One reason why fruits and vegetables are so healthy for our body is the chlorophyll they contain. The more intensely green a fruit or vegetable is, the more it contains, and the more beneficial it is for our body.
What is chlorophyll?
The structure of the large biochemical molecule resembles hemoglobin, also an intense iron-rich dye, but is deep red in color and carries oxygen from our veins to our cells.
A green leaf contains many iron-rich chloroplasts, which belong to the organelles (organs) of the plant cell. A single plant cell can contain up to 100 of these chloroplasts, which in turn contain lamellar thylakoids, which consist of layers of proteins and lipids.
Finally, green chlorophyll and yellow carotenoids are found in the lipid layers. Photosynthesis, or the construction of plant material with the help of sunlight, it occurs in the membranes of the thylakoids.
Photosynthesis is characterized in that carbon dioxide and water are biochemically converted to glucose (sugar) and oxygen using chlorophyll and the energy of light. The new vegetable and fruit fibers are made from sugar, oxygen is more of a “waste product” of this reaction, but it is essential for the survival of all the fauna on our planet.
Chemist Richard Martin Willstätter already recognized in 1913 that chlorophyll can use stored sunlight to accumulate living matter from dead matter. Willstätter received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1915 for his analysis of the structure of the chlorophyll molecule.
The energy of light stored in these molecules, in this context we are talking about biophotons, is also an indispensable source of energy for life processes in our body.
Where can we get most of the chlorophyll?
Very good suppliers of the green plant substance are:
- Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, cucumber, or peas.
- If you like herbs, you may prefer parsley, nettle, or coriander.
- When it comes to fruit, kiwi has a superior composition.
- You can even plant wheat, barley (somewhat bitter), and ryegrass, and alfalfa on the balcony and then enjoy them as a freshly squeezed smoothie.
- In the garden or in the park you will find bitter dandelions, soft linden leaves, nettle leaves, and blackberries, the latter even in winter.
Less known as a very good source of chlorophyll is Chlorella freshwater algae.
How does chlorophyll work in our body?
Of all things, the pigment of the green plant plays a key role in the construction of our red blood cells and is sometimes referred to as “green blood.” As previously stated, it is the special chemical structure of the chlorophyll molecule that our body so easily absorbs and is therefore so healthy.
While there is a magnesium atom in the center of the molecule there is an iron atom in hemoglobin. Therefore, chlorophyll is in principle capable of transporting oxygen through our veins.
Pollutants in water and air, UV rays, and X-rays, as well as toxins in our food, resulting in the increasing formation of free radicals in our bodies, whose free-binding arms bind to vital biomolecules ( chemically included under the generic term oxidation) and the way they work to change harmful.
This is a well-known mechanism for cancer development. The green leaf has now been scientifically proven to counteract this, that is, it has an antioxidant effect in that it binds to carcinogens and makes an important contribution to regenerating radiation damage.
Chlorophyll always occurs in association with plants and their seeds or fruits with:
- vitamins A, B6, C, and K,
- Folic acid,
- Potassium and calcium,
- Beneficial fatty acids,
- Essential amino acids.
What makes green leaf so healthy?
The green leaf is also endowed with the property that our body can absorb the trace elements of iron and magnesium much better. There are several scientific studies that have clearly shown that chlorophyll extracts (also from food) promote the formation of new red blood cells in the bone marrow.
Back in 1936, the doctor discovered Dr. Arthur Patek said green foods combined with iron supplements in iron-deficient patients led to a measurable increase in hemoglobin significantly faster than was possible with pure iron supplements.
Magnesium is extremely important for the functions in our brain, for the relaxation of muscles, and for the calm of the entire nervous system. Since the center of each chlorophyll molecule is a magnesium atom, it is plausible that the green leaf is also very important in this context.
The affinity of the chlorophyll molecule for environmental toxins and heavy metals has already been indicated above. As a consequence, the green leaf is suitable for the removal of such toxins, which also include pesticides and aflatoxins (mold poisons).
For this reason, Chlorella algae with their very high chlorophyll content have been particularly popular in recent years in the course of detoxification measures.
In 2005 a study was published in the journal Carcinogenesis. According to this study, green leafy vegetables significantly reduce the risk of colon cancer. Chlorophyll was shown to protect the intestinal mucosa from uncontrolled cell growth.
At the same time, it emerged that meat may be a cause of cell growth due to its high proportion of heme iron.
Another study in the International Journal of Cancer came up with similar results a few years ago. Here it was claimed that chlorophyll can inhibit the division of colon cancer cells, and therefore significantly slow down the growth of such tumors.
Since chlorophyll binds to dangerous aflatoxins (mold poisons), it effectively protects against liver cancer, according to a relatively recent Chinese observational study.
Another study published at the University of Chicago in March 2015 showed that green vegetables even prevent dementia. In 2010, another study showed that leafy vegetables counteract the development of diabetes.
A year later, Swedish scientists showed that even muscle development benefits from a diet rich in chlorophyll.
Effects of lack or excess of chlorophyll
In principle, an excess of chlorophyll cannot occur, since almost nobody could eat as much as it would be necessary for an overdose. The complex molecule is also very rapidly broken down into its constituents by gastric acid so very little of it can enter the bloodstream.
If there is a lack of plant food, a wide range of symptoms of the disease can arise, which the doctor is generally unable to clearly assign. He is therefore happy to diagnose “vegetative dystonia“, that is, a term without a clear meaning that technically says, “I don’t know what the patient has.”