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Chlorella and Barley Grass have a lot to offer and I’m a big fan of both.
But as they share so many similarities, it can be a difficult for some folks to pick between them.
If that’s you, you’re reading the right article!
I started this Supplement Comparison Series for that exact reason!
In each post, I take two types of supplement and compare their benefits, drawbacks, cost, my recommendations and much more to help you decide which one’s for you.
In this piece, we’ll take a look at Chlorella vs Barley Grass.
Let’s get going.
What is Chlorella?
Chlorella is a single-celled algae that grows in fresh water.
It’s name is derived from ‘chlor’ meaning Green in Greek and ‘ella’ meaning a small thing in Latin.
Although Chlorella was only discovered in the late 1800s, it’s believed to have been around for millions of years.
What is Barley Grass?
Barley Grass is the leaf of the Barley plant.
It also goes by the names of “Barley leaves” or “Barley green”.
Rich in GABA, chlorophyll, vitamins and minerals, Barley Grass is a nutritional powerhouse that’s used by lots of people for its health-boosting properties.
Benefits of Chlorella
Chlorella may boost aerobic endurance
Although the research is limited, Chlorella looks promising for boosting aerobic endurance.
In a study, adults took either a placebo or 6 grams of Chlorella daily for 4 weeks.
According to the results, the Chlorella takers could saturate their lungs with oxygen more effectively than the placebo takers.
While the mechanism for this isn’t yet understood, it could be due to the high BCAA content found in Chlorella.
(Research shows that BCAAs enhance aerobic performance.)
Chlorella may help detoxify your body
Although essential in small amounts, heavy metals like iron and copper can be toxic if they accumulate over time.
In fact, iron build up may increase your risk of heart failure. (Source)
In animals, Chlorella has been shown to reduce the heavy metal toxicity of the brain and liver. (Source)
Also, Chlorella has been shown to lower the amount of Dioxin, which is a potent hormone disruptor. (Source)
Chlorella is full of nutrients
Chlorella is rich in many key nutrients, including:
- Vitamin C
All of these play a vital role in keeping you healthy.
Chlorella may boost your immune system
Your immune system is a complex system made up of multiple cells that are called into action when a pathogen enters your body.
Despite limited evidence, both human and animal studies support the use of Chlorella to boost the immune system.
For example, an 8-week study showed that adults who took Chlorella had improved immune system markers.
Another study showed that men who took Chlorella produced more antibodies than when they took a placebo.
(Antibodies help your body identify pathogens.)
Benefits of Barley Grass
Barley Grass is nutrient-rich
Like Chlorella, Barley Grass is loaded with nutrients.
Let’s take a look at the list of nutrients found with Barley Grass:
- Folic acid
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B6
- Amino acids
- Vitamin B12
- Beta carotene
- Pantothenic acid
For this reason, lots of people refer to Barley Grass as a “superfood”.
Barley Grass is antioxidant-rich
Antioxidants are powerful molecules which help reduce free radicals.
These are naughty electrons which can contribute to oxidative stress, which may contribute to many serious diseases.
Theoretically, the higher your antioxidant intake, the less free radicals and oxidative stress you’ll have.
A study of Type 2 Diabetics looked at the effects of Barley Grass on their blood markers.
The study required the subjects to take 15g of daily Barley Grass for 4 weeks.
The results showed that the subjects had less oxidized LDL which may be due to Barley Grass’ antioxidant profile.
Barley Grass may help lower cholesterol
Compounds called beta-sitosterols are found within Barley Grass and are believed to stop the absorption of cholesterol in the intestines.
In one study, 40 subjects with high cholesterol took 15g of daily Barley Grass for 4 weeks.
By the end of the study, the subjects had less LDL and total cholesterol.
(LDL is commonly referred to as “bad” cholesterol.)
Chlorella is usually sold in the form of tablets or as a powder.
Typical prices for these are:
- Powder: $20 for 1 lb
- Capsules: $10 for 100
Barley Grass Cost
Barley Grass is usually sold as a powder. For a mid-range Barley Grass powder, a standard price is $30 for 1 lb.
Chlorella Side Effects
Chlorella is generally considered safe with a low risk of side effects.
But some people have reported nausea and stomach pains after taking Chlorella.
Also, those with an immunodeficiency or are taking immune system medications should use Chlorella with caution due to its effects on the immune system.
Barley Grass Side Effects
Due to Barley Grass’ nutrient profile, it might not be appropriate for those with certain conditions (such as those on dialysis) or are taking certain medications (like warfarin).
Also, those sensitive to Gluten should stay clear from any Barley Grass supplement that isn’t labelled Gluten Free.
My Chlorella Recommendation: NOW Organic Chlorella Powder
A solid organic Chlorella supplement from a top, top brand.
NOW Organic Chlorella Powder gets the gold star.
What I like about it
As it’s in a powdered form, you can play around with the dosage to meet your needs.
This is super helpful as some of you will be better off taking a smaller dose, while others will be more suited to a higher dose.
You just to need see what works for you!
Another great feature is the fact the Chlorella has had its cell walls broken down.
This helps your body absorb and digest the Chlorella, making it more useful and effective.
Also, NOW are one of the most trusted supplement companies in the world.
They’re GMP certified, which means every single step of their manufacturing process has been closely examined for quality.
While it doesn’t cost a fortune, NOW Organic Chlorella Powder is a tad more expensive than the other Chlorella powders out there.
But I’d rather stick to a brand that I trust with my money.
My Barley Grass Recommendation: Teaveli Organic Barley Grass Juice Powder
Organic, Non-GMO, Gluten Free and made naturally.
This organic Barley Grass powder is the cream of the (Barley) crop.
What I like about it
The key feature of this supplement is the way it’s made.
It’s a process called Bioactive Dehydration, which means the Barley Grass Juice is dried at a low temperature.
As a result, the Barley Grass powder retains more aroma, color, flavor and other goodness.
So when you add water to this powder, it’s virtually identical to fresh Barley Grass juice.
How awesome is that?!
Also, it’s pleasing that the powder is organic meaning it’s been grown naturally without the use of harsh chemicals.
(Just as nature intended!)
And as a bonus, it’s gluten free so it’s suitable for those with a gluten intolerance.
While Bioactive Dehydration makes this supplement high-quality, it also makes it a bit more expensive.
In other words, there are cheaper Barley Grass supplements out there although they’re probably not as good as this one.
Thanks for sticking with me to the end of this Chlorella vs Barley Grass showdown.
These are 2 nutritional powerhouses that have some similar properties and either would make a good choice.
But if you’re still undecided, then here’s what I’d recommend:
You might prefer Chlorella if:
- You want to boost your immune system
- You want to enhance your aerobic endurance
- You want to detox your body from heavy metals
You might prefer Barley Grass if:
- You want to lower your cholesterol levels
- You want to increase your nutrient intake
- You want to boost your antioxidant intake
See you in the next one!