Chlorophyll in Plants and Diet – The benefits of Parsley and Anything Green

Hi I’ve been reading about the health benefits associated with the celery juice craze, it’s been everywhere lately in the news, problem is most places in Bali only offer fresh fruit juices. Celery is one of the more expensive greens to buy, I was wondering if it is feasible to grow my own or are there any other alternative vegetables to grow and juice for maximum health benefit?

Regards Nicki.


As the years roll on, so to do the superfood fads. People claiming to discover things which have always existed. I say, beware of the ‘Instafad’ and those who peddle them. Last year it was kale and goji before that. So, now this year it’s celery!

If I was running the show next year it’ll be parsley but unfortunately for Instagram I’m not signed up – more likely fortunately if the truth be known!

But despite that, one thing is for sure – I’m not trying to sell you anything, get likes or increase my subscribers, so read on without suspicion.

Now while I’m all for people growing their own fruit and vegetables, just beware of the fads and fashionable foods! A healthy balanced diet is the most important thing. I find it amusing that the celery juice junkies are usually the same people posing on their Instagram feed next week, espresso martini in hand as the sun sinks low from their daybed vantage point – which could be anywhere on Bali’s west coast. But then again, what would I know…I’m not on Instagram right?

But geez I love to have the occasional rant.

Look, the truth is, any green vegetable juice will no doubt have health benefits, it’s just that I take issue with the misinformation of the celery nuts. Yes, celery juice is good for you – much better than a coke, beer or cocktail. But it will always be so much better if you grow your own. A lot of these people talk the talk, but do they walk the walk? Where do they get their celery from, and why is that important? Well, chlorophyll is the key and I’ll explain why it matters for celery, in particular.

Chlorophyll is the green pigment that gives plants their colour and is an extremely beneficial nutrient to humans. To simplify, chlorophyll converts solar energy into plant sugars through photosynthesis – without which human life on earth would not be possible! The benefits or green juice come not only from the vitamins and minerals – but the chlorophyll content also is key.

Regarding celery, most people are not aware that store bought celery is a heavily sprayed crop, so enjoy those chemicals with your juice! Another biggie people don’t realise is that commercially grown celery is ‘blanched’ in the fields a few weeks before harvest whether it’s organic or not. The term ‘blanched’ in this respect refers to the mounding up of soil around the stalks or other methods of light deprivation so that only the tops remain exposed in the final weeks of growth. Why is this done?

Well, ‘blanching’ celery makes it sweeter, reducing bitterness, whilst also rendering it less stringy and more tender to the bite – but who cares if you pulverise it into juice anyway? But what I really need to mention is that the undesirable side effects of ‘blanching’ are reduced nutrients and a lowered chlorophyll content!

Haven’t you noticed that celery stalks in the store are a pale shade of green, transitioning to white at the base? That’s not how it looks in my garden and that is the heart of my gripe with the celery food faddists. Real home-grown celery is a chlorophyll filled deeper green – better said ‘chlorofilled’ perhaps!

A green juice should have chlorophyll levels at a premium, yet your average store-bought celery is deficient somewhat. For health it’s much better to be juicing some parsley which is especially high in chlorophyll, and also extremely bitter – but hey, no pain no gain! But you can always just throw a few sprigs in with a watermelon juice, you’ll barely taste it, but the benefits will be there as parsley is extremely nutrient dense – a tiny amount goes a long way.

But as for store-bought celery as the new superfood? Sorry, I’m not buying it! Not to dis celery, I am a fan of it and I grow it as well – it’s required for stock base in soups – in which case who needs it blanched anyway?

I’m just saying that celery with pale green stalks is an inferior product in my opinion – a pale imitation to the real thing.

By the way, when juicing anything include the fibre by using a blender not a juicer – expel the fibre and there goes all the beneficial cellulose with it!

So back to chlorophyll – How will you know if your foods are packed with it, and what is so great about it? Well, any green coloured leafy vegetable or herb is bound to be rich in chlorophyll, think parsley, kale, wheat grass, spring onions, spinach etc. The word chlorophyll is derived from the Greek words: Chloros (meaning green) and phyllon (meaning leaf) – no more explanation needed!

The health benefits of chlorophyll are extensive – here’s a quick rundown. Chlorophyll detoxifies the liver, alkalizes the blood, boosts immunity, regulates iron levels, assistes healing, regulates blood sugar, activates metabolism, aids weight loss and has anti-ageing effects on the skin.

Research has shown chlorophyll to retard cancerous tumour growths. It slows down the progression of lung cancer, allowing other healing agents to eliminate the already present cancer cells. It has been shown to stop the division of breast cancer cells and kills existing ones. It can also kill existing colon cancer cells.

If you’re a sceptic, do some of your own research to uncover the facts.

According to the Oregon State University, some of the most chlorophyll dense raw vegetables are (mg per cup):

  • Parsley – 38
  • Spinach – 23.7
  • Cress – 15.6
  • Green beans – 8.3
  • Arugula (rocket) – 8.2
  • Leeks – 7.7


Parsley tops the list – so let’s talk about its apigenin content while we’re here!

Preclinical research shows that apigenin which is found in parsley, retards mesothelioma cancer cell development. Natural compounds are often shown to interrupt cancer cells and their spread. Over 50% of chemotherapy drugs come directly from plant sources or were developed in the lab by synthesizing a plant compound into a drug. Dried parsley, with 13,000 mg of apigenin per 100 grams is one of the most abundant natural sources. Fresh parsley is abundant also, with 225 to 300 mg per 100 grams.

To get a 10 mg dose as used in the clinical trial by Prof. Harald Hoensch of the University of Frankfurt, you would only need one tablespoon of raw chopped parsley per day, otherwise sprinkle a little dried parsley onto your food. Other sources of apigenin include grapefruit, peppermint, thyme, celery, and even chamomile tea.

The apigenin that is so abundant in parsley has been found to have remarkable anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects as well. Parsley also has more vitamin K than kale, with just 2 tablespoons of raw parsley containing 155 percent of the RDA. Vitamin K is known as the blood vitamin. The more I write the more I side with parsley over celery, though in reality a little bit of everything good is usually the way to go. Parsley is just so potently good for you that you can’t afford not to have it in your diet – so next time eat your garnish!

In conclusion, grow and juice whatever green leafy vegetable you like, I just think that parsley is so good because of the health benefits and the fact that it will effectively grow on its own, flowering, attracting bees, easily self-seeding, multiplying and sprouting up in rock crevices and pavement – hence its common name – rock celery.

Quite possibly parsley will be the next years fad – especially if I can have anything to do with it….now how about that Instagram account!


Dr. Kris

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