Time to Go Green!
Q: Hey how’s it going, Anthony? I am so pumped that you finally started your own website. Why did you wait so long to do this? I used to read your articles in Muscular Development and Powerlifting USA all the time. I know you are a big fan of consuming lots of greens in your diet. My question is about chlorophyll? What is this really beneficial for health-wise? What are the best sources? Can you highlight some info on this topic and how I can take advantage of this in my lifestyle plan?
Yours in health,
A: Hey John it’s good to hear from you. Happy to hear you are a fan of my writing. That means a lot to me. So you want to know more about chloroform, do you? Oops I mean chlorophyll, I thought you would like that joke. Well, you are correct that I am a big fan of consuming lots of greens in the diet. Of course, I am not talking about having a green colored beer on St Patty’s day either. Alright enough with the jokes so let’s get to the root of the matter and discuss what it does and how it can benefit your health and performance.
What the Hell is Chlorophyll?
Now some of you may be asking, what is chlorophyll exactly? Now if you remember your grade nine science class then you probably already know. For those of you who don’t remember things from way back then listen up. Chlorophyll is actually one of the most important constituents of all plant matter. This wonderful compound is responsible for the plant’s ability to absorb the sunlight from nature and convert it to a useable form of energy. Does photosynthesis ring any bells? In fact, it is a liposoluble pigment that is responsible for the wonderful bright green color we see in so many different plants and vegetation. In a supplemental form chlorophyll is known as chlorophyllin and usually comes in a liquid form.
So What does it Do for our Health?
Well, I thought you would never ask…lol. Yes of course I thought you would ask this question since this is what this column is all about. Chlorophyll has numerous health benefits and I am going to touch on each of them here. So let’s take a look at this nutritional powerhouse and what it offers your health and wellbeing.
Natural Internal Deodorant
Yes, you heard that correct. Chlorophyll can actually help with those nasty odors that you seem to have built a reputation on especially around your family members. It can help improve bad odors associated with your nasty dragon breath. Yes, brushing and flossing shouldn’t be overlooked but many people don’t realize that real halitosis is actually related to a dirty gut. That bad breath is permeating out from your intestines. That sounds delicious, doesn’t it? Chlorophyll can help in this regard due to its positive effects it has in detoxifying your body which we will touch base on later in the article. It can also help reduce body odor by reducing that armpit juice potency on your nostrils. Now you may not know this but it can also reduce bad odors related to your bowel movements as well. Yes, I can see your family thanking me already. Since you are known to fumigate your house at 100 paces every morning as your kids walk by the remnants of your double serving of beef burritos with extra jalapenos you had at yesterday’s lunch. For the ladies reading this, it can also help keep your “Kitty Kat” fresh and clean especially for those that have excessive odor issues during that time of the month. Nothing like a little bit of humor when trying to learn the science of good nutrition eh?
Yes, you heard that correct. Chlorophyll has shown in different medical studies to have anti-carcinogenic properties. Since this is one of the biggest killers, we should all take note of this point. Liquid chlorophyll was shown in studies to bind with carcinogens and disrupt their absorption in the gut. By doing this it prevents them from circulating in the body and spreading to organs and joints. Studies have shown that it can reduce the risk of both liver and colon cancers. Now you may be wondering how does it do this? Chlorophyll interrupts the metabolism of such carcinogens which have to be metabolized before they can inflict damage to our human DNA. By shutting this down before it can wreak havoc on your cells, it can eliminate different forms of cancer that are chemically induced. For colon cancer, researchers have found that chlorophyll can inhibit ribonucleotide reductase activity which not only protects your DNA from harm but can also accelerate repair and synthesis as well. Since both liver and colon cancer is predominant forms usually caused by drinking excessive alcohol and poor dietary choices, consuming chlorophyll daily should be something for everyone to think about.
Chlorophyll found in Greens is Essential for Health!
Keeps your Skin Young
Ok, ladies listen up. We all know you want to reduce those crow’s feet and forehead lines and botox may not be in your budget or something you even want to consider. Now chlorophyll has shown some serious promise in keeping your skin young and vibrant. One recent study showed that when women applied chlorophyllin in a topic gel format to their skin they saw vast improvements with the reduction of lines and wrinkles. While the anti-aging cosmetic companies want you to think that youthful skin is just about applying some lotion on your face before bed, I will tell you there is much more to it than that. The biggest part is the quality of nutritious foods you put in your body more than anything else. Chlorophyll both taken internally and topically is a great way to help keep you looking young like springtime.
Keeps the Heart Ticking like a Timex
Yep chlorophyll is also good for cardiovascular health. Since it is very rich in magnesium, a mineral that I am very fond of and have written about in the past, it can help lower blood pressure. It can also help to prevent atherosclerosis which is plaque formation and calcification of your inner arterial walls in your heart. Researchers in Europe found that it can also slow the oxidation of LDL or what many of you consider ‘Bad Cholesterol”. So with these two major benefits, I think chlorophyll needs to be in the water of those who are concerned about their heart health.
Broccoli is a Great Source of Green Goodness
Strengthens Immune Function
This is one of the most important things for all aspects of your life. Now that we are in full season with this Covid-19 pandemic, making sure your immune system is on the up and up should be a key priority for everyone even if you think you may not be at high risk. So you may be wondering how chlorophyll can help improve one of the most important systems in your body? It helps increase your white blood cell count by triggering your bone marrow to get off its ass and do something productive…lol. These white blood cells are a layer of protection for various forms of infections and pathogens that could try and take us down.
Keeps the Body in an Alkaline State
Now one of the reasons why I always recommend adding in some greens in either food or liquid form with all your meals is the alkalizing effect it can have on the body. Something simple like adding in a healthy salad with that steak can do more good for you than you know. When it comes to foods they are going to be either alkaline, neutral, or acidic. The problem is with the Standard American Diet almost everything is acidic. Even foods you may consider healthy like a clean protein source can also be acidic in nature. By adding in some greens to the meal it can help balance this acid to alkaline ratio. Now you may be wondering what happens when the body becomes too acidic? Many nutritionists consider it to be the key to disease formation. Not only this but it can also cause a decrement in performance, cause you to fatigue faster, decrease your immunity, promote yeast and candida infections, and even dramatically accelerate aging. Have you ever looked at someone as thought, man this guy or gal looks 15 years older than their age? Well, I would bet my bottom dollar that without even testing them they are very acidic in nature. Chlorophyll’s alkaline nature can help protect you from demineralization and full-body inflammation. This is something I do measure through blood parameters which is caused by the consumption of all those acidic foods you love so much. It was the famous German doctor Otto Heinrich Warbug who discovered something amazing so you should listen up. In fact, it was such an amazing discovery that he won a Nobel Prize for it. His study on cancer cells proved that those bad boys can’t survive in an alkaline environment. Like I mentioned above cancer is no fan of chlorophyll.
Spinach is Alkalizing and is Awesome in Smoothies!
Reduces Inflammation and Free Radical Damage
Chlorophyll is a potent antioxidant and protects the body from free radical damage. Due to it being a concentrated form of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E you can see why it’s a good choice. Not to be forgotten is its nice dose of bioflavonoids and beta-carotene to round out this mix of cell-protecting nutrients.
Improves Digestion and Promotes Bowel Movements
Now, where this green goodness really shines is when it comes to digestive health. It can help improve bowel movements without nasty laxatives. Constipation is a major problem for millions of women which can lead to cancer in later years. It can also help stimulate the digestive process to make sure your gut is running like a fine-tuned machine instead of a sluggish lazy sloth. It is an excellent colon cleanser. That is why it can help with such problems as the bad breath which I mentioned earlier as well as reducing that nauseating stench every time you leave an “earth scorcher” for your family to endure when nature calls.
Strengthen’s Red Blood Cells and Tackles Anemia
Now here is another very important benefit that should not be forgotten. It can replenish red blood cells due to its structure being similar to human hemoglobin. This is a big plus for women who suffer from anemia and even more importantly pregnant women who suffer from this condition. Due to chlorophyll being rich in magnesium it helps this replenishment and formation along with improving energy levels as well.
Chlorophyll Increases Red Blood Cells!
Accelerates Wound Healing
This wonder green can also help increase the rate of healing for wounds to heal. This is a good thing to consider especially after a surgery where they opened you up and left you with a nice bunch of stitches. This happens because it can slow down the reproduction rate of aerobic bacteria to help you not only heal faster but also prevent an infection which is common after certain surgeries. It is commonly known to reduce redness and swelling as well due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Where do we Find Chlorophyll in Foods?
Well, I thought you would never ask. After reading about all the good things it has to offer I am sure the majority of you who took the time to read this will want to know where to find it and how to incorporate it into their nutrition plan. Well here is a list of my favorite foods that are high in Chlorophyll so that you can start adding them in if you don’t already.
- Wheat Grass
- Aloe Vera
- Matcha Green Tea
- Garden Cress
- Green Beans
- Garden Cress
- Brussel Sprouts
Now I know many of you reading this is giving me that “Yucky” face like a spoiled kid not wanting to eat his vegetables until your dad gives you a nice smack at the dinner table to set you straight. Ok, I understand you are a big boy now and wear big boy pants so you don’t have anyone telling you what to eat. Oops, I guess your wife does and in reality just replaced your old man. Ok jokes aside I know many of the above foods you may not like. Anyone that has worked with me for nutrition program design will have seen many of the above on their food plans and for good reason.
Wheat Grass Juice is One of the Best Sources Available!
In fact many of the above I consume in my daily green smoothie and so should you. Spinach and parsley taste great in a smoothie and are easy on the palate and digestion too. In the past, I did an article on my favorite green smoothie recipes to help you get a concentrated form of greens in to put towards your daily intake making it ideal for those that can’t stand eating their veggies. Now you may be wondering what to do if you really want to take advantage of chlorophyll and all it has to offer but you simply can’t stand any of the top choices on my list. Listen up folks here is the answer.
Chlorophyll Supplementation and Dosing
This is one angle you can look at if you can’t handle any of my top food choices or you can even add this in if you are currently consuming these above vegetables. Now one of the easiest ways to consume chlorophyll is to purchase it in the liquid form. Yes, you can get liquid chlorophyll at most local health food stores, and what’s nice is it’s pretty cheap too. In fact, most large bottles will last you several months. One thing you will like is the fact that even though it will turn your water a dark green color, it has almost no taste whatsoever.
Adding Chlorophyll to Your Water is Simple and Effective!
Now from my past articles you know I am a big fan of different greens powders. Yes, it’s true many of them especially some of the more potent ones do not have the nicest taste to them. Many of my readers do complain about the taste of the more hardcore formulas that I recommended but to date, no one has ever complained about the taste of liquid chlorophyll to me. For someone that is new to this, I start them at about 1 teaspoon first thing in the morning. After a few days of doing this with no issues, I will increase it to 1 teaspoon before breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a total of three times per day. In fact, some of my athletes will put it straight into their one-gallon jug of water and sip on it all day long. You might get some funny looks from your friends and family but who cares. Once they see the positive benefits that you are getting from it they might jump on the bandwagon too.
So here you have it. Chlorophyll is one of the healthiest nutrients you can consume for so many reasons. If you are guilty of not consuming enough greens in your diet like many of you reading this then you should for sure add this to your plan. It’s cheap, doesn’t taste bad, and is very convenient to consume. You really can’t ask for anything more out of something so good for your health and performance. So give it a try and let me know how you like it.