You have certainly come across images of bright green drinks and shakes, perhaps on social media platforms. The green color has long been recognized as the color of health, and in recent years green vegetables have received special attention.
Followers of health-conscious eating also like to eat various green foods because of the healthy components they contain. If you want to know what gives vegetables their green color and why eating them is particularly healthy for the human organism, then you've come to the right place!
In the following article we summarize what chlorophyll is, what this versatile, natural dye is good for and where you can find it.
WHAT IS CHLOROPHYLL?
In reality, chlorophyll is nothing more than a natural substance found in green plants that gives them their green color, otherwise known as pigment. It helps plants and other organisms gain energy from the sun through photosynthesis.
Photosynthesis is the name given to the process by which plants use the sun's rays to produce vital nutrients from carbon dioxide and water. In addition to green vegetables, chlorophyll is also found in algae.
The chlorophyll content of the popular spirulina and chlorella algae is particularly high. In general, the greener vegetables or algae are, the higher their chlorophyll content.
Did you know that there isn't just one type of chlorophyll?
The literature distinguishes two types of chlorophyll: chlorophyll A and chlorophyll B. Both substances dissolve in fat and are powerful antioxidants.
The high antioxidant content is one of the main reasons why it is so necessary to eat green vegetables and seaweed and why the green color is the symbol of health.
CHLOROPHYLL: THE “BLOOD” OF PLANTS?
For many, the term “blood of plants” may seem a bit strange, when in fact – at least functionally – chlorophyll can be considered 'plant blood', since it also resembles human hemoglobin. What does that mean in practice?
The real miracle is best seen under a microscope: the structure and chemical composition of human blood and chlorophyll molecules differ only slightly. Since hemoglobin is the molecule responsible for transporting oxygen in human blood, it can be said that chlorophyll performs the same function in plants as hemoglobin does in the human body. Only in plants is the process of oxygen production called photosynthesis. As simple as that!
THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF CHLOROPHYLL
The effect of chlorophyll, i.e. the question of what properties it has, has occupied scientists for a long time. When eating chlorophyll-containing foods, it "moves" in micelles, i.e. groups of molecules with fat content in the body.
Although there is currently insufficient scientific data available on how much fat the body needs to process chlorophyll, research to date shows that even a small amount of fat is sufficient to digest chlorophyll. Although this is new knowledge for many, chlorophyll has long been a crucial component of human nutrition.
For example, the wound-healing ability of chlorophyll was studied in the 1930's, but more detailed studies are still needed. In any case, healing can be accelerated with chlorophyll.
Of course, the effectiveness of chlorophyll is also being researched in other areas. A study conducted on rodents found that chlorophyll reduces the risk of developing cancer.
The research proved that chlorophyll is capable of creating multiple bonds with the so-called aflatoxins, which are carcinogenic substances. Once bound, chlorophyll can help prevent the absorption of certain cancer-causing substances in the gut.
Although chlorophyll is not as powerful an antioxidant as vitamin C, several studies have proven that leafy green vegetables rich in chlorophyll increase antioxidant levels in the blood.
Thanks to its high antioxidant content, chlorophyll has beneficial effects on many areas of the human body: it has antibacterial effects, detoxifies, reduces inflammation in the body, has an alkaline effect and, at the same time, supplies the body with energy.
WHAT DOES CHLOROPHYLL CONTAIN?
The best and most natural way to get chlorophyll is to eat green vegetables. Spinach, lucerne, wheatgrass, even broccoli, cucumber, green beans, leeks, Brussels sprouts, and green peas can all boost high levels of chlorophyll.
Did you know that fruits also contain chlorophyll, albeit in small amounts? Kiwi and green grapes, as well as nuts like pistachios have chlorophyll, which is particularly good news for those who prefer a varied diet.
We are aware that getting the right amount of chlorophyll from vegetables on a daily basis can become a major headache after a while. Fortunately, you can also provide your body with chlorophyll from natural food supplements.
Organic wheatgrass, spirulina powder, raw chlorella powder are all excellent sources of chlorophyll, plus these are also available in tablet form.
It is important that after eating foods with a high chlorophyll content - as a result of the green pigments - the secretion and urine may appear slightly green/black, but do not be alarmed.
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