It’s hard to ignore, green is in. It’s the color we look for in healthy Juices, smoothies, and even some ‘superfood’ powders. As one of nature’s favorite tints, many of us have simply come to connect the two — Eat your greens, be healthy — is it really that cut and dry?
Maybe not how you’re thinking. Let alone the narrow emphasis of dietary color, many mistakenly accredit the vegetal green of chlorophyll as a stand-alone wellness compound. Not to say we shouldn’t trust our eyes, but to do so wisely. Popular supplements like chlorella and spirulina don’t help the problem either, their dense chlorophyll content makes it easy to believe we’re caught up on our daily greens, especially with labels that portray unfounded benefits.
“Just add a teaspoon to fight cancer, boost energy, eliminate toxins, and improve digestion,” you’ve probably read it before. Serving as examples, there’s usually reasons to be wary of such dietary shortcuts (as a side note, if you do choose to supplement with them, look for sources that standardize against BMAA, a neurotoxic amino acid).
Alright, so when should we trust our eyes?
The chlorophyll in lush greens actually has no role in our physiology, so as we’re careful not to overestimate its place in health, that vibrant color can be a powerful indicator for real nutritional density. Simply put, when plants are healthy, their rich chlorophyll provides the necessary energy to produce nourishing and health-protective veggies. When we consume them, those nutrients and phytocompounds positively influence our bodies as antioxidants, immune-boosters, hormonal regulators, and more.
That emerald visual appeal usually means a great source of folate, minerals, and fiber. Also, the more deeply colored kale, spinach, broccoli, peas, and lettuce, the greater the presence of lutein and zeaxanthin — antioxidants which protect the eyes from aging. And for cruciferous vegetables, the stronger the green, the more calcium and cancer fighting phytonutrients too.
The bottom line
Dr. Andrew Weil recommends eating the rainbow, informing that our health benefits from the unique nutrients, polyphenols, anthocyanins, and other phytocompounds found in the spectrum of fruits and veggies. That said, ‘eat your greens’ has been drilled into us from time immemorial, remaining a pivotal color in our health, and doubling exemplary in how vision can guide our health.
If you want some practice backed by a difference you can feel, apply these ideas to your choice in matcha. The characteristics of premium matcha are ideal for one, because its jade green color indicates healthy growth and maximum nutrient uptake before harvest. Premium matcha also has not been left exposed to oxidation, where unlike the off-color of wilted produce, the vibrant chlorophyll remains intact and conducive to good flavor. The bright appearance is a visual guarantee of physiologically potent antioxidants, amino-acids, and other key health promoting compounds. Besides, fresh matcha looks beautiful as it’s prepared.
Before you trust a new supplement or cut-corners in your diet, start by giving 1,000 years of health and history a try.