Which foods contain chlorophyll, and in what amount?

While most plant foods contain at least small amounts of chlorophyll, green vegetables are an especially concentrated source of this nutrient. We've seen studies on most of our 38 WHFoods vegetables, and many would be considered as fairly concentrated sources of chlorophyll.

At the top of our chlorophyll-containing WHFoods you will find spinach. This vegetable contains about 24 milligrams of chlorophyll per cup (raw). For most of our other green vegetables, you will get between 4-15 milligrams per cup. All of the green vegetables profiled on our website—including asparagus, beet greens, green bell peppers, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green cabbage, celery, collard greens, cucumbers, green beans, green peas, kale, leeks, mustard greens, green olives, romaine lettuce, green sea vegetables, spinach, Swiss chard, and turnip greens can provide you with valuable amounts of chlorophyll.

One of our Herbs and Spices that deserves special mention for its chlorophyll content is parsley. This herb contains about 19 milligrams of chlorophyll per half cup.

If you are trying to maximize your chlorophyll intake from food, it's worth doing a little brainstorming when you are making your vegetable choices. A vegetable like broccoli—while richly green on the outside—tends to become more whitish toward the center of the stalk, and on a cup-for-cup basis, can be a less concentrated source of chlorophyll than a green leafy vegetable, which is not only thinner but also green "through and through."

Not all chlorophyll-containing foods are vegetables, of course. You can find visibly green foods in the nuts and seeds group (for example, pistachio nuts) and also in the fruits group (for example, green grapes or kiwifruit). In raw pistachio nuts, chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b (along with lutein) are the major color-producing pigments. Roasted pistachio turn a yellow-brown-olive color due to breakdown of their chlorophylls into pheophytins and pyropheophytins.

At WHFoods, we recommend a minimum of 4 green vegetable servings per day. For outstanding intake, we recommend 8 green vegetable servings. Included among our many reasons for strong intake of green vegetables is their concentrated chlorophyll content. We believe that this phytonutrient may be one of the most widely available and underappreciated of the vegetable nutrients!

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