Chlorophyll - Health Benefits and Natural Food Sources
order for chlorophyll to be water-soluble, the natural fat-soluble chlorophyll must be
altered chemically. Natural chlorophyll from green plants and algae is the most
nutritious source of chlorophyll.  It offers some advantages over the chemically altered
water-soluble chlorophyll.  One of the most important advantages of natural
chlorophyll is that it can stimulate hemoglobin and red blood cell production , while
water-soluble chlorophyll cannot.  The chlorophyll molecule is very similar to the heme
portion of the hemoglobin molecule of red blood cells.  Chlorophyll is a natural blood
purifier and is often called "the blood of plant life".  It provides management of
bacterial growth, it removes unwanted residues, and it activate enzymes.  Chlorophyll
is nutrient dense and it's an anti-inflammatory.  Due to it's alkalizing qualities,
chlorophyll also helps the body to be pH balanced.  Maintaining pH balance increases
the body's resistance to disease.  Since water-soluble chlorophyll is not absorbed by
the digestive system, its use is limited to soothing the gastrointestinal tract and
reducing fecal odor.   


Natural Food Sources of Chlorophyll

Cereal Grasses (wheat grass juice and barley grass juice) - Cereal grasses are a
nutrient dense, high chlorophyll food.  Although wheatgrass and barley grass have
similar nutritional qualities, barley grass is milder and more bitter than the slightly
sweet wheatgrass.  People who are allergic to wheat or gluten are usually not allergic
to wheat in it's grass stage.  Barley grass is a great alternative for individuals who
can't tolerate wheatgrass.  Cereal grasses are an excellent source of many nutrients
and enzymes.  Wheatgrass juice is especially known for the following health benefits:  
it cleanses the lymph system, it restores balance in the body, it removes toxic metals
from the cells, and it restores vitality.   Barley grass juice is well known for the
following health benefits: it improves stamina and increases energy, it provides clarity
of thought, and it improves the texture of the skin.     

Microalgae (Spirulina, Chlorella, and Wild Blue-Green Algae) - These three types of
microalgae contain more chlorophyll than any other food on the planet.  In addition to
chlorophyll they're also a great source of complete protein, beta carotene, and nucleic
acids (RNA and DNA).  

Of the three types of microalgae, spirulina is an especially rich source of protein,
beta-caroteine, and the beneficial fatty acid GLA (gamma-linolenic acid).  Unlike the
other two microalgae, spirulina also contains a pigment called phycocyanin.  
Phycocyanin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  The cell wall of
spirulina contains mucopolysaccharides (MPs), which are composed of amino acids,
sugars, and protein.  The nutrients in MPs are completely digestible unlike the nutrients
within the cell walls of other microalgae.   

Although chlorella has a similar nutrient composition to spirulina, chlorella contains a
little less protein, much less beta-carotene, and much more chlorophyll and nucleic
acids than spirulina.  Chlorella has more chlorophyll than any other food, and it
contains a higher amount of fatty acids when compared to other microalgae.  Another
health benefits of chlorella is that it has a tough outer cell wall that binds with heavy
metals, pesticides, and other carcinogens.  It then carries the toxins safely out of the
body.   

Wild blue-green algae offers similar nutritional benefits as spirulina and chlorella.   
Although wild blue-green algae is highly nutritious, during the growing period it can
transform into a very toxic plant.  For this reason, it's crucial that any purchases made
for wild blue-green microalgae are from well known, reputable sources.      

Green Leafy Vegetables - Aside from cereal grasses, green leafy vegetables are the
most nutrient dense of all vegetables.  Not only are they a rich source of chlorophyll,
they're also an excellent source of many other nutrients including vitamins A and C,
calcium, potassium, and fiber.   The amount of each nutrient varies with each green
leafy vegetable.  There are several varieties of green leafy vegetables available in most
grocery stores and farmer's market stands including collard greens, mustard greens,
kale, spinach, bok choy, kolrabi, and swiss chard.   They all contain their own unique
composition of nutrients.


Sources:

Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia

Murray , Michael N.D. The Encyclopedia Of Healing Foods.
New York: Atria Books, 2005.

Bowden, Jonny, Ph.D., C.N.S. The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth.
Fairwinds Press, 2007

Linus Pauling Institue
http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/chlorophylls/
Chlorophyll is the green pigment
that gives plants and algae their
green color.  Chlorophyll is the
green pigment that gives plants
and algae their green color.  
Chlorophyll is an antioxidant
nutrient and also an essential
component in photosynthesis,
the process which allows plants
to obtain energy from the sun.  
Plants use chlorophyll to trap
light that's needed for
photosynthesis.  Although the
natural chlorophyll found in green
plants and algae is fat-soluble,
most chlorophyll found in health
food stores is water-soluble.  In
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