Category: 

What are the Health Benefits of Wheatgrass?

Wheat grass has many health benefits.
Wheat grass juice may help soothe a sore throat.
A healthy green breakfast smoothie may feature spinach or kale in addition to wheatgrass.
Shots of wheatgrass juice.
Because wheatgrass is high in fiber, it's a popular addition to an orange-banana or other fruit smoothie.
Article Details
  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
The US Post Office uses a mail boat to deliver to other ships on the Detroit River, and it has its own zip code: 48222.  more...

November 27 ,  1978 :  Harvey Milk and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone were murdered.  more...

Wheatgrass does have some documented health benefits. It is a great source of fiber, which can help maintain bowel regularity, and it also has antibacterial properties, is a good source of iron, and may help reduce symptoms of a sore throat when a person gargles with its juice. Wheatgrass is about 70% chlorophyll, which can help reduce bad breath and may aid in digestion. Some say that a little put on skin wounds may work as well as topical antibacterial ointments.

Despite its benefits, the major supporter of wheatgrass juicing, Anne Wigmore, had some very uncommon ideas regarding its benefits. Wigmore firmly believed that it could cure cancer, insanity, and the AIDS virus. In fact, she was sued for this last belief by the Massachusetts attorney general, although the judge ruled Wigmore was exercising her First Amendment rights. Her claims are far from verifiable, however.

Wheatgrass is still consumed quite frequently, especially at juice and smoothie stores. It is usually grown in trays, from which it is picked directly and juiced per a customer’s order. Unfortunately, plants grown indoors may not have as many benefits as those grown outside.

Ad

In indoor or greenhouse settings, the plant is often used before it reaches peak nutritional potential. Because the environment in these settings is relatively mild, the grass grows quickly. In fact, it grows too quickly to actually have time to fully develop its simple carbohydrates (sugars) into complex carbohydrates, and it also may not be as rich in vitamins at this stage than most think.

Instead, scientists have analyzed that wheatgrass grown outdoors or indoors should not be picked until it reaches “jointing.” Jointing is when the plant has just sprouted seed heads. In most juice stores, it is picked before reaching this stage.

Many people claim that the juice provides them with instant energy. This claim may be valid, since when picked early, it still contains a lot of simple carbohydrates that are an excellent source of energy. If the plant is allowed to reach jointing, however it will have complex carbohydrates, vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and potassium.

Wheatgrass is seldom juiced when it reaches this stage, so its health benefits may not be as great as many people think. People can still benefit from the chlorophyll it contains, however.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

discographer
Post 9

@ZipLine-- I just started having wheatgrass juice. I've had a shot of it every day for the past three days. I'm also a diabetic and I have been feeling slightly more energetic since starting the wheatgrass and I have not seen any changes in my blood sugar.

Some websites that sell wheatgrass supplements claim that wheatgrass can treat diabetes. Well, that's not true, it can't treat or cure diabetes. But it can detoxify the liver which can experience toxicity due to high blood sugar levels. That's even more likely if the diabetes is not under control.

So I have wheatgrass for nutrients and detoxification, nothing else. If you're on medications, you might want to double check with your doctor in case something in the wheatgrass contradicts with your meds.

ZipLine
Post 8

Does wheatgrass have side effects for diabetics?

It doesn't sound like it would be bad for diabetics. It has carbohydrates which will raise a diabetic's blood sugar, but it also has fiber which will allow this to happen more slowly.

I have type two diabetes and I like learning about foods and natural supplements that can help me manage my diabetes better and improve my health in general. I've heard good things about wheatgrass but I'm not sure if it would be as beneficial for me as a diabetic.

Any diabetics here taking wheatgrass juice or supplements?

SarahGen
Post 7

I've never consumed wheatgrass myself. But I know about wheatgrass benefits because my cat eats it. I grow the grass in a pot at home. My cat eats several pieces of the grass every day. It helps a lot with her digestion and she tends to eat more of it if she has an upset stomach. I also think that she's picking up some extra vitamins and minerals this way.

The other thing that wheatgrass helps her with is hairballs. I don't know how, but when she has wheatgrass on a regular basis, she gets less hairballs and has less vomiting. So maybe the grass helps the hairballs pass through her system better.

LisaLou
Post 6

I would be interested in knowing if there are benefits in growing your own wheatgrass as opposed to buying it in the health food store.

This seems like it is pretty expensive, especially if you were going to use it on a daily basis. The last time I was at the health food store, I saw a wheatgrass kit, and thought that might be a better way to go.

Has anyone tried growing their own wheatgrass, and was it quite a bit more cost effective to do so?

julies
Post 5

It sounds like I need a wheatgrass shot right after lunch. I get so sleepy after I get back to my desk after lunch, and really fight this for a couple of hours every day.

I think I need to somehow try adding some wheatgrass in the afternoon to see if it gives me a natural energy boost to make it through the early afternoon.

honeybees
Post 4

If you add wheatgrass to something does it change the taste? I have seen this as an option to be added to juices and smoothies, but have never tried it.

For the people I know who use this on a regular basis, they are sold on the wheatgrass benefits they receive.

When I hear the word "wheatgrass" it doesn't bring to mind something that would taste very good.

anon269062
Post 3

Wheatgrass is good especially for those who are anemic. It has also lots of fiber, good for those who don't have regular bowel movements. It has benefits for the liver, too.

It gives you energy. Actually, it's best to be taken first thing in the morning, at least an hour before breakfast for better absorption by the body. I've taken the powder form for six months now and my hemoglobin count improved, overall health is better, liver problem lessened. It also fights cancer cells.

lovelife
Post 2

@donna61--When I decided to add wheatgrass to my smoothies I decided on the juice not the powder. While doing a lot of reading on wheatgrass I discovered that the wheatgrass powder actually has lower nutrients and higher sugar content than the wheatgrass juice. If you do decide on the powder, choose dehydrated, it seems to be the best of powders, being higher in nutrients and lower in sugar than the other wheatgrass powders.

donna61
Post 1

I have read and heard a lot about wheat grass and its benefits. Does anyone know about the benefits of wheat grass in a powder form? My husband and I are thinking about juicing and we are wondering if adding wheat grass powder to the mix would be of any benefit.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email