Wheatgrass Juice has come to be considered as a miracle drink for all health problems. Does wheat grass contain such a magic! This article about health benefits of Wheatgrass juice will tell you all.
The history of wheatgrass (scientifically known as Triticum Aestivum) dates back over 5000 years ago to ancient Egypt and early Mesopotamian civilizations. It is claimed that it was ancient Egyptians who found out about the positive effects of young wheat’s leafy blades on the health as well as vitality. In the modern world, consumption of wheatgrass powder began in the year 1930 when Charles F Schnabel conducted several experiments to exhibit the benefits of the wheatgrass and by the year 1940, the powdered wheatgrass were made available in all major drug store by Schnabel all over the United States as well as Canada. Anne Wigmore, founder of Hippocrates Health Institute is also a strong advocate of wheatgrass as a raw food diet and believes that apart from providing proper balance of nutrients it also cleanses the body of toxins. Further, she also taught that it is useful in curing serious disease. Though her recommendations were severely criticized, but most of the health institutes recommend her doctrine on wheatgrass.
Cultivation of Wheatgrass
Wheatgrass grows in the temperate regions of Europe and United States. It can be grown both inside as well as outside. Indoors, it is mostly grown on the trays with a medium growth and are harvested when they develop a “split” when another leaf emerges. When it is grown outside, it takes 200 days to grow in winter and early spring.
Nutritional Properties of Wheatgrass
It has been found out that wheatgrass is a natural source of vitamins and minerals and some of them are antioxidants as well. The vitamins and minerals found in the wheatgrass are as follows:
- Vitamins A, C, E, K and B-12
It also contains amino-acids and chlorophyll. One ounce of wheatgrass is equal to one ounce of vitamins and minerals found in fresh vegetables.
How does Wheatgrass Work?
It is believed that wheatgrass cures right from cold, coughs, fevers, digestive problems, skin conditions to serious conditions like cancer and AIDS. It is believed that the chlorophyll in the wheatgrass that gives the plants their colour acts like a hemoglobin (hemoglobin is a protein in the red blood cells that transports oxygen) and increases the level of oxygen in the body which cures or prevents the ailments. To be precise, the chlorophyll produces unfavorable condition for any bacterial growth in the body and enhances the body’s resistance power to illness. It is believed that this is similar to the green leafy vegetables like spinach, parsley, arugula which are also contributing oxygen to our body.
How to Use Wheatgrass?
To consume it as a raw food diet is quite difficult as the digestion of wheatgrass is quite tough. So it is ideal to squeeze the juice out of wheatgrass and then consume it. Otherwise, it comes as tablets and capsules that could be consumed. Normally, people mix the wheatgrass with water and drink it to clean the digestive system. Some people eat it raw as they believe that cooking wheatgrass destroys the natural enzymes that are vital for health. Here is how to extract wheatgrass juice and how to consume it and in what dosage.
How to Extract Wheatgrass Juice?
- Wheat grass tender stalks (about 8 inches in length)- 100 g, when chopped, it makes about ½ a cup
- Water- 2-3 cups
- Lemon (optional)- ½
- Blender/ Juicer/ Mortar and pestle
- Cheesecloth/ Mesh Strainer
- Wash the wheatgrass properly under running water or even lukewarm tap water and ten chop them.
- Grind the chopped wheatgrass using a blender, juicer or mortar and pestle, whatever is convenient for you. Use water as per requirement.
- Then strain the juice using cheesecloth or strainer.
- You may add some more water to this wheatgrass juice to dilute it.
- Add juice of half a lemon to this for some flavor. This is, however, optional.
- Have ½ – 1 cup of wheatgrass juice in one or two batches during a day.
A typical recommended dose of wheatgrass juice is 100 to 300 ml per day. You may also get specially manufactured wheat grass juicer to extract it without any hassle.
Benefits of Wheatgrass Juice for Skin Problems
Many research studies have proved that wheatgrass contains vitamins as well as natural phytochemicals like flavanoids which are antioxidants. Antioxidants help in the human to slow down the process of aging and also drinking wheatgrass juice detoxifies your body. This means your body is enhanced with natural health which results in the glowing skin. Wheatgrass also cures skin from diseases like eczema and psoriasis.
How to Use Wheatgrass for Skin?
- If you are prone to acne and its resultant scars or blemishes then it is ideal to take wheatgrass juice daily.
- You can also use wheatgrass juice externally by freezing it in the ice trays and applying it for the blemishes on your skin.
- You can also add a glass of wheatgrass juice to your bathing water in a bath tub and soak yourself for at least half an hour and it will cleanse your body and also fights against body odor. It is also good for sunburned skin.
Benefits of Wheatgrass Juice for Hair Damage
Wheatgrass contains cleansing properties and it will remove the dead cells from your scalp which will promote the growth of hair and also provide your hair with a healthy glow. If you are suffering from hair damage such as hair fall, dandruff and premature graying, here is how you can use wheatgrass juice.
How to Use Wheatgrass Juice for Hair Problems
- Take enough wheagrass juice depending upon the length of your hair.
- Rub this wheatgrass juice on your scalp.
- Allow it to stay on your scalp for 15-20 minutes.
- Wash your hair with a shampoo.
- This method could be used for dry hair as well.
Benefits of Wheatgrass Juice for Weight Loss
Everyday intake of wheatgrass juice helps in shedding the extra Kgs in many ways.
- Wheatgrass helps in removing toxins from your body and this is considered as the first step in weight loss.
- Wheatgrass also helps in managing thyroid gland which slows down the metabolism leading to weight gain.
- Wheatgrass juice contains a good amount of potassium that helps in burning the calories effectively.
- As it is potent in nutritional value, a glass of wheatgrass juice keeps you feel full and helps you to have a check on cravings for food.
Benefits of Wheatgrass Juice for Diabetes
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder which results in the reduced ability to produce the hormone insulin or the insulin is inactivated. Pancreas produces insulin and it has a key role in controlling blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes is associated with excess weight and high levels of lipids in blood. Normally, a diabetic patient should consume low GI foods.
Wheatgrass plays a significant role in improving glucose and lipids levels and can effectively be used in the management of diabetes. According to a research team study published in 2009 by the “Journal of Herbal Medicine and Toxicology”, it was found out that after including wheatgrass (15 g approx.) in one meal, it has lowered the GI of those foods and improved blood glucose levels. It is also noticed that it increased triglycerides which produces plasma cells. Wheatgrass is also useful in burning the extra calories thereby reducing the accumulation of fat (lipids).
Another study has found that raw vegan food which had wheatgrass in it helped in relieving the pancreas of the task of digesting cooked food. This will result in improving the insulin production.
It is said that type 1 diabetes patients often suffer from foot ulcers and it takes long time to heal and it is also of recurring in nature. By spraying the wheatgrass juice on these ulcers and wrapping them up with a soft gauze dressing could repair those nerves, keep the blood vessels open and allow nutrients as well as oxygen to reach damaged tissue and this will heal the ulcers. Also, the fibre contained in wheatgrass can regulate absorption of cholesterol as well as sugar and this has been proved to prevent the sudden rise in blood sugar levels in the diabetic patients. Whereas the magnesium in wheatgrass plays a pivotal role in improving insulin sensitivity and this could delay the start of type 2 diabetes and other complications that will result from this like nephropathy, retinopathy and cardiovascular issues.
When the high chlorophyll in the wheatgrass is consumed it increases the levels of phytanic and reduces the risk for type 2 diabetes. It is also found out that drinking wheatgrass juice has reduced the incidences of type 1 diabetes in pregnant women since it contains beta-carotene. However, it is recommended that the pregnant women take the doctor’s advice before consuming wheatgrass juice.
Considering the above facts, wheatgrass can be categorized as one of the effective home remedies for diabetes
Wheatgrass Juice for Immunity and Staying Healthy
Wheatgrass juice is also rich in high protein and enzymes which increases your energy levels better than any other energy drink. Chlorophyll in the wheatgrass fights against harmful bacteria and builds your immunity system. It also protects your internal organs like lungs from pollution, smoking and heavy metals. A glass of wheatgrass juice that contains 70% of chlorophyll, helps in building red blood cells thereby increasing the oxygen supply to your body and decreasing the carbon mono oxide that prevents cancer. The enzyme rich wheat grass dissolves the tumors. Since it contains 17 amino acids, it is protein rich food that builds the muscle tissues, repairs cell and help in blood clotting. Its antiseptic properties help in healing rashes, insect bites, bruises, minor cuts, etc. It contains Vitamin C which is good for eyes. Wheatgrass juice when taken regularly reduces acidity and retains alkalinity in the blood which helps in reducing constipation, diarrhea, ulcers, etc.
Precautions When Using Wheatgrass Juice
Although wheatgrass is considered as safe, many people have reported about its side effects especially when taken in high doses ranging from headaches and nausea to hives and swelling of the throat. Since most people consume it raw, it is possible that the bacteria and other organisms contained in the soil might cause this side effect. However, there is nothing wrong in taking small amount of wheatgrass by a reputable brand but children, pregnant woman, nursing women and people who have immunity problems should not consume it or seek medical advice before using wheatgrass juice.