Chlorella is a type of microalgae that that is largely cultivated in Asian countries such as Japan and Indonesia for food because of its nutritional characteristics. This current and future source of food is rich in B vitamins as well as amino acids, vitamin C, vitamin E, nucleic acid, and various minerals.
Chlorella is not only marketed in Asian countries but in many parts of the world and it is used for different purposes besides food such as weight loss, stronger immune system, cholesterol lowering. Many athletes use it in their diet as they believe it helps them increase their endurance, and even of astronauts. Chlorella supports the body’s work effectively by offering its detoxifying properties.
If you started thinking about getting your own stock of this healthy nutritional algae, requires some basic equipment that includes a simple glass aquarium (that should be placed at a window for maximum sunlight exposure), filtered or purified water, and plant nutrients.This article will have two parts, first part dedicated to the cultivating methods of chlorella and the second part will revolve around the benefits of this nutritional microalgae.
1. How to grow chlorella
Chlorella grows freshwater and therefore it is available basically worldwide next to all lakes with fresh water. Thus, this alga also requires a lot of sunlight and open air to grow and reproduce. For that is it recommended you use a pond or an aquarium to grow these algae.
The pond should be concrete and circular. The diameter should be between 40 and 45 cm. Then fill it with water and add inorganic nutrition solution.
The best way to create a nutrient solution for Chlorella is to mix 1 L (1 qt) of water with 3 g (0.1 oz) of Potassium nitrate, 4.8 g (0.14 oz) of Magnesium sulphate, 1 g (0.04 oz) of Calcium nitrate, 3 g (0.1 oz) of Potassium dihydrogen phosphate, 2 mg (0.03 gr) of Manganese sulphate, 2 mg (0.03 gr) of boric acid, 0.2 mg (0.003 gr) of Copper sulphate and 0.2 mg (0.003 gr) of Zinc sulphate.
This will provide your algae with enough CO2 to grow and this is known as the autotrophic system
Now you will just need to drop your algae in this solution and apply one of the below methods to help them grow and reproduce.
2. Methods of growing chlorella
You can grow chlorella by providing it with organic matter or with inorganic matter. The first method is called heterotrophy and the second is called autotrophy.
- The heterotrophic system: This system is used by farmers as it promotes quantity at the expense of quality. The algae are fed by an organic element which is sugar instead of inorganic elements such as CO2. With this method, the algae will reproduce in a short timeframe, but they will be lacking vitamin B12. Algae consumers find this vitamin essential to buy the product.
- The autotrophic system: This is the most popular system to grow Chlorella. It is also the most recommended system for optimum growth and best results. In this system, the algae grow through photosynthesis. This means that the Algae will need enough CO2 that could be produced by mixing different components as mentioned above. Although with this system the production will be less than the first one, but the autotrophic system is less expensive, and it leads to better quality algae.
3. Processing Chlorella
Processing Chlorella is the easiest part of the process of the growing these algae. You can harvest the algae after only week from growth. Remove the algae from the pond or the aquarium and wash it with clean fresh water carefully.
The algae are edible as soon as you clean it, but most people prefer it as powder. For that, you will need to leave the algae dry in a temperature between 25 and 40 C°. Once it completely dried, grind it to get the Chlorella powder.
4. Health Benefits of Consuming Chlorella
- Chlorella helps get rid of bad breath: The effect of pollution of the organism is bad breath from the mouth and the smell of sweat. Chlorella helps, by cleansing the body of harmful substances, to get rid of these problems.
- Chlorella Prevents hangover: It is assumed that consuming chlorella before consuming large amounts of alcohol can prevent a hangover. The hangover will be less annoying or not appear at all. Chlorella makes up for the deficiency of all nutrients that are eliminated from the body when drinking alcohol
- Chlorella can reduce the risk of cancer :Chlorella vulgaris, a variety often used in supplements, other types of this algae can reduce the risk of cancer.
- Chlorella strengthens immunity : Chlorella strengthens the immune system. Laboratory and animal studies show that chlorella stimulates the production of white blood cells (leukocytes) and NK cells (natural killers), which play an important role in the body’s defence (including support in fighting bacteria and viruses).
- Chlorella can prevent anaemia during pregnancy: Chlorella contains a lot of folate, vitamin B12 and iron, so it can prevent anaemia during pregnancy as well as pregnancy-induced hypertension problems.
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