Score another point for those of you who eat your greens! A recent ground-breaking study has elucidated that animals (and presumably humans) fed with chlorophyll metabolites can increase ATP (energy) production when exposed to sunlight. They did this by feeding rats, mice and pigs with a chlorophyll-rich diet. The chlorophyll metabolites in the tissues of these animals were found to modulate the production of cellular ATP, by speeding up one of the slowest enzymatic processes in ATP production. What could this possibly mean? We, as humans may be able to derive energy directly from the sun (sunlight). Amazing!
But wait…what’s chlorophyll again?
Chlorophyll is basically a green pigment found in cyanobacteria (aquatic-living), algae, and plants. Humans don’t make chlorophyll, and neither do animals. The main purpose of chlorophyll in plants is to absorb sunlight and use it to synthesise carbohydrates (glucose) from carbon dioxide and water. This essential process is termed as photosynthesis and is the mechanism by which all plants produce their energy and essentially sustain all life on earth. Since humans and animals obtain much of their food from eating plants, this essential process is also valuable to sustaining our life. Another key fact – chlorophyll is the pigment which makes plants green. Don’t be alarmed – if you consume a chlorophyll-rich diet, your skin will not turn green.
What are the benefits of eating your chlorophyll-rich greens?:
Stabilise your blood sugar. One study has demonstrated that a diet high in chlorophyll can help stabilise your blood sugar levels and prevent hypoglycaemia. Chlorophyll did this by suppressing the hunger of the participants and therefore helped with increasing weight loss.
Body odour control. Hmm, we’re not saying that you smell bad. Studies have shown Chlorophyll is good not only for your digestive system, but also for its deodorising effect on the body and even the bowel. It has also been found to be effective in relieving constipation and excessive flatus. Better inform your grandparents about this!
The cleansing power of chlorophyll. This fantastic pigment binds with toxins and heavy metals that you ingest, aiding their excretion from your body. What’s even more remarkable is its ability to bind to some carcinogens.
A potent antioxidant. Chlorophyll is also a potent antioxidant because it eliminates free radicals thus protecting cells from oxidative damage.
Inhibit the growth of some fungi like Candida and its cousins. When used as a liquid solution, gurgling with chlorophyll has been shown to inhibit the growth of Candida species. As a bonus it can freshen your breath too!
A chlorophyll-rich diet definitely has its advantages. Providing you with more energy is just one of the many reasons to eat your greens – just like your dear old Mum always insisted upon! The best sources of chlorophyll are spinach, fresh parsley and raw green leafy vegetables such as rocket, dandelion greens, kale, watercress, lettuce. Of course, any of the dark and leafy green vegetables will do. Enough delaying tactics, start today!