When I was an intern in chiropractic school, a patient of mine would always come in promoting the benefits of wheatgrass. I must admit, at the time, I couldn’t develop a taste for it. However, I am now starting to see the benefits of how it can impact your health. For those of you who don’t know, wheatgrass is actually what its name implies, the grass of the young wheat plant. However, at this early stage of the plant’s life, it is considered a vegetable rather than a grain and is safe for gluten-sensitive individuals. Wheatgrass can be eaten as fresh produce, juiced, or taken as a powder or tablet supplement, and consuming it is an exceptional way to increase dark green leafy vegetables in the diet.
Before we look at the health benefits of wheatgrass, let’s look at some of its nutritional benefits. It is a concentrated source of vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, and enzymes. It contains more than 90 minerals, including high concentrations of the most alkaline minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sodium, and it has more vitamin C than oranges and twice the vitamin A as carrots. Wheatgrass also contains 19 amino acids, the building blocks of protein, including arginine, serine, absenisic, lysine, aspartic acid, glycine, alanine, methionine, leucine, tryptophane, phenylalanine, and valine. In addition, it contains many essential enzymes including: protease (which assists in protein digestion), cytochrome oxidase (which is a powerful anti oxidant), amylase (which facilitates digestion), lipase (which is a fat splitting enzyme), and superoxide dismutase or SOD (which is found in all body cells and is known for its ability to lessen the effect of radiation and slow cellular aging). To compare wheatgrass to the nutritional value of other vegetables, 30 ml of freshly squeezed juice is equivalent to 1 kg of leafy green vegetables. Just one teaspoon of wheatgrass powder, weighing 3.5 grams, is nutritionally equal to an entire spinach salad weighing 50 grams.
With all of those nutrients, the health benefits of wheatgrass are too numerous for this post, but here are some of the main ones:
- It helps your body to build red blood cells which increases the blood’s oxygen-carrying ability.
- It lowers blood pressure by dilating the blood pathways throughout the body.
- Wheatgrass stimulates the thyroid gland, helping with obesity, indigestion, and a host of other complaints.
- It restores alkalinity to the blood. Its abundance of alkaline minerals helps reduce over-acidity.
- It is a great source of vitamins B, C, E and carotene which are hugely effective in destroying and eliminating free radicals and cleansing the body.
- Because it is also high in saponin, wheatgrass offers excellent support to the lymphatic system, helping to carry away hundreds and thousands of toxins from the cells of the body.
- It has been used to treat digestive complaints such as peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis, constipation, and diarrhea.
- It is a powerful detoxifier of our liver and blood. The enzymes and amino acids in wheatgrass can protect us from carcinogens. It strengthens our cells, detoxifies the liver and bloodstream, and chemically neutralizes environmental pollutants.
- Similarly, wheatgrass fights tumors and neutralizes toxins. Recent studies show that the juice has a powerful ability to fight tumors without the usual toxicity of drugs that also inhibit cell-destroying agents. The many active compounds found in grass juice cleanse the blood and neutralize and digest toxins in our cells.
- Externally applied to the skin can help eliminate itching almost immediately.
- When rubbed into the scalp before a shampoo, wheatgrass will help mend damaged hair and alleviate itchy scalp conditions.
- It is soothing and healing for cuts, burns, scrapes, rashes, poison ivy, athlete’s foot, insect bites, boils, sores, open ulcers, and sunburns. Use it as a poultice and replace every 2-4 hours.
- Wheatgrass powders and juices are an extremely effective way of boosting the body’s immune system to fight against and recover from illnesses and ailments.
- One enzyme found in wheatgrass, SOD, lessens the effects of radiation and acts as an anti-inflammatory compound that may prevent cellular damage following heart attacks or exposure to irritants.
With all of these benefits, you may want to add wheatgrass to your diet.