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Chlorophyll: The great detoxer

chlorophyll for detox

With concerns that their sushi habits, silver fillings, or Gowanus apartments are exposing them to mercury, many New Yorkers are reaching for chlorophyll as a detoxer.

Are they crazy, or onto something?

Chlorophyll, if you remember from science class, is a pigment that allows plants to absorb light from the sun and convert that light into usable energy. In people, that same pigment has powerful health benefits—namely, it can bind to heavy metals and may foster a flushing-out process (via number one and number two). It’s also been linked to cancer prevention.

Most of the buzz and excitement around this phytonutrient comes from its use in Japan after the nuclear meltdown. And from a 2010 study published in the Journal of Toxicological Sciences, which showed that mice given chlorophyll for mercury exposure excreted about twice the amount of mercury as mice not given it. The thinking goes that it can bind to heavy metals in humans, as well.

Chlorophyll is found in most green veggies (as long as they’re not cooked till they’re gray). So if your spinach, kale, collard, and broccoli intake is good, or wheatgrass, spirulina, and algae are already part of your diet, you’re good to go.

Organic Avenue's $4 chlorophyll booster shot

Just in case, a number of cleanse companies include chlorophyll in their green drinks, like Joulebody. And Organic Avenue stocks single-serving shots of pure chlorophyll. Why should potent pigment shooters be part of your diet? “Chlorophyll is blood building and incredibly alkaline, says Organic Avenue founder, Denise Mari. “In my experience, it’s great for health and that’s why chlorophyll booster shots are featured in our LOVE Cleanse programs.”

Kris Carr seconds these benefits in a sidebar sonnet to chlorophyll in her digital book, Crazy Sexy Juices and Succulent Smoothies. The author loves chlorophyll’s health-enhancing functions, like “increasing red blood cell production, easing inflammation, and strengthening your immune system” that you get from sipping or chewing on veggies.

On that note, adding a few toxin-flushers like cilantro, parsley, and mint to your morning smoothie can boosting the benefits of cleaning up your act.

Can’t always make time to juice? Raw-food and nutrition guru David Wolfe says you can always supplement with AFA Super Blue-Green Algae, which is grown in a natural lake (Klamath Falls). It’s believed to produce a higher level of chlorophyll and other nutrients than algae grown in man-made lakes.

Could be those concerned New Yorkers are on to something after all. —Jennifer Kass and Melisse Gelula