You no doubt have heard of chlorophyll before. Most likely in high school biology class. You probably even know it has something to do with leaves.
Chlorophyll is a pigment that gives plants their green color. It interacts with the sun to provide the plants with nutrients they need to thrive.
And that’s what makes chlorophyll interesting for people, as well as for plants. As it turns out, just like this it can keep plants healthy, this bright green pigment can help keep us healthy, too.
4 ways chlorophyll can help you stay healthier
We’re learning that chlorophyll can help…
1. Fight cancer and support detox:
Several animal studies have made it clear that chlorophyll has potential cancer-fighting properties. In those studies, the researchers found the pigment either slowed the growth of cancer cells or prevented them from ever developing in the first place.
Your liver typically does a great job of clearing any harmful substance you ingest out of your system. But detoxifying your body isn’t easy work and your liver can always use a little extra support. Chlorophyll can fill that role.
Your liver uses special enzymes to help it break down toxic substances and make them safer for your body to process. But when your liver gets pushed to its limits, and those enzymes become overwhelmed, toxins can begin to build up. Left untreated they can even raise your risk of liver cancer.
In one animal study, the pigment reduced liver tumors 29 to 64 percent and stomach tumors by 24 to 45 percent. And in another, chlorophyllin (the supplement form of chlorophyll) slashed markers for aflatoxin, a known carcinogen, by 55 percent.
Of course, we need more research on how well it fights cancer in humans. And at least one human trial is already underway. But what we already know so far is quite impressive. And it provides us with plenty of reasons to look for ways to incorporate more of this healthy pigment into our diets.
2. Prevent body odor:
None of us is immune from body odor. A hot day or a hard workout can trigger that unpleasant smell. And for some unlucky folks, fighting off B.O. is a constant battle. But it turns out chlorophyll may work as a natural, chemical-free deodorant.
A study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that the plant pigment helped reduce body odor in older people. In fact, volunteers felt it worked so well they even reported a boost in self-confidence. And in another study, folks suffering from a metabolic disorder that produces a fishy smelling body odor saw significant improvements in their B.O.
3. Heal wounds faster:
Chlorophyllin creams help heal wounds, skin ulcers and even acne faster. Experts say it works by slowing the growth of bacteria and reducing inflammation around the wound, allowing it to heal.
In one wound-care review, an ointment containing chlorophyllin was more effective than other treatments tried. In fact, it slashed both pain and healing time in half. Your doctor can recommend or prescribe topical creams that include chlorophyllin.
4. Support weight loss:
We all could use a little extra help when we’re trying to lose a few pounds and researchers say chlorophyll might be it. In one study, overweight ladies who took a daily plant supplement with chlorophyll lost significantly more weight than their unlucky peers who got the placebo.
And another animal study may have the answer why. In that earlier study, researchers found that chlorophyll could help stabilize hormone levels. And that includes ones that regulate appetite such as ghrelin which helps you feel fuller after eating. Which means you may be less likely to binge and overeat.
Think green to get more of this healthy pigment in your diet
Fresh green plants contain chlorophyll. So you may be able to bump up your chlorophyll levels simply be eating more of them.
Some good choices include…
- green beans
- collard greens
Toss them into salads and smoothies or lightly steam them to retain as many nutrients as possible. You can also find chlorophyll supplements in health food stores, online or any place they sell supplements.