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The Health Benefits of Wheatgrass

Updated on April 28, 2014

Take Wheat Grass Today

Food prepared from the common wheat plant’s cotyledons is called wheatgrass. It is sold as either a powder concentrate or a juice. It is different from wheat malt due to the fact that it is served fresh or freeze dried, while wheat malt goes through convection drying. Compared to malt, wheat grass is also allowed to grow longer than malt does. It provides enzymes, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and chlorophyll. Wheatgrass health benefit claims range from providing nutrition supplements to having unique properties that are curative, although there are few proven scientifically. Some consumers juice and grow wheatgrass in their houses. Often, it is available in juice bars in mixed vegetable or juice drinks or alone. In many health food stores it is also available as powder, frozen juice, tablets or fresh product. There is no wheat gluten contained in wheatgrass.

Wheatgrass History

It was in the 1930’s that wheatgrass consumption in the Western world started as a result of conducted experiments by Charles F.Schnabel in his attempt to make the plant more popular. By the time it was the nineteen forties, cans of powdered grass by Schnabel were on sale throughout the USA and Canada in major stores of drug stores.

Benefits of Wheatgrass

Wheatgrass lowers blood pressure, increases red blood cell count and cleans debris from the gastrointestinal tract organs and blood. Blood-enriching enzymes also enrich the blood and metabolism is stimulated. Wheatgrass also aids in blood pressure reduction by dilating the pathways of blood throughout the body. Wheatgrass also correct obesity, indigestion and stimulates the thyroid gland. It is a powerful blood protector, liver cleanser and detoxifier.

200 Days

The research conducted by Schnabel involved Kansas outdoor grown wheatgrass. There was a requirement of 200 slow growth days through early spring and winter when the jointing stage was when it was harvested. He claimed that at these stages, the plant has reached its nutritional value peak and concentrations of vitamins, protein and chlorophyll declined sharply after this stage. Grass that was harvested was made into powder after being dehydrated and tablets for animal and human consumptions. Indoor-grown wheatgrass are in trays for 10 days containing nutritional content that was similar. Outdoor-grown grass goes through a harvest, is dehydrated at lower temperatures and sold n powdered or tablet concentrates. Juice powder of wheat grass which has water removed and is freshly squeezed can be bought in either a freeze dried or a spray dried preparation.

Nutritional Content

In the forties, Schanbel made claims that 15 pounds of wheat grass was equal to regular vegetables’ nutritional value from 350 pounds, making it a ratio of one is to twenty-three. Despite mineral and vitamin content claims disproportionate to other veggies, wheatgrass nutrient content is equivalent roughly to vegetables that are common.

Some claims of wheatgrass is that it has higher B12 vitamin content which is a nutrient that is vital. Contrary to belief that is popular, the B12 vitamin is not contained in any vegetable or wheat grass. Instead, is a microorganism by product that lives on plants. B12 Wheatgrass content analysis confirms that there are compound amounts that are negligible of Vitamin B12.

Wheatgrass Health Benefits

Wheatgrass proponents make claims for its properties of health, ranging from the prevention of cancer to general well-being promotion. There are no substantial claims for these in literature that is scientific. There is evidence that is limited in terms of the pharmacological beneficial effects of chlorophyll but this does not apply necessarily to chlorophyll that is dietary.

Wheatgrass Juice

On the possible benefits of wheatgrass juice, there are many small pilots and studies. Some claims say that further study is needed for ulcerative colitis and wheatgrass therapy. Small pilot studies have been cited that show how regular therapy of wheatgrass juice can reduce rectal bleeding significantly and overall activity of the disease. There are claims of how wheatgrass helps the body’s general detoxification, digestion and blood flow. These claims are not substantiated reliably and are no different from vegetables that are similar. On the other hand, in one of the pilot studies that involve thalassemia in children, patients administered with one hundred mililiters daily of wheatgrass juice showed a reduce transfusion need with no observed adverse effects. Another smaller studies of patients dependent on transfusions and suffering from the syndrome myelodysplastic responded in the same way to therapy using wheatgrass. This went on until there was an increase in the transfusions needed. Besides this, there was a significant iron chelation effect on the same patients studied. Chelation is the removal of heavy metals from the blood.

One placebo controlled study involved patients of breast cancer who daily drank wheatgrass juice showing less need for building bone marrow and blood medication when going through chemo therapy, without lessening the chemo therapy effects.

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    • viewfinders profile image

      viewfinders 

      5 years ago from India

      Good one elle, earlier i tried and it is really valuable for the maintaining digestion and blood flow.

      thanks for sharing with us............

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 

      5 years ago from California

      Try to consume an ounce or two of wheat grass every couple of days. It helps my digestive track to be healthy. Chasing it was with orange juice is helpful. It is sickeningly sweet to my palate. I know that fresh green foods helps keep cancer away. At least it has for me. One nurse accessing my port last week was amazed how well it has done for more than 3 years. Green foods are blood thinners. So it you are on a blood thinner you really need to keep track of how much green you eat.

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