One of the latest – and most exciting – discoveries for weight loss is also one of the world’s most ancient life forms. Recent studies have shown that Chlorella – a single-celled, freshwater algae – may prove helpful in the battle of the bulge.
From reducing cravings to actually blocking the production of fat cells, here’s how this powerful superfood can assist with weight loss:
Helps reduce cravings
Chlorella really is a nutrient powerhouse. High in chlorophyll – the naturally occurring substance that gives plants their green colour – it’s an excellent source of protein, vitamins and minerals.
These nutrients help to normalise cell and tissue function and reverse many degenerative disease processes. By correcting any nutritional deficits, it’s likely your body will experience less cravings and spikes in hunger. Consuming a high-nutrient diet leads to slower hunger signals when compared to consuming low-nutrient foods such as chips and chocolate. These factors make it easier to stick to a healthier diet.
Chlorella also contains amino acids. Amino acids, often called ‘the building blocks of life’ are organic compounds that are used to make protein. They provide a source of energy for the body, as well as help to break down food and repair muscle tissue. One amino acid in particular – phenylalanine – can stimulate the production of the hunger relief hormone, cholecystokinin, and reduce the tendency to overeat.
Blocks fat cell production
In 2008, Japanese researchers studied the physiological effects of Chlorella intake. Over 16 weeks, researchers conducted blood biochemical tests and analysed gene expression profile in whole blood cells before and after Chlorella intake. In both healthy subjects, and those with high-risk factors for lifestyle-related diseases, there was a noticeable reduction in body fat percentage, serum total cholesterol and fasting blood glucose levels.
The researchers also noted that there was a change in gene expression in the high-risk factor group. This included the genes involved in fat metabolism and insulin signalling pathways, suggesting that Chlorella could have a positive effect on these pathways.
There’s also a Korean study that shows how the methanol extract of Chlorella can actually block the production of fat cells, as well as decrease the amount of fat held within existing cells.
Assists with digestion
Chlorella has also been shown to promote healthy flora throughout the digestive system. Often, problems with weight can be traced back to digestive issues. Good gut bacteria helps the body digest food more easily, leading to better overall health.
In addition, Chlorella’s high fibre content can increase feelings of fullness and improve food elimination. The right amount of fibre helps make the digestive system become more efficient at eliminating waste, which, in turn, makes it easier for the body to maintain a healthy weight.
It’s easy to see why Chlorella is becoming a popular tool for weight loss. Not only is it backed by scientific research, it’s also readily available in tablet or powder form, making it a convenient and simple addition to a healthy diet.