Photosynthesis is the process wherein green plants or vegetables absorb light from the sun and transform it, along with minerals, water and carbon dioxide, into food to help them grow. It goes without saying that this is important not just to plants, but to humans and animals well. Oxygen, the chemical element that living organisms require to breathe, is a byproduct of this food-making process.
At the heart of photosynthesis is chlorophyll, a pigment that absorbs blue and some red portions of the electromagnetic spectrum that causes it to become green. This also results in plants getting their distinctive color. As chlorophyll absorbs the light, it creates carbohydrates that serve as the plant’s nourishment.
An interesting thing about chlorophyll is that it possesses potential health benefits that people can obtain when they consume vegetables. According to a study published in 2016, chlorophyll possesses antioxidant properties that may help promote longevity. With this in mind, no doubt most people may benefit from the chlorophyll that comes from vegetables, and luckily, there are plenty of choices that you can enjoy.
Chlorophyll has been extensively studied for its effect on human health for years, and it has been found to be potentially helpful in certain situations. By consuming vegetables high in chlorophyll, you may obtain the following benefits:
•Lower your risk of cancer — Chlorophyll may help lower your risk of cancer by inducing apoptosis, according to a research published in Nutrition Research. In one documented study, the pigment has been found to help specifically with colon cancer.
•Manage arthritis — Evidence has shown that chlorophyll has anti-inflammatory properties that may benefit people affected with chronic inflammation. In the journal Inflammation, researchers discovered that chlorophyll helped inhibit TNF-α (tumor necrosis factor-alpha) in mice. TNF-α is a pro-inflammatory cytokine “produced by macrophages/monocytes during acute inflammation and is responsible for a diverse range of signaling events within cells, leading to necrosis or apoptosis.”
•Fight free radicals — According to the Journal of Food Science, dietary chlorophyll contains antioxidant and antimutagenic properties that may benefit your health by fighting free radicals throughout your body.
•Promote longevity — Consuming chlorophyll may help slow down aging and rejuvenate your cells, according to a study published in Peer-Reviewed & Open Access. Researchers found that feeding chlorophyll to nematodes from the Caenorhabditis elegans species helped increase their lifespan by increasing resistance to oxidative stress.
•Kill pathogenic yeast — Oral thrush, a mouth disease caused by the yeast strain Candida albicans, may be treated by consuming chlorophyll, according to a study conducted by the South Brazilian Dentistry Journal.
•Manage your weight — Chlorophyll may help manage your weight and prevent overeating by helping control your hunger and food cravings. In one study, researchers fed 20 moderately overweight women meals that contained chlorophyll. Results indicate that the procedure was able to help suppress test subjects’ hunger by intensifying signals of satiety.
•Reduce body odor — If you’ve been experiencing fishy body odor lately (trimethylaminuria), you may benefit from chlorophyll. It may help eliminate bad odor by reducing the amount of thrimethylamines excreted by your body. In a study that involved 62 geriatric nursing home patients, chlorophyll was found to be helpful in this regard, and even helped ease chronic constipation as a positive side effect.
Chlorophyll supplements are generally considered safe, according to a 2014 study published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements. However, side effects have been reported, such as:
Urine changes — Your urine may turn green.
Skin reactions — Photosensitive rashes may appear after taking chlorophyll supplements.
Gastrointestinal issues — There’s a possibility to develop diarrhea.
Very little research exists about the effects of chlorophyll on children and pregnant or breastfeeding women. In light of this information, I do not recommend giving chlorophyll supplements to young children or taking them while you’re pregnant. Similarly, not much is known about the interactions of chlorophyll with other drugs.
In any case, if you do happen to develop any of the side effects mentioned above, consult with your doctor immediately.
Article edited from Dr Mercola. For more info on this particular article see Dr Mercola’s website.