It is highly likely that you’ve heard wheatgrass mentioned somewhere before—on TV advertising a product, at the smoothing place as an additive, or even just in passing conversation. But what is it exactly, why is it a superfood, and how can you incorporate it into your diet? Let us explore these questions together to find out the facts about wheatgrass.
This herb is a young grass in the wheat family that is rich in nutrients. It can be ingested in many forms including tablet supplements, liquid form, or capsules. It can be added the juices, smoothies, or teas, and is said to have many health benefits but there is no significant research to back these claims up.
Benefits of Wheatgrass?
Wheatgrass supplies a concentrated amount of nutrients like calcium, iron, amino acids, magnesium, chlorophyll, and vitamins A, E, and C. Those who consume wheatgrass regularly suggest that the nutrient density boosts their immune system, kills harmful bacteria in the digestive system, and gets rid of waste from the body. Some fans of wheatgrass even say that it can cure cancer, diabetes, anemia, infections, constipation, skin conditions, joint pain, ulcerative colitis, and many other health concerns. Still, there are very few research studies done to support these health claims.
Generally, wheatgrass is considered safe but it does have the potential to cause headaches, nausea, hives, or swelling of the throat. Wheatgrass is grown in water or soil and then consumed raw, so this means that it has the chance of being contaminated with mold or bacteria. Wheatgrass should not be consumed if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Those with a wheat allergy, gluten intolerance, or celiac disease should ask their doctor before using wheatgrass.
Juice vs Powder
Wheatgrass juice is made from fresh ground grass which is normally grown in trays indoors and sold in health food stores. The grass needs to be harvested within 10 days of planting, and in its raw form, it is hard to digest because of the high fiber content and powerful taste. In this form is when it is normally mixed with water, tea, smoothies, or fruit juices. It must be consumed fresh or it will lose potency.
Wheatgrass powder is simply dried and dehydrated grass that has been made into tablets. These can be swallowed or broken up and added into food or drink.
There is a debate on which form is better, but it all comes down to convenience and choice in the end. There is no evidence to prove that one form is better than the other, so each person must look at their own budget, expected frequency of use, and their lifestyle to determine whether wheatgrass juice or powder is appropriate for them.
Fresh vs Freeze Dried
In its freeze-dried form, wheatgrass is concentrated, thus it is nutritionally superior to the liquid form. On the other hand, fresh wheatgrass juice is more bioactive, making it more therapeutic. Simply put, one form is higher in vitamin and mineral content, while the other is better suited when trying to restore health. While the two forms are not 100% different from each other, they each serve both roles but at different rates. It is up to the individual to determine which form is better suited for them in their goals for a healthy lifestyle.
Remember that wheatgrass is not a miracle cure for ailments and does not replace regular medical care or a healthy diet. It is vital to include lots of fresh organic fruits and vegetables into your diet, and use wheatgrass in moderation to add to your regular diet.