B2 4.3mg; Vitamin B6 1.4mg; Vitamin B12 0.13mcg; Folic acid 94mcg; Vitamin A (activity) 51,300 IU; Vitamin E >1.5mg.
  • Fats include Alpha-linolenic acid (also found in linseed oil)
  • Amino acids: Tryptophan 0.5g; Threonine 2.4g; Isoleucine 2.3g; Leucine 4.7g; lysine 3.0g; Methionine 1.3g; Cystine 0.7g; phenylalanine 2,777g; tyrosine 2.6g; Valine 3.2g; Arginine 3.3g; Histidine 1.1g; Alanine 4.3g; Aspartic acid 4.7g; Glutamic acid 5.8g; Glycine 3.1g; proline 2.4g; serine 2.0g; Proline 2.5; Other amino acids 11.4.

 

The importance of Chlorella in the present tense

Nowadays, Chlorella is mainly used as a nutritional supplement for detoxification of the body, especially the liver. Many users say they feel good and mention the increased energy they get after several weeks of daily use of Chlorella

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