The Important Health Benefits of Chlorophyll in Our Diets
Plants certainly can’t survive without it… and research is adding up that shows we need to consume more of it in our daily diets. So what is this ‘green blood of plants’?
It is chlorophyll and this phytochemical is the lifeblood of all plants and is a vital nutrient in order for photosynthesis to occur. Chlorophyll is responsible for the deep, rich color of dark leafy greens. It enables a plant to perform two important metabolic functions: respiration and growth.
A German chemist named Dr. Richard Willstatter back in 1915 found that a molecule of chlorophyll is chemically similar to the red pigment found in human blood cells. They are virtually identical with the only difference being the center atom.
That is why it is often referred to as ‘the green blood of plants’.
Do You Need the Health Benefits of Chlorophyll In Your Diet?
Chlorophyll increases oxygen delivery throughout the blood and supply our bodies with the nutrient magnesium, which is the essential way our body creates energy. Did you know, that more than 300 enzymes in our body require magnesium in order to function?
Magnesium is the second most abundant element inside the human cells and it serves hundreds of functions. It is important to the nervous system, which helps aid restful sleep.
Calcium absorption and usage is processed by magnesium. It helps relax our muscles and prevents muscle cramps and most importantly without it, our very DNA wouldn’t be stable.
How This Green Powerhouse Can Boost Your Health
Scientists have recently began to realize how important the many health benefits of chlorophyll are in our daily diet. Chlorophyll can also affect our state of mind and feelings of well-being.
Blood Cell Oxygen Booster: Since chlorophyll and red blood cells are nearly identical, chlorophyll helps increase the effectiveness of oxygen transport through your bloodstream. It also replenishes red blood cell count due to increased oxygen circulating throughout the body. When your blood is fully oxygenated toxic bacteria cannot survive.
Total Body Detoxification: With the added abundance of oxygen in the bloodstream, this help the body cleanse itself of toxic substances. Chlorophyll also aids in colon cleansing since it has the ability to stimulate and regulate bowel movements.
Lowers the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: Chlorophyll decreases the oxidation of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, which contributes to cardiovascular disease.
Powerful Antioxidant: neutralizes free radicals, which reverses oxidative damage within the body.
Stops Body Odors: Body odors such as bad breath are certainly embarrassing, these are ultimately caused by internal issues rather than what you may have eaten for dinner. Chlorophyll can target the internal source of the problem, eliminating these not so pleasant smells.
Cancer Prevention: Creates a protective barrier from dietary toxins and may prevent liver cancer. A study from Oregon State University found that chlorophyll works effectively to block body absorption of aflatoxin, (a fungal contaminant found in many grain and legume stocks). Aflaxtoxin may be responsible in causing problems in the liver, including liver cancer. Researchers are still conducting further research on this health benefit of chlorophyll for cancer prevention.
Suppresses Hunger: a recent study suggests that meals containing chlorophyll-rich foods can reduce hunger. Which leads to me to some excellent sources of chlorophyll for you to enjoy…
The Best Sources of Chlorophyll
Any fresh, raw, green plant you consume contains some level of chlorophyll, but some foods are higher in chlorophyll than others. A good rule of thumb to remember, typically the darker the green color, the more health benefits of chlorophyll you will receive.
Foods High In Chlorophyll:
- Alfalfa sprouts
- Swiss chard
- Herbs such as parsley and cilantro
While you can enjoy the benefits of chlorophyll through these tasty leafy greens above, three algaes are especially high in chlorophyll content:
•Chlorella– A fresh water algae that contains a vast amount of chlorophyll within its cells walls. It can reverse heavy metal toxicity.
•Spirulina – Known as a perfect food and is loaded with chlorophyll and host of other life-giving nutrients. Spirulina has the highest concentration of digestible vegetable protein.
•Marine Phytoplankton – The most nutrient dense food on Earth and contains the highest nutritional values for human ingestion. Normal fruits and veggies contain less than 50% of what our bodies need to make new cells.
Watch out for chlorophyll supplements that haven’t been certified as organic since the majority can contain heavy metals used to increase the production of chlorophyll. Also, you don’t know how long that chlorophyll supplement has been sitting on a store shelf.
An easy way to get the vital nutrient that plants certainly cannot survive without … is to eat more of the foods high in chlorophyll.