Amazing Health Benefits Of Wheatgrass
Best consumed in juice form, wheatgrass has potent detox powers. It not only acts as a natural colon cleanser, but is an effective blood strengthener and can help give you a boost in energy. Thanks to its high chlorophyll content of 70%! Wheatgrass benefits also include easing symptoms of asthma, ulcerative colitis. Your best bet is to consume in moderation (1oz twice/day).
If you’ve been keeping up with health trends, you’ve probably heard about wheatgrass. In juice form, wheatgrass can be found at health cafes, local gyms, and maybe even your favorite spa. So, what’s the big deal? Some say that it’s a “superfood” – a term that healthcare experts aren’t ready to back just yet. Others call it “green blood,” thanks to its high chlorophyll content of 70 percent.1
There are even claims that it can purify your blood, working as a hemoglobin surrogate. This might be why it has suddenly shot to superfood stardom. And while more research is needed on this, wheatgrass is a good choice for detoxification, cleansing, and healthy digestion.
More Than Just A Green Food
While the primary part of wheatgrass is green chlorophyll, it also has healthy amounts of vitamins A, C, and E and minerals like iron, calcium, zinc, and magnesium.2 With just one shot of this juice, you can get in a lot of nutrition. Another plus is that it’s gluten-free – unlike wheat itself – because the grass doesn’t develop gluten until it grows and matures.3 Just know that it doesn’t count toward your “five a day” of vegetables and fruits according to nutritionists.4
Wheatgrass Benefits For You
Let’s take a look at the ways wheatgrass can improve your health.
Like most grasses, wheatgrass is a rich source of fiber. It can quickly give you a feeling of fullness and keep your gut clean. As a result, wheatgrass has become a noteworthy colon cleanser. It’s used for treating indigestion, flatulence, constipation, nausea, acidity, and vomiting. Sometimes, an enema of wheatgrass is used to treat bleeding piles, chronic constipation, and colon disorders.5
Anti-Asthmatic And Anti-Allergic Agent
Wheatgrass has zinc and magnesium, both of which can reduce your inflammatory response. The latter can also help bronchodilatation (dilation of airways in the lungs), boosting air supply and easing symptoms of asthma and allergic inflammation in the airways.6
Treatment For Ulcerative Colitis
Wheatgrass provides relief from colon ulcers. One study showed that wheatgrass was significantly efficient at reducing disease activity and rectal bleeding. To top it off, there were no side effects. Test subjects with ulcerative colitis were given 100 cc of wheat grass juice every day for a month. These participants felt much better than the control group. Researchers recommend it as a good adjuvant treatment for the condition.7
Under a microscope, chlorophyll is structurally similar to hemoglobin. This similarity between the two may explain why chlorophyll is used as a blood substitute in conditions like chronic anemia, thalassemia, and other blood disorders.
One study looked at patients with thalassemia major, a blood condition that calls for frequent blood transfusions in order to prevent death. A supplementation of wheatgrass juice lowered the patients’ need for blood transfusions by 40 to 50 percent.8
Another study gave patients wheatgrass juice every day. In half of the participants, transfusion requirements dropped by 25 percent. In fact, the interval time between transfusions increased. The patients also felt better, reporting improved appetite and reduced pain.9
However, the medical community is still on the fence on this one. Organizations like the National Health Services and British Dietetic Association maintain that there isn’t enough evidence to prove that the green grass can actually increase hemoglobin production.10 Bigger studies with more controls will be needed before the scientific experts can back wheatgrass in this way.
Oxidative Stress Reducer
Research suggests that wheatgrass may be able to protect against oxidative stress. And while it doesn’t have high levels of antioxidants like berries, it still has adequate levels of nutrients like beta carotene, vitamin E, and minerals. In one study, healthy individuals were given wheatgrass with their physical training routine. This lowered lipid peroxidation levels even more than spirulina, a supplement known for antioxidant protection.11
Blood Oxygen Level Boost
A shot of wheatgrass juice before exercise can increase blood oxygen levels up to one percent more than what it would’ve been without the juice. Specifically, wheatgrass has the antioxidant enzyme super oxide dismutase (SOD). This converts dangerous free radicals into peroxides and an oxygen molecule. With that extra oxygen, you should feel less fatigued. You might even sleep better, too.12 Further research will help to firm up this effect of wheatgrass.
A Future Cancer Treatment
There is anecdotal evidence supporting the use of wheatgrass as a supplementary therapy for cancer treatments. Some research also suggests that the antioxidant properties of wheatgrass could benefit cancer patients. Wheatgrass juice has actually become a key part of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) diets for anti-cancer therapy. According to some researchers, the juice may enhance hemoglobin synthesis. This results in a boost of oxygen supply to all body cells including cancer cells, exposing their vulnerability to high oxygen concentration.13 Yet, there is still a long way to go before any of this can be confirmed without an element of doubt. For now, sticking with existing treatments may be the best choice.
How Much Can You Have?
Wheatgrass is usually consumed as a freshly squeezed juice. It’s also available as a dried juice concentrate, whole leaf powder, and tablet. And while it’s typically safe, wheatgrass may cause nausea, headache, or a swollen throat if too much is consumed. Your best bet is to take it in moderation. Instead of clubbing it with other veggie or fruit juices, treat it like a medicine. It has potent detox powers, after all. Drinking it in copious amounts can cause a very rapid detox if you drink too much too fast. Instead, stick to a single shot of no more than 1 oz twice a day. This should be fine as long as you’re not allergic to it and are in good health.
References [ + ]
|1, 6, 9, 13.||↑||Padalia, Swati, Sushma Drabu, Indira Raheja, Alka Gupta, and Mamta Dhamija. “Multitude potential of wheatgrass juice (Green Blood): An overview.” Chronicles of young scientists 1, no. 2 (2010): 23.|
|2, 4, 10.||↑||Wheatgrass: detox tonic or just juice?. NHS.|
|3.||↑||FAQ. Coeliac Australia.|
|5.||↑||Mujoriya, Rajesh, and Ramesh Babu Bodla. “A study on wheat grass and its nutritional value.” Food Science and Quality Management 2 (2011): 1-9.|
|7.||↑||Ben-Arye, E., E. Goldin, D. Wengrower, A. Stamper, R. Kohn, and E. Berry. “Wheat grass juice in the treatment of active distal ulcerative colitis: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial.” Scandinavian journal of gastroenterology 37, no. 4 (2002): 444-449.|
|8.||↑||Marwaha, R. K., Deepak Bansal, Siftinder Kaur, and Amita Trehan. “Wheat grass juice reduces transfusion requirement in patients with thalassemia major: a pilot study.” Indian Pediatr 41, no. 7 (2004): 716-720.|
|11.||↑||Shyam, Radhey, Som N. Singh, Praveen Vats, Vijay K. Singh, Rajeev Bajaj, Shashi B. Singh, and Pratul K. Banerjee. “Wheat grass supplementation decreases oxidative stress in healthy subjects: a comparative study with spirulina.” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 13, no. 8 (2007): 789-792.|
|12.||↑||Handzel, M., J. Sibert, T. Harvey, H. Deshmukh, and C. Chambers. “Monitoring the Oxygenation of Blood During Exercise After Ingesting Wheatgrass Juice.” The Internet Journal of Alternative Medicine 8, no. 1 (2008).|