Chlorella Vs Spirulina: Nutrition Values, Benefits and Side Effects

Chlorella Vs Spirulina: Nutrition Values, Benefits and Side Effects

When it comes to algae supplements, chlorella and spirulina are the two most popular names. Since both of them are highly beneficial and nutrient-rich, comparing chlorella vs. spirulina can only distinguish which is healthier. 

Keep reading to find what differentiates chlorella and spirulina.

What Is the Differences Between Chlorella and Spirulina?



Chlorella, also sometimes called seaweed, is a type of algae that grows in freshwater. The nutritional profile of chlorella makes it a potent remedy for a number of ailments. Moreover, it is rich in proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins. 

Available in tablet and liquid formats, chlorella is often used as a supplement. It is believed to reduce iron deficiency in the body. However, little scientific evidence is there to back it. 



Spirulina is a blue-green algae, often believed to be one of the superfoods. It means it is a rich source of almost all the nutrients that a human body requires. 

It has been used as a medicine to treat various diseases and to boost endurance since the time of the Aztecs. Since it is bitter in taste, you can find spirulina supplements in tablet form for easy consumption. At the same time, spirulina powder is also available and mixed with juices and smoothies to make them healthier. 

Below is the table differentiating chlorella and spirulina under different heads-

KingdomPlant-like protist (algae)Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae)
Cell StructureSingle-celled, sphericalLong, spiral-shaped filament
ColorBright green due to chlorophyllDark green or blue-green
Nutritional ContentHigh in chlorophyll, protein, iron, vitamins, and mineralsHigh in protein, vitamins (especially B12), iron, and other minerals
Protein ContentTypically, higher than SpirulinaTypically, lower than Chlorella
DigestibilityCell wall is indigestible without processingCell wall is more digestible
DetoxificationKnown for its detoxifying propertiesAlso has some detoxifying properties
Growth ConditionsRequires freshwaterThrives in alkaline waters
Environmental ImpactMay be less sustainable due to freshwater usageGenerally considered more sustainable
TasteStronger, sometimes described as earthyMilder, often described as slightly fishy
UsageOften used for detoxification, immune support, and as a source of nutrientsCommonly used as a dietary supplement for its high protein content and nutritional value
CultivationTypically cultivated in closed systems or pondsOften cultivated in open freshwater ponds

Chlorella Vs Spirulina Nutrition

Even though both are a rich source of nutrients, chlorella contains more calories and fat. While one ounce of chlorella offers 115 calories, the same amount of spirulina offers 81 calories. Likewise, the fat is 3 gm in chlorella and 2 gm in spirulina. Both provide equal amounts of protein (16 gm) and carbs (7 gm). 

The nutrients which are more in chlorella include the following-

  • calories
  • omega-3 fatty acids
  • provitamin A
  • riboflavin
  • magnesium
  • iron
  • zinc

On the other hand, spirulina is enriched with the following-

  • riboflavin
  • thiamine
  • iron
  • copper

Chlorella vs. Spirulina For Blood Sugar Control

Studies (1) have revealed that spirulina is highly beneficial in maintaining blood sugar level. It increases insulin sensitivity (body’s capability to respond to insulin hormone).

Likewise, research (2) has also suggested the benefits of chlorella for people with diabetes and insulin resistance. 

Chlorella vs. Spirulina For Heart Health

Both these algae have shown their effectiveness in improving heart health by managing-

  • blood lipid composition
  • blood pressure levels

A study (3) done on people with high blood pressure who took chlorella supplements indicated that it decreases blood pressure levels considerably to those who didn’t take it. 

Chlorella vs. Spirulina- What’s Healthier?

Comparing their nutritional composition, it becomes a little tricky to decide that one alga out of them is superior over the other. While chlorella offers more calories and is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, spirulina secures more marks when we read its protein content. 

Chlorella is also higher in minerals like iron, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins A and B. Also, it is a rich source of antioxidants, thus making it nutritionally better than spirulina. Still, the benefits of both are undoubtedly amazing and unique in their own ways. 

Therefore, if you are weighing them down on the basis of their nutritional profile, it is better to consult a doctor. It will help you understand which supplement will be more beneficial for your body. 

Here, it is important to mention that these supplements may interact with certain medications, especially blood thinners. So, consulting with the doctor is of utmost importance. Additionally, if you have certain autoimmune diseases, make sure you talk to your doctor before consuming any of them. 


Whether you use chlorella or spirulina, both supplements will benefit your health in multiple ways. They are not only nutritionally rich but safe for consumption too. From improving heart conditions to managing blood pressure, chlorella and spirulina are nature’s wonders that you can include in your diet. 

Make sure you buy chlorella and spirulina supplements from a reliable brand to reap maximum benefits. 

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