Chlorella vs. Spirulina: Know The Difference

Chlorella and Spirulina are two edible microalgae and both are freshwater algae that can be consumed as food as well as nutritional supplements in the supplement world. They look, smell, and taste alike, and both have impressive nutrients and potential health benefits but they are not twins. However, ordinary consumers may not understand the difference between them and they often continue to argue about them. Here are the studies to fully look at and prove the pros and cons of Chlorella vs Spirulina edible algae.

Both Chlorella and Spirolina belong to the genus of green unicellular algae and the phylum Chlorophyta. However, some are similar in organoleptic characteristics and growing conditions, and many claim similar benefits, such as reducing heart disease risk factors, supporting detoxification, improving blood sugar management, and fighting free radicals. But if you just want to know whether one is healthier or which one better you will need to read forward.

What Is Chlorella And What Is Spirulina?

Chlorella – Chlorella is a green single-celled freshwater algae with nutrient-dense properties that is native to Japan and Taiwan. This is a very strong concentration of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors. There are actually over 30 different types of this algae, but you’ll see Chlorella vulgaris and Chlorella pyrenoidosa in the most research. These receptors are known to regulate human metabolism, strengthen the immune system, and promote overall health, however, the hard cell wall of algae is difficult for humans to digest. Although chlorella algae is also rich in chlorophyll, fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, amino and nucleic acids. Therefore, they are considered valuable functional foods and come in the form of powders, tablets, extracts or capsules.

Spirulina – Spirulina is a blue-green single-celled freshwater algae found in moist ground, fresh and salt water, bark of trees, green, brown or some black layers on moist walls. Spirulina is also low in calories and protein, essential Considered a complete source of minerals and vitamins, trace minerals, fiber, nucleic acids, fatty acids, and represents a cyanobacteria (biomass) biomass. Known as a superfood, spirulina has been linked to significant weight loss in the human body.

Chlorella vs. Spirulina: Key Differences

Spirulina is a spiral-shaped single-celled cell with no true nucleus. Spirulina is larger than Chlorella. It has a softer cell wall and a blue-green color. Chlorella is a spherical-shaped single cell alga with a single nucleus. Chlorella is smaller than Spirulina. It has a tougher cell wall. Chlorella is a greenish colour.

Spirulina contains more protein than chlorella. Thus, spirulina is considered a good source of high quality protein and spirulina contains about 60% protein, but chlorella has 40% protein which is less than spirulina. Fortunately, both chlorella and spirulina are also recommended as an affordable protein supplement to the human diet.

One of the major differences between Chlorella and Spirulina lies in their cell structures. Chlorella is a single-celled algae. In contrast, Spirulina consists of many cells.

Spirulina can be found in both fresh water and salt water. On the other hand, Chlorella is generally considered as fresh water algae. Most chlorella is grown in Asia, in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. The greatest concentrations of Spirulina can be found in Africa, Asia, South America, and Hawaii.

Spirulina completely lacks cellulose walls as a replacement for temporary cellulose from micro-polysaccharides. Therefore, it is easier to digest. Chlorella has an indigestible hard cellulose wall making it indigestible to humans .

Despite these differences, both these supplements really shine in the areas of highly nutritious and vitamin.

Which one is healthier?

Even though both forms of blue-green algae may provide benefits for overall health, chlorella is found in significantly higher amounts, and the difference in those amounts is staggering.

Even though both forms of blue-green algae show very similar benefits in terms of bioactive compounds, a two-tablespoon serving of chlorella provides 60% of our daily needs for vitamin A and 70% of iron, in comparison to spirulina. Can pack minimal amounts of vitamin A and iron. However, spirulina can contain up to 10 percent more protein than chlorella.

Fortunately, both chlorella and spirulina have very similar compositions of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, but Chlorella is higher in:

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

On the other hand Spirulina is lower in calories, omega-3 fatty acids, and iron and zinc but still contains a high amount of:

  • thiamine (B1)
  • copper

Like we said, these algae superfoods have a lot in common—but a few minor differences between algae don’t help make your buying decision any easier. But don’t get caught up in decision paralysis; Both have amazing nutrients.


Both chlorella and spirulina are rich sources of nutrients, and both offer amazing health benefits. Spirulina is ancient, but chlorella is newly found, but both are two of the richest and most nutritious superfoods in the world. You can choose according to your body’s requirements and your nutritional needs. Identify which nutrients you need most, and make your choices with precision.


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The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional