The word “green” has become a codeword for that which is healthy, environmentally beneficial, and positive. It’s naturally assumed that this is derived from the green color of plants, which symbolizes nature and overall natural health. But, the question can be asked, why are plants green?
The answer is chlorophyll. Simply put, chlorophyll is the single most critical substance in plants that allows them to absorb light from the sun and convert that light into usable energy. Chlorophyll has a chemical structure that is quite similar to a chemical structure found within our red blood cells. All of the green vegetables are concentrated sources of chlorophyll, and appear to be better sources of antioxidants than antioxidant supplements.
Chlorophyll has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and wound-healing properties. Chlorophyll is a good source of antioxidant nutrients. Antioxidant nutrients such as vitamins A, C and E help to neutralize free radicals in the body that can cause damage to healthy cells. Moreover, chlorophyll delivers magnesium to the body and helps the blood carry oxygen to the cells and tissue, and it has been studied for its potential in stimulating tissue growth and in stimulating red blood cells in connection with oxygen supply.
Research studies in humans have found that damage to DNA by aflatoxin can be decreased as much as 55% through supplementation with chlorophyllin at 100 milligrams, 3 times a day, for 4 months. Although research is still in the early stage, prevention and treatment of liver cancer, skin cancer, and colon cancer are being investigated in relationship to intake of chlorophyll-containing vegetables and supplementation with chlorophyllin.
On a poetic note, chlorophyll is the chemical which allows plants to grow from sunlight; that is, chlorophyll is essential in the transformation of light energy to chemical energy in photosynthesis. It may not be too much of a leap to think that the ingestion of chlorophyll is the ingestion of sunlight itself, and perhaps that sunlight is essential to not only life on earth, but our lives as well. If it is too poetic, it is comforting to know that science reinforces this notion, and that the color green is more than just a symbolic notion of health - it is a literal denotation of it as well.