Wheatgrass: Benefits, Nutrition, Side Effects & Warnings
Have you heard “ A shot of Wheatgrass Juice Daily Can Be Your Secret To A Healthy Life”? You may be curious about this so-called “Superfood” and the veracity of the claims. So what’s the reason behind this Superfood?
Wheatgrass is a nutrient-rich young grass of a wheat plant, harvested just 6-10 days after sprouting. It is commonly used as a food, drink or dietary supplement.
Favored by health enthusiasts, wheatgrass provides numerous antioxidants and other nutrients, all in one small shot glass. Wheatgrass is low in calories but contains high vitamins (A, C & E), iron, calcium, magnesium and amino acids (protein). It’s also known as “green blood” for its high chlorophyll content.
Widely known for providing optimal health and detoxification to the body, dozens of studies on wheatgrass show that it has many more health benefits, including:
- High in Antioxidants (Glutathione and Vitamin C & E)
– It helps to fight against free radicals to prevent cell damage and reduce oxidative stress.
- May Reduce Cholesterol
– Wheatgrass may help lower LDL “Bad” Cholesterol and increase HDL “Good” Cholesterol.
- Could Help Kill Cancer Cells or Reduce Risk of Cancer
– The high antioxidant content in wheatgrass has found to aid in killing cancer cells and reducing the complications of chemotherapy.
- Help in Blood Sugar Regulation
– Wheatgrass has been proven to be a potent anti-hyperglycaemic agent, making it advantageous for people suffering from diabetes.
- Reducing Inflammation
– Wheatgrass is a rich source of chlorophyll that has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
- Alkalizing the Body and Boosting Nutrient Absorption
– Chlorophyll found in wheatgrass has been shown to help naturally balance the body’s pH level and protect cells. Also increased alkalinity increases the absorption of nutrients like electrolytes, vitamin C and vitamin E.
- Fighting Infections
– Wheatgrass can kill or slow the growth of viral or bacterial infections. This can be especially helpful in treating antibiotic-resistant infections, or people who are allergic to specific antibiotics.
However, do take note of possible side effects from overdosing wheatgrass juice. A typical liquid dose is anywhere from 1 to 4 ounces (oz.), or about 2 shots. The usual powdered dose is 3 to 5 grams or about 1 teaspoon. Drinking an 8 oz. cup of water after taking wheatgrass can help reduce your risk for side effects. Possible side effects include:
- upset stomach
These symptoms typically fade within two weeks, or after your body has adjusted to the wheatgrass.
Wheatgrass may bring health benefits to expectant mothers with all these benefits. However, experts believe that it might have some extreme consequences on the health of pregnant women and that of the baby if overindulge, so it is best t avoid drinking wheatgrass if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Other than that, people who are allergic to wheatgrass should also avoid taking wheatgrass. Wheatgrass may also affect you differently if you have a blood disorder, celiac disease, or gluten intolerance.
Wheatgrass does bring numerous health benefits to us. However, pay attention to any changes that you notice in your body, to make sure you benefiting from it and not overindulge. If you’re taking wheatgrass for a specific health concern, look into other lifestyle changes that can further aid in improving your health. Your healthcare provider may also be able to recommend specific changes in diet or routine!
Written by: Jasmine Lim
(Love Earth Nutritionist)
[Bachelor of Science Degree in Dietics (major) &
Food Science (minor) lowa State University, USA]