Summer is here, and with it we have many gifts from the earth. There are an abundance of fresh fruits and veggies available in grocery stores, and the outdoor Farmer’s Markets are bustling with activity. Now that the cold months are over, our bodies are generally craving lighter, crisper, fresher foods.
With all of these foods available, many people still stick to the same old, same old. Leafy greens? You mean lettuce or spinach? Vegetables? Carrots and broccoli? Fruits? Apples and oranges? We often stick to what we know. There are some amazing foods out there that are just waiting to be discovered. So be adventurous. Some of the stranger looking foods are the tastiest, and the best for you! Try Kohlrabi a crispy, turnip-like veggie featured in our recipe section. Add some Swiss Chard for variety to your leafy greens. Spruce up your stir-frys with Bok Choy to aid digestion. Throw in some sweet potatoes for some colour and variety.
Some of the greatest medicines are from food! Chlorophyll, the green pigment found in all green plants, is virtually identical to our own haemoglobin, the oxygen transporter of our blood. That means that greens can actually help oxygenate the body!
Leafy green vegetables are great sources of fibre, to promote elimination and protect from various health risks such as cancer and diabetes. They are plentiful in enzymes needed for digestion and other biochemical reactions in the body. Not to mention the full spectrum of vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, B, C, K, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, and iron to name a few. Greens also help to alkalize the body. Bacteria, fungus, and parasites can only grow in an acidic environment. Alkalizing with greens can help you get your internal environment back in order.
Spotlight on Nutrients: Chlorophyll
Chlorophyll is the green pigment found in most plants. It is the “respiration centre” of the plant, and helps with photosynthesis, the process through which the plant turns sunlight into energy.
Chlorophyll has a virtually identical structure to haemoglobin, the molecule that transports oxygen throughout the bloodstream. The difference is that chlorophyll has magnesium in its centre, whereas our haemoglobin has iron at its core. Because of this similar structure, the body can easily convert chlorophyll from plants to haemoglobin needed for our body. This property makes chlorophyll an excellent blood booster and increases oxygenation of the blood. In addition, chlorophyll is also an excellent antioxidant molecule, protecting cells from harmful free radicals.
There are several companies that make chlorophyll supplements, however I feel that that the best source comes in its natural packaging – in green fruits and vegetables.