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Wheat Grass for Good Health

Updated on March 28, 2010

Wheat grass has become a popular tool in the quest for good health. The type of wheat grass that is consumed for these purposes is derived from the common wheat plant. Rich in chlorophyll, minerals, amino acids, vitamins and enzymes, it delivers nutrients that are difficult to match.

The young wheat plant is very nutritious
The young wheat plant is very nutritious

Wheat grass can be grown at home. With a bit of a green thumb and some light tending, a tray of wheat grass is ready for cutting and juicing in about 10 days. You can also buy the grown trays in some health food stores or online to make wheat grass juice right at home. It requires a special juicer that can be purchased with options available at all levels of the cost spectrum. In the long run, it is more cost effective to grow and make your own wheat grass if you are willing to put in the minimal effort that is required.

When used for therapeutic purposes, the cost to purchase pre-made wheat grass juice can be quite high. For convenience, some people prefer wheat grass juice from some health food stores or juice bars where you can purchase it freshly juiced by the ounce. It is also available in powder or supplement form, which is a great option if you are not fond of its pungent taste.

You may be wondering how the common wheat plant made the leap from the field to the table. It started back in the 1930s. Charles F. Schnabal, an agricultural chemist, was desperate to save his dying hens. In an attempt to nurse them back to health, he began to feed them freshly cut grass from his wheat plants. Not only did he restore his hens to good health, they wound up producing more eggs than their healthier counterparts.

Thrilled with his discovery, he began to provide dried and powdered wheat grass to neighbors and family for the purpose of supplementing their diets. Through his work, Schnabel realized that in order to reap its health benefits, wheat grass must be cut and processed in its young state. He found that once it reached its reproductive stage, chlorophyll, protein and the availability of other nutrients declined sharply.

Proponents of wheat grass tout its therapeutics benefits for everything from cancer prevention and treatment to detoxification from heavy metals. Dosing for therapeutic purposes is 2-4 ounces taken 1-3 times per day on an empty stomach. In some cases 3-4 times per day is required.

Broccoli and spinach watch out! Wheat grass provides higher levels of vitamin E, phosphorus and protein than either one of these green power vegetables. It is also thought to have higher levels of vitamin B12. It is important to note, however, that the plant itself does not contain B12. It occurs as a result of the microorganisms that live on the surface of the young plant. Once the plant is washed, the B12 content is no longer applicable.

Back in the 1940s when Schnabel was making his mark by introducing the benefits of consuming young wheat grass, it was his claim that 15 pounds of wheat grass have the same nutrient value as 350 pounds of other vegetables. With all of these benefits, the consumption of wheat grass in either juice, powder or supplement form is worth considering.

For therapeutic benefit, work with a naturopathic doctor who can guide you on what your individual dosing needs may be.


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      Barb Hall 7 years ago

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