Chlorophyll refers to the phytochemical that gives plants their green color and pigmentation. This chemical is responsible for absorbing solar energy to facilitate photosynthesis, a process in which plants convert energy from sunlight into sugars. You can get chlorophyll from green vegetables or through liquid supplementation purchased from vitamin stores. Chlorophyll provides nutritional benefits to the body and helps keep you healthy.
Important minerals considered essential for keeping your bones healthy include calcium, vitamin D and magnesium. When you eat green plants, you take in a high concentration of magnesium, because of their chlorophyll content. According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, chlorophyll contains large amounts of magnesium, helping keep your bones strong. In the body, about 50 percent of magnesium is in the bones, and the remaining 50 percent is distributed in the cells, tissues and organs. You can find chlorophyll in green vegetables such as turnip greens, broccoli, green beans and frozen or fresh spinach. The recommended daily allowance for magnesium is 320 mg for women and 420 mg for men, and half a cup of frozen spinach supplies 75 mg.
The magnesium in chlorophyll also helps your muscles contract and relax and remain strong. Not eating chlorophyll deprives you of a huge supply of magnesium, and deficiency can make your muscles weak. MedlinePlus recommends you not overcook green vegetables, which can reduce the amount of natural chlorophyll.
One of the many benefits chlorophyll provides is maintaining normal blood pressure. The Office of Dietary Supplements reports that people who take chlorophyll, with its large supply of magnesium, have lower blood pressure compared to those who do not. Taking chlorophyll can also help you if you have Raynaud's phenomenon, a rare disorder that affects the blood vessels in your fingers and toes and results in loss of blood flow to those areas. The magnesium component of chlorophyll appears to help maintain blood flow in these patients.
Eating green, leafy vegetables affords you a good supply of vitamin K, an important component that your body needs for your blood to clot properly. Vitamin K deficiency can result in excessive bleeding. If you do not eat enough green, leafy vegetables, such as turnip greens and spinach, you can purchase a liquid supplemental form of chlorophyll over the counter.
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Vitamin K; Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD; June 18, 2009
- MedlinePlus; Chlorophyll; John E. Duldner, Jr., MD, MS; December 18, 2009
- MedlinePlus; Magnesium in Diet; Linda Vorvick, MD; March 9, 2009
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Magnesium
- Scleroderma Research Foundation: Tips for Living with Scleroderma