How Wheatgrass Benefits Your Health
There’s no doubt about it, wheatgrass benefits have been touted for a while now.
And sure, you might think it’s become a bit of a clichéd health fad that some people take because everyone else is doing it, and most people have no idea why it is good for them, but they know that it is probably good for them…so they down their freshly juiced wheatgrass shot in one go at their local juice bar on the way to work.
Or they grow wheatgrass on their windowsill and juice it up themselves for their morning fix. Others take the powdered version every morning as their nutritional insurance and as a more natural alternative to a multivitamin…
So what’s the real deal with wheatgrass? Is there any truth behind the fad?
Here at Athletic Greens we’re firm believers that yes, wheatgrass benefits everyone who takes it.
It’s a concentrated form of nutrition that can be taken in high doses with minimal risk.
Wheatgrass comes in many forms, from fresh and frozen juice, to tablets, and powders. Its compositions vary according to the production and how it’s grown.
To create wheatgrass juice, the grass needs to be harvested at the right time and then taken when it’s fresh as it deteriorates quickly and loses its benefits.
Due to its high fibre content and strong taste however, wheatgrass can be tough to digest. That’s why you might see wheatgrass juice mixed with water, fruit juice, tea or smoothies.
Be careful though: buying wheatgrass by the shot from a juice bar can be expensive - and you can’t always be sure you’re getting the best quality and nutrient density.
We’re all about quality (and economy too!), so we’ve added it into our superfood mix in the form of wheatgrass juice powder. It’s freeze dried, meaning most of its nutritional content is well preserved.
Beyond The Fad: Taking A Closer Look At Wheatgrass Benefits
The botanical name for this unassuming plant is Triticum aestivum. Which sounds a bit fancy, but if you’ve seen wheatgrass, you’ll know that it’s not.
It looks a lot like...well, grass. (And tastes like it too!)
The grass you’re seeing is the young shoots from the common wheat plant. By the way - despite the name and being part of the wheat family - wheatgrass is generally gluten-free. There is gluten in the seed kernel, but not in the green.
The shoots are either juiced fresh or powdered, to be harnessed as a health tonic.
It’s said that the ancient Egyptians revered wheatgrass for energy, health and vitality. Seems they knew a thing or two.
In modern times, however, it wasn’t until much more recently that the therapeutic benefits of wheatgrass were first put forward.
In the 1940s Ann Wigmore observed animals who ate, then regurgitated, the shoots to enhance digestive function and general health. She incorporated wheatgrass into her own anti-cancer protocol with apparent success.
There’s still a lot of research being done on the therapeutic potential of wheatgrass so it’s currently lacking scientific support. However, there are some notable exceptions.
Studies suggest that wheatgrass may:
✔ Reduce symptoms of ulcerative colitis (an inflammatory bowel disease), due to its compounds with anti-oxidative properties.
✔ Support breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Chemotherapy can cause hematological toxicity (a decrease in bone marrow and blood cells) and studies have shown that wheatgrass juice may help improve this.
✔ Assist oxygen transport in people with Thalassaemia (a genetic disorder that affects the production of haemoglobin).
✔ Provide beneficial nutrients and antioxidants.
Wheatgrass Benefits In The Bigger Picture
While there might be a lack of scientific studies, the nutritional qualities of wheatgrass make it likely to contribute to:
→ Increased energy levels
→ Better oxygenation
→ Improved immune function
→ Decreased inflammation
→ Improved general wellbeing
Wheatgrass contains chlorophyll, amino acids, minerals, vitamins (including C and E), and enzymes, which combine to provide excellent nutritional benefits.
These benefits are big for people deficient in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, with wheatgrass (especially in powdered form) representing an easy way to consume them.
This means that for people suffering fatigue or who are generally low in some essential vitamins, taking wheatgrass could provide a fast and noticeable boost to energy levels.
And for people suffering an acute illness like a cold, a high dose of wheatgrass may help speed up their recovery.
How To Enjoy Wheatgrass Juice Powder
As a whole food, wheatgrass dosages vary. Many sources cite 3 - 6 grams of powder in divided daily doses as optimal.
No adverse effects from wheatgrass have been reported - which is pretty amazing!
Wheatgrass is one of the big green ingredients in our superfood mix.
It works well with the entire formula as it contains a lot of chlorophyll which can make it easier for the body to maintain healthy pH levels and a broad spectrum of highly absorbable vitamins and minerals.
You’ll probably remember learning about chlorophyll back in science class, right? It’s the molecule that absorbs sunlight to give plants energy (through photosynthesis), as well as their amazing green colour.
Green leaves have been used for centuries in folk medicine to treat inflammation, and scientific studies have since found that chlorophyll does indeed have potent anti-inflammatory properties.
Wheatgrass benefits in a nutshell
Wheatgrass is credited with many positive health effects ranging from increased energy and relief from chronic skin conditions to the treatment of cancer.
While research is still being done to support the many touted wheatgrass benefits, in the meantime anecdotal and historical accounts - plus an understanding of the nutritional profile of wheatgrass - suggest there is more to wheatgrass than meets the scientific eye.
So now you know a bit more about the benefits of this common grass, perhaps you might be more curious to try a shot next time you see it at the juice bar. Just hold your nose for the taste!
Alternatively, keep taking your delicious Athletic Greens and know that you’re getting all the wheatgrass benefits you need right there.