|Posted on December 17, 2014 at 4:15 PM|
One of the most powerful life-giving substances on the planet is chlorophyll. This is the pigment that gives green foods their color. Chlorophyll is the major player in the photosynthetic process which allows plants to obtain energy from light by converting the sun's rays into chemical energy. Dark green leafy veggies are nature's greatest source of life-enhancing chlorophyll.
The chlorophyll content of a food is a major indicator of the health attributes of any given plant-based food. Chlorophyll-rich foods have a very deep green and are extraordinarily useful in building new blood cells and purifying the body from cancer and radiation. Chlorophyll also assists in wound healing, intestinal regularity, detoxification and deodorization of the body.(1, 2)
For optimal health, it is a great idea to make sure that you have some of the best chlorophyll-rich dark greens in your meal and fresh juices. This includes spinach, collard greens, kale, watercress and cereal grasses to name a few.
Spinach is a powerful source of chlorophyll and glycoglycerolipids that protect the digestive tract from inflammatory damage. These glycoglycerolipids are the main fatty acids that makeup the cell membranes of light-sensitive organs in chlorophyll-containing plants. They have powerful immune-boosting and anticancer effects.(3) Additionally, spinach is an important source of copper, zinc and selenium, which boost immunity.
These fan-like greens stand out as a nutritional superstar. Their levels of magnesium and vitamins K, A and C are off the charts, and they are rich in folate, B2 and B6.(4) Collards are also rich in isothiocyanates, which are powerful sulfur compounds that protect the P53 gene. The P53 gene is considered to be the guardian of the genome and regulates a normal cell cycle. Mutated p53 gene leads to failure in the normal cell cycle and the development of cancerous formations.(5)
Some of the hottest nutrients present in kale include the glucosinolates and methyl cysteine sulfoxides.(6, 7) These super-nutrients help activate detoxifying enzymes in the liver that play an important role in neutralizing carcinogenic substances. One such glucosinolate, sulforaphane, is formed when kale is either chopped or chewed. Sulforaphane has been shown to alter the genetic expression of the liver, allowing it to more effectively use its detoxification enzymes.(8)
Lacianto kale contains more water and a better flavor than curly kale. Curly kale is very challenging to juice and is not recommended. I stick with lacianto kale for juicing and curly kale for things like kale chips.
Watercress is a fast-growing, aquatic or semi-aquatic perennial and one of the oldest known leaf vegetables consumed by humans. It has a significant amount of bioavailable B6, magnesium and folate and acts as a great digestive aid. It is also rich in chlorophyll and carotenoid antioxidants.
This would include wheatgrass, barley grass, oat grass and rye grass among others. These are the grass portions and not the grains. Therefore, they are free of gluten and are very low-carb and nutrient-dense. They are best juiced alone and without other veggies mixed in.
Cows can live an extremely healthy and long life surviving solely on these cereal grasses. Humans cannot digest the tough fibers, and the only way to really consume these is through juicing.Cereal grasses are some of the absolute richest sources of blood-cleansing chlorophyll. They also contain tons of carotenoid antioxidants as well as key methylating agents such as magnesium, B2, B6 and folate.