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What Is So Special About Green Vegetables?
When you know why, you’ll upload them
Life on earth would be impossible without plants. Plants are sometimes called the ‘lungs’ of the earth because they provide the oxygen we need to breathe to stay alive. Furthermore, they use the carbon dioxide we exhale, along with their own chlorophyll and the sun’s energy, to provide us with food and beautiful greenery.
Therefore, humans as well as animals could not survive on planet earth without green plants – they provide oxygen without which we cannot survive and they provide food, without which we suffer from ill health.
There are more than 300,000 different species of plants on earth, although the number continues to grow as we discover new species.
What makes plants green?
The reason green plants are green is because they contain a special chemical called chlorophyll. This compound is called a phytochemical, with ‘phyto’ meaning plant.
In Greek, chloro means green, while phyllon means leaf, so it’s easy to see how the word chlorophyll originated.
Chlorophyll in plant leaves absorbs sunlight, converting it into carbohydrates from both carbon dioxide and water. It also produces oxygen in the process. The carbohydrates that the plant produces are the food that the plant needs to grow. It is also the food we eat when we eat green plants.
Chlorophyll, the compound that makes some vegetables green, is a delicate compound and is easily damaged by heat. The greener the vegetable, the more chlorophyll it contains. However, when you cook green vegetables until they turn that gray-green color, they lose their enzymes and water-soluble vitamins, reducing their powerful benefits. Chlorophyll also cleanses your body and helps it detoxify, absorb and remove heavy metals from your digestive system. But only when it is active, in its raw state.
Raw green vegetables are better than cooked ones
It is best to consume green vegetables when they are raw, because the minerals contained in the produce are bound to enzymes, as well as proteins and glucose. These minerals are called chelated minerals when they are in this form. When the product is heated, it loses this natural form of the mineral and enzyme, with the resulting minerals not being absorbed as easily by our digestive system.
This is why superfoods or green mixes must be processed at low temperatures if they are to retain their nutritional density. Because the enzymes in green vegetables are destroyed by heat, and enzymes are one of the important components of fresh vegetables, they also need to be protected from heat damage when producing a nutrient- and enzyme-dense green mixture.
So what exactly is in green vegetables?
- The chlorophyll molecule is very similar in structure to a molecule in our body called hemoglobin, which contains iron and carries oxygen to our cells through the bloodstream. Hemoglobin is also the component that makes our blood red. Hemoglobin carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. The center of the chlorophyll molecule contains a magnesium molecule, while the center of the hemoglobin structure contains iron. Although there has been some discussion about the conversion of chlorophyll to hemoglobin, due to their similar molecular shape, there is no clear evidence that this occurs. But green foods contain iron in its natural form, as well as other components necessary for the formation of hemoglobin.
- Green vegetables are also full of other very important nutrients, in varying amounts, depending on growing conditions and specific varieties. They contain magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, zinc, copper, manganese, potassium, sodium, many of the B vitamins, such as B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B9 (folic acid) as well as vitamins A ( in the form of beta carotene), C, E and K. In addition, they also contain important antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which promote eye health, with lutein possibly playing an important role in preventing colon cancer . They also contain enzymes (if raw) as well as protein, fiber and some of the good Omega 3 fats.
- Green vegetables are also alkaline in action, meaning they are capable of shifting your body from an acidic state to an alkaline state. This is important because cooked and refined foods, stress and low levels of exercise make your body acidic. A low pH is known to be a precursor not only to low energy levels and inflammation, but also to degenerative diseases. It is therefore important to eat foods that promote an alkaline balance in the body, which help the body move away from an acidic state.
- Green vegetables that come from the brassica family are even more nutrient dense than regular green vegetables. Broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and red cabbage as well as Asian greens, including bok choy, Chinese cabbage and pak choy, have powerful anti-cancer properties, detoxify the body of environmental toxins and also supply antioxidants. Any product that protects you from cancer will also help with overall health and anti-aging.
- Green cabbages are another very useful food, even more powerful than fully grown green plants, because they are the seeds of the plant and therefore contain all the power that the future plant requires for its initiation into life. A tablespoon of seeds can produce a kilogram of sprouts, so they are a very valuable food and contain a large amount of easily assimilable natural nutrients, including carbohydrates, proteins in the form of amino acids, as well as vitamins, minerals and some . fats. For example, young barley leaves have seven times more vitamin C than oranges and five times more iron than spinach. Cabbage has been known as an important nutritious and healing food for nearly 5,000 years, so they have certainly stood the test of time.
What about greens that don’t grow in the ground?
People don’t generally think of sea green vegetables as having significant health benefits, but they’re also nutritional powerhouses:
- Many of them can contain up to thirteen vitamins, twenty amino acids, as well as sixty trace elements, including iodine, which is an important mineral used by the thyroid gland to regulate your metabolism as well as your hormones. Some of the other trace minerals are boron, chromium, calcium, cobalt, magnesium, manganese and molybdenum, sodium, potassium, silicon, sulphur, silver and phosphorus.
- Your body loves these sea minerals because they are raw, which is the opposite of the supplements most people use regularly.
- Seaweed also contains other important compounds that can be compared to gels, which act as alkynizers, thus balancing your body’s pH level, which helps keep it more alkaline than acidic, leading to improved health.
- They are also liver detoxifiers, which further help boost energy levels. Kelp is especially useful as a heavy metal detoxifier, helps treat arthritis, indigestion, thyroid disorders, helps purify the blood, relieves inflammation and soothes the mucous membranes. Dulse is beneficial for iron deficiency, has a very high protein content and helps balance the thyroid and adrenal glands, prevents hair loss and helps prevent viral infections.
There are a variety of different sea vegetables – sea weeds, as we’ve come to call them – which you can add to your food, or find in a superior green mix, such as arame, dulse, kelp , nori, wakame and kombu.
Super green foods
Freshwater algae, such as spirulina and chlorella, are also called superfoods, due to their nutrient-dense qualities, including chlorophyll, as well as amino acids and enzymes. However, they must also be prepared for consumption in green mixes at very low temperatures, as heat will destroy their enzymes.
Long-lived people, such as the Hunza and elderly Japanese on the island of Okinawa, consume a variety of green vegetables on a daily basis. Vegetables are never cooked for long periods, mostly eaten raw or lightly steamed, with the cooking water eaten with the vegetables. The health of these people is a proof of how important green vegetables are in our diet.
Living busy and stressful lives, many people find it difficult to buy and prepare enough green foods to keep them – and their families – healthy. That’s why a green blend, using the best forms of green foods, prepared without heating, is great insurance against nutritional deficiencies caused by low intake of green vegetables.
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