This trending superfood is popular for good reason! High in chlorophyll, full of vitamins and minerals, this green grass can help you in a plethora of ways! Extremely low in calories and fat free, this plant has been considered a complete food because it contains an enormous amount of nutrients per each individual calorie. This low calorie green grass is full of antioxidants that can help the body’s cellular processes. With antibacterial and detoxifying properties, wheatgrass is a perfect addition to your daily smoothie, whether you want to detox or live a healthy life!
1. Health Benefits of Wheatgrass
1. Wheatgrass helps you build healthy red blood cells!
What are blood cells?
Blood cells are the term for any type of blood cell that is found circulating in your body's bloodstream. There are three main types of blood cells: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
Red blood cells, also called erythrocytes, are known for their very important role of carrying oxygen and and collecting carbon dioxide that is in your blood stream. These cells are formed in your bone marrow. They have a lifespan of 120 days.
Why are healthy red blood cells important?
Red blood cells are very important for your body because they deliver oxygen to other cells and also remove carbon dioxide in your blood stream.
Being deficient in red blood cells can result in anemia, which is a health condition that will leave you feeling tired all of the time. There are many different types of anemia, with a plethora of side effects. Anemia can lead to life threatening disorders, including death.
How does wheat grass help you build healthy blood cells?
Wheatgrass helps you build healthy red blood cells because it is made up of a large amount of chlorophyll (around 70% to be exact). Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in plants, as well as algae. It helps plants absorb light. It is also thought to be one of the most promising sources of nutrition for humans because it is a super nutrient. Chlorophyll is an extremely important blood builder.
Chlorophyll has a molecular build up that is very similar to our own red blood cells. The biggest difference between these cells is the fact that chlorophyll has magnesium as its central atom instead of iron. However, chlorophyll acts like hemoglobin (the protein in our red blood cells that aids in the transport of oxygen), by increasing the productivity of our cells. It helps our cells to transport oxygen and other nutrients.
Studies have shown that chlorophyll helps to treat anemia when given as a supplement. Anemia is a condition that results in too little red blood cells in the body, due to too little iron in the blood.
It is also thought that chlorophyll helps to protect your cells from harmful damage, such as radiation; and also acts as a cleanser for your blood cells by removing heavy toxins from your body. It is also full of antioxidants!
EAT SMARTER TAKE AWAY: Wheatgrass is high in chlorophyll, which acts like a red blood cell and aids them in their productivity by transporting oxygen and nutrients to other cells in your body. It also helps to cleanse your blood!
2. Disadvantages of Wheatgrass
1. Wheatgrass can cause allergic reactions!
What are allergies?
Allergies are a condition where the bodies immune system reacts to a foreign substance.
What is the allergen responsible for wheatgrass allergies?
The allergen in wheatgrass responsible for allergies is typically gluten. Wheatgrass in its pure form is gluten free, because it is harvested before the seed has grown, which contains gluten. However, when wheatgrass is harvested in large batches, it easily may contain plant that has already started to seed. It is best to play it safe and avoid wheatgrass if you have severe gluten allergies.
If you are allergic to grass pollen, you also may have reactions to wheatgrass. A response to wheatgrass in this case could be similar to hay fever, with itching reddened eyes, a scratchy throat, and nasal congestion.
Is there allergen free wheatgrass?
If you have a severe gluten intolerance, it is best to avoid wheatgrass just in case. However, pure wheatgrass should be gluten free.
EAT SMARTER TAKE AWAY: Wheatgrass, like any other food, can contain allergens, including gluten, that can cause discomfort and illness. If you have an allergic reaction to wheatgrass seek medical attention immediately.
4. Wheatgrass Recipes in Video
Wheatgrass is an extremely nutrient dense addition to smoothies and juices! If you don’t mind the grassy taste, have a shot of wheatgrass juice, or add it to one of our colorful smoothies for a power packed dose of vitamins and minerals. Wheat berries are also incredibly nutritious and a great variety from oats or rice. Try some of these wheatgrass recipes to add some healthy, green nutrients into your life!
5. About Wheatgrass
What is wheatgrass?
Wheatgrass is actually a part of the common wheat plant, known as T. aestivum. It is prepared from the cotyledons of the plant, which is known as being a part of the embryo of the seed of the plant. That means they are the first leaves which appear from a seed after germination. Wheatgrass is harvested from the wheat plant before it becomes a true wheat, which is why depending on the time it is harvested it can be considered “gluten free”.
What kinds of wheatgrass can you buy?
You can buy sprouted wheatgrass or wheatgrass seeds. Wheatgrass seeds are also called wheat berries. They can be found at grocery stores or online
The wheat berries include the entire kernel of the grain. This includes the bran, which is the hard outer layers of the grain; the germ, which is the embryo within the cereal grain; and the endosperm, which is the tissue that is produced within each seed during fertilization, it provides nutrition.
Wheat berries are full of nutrition, including protein, vitamins, healthy fat and carbohydrates.Wheat berries can be cooked like rice, planted and grown for juice, as well as grinding them into flour which can be used for baking.
Wheatgrass is when the plant has grown at least up to 8-10 days, and resembles grass. It can be grown indoors, and is commonly found at juice bars where it can be harvested fresh for a smoothie. It also can be grown outdoors, where it will be darker in color than wheat or the wheatgrass grown indoors.
Wheatgrass is ready to be harvested when the leave begins to “split” and another leaf begins to emerge. Wheatgrass grows like other plant shoots, where you can harvest the older, upper layer and leave the fresh, young leaves to continue growing. That way, you don’t have to replace the entire plant. Typically a plant is best for two cuttings. A plant can continue to be harvested, but after three cuttings it begins to have a bitter taste because it will contain less sugar and begin to get a tougher texture.
6. Wheatgrass vs. Spinach
Both of these green plants are high in chlorophyll and high in vitamins and minerals. So which wins as the most nutritious green? Wheatgrass is higher in the B Vitamins, which are necessary for heart health. It also is very high in Vitamin E. However, spinach has almost twice the chlorophyll content, much higher calcium, magnesium, potassium and Vitamin C content! Both of these plants are alkaline, low in calories, with barely any fat. Spinach potentially has wheatgrass beat, but both of them contain their own benefits. We recommend including both of these healthy greens in your diet if you can.
7. History of Wheatgrass
An ancient green, known for its vitamins and minerals!
A healthy grass - loaded with health benefits.
Wheatgrass has an unknown namesake, but its modern term is probably from its resemblance to grass.
The word ‘wheat’ is Old English, and comes from Old German where it means “that which is white”. The variant form of the word means “to shine”.
The Old English word ‘grass’ comes from the Proto-Germanic word grasan which has the meaning “to grow, to become green”.
8. Q&A About Wheatgrass
How do you pronounce wheatgrass?
What is wheatgrass related to?
Wheatgrass is actually a part of the common wheat plant, known as T. aestivum.
How much wheatgrass is produced in the world?
Since wheatgrass is technically only a part of wheat, from the cotyledons, we are uncertain exactly how much wheatgrass is produced in the world. However, a huge amount of wheat is produced in the world every year, with many countries producing millions of metric tonnes per year. It is thought that every year over 700 million metric tonnes are cultivated.
Is wheatgrass gluten free?
Yes and no. If you are extremely sensitive to gluten, we don’t recommend it, just in case! Wheatgrass ideally should not contain gluten. However, if a rancher harvests wheatgrass that has been contaminated by wheatgrass which has already began producing seeds, it will contain gluten. This is especially a problem for wheatgrass powder.
How long does it take wheatgrass to grow?
Wheatgrass is relatively quick to harvest. Wheatgrass seeds germinate within two days, and is ready for harvest within 10 days.
9. Nutritional Information
This is your nutritional information for 3 grams of wheatgrass!
|Calories 15||Calories from Fat 0|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 0g|
|Monounsaturated Fat 0g|
|Total Carbohydrate 2g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber 1.0g||4%|
|Vitamin A 30%||Vitamin B6 1950%|
|Vitamin E 1600%||Vitamin B5 360%|
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