Chlorophyll – Why Greens Are So Healthy

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What is Chlorophyll? Chlorophyll gives plants their green pigment and allows them to convert the sun’s energy into food via photosynthesis. Interestingly enough, it has a similar chemical structure to the heme part of the hemoglobin molecule, which carries the iron in our blood. It’s recommended that adults eat 3 cups of dark green vegetables a week.

Chlorophyll is found in all green plants and most vegetables, but it is particularly high in some, especially spinach.  Other vegetables with high amounts of chlorophyll include romaine lettuce, parsley, Swiss chard, kale, collard greens, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and asparagus.

Steam your Greens.  Remember to lightly steam your vegetables to preserve their chlorophyll content.  For example it is better to put a steam your broccoli or spinach with a small amount of water rather than boil it.  You can tell when it is done by the colour, 5 minutes should be plenty, and if you let it go olive green you have cooked it too long.

Cancer fighter.  Greens have been used for centuries for their potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and alkalizing effect on the body.  Chlorophyll has also been shown in studies to block absorption of toxic carcinogenic substances, thus protecting your DNA from damage.  Dark greens are also high in folic acid (a B vitamin) and phytonutrients like carotenoids.  Research has linked these compounds with lower risk of various cancers such as breast, colon and skin cancers.

Even more benefits:

  • Source of Minerals: Greens are full of minerals like potassium and magnesium that help keep our blood pressure and blood sugar healthy.
  • High in Fiber: They aid digestion by providing enzymes and fiber that help keep your colon clean.  They support the liver and help with detoxification
  • The Darker, the better. All greens are good, but some are the superstars. Dark and bitter greens (like kale, collards and spinach) have powerful cleansing and anti-cancer properties.

Try eating this spinach salad for all the healthy benefits of greens (and it tastes good too):

Spinach and Strawberry Salad bigstock-Spinach-1710428

3 cups mixed greens
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1 sweet red pepper, sliced thin
1 cucumber, chopped
¼ cup red onion, sliced thin
¼ cup pecans or sunflower seeds (optional)

Dressing: 

3 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tsp Dijon mustard
Pinch of sea salt
Fresh ground pepper (to taste)

Mix dry ingredients in a large salad bowl.  Mix dressing in a small bowl.  Add dressing to salad just before serving to prevent it from going soggy.  Enjoy!

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Until next time,

Stephanie

One thought on “Chlorophyll – Why Greens Are So Healthy

  1. Pingback: Eat Greens for St. Patrick’s Day: Bacon and Spinach Stir-fry | Vince's Market | Independent Grocery Chain

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