Naturopathic Kitchen: Wheatgrass

Scissors, a bundle of wheatgrass, and two shot glasses of wheatgrass juice.

What is Wheatgrass?

Wheatgrass is the young green shoot of the wheat plant (Triticum aestivum), which is often juiced and taken as a nutritional supplement. 1 Many people know that wheatgrass is considered a superfood, but do not know the specifics as to why. Here are the top reasons to understand before adding it to your diet.

Excellent Source of Nutrients & Antioxidants

Wheatgrass is a good source of various vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is exceptionally high in vitamins C and E, and the antioxidant glutathione. 2 It also contains amino acids, which are essential to various functions, including immunity, digestion, and tissue growth. 3

Inflammation Aid

Wheatgrass has been shown to decrease chronic inflammation in some people. In one study with people who had ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease, participants saw a significant decrease in inflammation and rectal bleeding after drinking 100 ml. of wheatgrass juice daily for one month. 4 

Better Digestion

Wheatgrass may help promote better digestion in some people. It is a good source of enzymes that can assist in breaking down food and absorbing nutrients. 5 It also has detoxifying properties that may help reduce gas, abdominal pain, and bloating. 6

How to Consume Wheatgrass

Juice

Wheatgrass juice is easily found at many health food stores and juice bars, or you can grow your own wheatgrass at home and use a juicer that is specific to processing this product. 

You can drink the juice on its own as a shot, or add it to other beverages like fruit juice, smoothies, or teas.

Powder

Wheatgrass also comes in powder form. The powder may be mixed into water, fruit juice, smoothies, and more. Choose raw, organic wheatgrass powder for the best nutrient value.

Capsules

If you want the benefits of wheatgrass but do not enjoy the taste of it, or want a more convenient option, capsules are also available. Choose brands that are certified organic. 

Precautions

Wheatgrass is generally considered safe, but some people may experience abdominal pain, diarrhea, and other digestive issues if they consume too much. If this happens to you, decrease your intake and monitor your symptoms.

Wheatgrass molds easily, so if you are growing it at home, keep a close eye on the plant and do not consume it if it exhibits any signs of mold or has an unusually bitter taste. If you have a sensitivity or allergy to wheat, do not consume wheatgrass.

 

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