What makes plants green is a substance called chlorophyll which is responsible for photosynthesizing – the usage of light energy from the sun to convert water & carbon dioxide into nutrition (glucose) for the plants.
While humans can not yet photosynthesize (er…wait, or can they?), I believe that eating foods high in chlorophyll helps us to assimilate the healing light & power of the sun more efficiently by creating an overall body chemistry more in tune with nature.
What foods are high in chlorophyll? Green foods! The darker the green, the more chlorophyll. For example:
- dark, leafy greens especially spinach, kale, chard & collards
- fresh herbs like parsley, dill & cilantro
- blue-green algae
- matcha whole leaf green tea
- green vegetables & fruit like peas, asparagus, broccoli, grapes & celery
- sea vegetables (seaweed)
Chlorophyll is a phytonutrient that oxygenates & detoxifies the blood. It is rich in enzymes and high in amino acids. It alkalizes the body (more on pH here), is anti-inflammatory & is an antioxidant. It has been shown to repair damaged DNA and speed up the healing process of wounds.
Heavy metal chelation is another function of dietary chlorophyll as is the reduction of bad breath. It helps eliminate the odors of the mouth & throat, but more importantly of the digestive tract where bad breath originates.
The structure of chlorophyll is nearly identical to that of hemoglobin in our blood. The center atom of chlorophyll is magnesium (green) while the center atom of hemoglobin is iron (red). Magnesium is what helps alkalize the body and deliver oxygen to cells & tissues. Chlorophyll even helps promote the formation of hemoglobin and red blood cells.
The trick to retaining maximum chlorophyll in food is to eat it raw or cook/steam it slightly. If you can retain the green color, you will retain the beneficial chlorophyll.
Chlorophyll alone can not counteract an unhealthy diet or lifestyle, but it can be an important, even crucial, part of a healthful, wholesome life.
Additionally, green is the color of our fourth, or heart, chakra. Caroline Myss says “the fourth (middle) chakra is the central powerhouse of the human energy system. It mediates between the body (3 lower chakras) and spirit (3 upper chakras) and determines their health & strength. This chakra embodies the spiritual lesson that teaches us how to act out of love & compassion and recognize that the most powerful energy we have is love.”
I view my big mug of hot matcha tea in the morning as warm liquid love that feeds my body & soul. The ritual with the bamboo scoop, the sifter and the whisk rivals that of any coffee lover’s accouterments.
Amongst its many benefits, matcha…
- is packed with antioxidants (more than pomegranates or blueberries!) including the powerful EGCg which is a cancer fighting antioxidant
- boosts metabolism and burns calories & fat without any of the nervous energy stimulated by coffee
- detoxifies effectively and naturally
- calms & relaxes with L-Theanine, a rare amino acid that promotes relaxation & well-being in the brain
- enhances mood & aids in concentration, memory & learning
- provides vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium
- fights against viruses and bacteria
- is rich in fiber & chlorophyll
- lowers cholesterol and blood sugar
- does not raise insulin levels, heart rate or blood pressure
- increases endurance by 24%
When something beyond me – a thought, a feeling, an idea, a dream – wants to manifest and ground in the physical world, it must first pass through my heart of love & compassion. When something in my physical life – pain, sadness, confusion, anxiety – needs to be offered up or turned over to the higher realms, it needs to first pass through my heart of love & compassion. The heart chakra is the power center of transformation.
Living wholeheartedly or a heart-centered life requires a clear, healthy heart chakra. We need to be able to live from our soul, yet function in this world. I believe that eating & drinking green foods rich in chlorophyll helps us tune into the vibrations of love & light.
I think what I’m really trying to say in that green food helps us synthesize the light of our soul into nourishment for ourselves & others. Perhaps we do photosynthesize after all….but from the inside out.
A chlorophyll-rich diet is one saturated in love & health. Salad anyone?
Additional ResourcesCarla Golden is a vegan nutritionist and a massage therapist in private practice specializing in therapeutic essential oils. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Holistic Health & Healing, she enjoys helping others discover the benefits and liberation inherent in a whole food, plant-based diet. The Vegan Key™ is her newest online nutrition program based on tried and true methods which foster performance, vitality, and purpose.