Adding foods that are high in chlorophyll to your diet will help boost your health. Chlorophyll is a green pigment that is used by plants during photosynthesis to convert light into energy. Since chlorophyll is used by plants to create food, you may wonder why it is healthy for people. The structure of chlorophyll is very similar to hemoglobin, which is a protein in blood used to carry oxygen. This similar structure makes foods that are high in chlorophyll very beneficial. Chlorophyll can help increase red blood cell production, promote wound healing, decrease cholesterol, and even protect the body from cancer and radiation. Because of all of these health benefits, chlorophyll rich foods are often used therapeutically.
1. Cereal Grasses
Foods that are high in chlorophyll include cereal grasses like wheatgrass and barley grass. When these grasses are young they are very green, which is an indicator of their rich chlorophyll content. The powder and juice of these grasses is often used as supplementaries. In fact, dried tablets of cereal grass were used as supplements prior to WWII. While they are very similar, wheatgrass and barley grass do have slightly different benefits. Barley grass is great for reducing pain and inflammation, and wheatgrass is purportedly very useful for healing the body from cancer. If you choose to supplement with either of these cereal grasses, you can be sure that you are getting the benefits of chlorophyll.
2. Sea Vegetables
I don’t typically think of sea vegetables as being a source of chlorophyll. However, they are high in chlorophyll and have the added benefit of being high in minerals. Sea vegetables like nori or dulse (bot are types of seaweed) have ample amounts of iodine to help regulate thyroid. They also have been shown to decrease the risk of estrogen-related breast cancer through their ability to modify hormones secreted during the menstrual cycle. Eating sushi is a great way to chlorophyll and mineral rich sea foods into your diet so you can experience all the wonderful health benefits.
3. Leafy Green Vegetables
Leafy green vegetables are exceptional sources of chlorophyll. Even the lighter colored romaine lettuce is a great way to get some health promoting chlorophyll into your diet. In addition to adding chlorophyll to your diet, when you consume leafy green vegetables you will be getting many vitamins and minerals. All leafy greens are excellent sources of Vitamin K, which is an essential nutrient for bone health. Because of the nutrients in leafy green vegetables, eating a large salad everyday will go a long way toward helping you be as healthy as possible; just be sure to use healthy dressing.
Although tiny, sprouts are packed full of nutrients. Often used in salads and sandwiches, sprouts are another food that is high in chlorophyll, which is one reason why they are often promoted as a health food. Another reason includes their high vitamin and mineral content. When seeds, legumes, and grains germinate and create sprouts, the nutrition content skyrockets. Sprouts have 15 times more vitamins than the seed, legume, or grain they came from! That, along with the high chlorophyll content, is definitely a reason to add them to your diet.
I adore herbs and use them every day. The vibrant green color of herbs like parsley, basil, and cilantro indicates that they are a great source of chlorophyll, which is why they are often added to detox smoothies. Chlorophyll is great for detoxifying your body of harmful chemicals. These herbs are also wonderful sources of vitamins and minerals. Parsley is a great source Vitamin K, Vitamin C, folate, and iron, while basil has calcium, magnesium, and even omega-3 fatty acids. Using herbs abundantly will not only add flavor to your food, it will also help you feel great.
6. Chlorella and Spirulina
Chlorella and spirulina are two types of algae that are great additions to your diet because of their wonderful health benefits. Chlorella is great for ridding the body of heavy metals, and it may even benefit fibromyalgia pain. Spirulina is very high in protein, has anti-viral properties, and boosts the immune system. While neither of these is very tasty, they can easily be added to smoothies to mask the flavor. They will, however, turn your smoothie green because of the high chlorophyll content.
7. Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds are a surprising source of chlorophyll. However, when you consider that hemp oil and hemp protein powder are both green, you can understand how hemp seeds can be rich in chlorophyll. Hemp seeds are very high in bioavailable protein, which means the body can easily digest hemp. They are also a good source of gamma-linolenic acid, which reduces inflammation. While you may want to add hemp seeds to your diet for their healthy benefits, you will want to keep eating them for their nutty flavor.
All of these foods are extremely healthy, and even more so because of their high chlorophyll content. While not considered an essential nutrient, chlorophyll does have enough benefits that you should consume plenty of chlorophyll rich foods. Personally, I love to get my chlorophyll through green smoothies. What are your favorite chlorophyll rich foods?