Are You Greening-Up?

We are probably all familiar with government advice to eat vegetables and fruit. These are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients including antioxidants. 

Ever wonder why green vegetables are especially advocated by nutritionists and health professionals? Green vegetables are chlorophyll-rich foods. 

Whether you love or think you hate green vegetables, please read on to learn why greening-up with chlorophyll-rich foods is so important ….

So, what exactly is chlorophyll and where can it be found? Chlorophyll is what makes plants green and healthy.  It is also nutritive, having vitamins and antioxidants, and continues to be studied for its benefits for health and wellness.

We’ve all heard the expression ‘eating your greens’ and these are advocated for the nutrients they supply as well as for being a source of dietary fibre. These foods can also provide anti-inflammatory benefit and beneficially impact digestion, skin, and heart health. 

The image for this blog speaks for itself.  The beneficial properties of chlorophyll are many. And it is easy to ensure good amounts of chlorophyll in the diet.

Broccoli, green cabbage, brussels sprouts and kale—all referred to as brassicas—are chlorophyll-rich foods, with the leafier kale having more chlorophyll.  These brassicas are available in all grocery stores and great to add to the diet.  Each provides vitamins, minerals, fibre and chlorophyll as well as other naturally-occurring constituents that give the distinctive ‘brassica-bitterness’ which some people love and others hate.

Nutrient-dense broccoli and kale are considered ‘superfoods’ because of their well-documented health-promoting benefits. The popularity of kale has increased in recent years because of its versatility—it can be added raw to smoothies or a handful dropped into soups. Adding a handful of kale (or some kale powder) to a smoothie is an excellent and very easy way to increase your chlorophyll intake—for all those ‘added benefits’. Kale powder can be mixed with other powders to provide simple and easy smoothies to start the day ‘clean green’.   

Herbs such as parsley and coriander leaf (aka cilantro) are also rich in chlorophyll. There is a good reason why these flavourful herbs are often used as a garnish—these aid digestion and can freshen the breath after eating foods such as garlic, providing chlorophyll ‘clean green’ power.

Chlorella and spirulina also provide chlorophyll.  These are blue-green algaes, rich in phytonutrients and exceedingly nutrient-dense.  Wheatgrass and barley grass are young sprouts of these grasses that are, like chlorella and spirulina, nutrient-dense and chlorophyll-rich. These 4 ‘superfoods’ are a great way to support health; adding a spoonful of one of these superfood powders is an excellent way to ‘green-up’.

Green teas can also provide chlorophyll, with matcha tea powder containing much higher amounts than regular green tea. Swapping one coffee a day for a green matcha tea (from powder) can boost chlorophyll intake and help you ‘green-up’.

As a nutritionist, I highly advocate inclusion of chlorophyll-rich dark green vegetables and foods like barley grass and matcha tea.  These are easy to add to a daily wellbeing routine and are essential to supporting health across all ages.

Are YOU Greening-Up?