Wheatgrass, the young green grass of the wheat plant before the seeds develop, is quite popular these days for its nutritional value. It is claimed to be so rich and full of health benefits that it has been nicknamed the ‘liquid gold’.
Though having been used for centuries now, wheatgrass only became popular in the 1930s, when Charles Schnabel performed a series of experiments on chickens. The winter egg production tripled in the chickens that had wheatgrass added to their diet. In the years that followed, promotion and widespread use led to the soaring popularity of this grass.
Possible Health Benefits
Loaded with Chlorophyll
Found only in plants, chlorophyll is to them what hemoglobin is to humans. Just like other green plants, wheatgrass has chlorophyll in abundance. And chlorophyll is claimed to have healing properties, as it helps in the detoxification of the body.
Seventeen Amino Acids
Amino acids prevent muscle tissue breakage and are crucial for people who are looking to strengthen their muscles. Luckily, wheatgrass provides not just one, two or three but seventeen different amino acids.
Vitamins and Minerals
It is claimed that a 30ml shot of wheatgrass juice has vitamins and minerals equivalent to 30g of vegetables. It contains 92 of the 102 earth elements found in the soil like iron, calcium, and magnesium. It also contains more vitamin A and C than oranges and is also rich in vitamin E, K, and B.
Many people today suffer from gluten sensitivity (celiac disease). As the grass is harvested even before the wheat seeds develop, the wheatgrass is gluten free.
Ways to Consume
It is best to grow your own wheatgrass. But if you can’t, then buying from a reliable brand is the next best option.
As wheatgrass is indigestible, it has to be converted into other forms in order to be consumed. The most popular way is to extract the wheatgrass juice and drink it after discarding the pulp. However, this juice does not have a great taste.
Wheatgrass is also sold in powder form, which can be used to prepare teas and can be added to other preparations. For ease of intake, it is also available in the form of tablets and capsules.
Wheatgrass shot – Blend the wheatgrass using a mixer or blender, and drink 1 to 2 ounces of the extracted liquid. Make sure you strain and remove the indigestible pulp.
Wheatgrass tea – Buy powdered wheatgrass, or you can even dry the wheatgrass and then powder it yourself. Take 1tbsp of this powder in a cup or mug; add boiling water to it and then stir the mixture. Drink the tea after a couple of minutes.
Add to fruit juice – If you are a fruit juice lover, then add wheatgrass to your fruit juice. Firstly, this will sweeten the taste of the wheatgrass and secondly it will make your morning juice healthier.
The Inconsistent Reviews
Yes, they might be rich in nutrients as advertisements claim them to be. But with minimal research to back these claims, many people are still skeptical around its usage. Also, there have been cases of allergic reactions and side effects. As it is grown in the soil, the chances of contamination by bacteria are high. So just like with any other food item, if you are planning to add them to your diet, start with small amounts. And if you see the health benefits that the whole world is talking about, you can increase the consumption.