How Chlorophyll Helps With Detoxification

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Chlorophyll is a pigment that is found in almost all plants, algae and cyanobacteria and is the primary compound that regulates the process of photosynthesis. The majority of people know about the relationship that exists between plants and chlorophyll, but what very few people know is that chlorophyll is, in fact, a chemical compound that can provide myriad health benefits to humans that consume it.

As many already know, chlorophyll is a chemical compound present in plants. Chlorophyll is responsible for giving members of the plant kingdom their characteristic green color and is a crucial element of the photosynthetic process, which is the process through which all plants and algae absorb energy from light. Chlorophyll is also known as "the blood" of plants since it has a molecular structure that is remarkably similar to the hemoglobin molecule, with the only difference being that chlorophyll substitutes a magnesium molecule instead of the iron molecule found in hemoglobin.

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Studies have shown that chlorophyll helps to oxygenate the blood and boosts its production. By increasing blood production, the oxygen is more aptly transported to the cells throughout our body which favorably affects cardiac health as well as other organs and tissues. Many viruses and bacteria have a hard time propagating in the presence of oxygen, so the presence of chlorophyll in our systems has the added benefit of providing anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. Chlorophyll can also provide us with an alkalizing effect which can help stave off chronic diseases; this has the compound effect of strengthening our entire immune apparatus.

Chlorophyll has also been found to have incredible anti-carcinogenic properties due to its high antioxidant content. Other benefits include:

  1. Reducing blood cholesterol and triglycerides levels.
  2. Regulates blood glucose levels.
  3. Improves cardiac health by improving circulation, lowering blood pressure.
  4. Improves nutrient absorption by providing a high number of carotenes.
  5. Improves flatulence, bad breath, and general digestive health.
  6. Can help with healing of ulcers.
  7. Improves estrogenic production and alleviates post menstrual symptoms.
  8. Aids in the absorption of calcium.
  9. Improves memory retention.

As you can see, chlorophyll provides a wide range of health benefits, which is why if you are looking to detoxify your body, chlorophyll is the way to go. Let us take a quick refresher on what exactly we mean by detoxification, and then I list some reasons why chlorophyll is one of your best detox options.

Detoxification, or Detox as it is also referred, describes a natural bodily process through which accumulated toxins are neutralized. Once neutralized and transformed into innocuous compounds these toxins are eliminated by the body via urination and defecation. How do these toxins get inside your body in the first place? Through the air we breathe, the foods we consume, and through the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other harmful substances. Eliminating built up toxins from the body is a crucial factor in maintaining long-term health. 

One of the most natural and most accessible ways to detox is through a diet. Detox diets are formulated with the specific purpose of eliminating toxins from the body. Detox diets can be targeted to particular body parts such as the colon or stomach.  Detoxification diets work by providing your body the necessary compounds that your body will use in the neutralization of toxins.  A variety of Micronutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants are required for an efficient detox.

I do not feel sick, why would I bother with a detox plan? Well, regularly ingesting unhealthy foods has the consequence of diminishing your body's ability to detoxify toxins naturally and so it becomes significantly less efficient at eliminating harmful compounds over time. A general sense of inflammation, a recurring sense of fatigue, frequent colds, digestive ailments, and allergies can all be symptoms of a body laden with toxins and as such a sign that a detoxification plan is due.

Why chlorophyll based detox?

  1. Chlorophyll is an excellent source of nutrients. It is a fountain of minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and copper. Chlorophyll is also a wonderful source of Vitamins K, a potent agent involved in blood coagulation and circulatory health.
     
  2. Chlorophyll has some fantastic and potent anti-carcinogenic properties. Plenty of studies have shown that chlorophyll consumption can reduce genetic deterioration that can eventually lead to cancerous tumors. Of particular interest have been the noted effects that chlorophyll has on Aflatoxin-B1, which is a known cause of hepatocellular carcinoma and colon cancer.
     
  3. Chlorophyll has also been shown to increase Phase II Biotransformation enzymes, which promote liver function and improve the body's own innate ability to eliminate dangerous toxins.
     
  4. Chlorophyll is particularly useful in aiding digestion and maximizing waste elimination. Chlorophyll can reduce and alleviate constipation by regulating fluid levels in the body. Some studies have even suggested a direct link between chlorophyll ingestion and a reduction of hypoglycemia in overweight patients as well elevated levels of cholecystokinin which helps in the digestion of fats and proteins; so chlorophyll based detox might have the added benefit of weight regulation.
     
  5. Chlorophyll chelates heavy metals that have accumulated in our organisms. Modern-day lives are bombarded with polluted air, water, and food sources. Our bodies end up collecting contaminants such as lead, mercury, and aluminum, and these can eventually lead to heavy metal poisoning. Chlorophyll can bind with these heavy metals making their elimination from our bodies much more efficient.


Where do I get my chlorophyll fix? Well, the best sources of chlorophyll known to man are green vegetables and algae. Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, and chard; keep in mind that the darker the green of the leaf the higher the chlorophyll content will be. For example, one cup of spinach contains around 24 mg of chlorophyll whereas a cup of the lighter colored cabbage will only provide 4 mg of it. It is important to note that raw vegetables will always have higher chlorophyll content than cooked ones. Try consuming parsley, watercress, green beans, arugula, leeks, endives, and peas to get a natural dietary boost of chlorophyll. One of the most potent reservoirs of chlorophyll is Chlorella. Chlorella is a type of algae native to Asia. Chlorella is most commonly found as a component in Chlorophyllin supplements; anywhere between 100 to 300 milligrams per day have been found to be an effective dosage. Chlorophyll is a superfood that can help detoxify your body like no other nutrient known to man. It has the added benefit of reducing the risk of certain cancers and improving digestion. Whether through supplementation or dietary intake, make sure to detox with chlorophyll.

References:

  1. Klein, A. V., and H2 Kiat. "Detox diets for toxin elimination and weight management: a critical review of the evidence." Journal of human nutrition and dietetics 28.6 (2015): 675-686.
     
  2. Ferruzzi, Mario G., and Joshua Blakeslee. "Digestion, absorption, and cancer preventative activity of dietary chlorophyll derivatives." Nutrition Research 27.1 (2007): 1-12.