Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Health Benefits of Wheatgrass

Food
Health Benefits of Wheatgrass

Wheatgrass is a tried-and-true ingredient in smoothies and juicing regimens. It's almost automatic to throw it in with those other healthy ingredients you use to boost your strength, energy and your immune system. You'll find plenty of it at your health food store, in tablet, liquid or powder form. But have to stopped to think about why you're putting it in your drink and what it's actually doing for you?

Wheatgrass may not turn you into superman, but it's a beneficial ingredient to include in your smoothies and juices.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

According to Dr. Brent A. Bauer at the Mayo Clinic, some of the more extravagant health claims are unproven, as extravagant health claims usually are.

"Wheatgrass isn't a miracle cure and shouldn't replace regular medical care or a healthy diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables," he says. "But used sensibly and in moderation, wheatgrass may add interest to your diet. Wheatgrass provides a concentrated amount of nutrients, including iron, calcium, magnesium, amino acids, chlorophyll and vitamins A, C and E. Wheatgrass fans say that its rich nutrient content boosts immunity, kills harmful bacteria in your digestive system and rids your body of waste. Some proponents tout wheatgrass as a treatment for cancer, anemia, diabetes, constipation, infections, skin conditions, ulcerative colitis and joint pain, among other health concerns. However, there are few research studies about wheatgrass, so it's difficult to assess such health claims."

So it's not a magic elixir. But those nutrients it contains are all essential for good health. They are known to be antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, helping to ward off infections, colds, sore throats and other minor infectious diseases. Vitamin A contains beta-carotene, known for its role in maintaining immunity and eye health. Vitamin C —ascorbic acid—is also a dietary essential, one of wheatgrass's key disease-fighting antioxidants. Vitamin E may play a role in slowing chronic conditions related to aging. And amino acids are essential for digestion.

Wheat grass can be as much as 70 percent chlorophyll, which some think helps to build up the blood, adding that the benefits of chlorophyll only come from using the fresh young grass. Luckily, that's easy to do. It grows quickly from seed in any shallow container. You may find ready-to-grow containers at the grocery—or at your pet supplies store. They're often marketed for cats to improve THEIR digestion. But you probably wouldn't want to do what they do: it causes them to throw up, a uniquely feline cleanse. And Mercola.com warns that it's easy to become contaminated with mold and provides some tips for growing to avoid that.

Mercola also says, "If you decide to use wheat grass you need to be very careful, as excessive amounts of wheat grass can cause you to become very nauseous and catalyze a healing crisis that could make you very sick. It is also not a food but a detoxifying herb and should not be consumed every day for long periods of time."

It's also not recommended if you're pregnant or breast-feeding or if you have celiac disease. Otherwise, Mercola suggests very much what Bauer does: make it part of your diet for both its proven and possible benefits but eat a wide range of fruits and vegetables to take full advantage of the complex networks of nutrients they contain.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Top 10 Superfoods Ranked by Experts

Why Antioxidants in Superfoods Are Essential to Your Diet

10 Best Ingredients to Include in Your Superfood Smoothies

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres delivers a video speech at the high-level meeting of the 46th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council UNHRC in Geneva, Switzerland on Feb. 22, 2021. Xinhua / Zhang Cheng via Getty Images

By Anke Rasper

"Today's interim report from the UNFCCC is a red alert for our planet," said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

The report, released Friday, looks at the national climate efforts of 75 states that have already submitted their updated "nationally determined contributions," or NDCs. The countries included in the report are responsible for about 30% of the world's global greenhouse gas emissions.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

New Delhi's smog is particularly thick, increasing the risk of vehicle accidents. SAJJAD HUSSAIN / AFP via Getty Images

India's New Delhi has been called the "world air pollution capital" for its high concentrations of particulate matter that make it harder for its residents to breathe and see. But one thing has puzzled scientists, according to The Guardian. Why does New Delhi see more blinding smogs than other polluted Asian cities, such as Beijing?

Read More Show Less

Trending

A bridge over the Delaware river connects New Hope, Pennsylvania with Lambertville, New Jersey. Richard T. Nowitz / Getty Images

In a historic move, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) voted Thursday to ban hydraulic fracking in the region. The ban was supported by all four basin states — New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York — putting a permanent end to hydraulic fracking for natural gas along the 13,539-square-mile basin, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Read More Show Less
Woodpecker

Colombia is one of the world's largest producers of coffee, and yet also one of the most economically disadvantaged. According to research by the national statistic center DANE, 35% of the population in Columbia lives in monetary poverty, compared to an estimated 11% in the U.S., according to census data. This has led to a housing insecurity issue throughout the country, one which construction company Woodpecker is working hard to solve.

Read More Show Less
A 3-hour special film by EarthxTV calls for protection of the Amazon and its indigenous populations. EarthxTV.org

To save the planet, we must save the Amazon rainforest. To save the rainforest, we must save its indigenous peoples. And to do that, we must demarcate their land.

Read More Show Less