You may remember chlorophyll from your science class at school. It’s the plant pigment responsible for the absorption of light in the process of photosynthesis, which in turn creates energy. That sixth grade science class is coming flooding back, right?
Well, your teacher may not have told you that as well as sustaining plant life, chlorophyll can also benefit human health more directly. From sensational skin to anti-cancer and antibacterial properties, read on to find out about the seven remarkable ways in which this tiny pigment could transform your health.
This could potentially be the most exciting benefit of chlorophyll. Although research is ongoing, recent studies have shown that chlorophyll is effective at decreasing the activity of cytochrome P450 enzymes. These enzymes are required for the activation of some cancer-causing procarcinogens. Chlorophyll is also able to form tight molecular complexes with certain carcinogenic chemicals, which reduces their ability to be absorbed gastrointestinally.
Chlorophyll is a great detoxifier and has been proven to help waste move through our body. This can potentially have huge benefits for those with digestive problems, especially constipation. When combined with a healthy diet and exercise regime, chlorophyll may also have benefits for weight loss. A Swedish study conducted in 2014 found that chlorophyll supplements taken with a high-carbohydrate meal suppressed feelings of hunger and helped to prevent low blood sugar in overweight women.
Used in wound-healing ointments since at least the mid-twentieth century, the healing properties of chlorophyll have been well known for decades. In the intervening years, several studies have been carried out to back up these claims. The results of these tests showed that chlorophyllin is effective at slowing the rate at which harmful bacteria reproduce, whilst also reducing inflammation and odor. This is what makes chlorophyll so effective at treating recurring wounds, such as ulcers.
Rather than tackling body odor from the outside in, chlorophyll gets to work inside your body to prevent unpleasant smells from escaping. In one study, patients in a nursing home were given chlorophyll tablets. By the end of the study body odors were reported to have decreased dramatically, whilst those suffering from flatulence also reported reduced symptoms.
Its bacterial-busting properties may also help to improve oral health. Chlorophyll is a common ingredient in many commercial mouth washes and can potentially help fight gum disease and bad breath.
Chlorophyll’s superfood status is down to its impressive antioxidant qualities. It’s packed full of good stuff that may be able to decrease oxidative damage caused by chemical carcinogens and radiation. This supports the cancer-fighting reputation of chlorophyll, with studies also suggesting that the pigment could be effective in preventing liver disease by helping to cleanse the organ.
Our bones love magnesium, so it’s a good thing that chlorophyll is packed full of the stuff. As well as being essential to healthy and strong bones, magnesium also has an alkalizing effect on the body. It also helps to deliver oxygen to cells and tissues. All of this is great for our cardiovascular, digestive and nervous systems, not to mention our livers, kidneys and muscles!
Not only that, but chlorophyll is rich in Vitamin D and calcium, which as we know, also help t keep bones strong and healthy.
Aging inevitably takes its toll on our skin. Although there are many purported ways to slow down, or even reverse, the visible effects of aging, more often than not they fail to deliver. This is where chlorophyll steps in. By protecting against harmful UV rays by absorbing light, chlorophyll helps to prevent the two main causes of wrinkles – sun damage and oxidation. In one Australian study, it was found that those subjects who ate at least three portions of leafy greens a day reduced their risk of skin cancer by up to 55 percent.
On top of this, chlorophyll’s bacteria-busting properties may also be able to prevent those dreaded acne breakouts, helping to keep your skin clear and rejuvenated.
As it’s chlorophyll that give plants their green color, it’s not too hard to find sources of chlorophyll. However, there are some plants that are packed with more of the pigment than others. These tend to be super greens, such as spinach, kale and swiss chard. Try eating these raw or lightly cooked to retain as much chlorophyll as possible.
If you want to really up your intake off this powerful pigment, you may want to consider trying chlorella. This blue-green algae is native to parts of Asia. As well as being packed full of phytonutrients, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, as the name would suggest, chlorella is an amazingly rich source of chlorophyll.
To start incorporating this superfood into your diet, look out for certified organic supplements like Fresh Healthcare’s Pure Organic Chlorella Dietary Supplement.