Every so often, a new health trend arises that seems like a common-sense cure for our ailments. Sometimes it seems incredible that we haven't thought of these solutions before! We all know leafy greens are good for us because of their many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. But have you ever considered supplementing with another crucial component of greens: chlorophyll?
What is chlorophyll?
Chlorophyll is the pigment found in plants that allows them to convert sunlight into energy through the process of photosynthesis. Plants do not make their own food – they must create their energy by synthesising solar energy. These tiny green molecules really are the keys to life: Without them, plants wouldn’t be able to make their own food. In recent years, many people have become believers in chlorophyll supplementation for its health and therapeutic effects.
Why take chlorophyll?
Body and breath odours: People take chlorophyll for a few different reasons. Some chlorophyll supplementation advocates claim that first and foremost, chlorophyll can treat body odour issues such as halitosis (chronic bad breath). The theory is that chlorophyll has a natural deodorising effect and neutralises unpleasant body smells.
Red blood cell formation: Haemoglobin is a substance that helps red blood cells transport oxygen to cells throughout the body. Haemoglobin and chlorophyll are similar in structure, but Haemoglobin contains iron as its central element, while chlorophyll contains magnesium. The similarities in structure between two substances are thought to make chlorophyll helpful in replenishing red blood cell count.
Antioxidant effects: Antioxidants are extremely important to health. When our cells are damaged, electrons are often dislodged and left to roam our bodies unbound (these oxygen molecules are often referred to as ‘free radicals’). Free radicals then cause damage to surrounding cells. Antioxidants inhibit this unhealthy process binding to free-roaming electrons and inhibiting this chain of reactions from taking place. Some people believe that chlorophyll helps give plants their antioxidative qualities. It is for this reason that superfoods like spirulina and chlorella have become popular among health-conscious people in recent years.
PH balance: It is important to maintain a healthy pH balance within the body. This balance refers to the concentration of hydrogen, and ranges from 1 to 14. A pH balance of 7 is considered neutral, while a balance of 6 or less is said to be acidic and 8 or more alkaline. Healthy people’s default state is to tend toward an alkaline level, but due to many of the factors in modern society (such as environmental toxins and unhealthy diets), many of our bodies are slightly acidic. Some advocates for chlorophyll attest that taking a chlorophyll supplement is a beneficial component of balancing your pH.
Antiseptic: Some advocates suggest that chlorophyll’s antiseptic qualities allow it to kill germs, arguing that it therefore may help fight off infections and protect people from some diseases.
Side effects of taking chlorophyll
Though chlorophyll is a naturally occurring substance, there are a few risks associated with taking it in supplement form. At first, some users experience tiredness, headaches, spots or changes in bowel movements. These side effects should decrease over time. However, if you experience severe intestinal pain, nausea or constipation, you could discontinue use.
To add chlorophyll into your diet via food, you’ll want to consume the darkest green veggies you can find (after all, the presence of chlorophyll is what gives plants their green colouring!). Some rich sources of chlorophyll are Brussels sprouts, wheat grass, algae such as chlorella and spirulina, spinach, broccoli, and herbs such as alfalfa and parsley.
We’d Love Your Feedback
What’s your favourite bright green leafy vegetable?
Have you tried supplementing with chlorophyll? If yes what benefits did you experience?