Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Health Benefits of Wheatgrass

Most people on raw food are familiar with wheatgrass. Most green superfood supplements contain some percentage of it, and many juice bars offer freshly pressed wheatgrass juice.

What is wheatgrass?

Wheatgrass is the young green grass that grows from germinated seeds of the common wheat plant or Triticum aestivum. The plant grows in the temperate regions of the United States and Europe where the ripe berries are harvested and usually turned into flour. Wheatgrass, however, is harvested long before the plant riches its maturity. 

Wheatgrass consumption was initiated by the famous holistic health practitioner, Ann Wigmore. She observed dogs and cats eating grass to improve their digestion and believed that humans could also benefit from the practice. And the easiest way to introduce wheatgrass to human diet was to juice it. 

Ann Wigmore developed a strict health regime for patients with chronic or incurable diseases. The patients were to avoid meat and diary products. They were put on raw, living food diet and had to drink fresh wheatgrass juice. This diet produced incredible results. Patients with cancer, gout and diabetes got healed. Many skin disorders and immune system related problems disappeared as patients indulged in the nutrition-rich foods. Great part of the success was attributed to the detoxifying and alkalizing effect of the wheatgrass juice. 

Nutrition facts

Wheatgrass is rich in chlorophyll and SOD (Superoxid dismutase) enzyme. It is a natural source of various minerals and vitamins, including iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and selenium, and vitamins A, C, E, K, and B vitamins including B12. Wheatgrass is a perfect source of protein. It provides all essential amino acids. Moreover, the protein comes in the form of polypeptides which are easily utilized by the body. 

Wheatgrass is gluten-free and can be safely consumed by people with gluten allergy and gluten sensitivity. The type of gluten that causes adverse reactions exists only in the wheat grains which are seeds that produce the grass. 

Health benefits of wheatgrass

As mentioned before, wheatgrass is believed to have many health benefits:
  • It has the capacity to detoxify blood and liver. It helps neutralize environmental toxins and pollutants. Thanks to SOD it helps to remove heavy metals and radiation form the body;
  • It helps alkalize the body and relieve such ailments as peptic ulcers and ulcerative colitis;
  • Thanks to a high chlorophyll content, it helps to cleanse and oxygenate the blood and increase the red blood cell count;
  • It helps to clear the brain fog;
  • It helps improve digestion and relieve constipation, diarrhea, bloating, bad breath and body odor;
  • It stimulates the thyroid function and may help to manage weight problems;
  • It can help reduce inflammation in the body and alleviate such ailments as rheumatoid arthritis when used topically as a compress;
  • It helps improve many skin conditions thanks to its detoxifying and alkalizing function and the effect it has on digestion;
  • When consumed fresh in form of juice, it may increase bio-electricity and awaken inner life-force. It helps to increase vibrancy and activates self-healing mechanisms within the body.

Grow your own!

If you are living in a big city, you probably have no problems finding a juice bar that serves freshly made wheatgrass juice, but wheatgrass is not as easily accessible in smaller communities. In this case the best thing you can do is to grow your own.

By growing your own wheatgrass you will be in control of its quality and purity. By choosing organic seeds and purified water you can make sure that the wheatgrass you are consuming truly is organic and pollutant-free. You also determine the conditions for growth and the moment of harvest.

Should you decide to grow your own wheatgrass, remember not to expose it to a direct sunlight or it will taste bitter. Also make sure that it does not develop a mold. For best results grow it in specially developed trays and follow the instructions of the manufacturer. 

Best time to harvest your wheatgrass for juicing is about one week after germination of the seeds, short before the so called jointing stage. In the life of a cereal plant such as wheat, jointing stage is a moment of growth at which the internodal tissue in the grass leaf begins to elongate and form a stem. By harvesting your wheatgrass at this stage of growth you make sure that your juice will have the highest concentration of nutrients. Once harvested, you can leave the cropped grass in the tray and allow to grow again. With a little practice you will be able to grow your own healthy grass. 

Juicing wheatgrass

Juicing wheatgrass is very easy if you have the right tool. Juicers such as the Champion juicer have additional attachments specially developed for juicing grass. There are also juicers on the market that were designed only for juicing grasses and leafy greens. Some of them are electric, some are manual. The price varies depending of the type of juicer. If you decide to buy one, always buy the best you can afford, but make sure it is easy to clean.

A word of caution

Wheatgrass is a powerful detoxifying superfood. Depending on your health condition it may cause so called Herxheimer reaction if consumed in large amounts. This reaction occurs when more toxins are released into the bloodstream that the body can process. Symptoms may include headache, skin rush and even a light fever. To prevent this you should start your detox gradually and always drink a lot of water to support the elimination of toxins from the body. 

In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique 


*Information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.


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