If you haven’t jumped on the wheatgrass bandwagon yet, it’s not too late. Now, don’t just scrunch your nose and bow out of the conversation just yet. Wheatgrass juice is perhaps the most health-generating food out there, so keep reading. I do get it, though – wheatgrass is the kind of health trend you chalk up to hipsters, tree huggers, and more-or-less-obsessed health and fitness enthusiasts. Plus, it can appear to be inaccessible, expensive, and downright gross. But with so many benefits of wheatgrass on the line in terms of energy levels, overall health, and head-to-toe beauty, why not compromise? Learn about wheatgrass, its origins, how to use it, and 51 reasons why you will walk away happy, healthy, and glowing!
Wheatgrass is a young grass of the common wheat plant, Triticum aestivum, a subspecies of the family Poaceae.
Wheatgrass can be cultivated outdoors, but is commonly grown indoors on trays filled with potting mix. As the leaves grow, they eventually split. At this so-called “jointing stage” point, the wheatgrass has reached its greatest nutritional value and the blades can be snipped off, allowing for a second round of leaves to grow. After the second round grows to the point of splitting, the crop is usually finished, although a third round is sometimes possible.
For those of you who struggle to ingest wheat grass juice, have no fear! You too can experience the glory inherent in the superfood without pinching your nose and taking a swig. Wheatgrass is available in many different forms.
To make powder, tablets, or capsules out of wheatgrass, the blades are harvested, dehydrated at a low temperature or freeze-dried, and sold as a dietary supplement. Schnabel and his successors found dehydrating the wheatgrass at low temperatures to be the best and most beneficial way to dry out the wheatgrass, although today many producers claim freeze-drying is better for quality and taste. Freeze-drying removes all moisture by placing frozen wheatgrass in a vacuum and turning the ice into vapor. However, traditionalists argue that nothing can compare to the natural dehydration of wheatgrass as it grows slowly under natural conditions in glacial soils through the often-freezing temperatures and bright sunlight of winter, just as Schnabel had grown it. However, freeze-drying is far more convenient for producers and consumers alike.
Homegrown fresh wheatgrass can skip the drying process and be juiced directly after cut from the soil. Wheatgrass juicers are sold just about everywhere nowadays. Amazon.com features a good bunch of them. Cut wheatgrass can be placed into an airtight container and survive about 7 to 8 days in the refrigerator.
History of the Benefits of Wheatgrass
Wheatgrass consumption goes way back, some 5,000 years to ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations. Egyptians held the wheatgrass’ leafy blades as sacred and honored them for their health benefits.
In the 1930s, American agricultural chemist Dr. Charles Schnabel worked hard to popularize wheatgrass by documenting its amazing nutritional benefits. One of his most famous studies centered on the livelihood and egg output of 106 hens. When Schnabel received the hens, they were sick and dying. Schnabel restored their health by feeding them a mixture of fresh cut, young oat grasses and greens. On July 31, 1930, his efforts proved fruitful – he got 126 eggs from 106 hens! Hens generally can only lay one egg per day and often they lay no egg at all, which is why Schnabel’s feat was so remarkable. Schnabel and his team compared wheatgrass to other nutrient-dense vegetables, like spinach, broccoli, and alfalfa, and found wheatgrass to be dramatically superior in improving the health of livestock. In the 1940s, Schnabel, now dubbed “Father of Wheatgrass”, debuted a wheatgrass powder on the market. By the 1950s, cereal grass tablets were America’s bestselling multi-vitamin and mineral supplements.
In the 1950s, Lithuanian-American nutritionist and whole-foods advocate Ann Wigmore began to juice wheatgrass. It is said that Wigmore turned her hair from dark grey to jet black in her late years by way of her wheatgrass-fueled dietary protocol. Later, Wigmore would form the Hippocrates Health Institute in Boston, where she would educate thousands on the benefits of wheatgrass and plant-based living.
Nutritional Analysis and Benefits of Wheatgrass
One ounce of wheatgrass contains 120 calories, 8 grams of dietary fiber, 240% of the RDA of vitamin A, 93% of the RDA of vitamin C, 356% of the RDA of iron, and 12% of the RDA of calcium. It also contains 8 grams of protein.
Wheatgrass is overflowing with vitamins, amino acids, liver enzymes, and chlorophyll. It contains 98 of 102 earth elements found in soil, including phosphorus, calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium as well as essential enzymes and 19 amino acids. It also bears more vitamin A and C than oranges and carrots and is rich in vitamins E, K, and B.
Chlorophyll, a phytochemical that is what gives dark leafy greens their color, is essentially the blood of plants and is what makes wheatgrass so powerful. Chlorophyll reverses aging, suppresses hunger, cleanses the blood, combats odor, and prevents cancer. Wheatgrass is 70% chlorophyll, making it a concentrated carrier of the sun’s life force energy.
These qualities make wheatgrass as beneficial for your skin, hair, and figure as it is for your general health. Consider it an all-purpose solution to just about every health problem you may have.
How Much is Enough?
You shouldn’t underestimate wheatgrass – it’s very potent. Consuming too much at any given time can render you nauseous and feeling sick. First, you have to build up your serving sizes. For instance, when you are incorporating wheatgrass juice into your diet, start with 1 ounce per day and slowly graduate to 2 ounces per day. You don’t need more.
Equally important as the amount you take is when you take it. Wheatgrass should always be consumed on an empty stomach or with other fruits and vegetables. It should never be consumed after a meal, otherwise it will make you feel nauseated.
Young children, pregnant women, and elders should consult their doctors before adding wheatgrass to their diets.
51 Incredible Benefits of Wheatgrass
Wheatgrass is overflowing with essential vitamins and minerals, quite unlike any other food in the world. It can be consumed or applied topically for both health and beauty benefits. Here are 51 convincing ways to incorporate wheatgrass into your daily dietary lifestyle.
1. Treat Skin Diseases
Wheatgrass can be used to cure skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis. There are several ways you can go about using wheatgrass for your skin. Pour wheatgrass juice into a few holes in an ice cube tray, freeze, and rub a cube across blemishes on your skin as well as on any scars or damaged areas. Alternatively, you could pour a cup of wheatgrass juice or powder into a warm bath and soak your body in the bath for at least 30 minutes. Your body will be cleansed and odor-free.
2. Lose Weight
If you have a few pounds to lose, wheatgrass may be the answer. This requires drinking wheatgrass juice or taking wheatgrass supplements, and it’s well worth it. Wheatgrass is effective in managing the thyroid gland, whose function is crucial in avoiding weight gain.
3. Reduce Food Cravings
Wheatgrass is loaded with so many nutrients that your body isn’t lusting for other foods to compensate for any lack of vitamins or minerals. This goes hand-in-hand with wheatgrass’ ability to help you lose weight, but it is also critical in your efforts to avoid unhealthy, sugar and fat-laden snacks. Take a wheatgrass supplement (or juice shot) each morning on an empty stomach and it may prevent overeating throughout the day.
5. Detox Your Cells
If you think a regular juice cleanse is the pinnacle of detoxification, you’re wrong. Wheatgrass may appear like a simple, dull grass, but it is actually among the most powerful natural detoxifying agents due to its high alkalinity. In fact, it has been said that just about one ounce of wheatgrass is equivalent in nutritional value to more than 2 pounds of leafy green vegetables. Talk about an alkaline overload!
6. Improve Immunity
Wheatgrass has exhibited the ability increase red blood cells in the body, which is why it is so effective in staving off disease and boosting immunity.
7. Stimulate Circulation
Wheatgrass has the ability to increase the amount of oxygen in the blood, making it a great way to stimulate circulation. In addition to taking a wheatgrass supplement, you could also use a cotton ball to rub wheatgrass juice around your face and neck to dilate blood vessels and allow more circulation to the surface of the skin. After applying, rinse off the wheatgrass and pat your face dry with a towel.
8. Improve Digestion
Instead of reaching for antacids to relieve heartburn or indigestion, introduce wheatgrass into your daily regimen and benefit from its vitamin B, amino acids, and enzyme content. From irritable bowel syndrome to ulcers, wheatgrass is a great tool to improving digestion. Wheatgrass even goes as far as cleaning your bowels of impacted matter and mucous.
9. Treat Arthritis
Health experts believe wheatgrass is effective in treating arthritis. Chlorophyll is thought to benefit arthritis and wheatgrass contains tons of it! Chlorophyll fights inflammation, which is associated with joint pain.
10. Reduce Fatigue
When you experience fatigue, your body is likely deprived of rest and is dealing with a weakened immune system. Chlorophyll helps to increase oxygen supply in your body’s cells and tissues, contributing to cell regeneration, which heals the body and reduces fatigue symptoms.
11. Get Rid of Body Odor
Wheatgrass is a natural body deodorizer and regular consumption or application of wheatgrass can help to get rid of the stench naturally. Its juices have the ability to wash toxins from the mouth, skin, and body.
12. Treat Skin Wounds
By regenerating cells, wheatgrass juice can treat skin wounds and help them heal faster. Dab wheatgrass juice to the skin with a cotton ball and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing and patting dry with a towel.
13. Prevent Tooth Decay
Gargle a shot of wheatgrass juice in your mouth for a few minutes and it will draw out toxins and re-mineralize teeth. Replace harsh mouthwash with wheatgrass juice. No, your teeth won’t turn green!
14. Cleanse the Liver
Wheatgrass is probably best known for its effects on the liver. The liver processes what the body ingests, and with its detoxifying properties, nutrients, and enzymes, wheatgrass is able to restore and revitalize the liver.
15. Treat Sunburn
Just as wheatgrass is able to treat wounds, it is also able to accelerate the healing process of burnt skin. Dab wheatgrass juice to the skin with a cotton ball and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing and patting dry with a towel.
16. Stabilize Lipid Levels
Wheatgrass improves lipid levels, which means it’s a great tool for managing high cholesterol.
17. Clear Sinus Congestion
Consuming wheatgrass or snorting wheatgrass juice through the nose helps to clear the sinuses by pulling toxins and breaking up mucus.
18. Get Rid of Acne
Wheatgrass has the capacity to regenerate skin cells and is thus helpful for the complexion. Take a wheatgrass supplement daily or apply the juice straight to the skin to get rid of acne.
19. Prevent Cancer
Due to its potent detoxifying properties, wheatgrass works to keep the blood clean and oxygenated as well as the red blood cell count high. Cancer thrives in a low-oxygen environment, so the wheatgrass contributes to cancer prevention.
20. Fight the Common Cold
Steer clear of colds with wheatgrass supplements. If you aren’t keen on taking wheatgrass supplements year round, instead home in on the cold-weather seasons, where the chances of contracting the common cold is much higher.
21. Treat a Hangover
The abundance of alkalinity in wheatgrass offsets the acidity caused by alcohol consumption. Wheatgrass also hydrates cells, which can be dehydrated after a night of drinking.
22. Improve the Mood
Wheatgrass is rich in iron. A deficiency in iron can cause fatigue, which worsens mood and makes you feel blasé and unenthused. Wheatgrass turns the tide!
The vitamin B in wheatgrass is effective in helping you to overcome anxiety and achieve a better state of mental health. Many of us have stressful careers and family lives, so a little support is always welcome!
24. Fight Depression
Wheatgrass helps to keep your iron levels stable, which is particularly important for women. Iron deficiency is linked to apathy and depression.
25. Improve the Appearance of Nails
A glance at your nails can give you a pretty good idea of the state of your health. A lack of iron in your diet or poor circulation are often the main reasons why your nails are weak, have white spots, or are rough in texture and yellow or blue in color. Wheatgrass boosts circulation, allowing blood to reach the ends of your fingers and giving life to otherwise lackluster nails. Meanwhile, wheatgrass offers a substantial amount of iron to the body.
26. Ease Menstrual Pains
Irregular and painful menstrual cycles can be attributed to malnourishment of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Wheatgrass is so chockfull of nutrition, it helps to fill in the blanks where your diet hasn’t already. This includes helping you weather through “that time of the month” with more ease.
27. Combat Inflammation
Wheatgrass is exceptionally powerful in fighting inflammation, a condition that is closely linked to disease in the body.
28. Get Rid of Bad Breath
Much in the same way wheatgrass works to neutralize body odors it also helps to get rid of bad breath.
29. Neutralize Infections
The chlorophyll in wheatgrass helps to fight off bacterial infections and bring the body into equilibrium, avoiding an overly acidic state that makes it susceptible to disease-causing bacteria.
30. Repair Damaged DNA
The amino acid chains in wheatgrass can be absorbed directly into the blood and promote cell metabolism. These amino acids provide material for the formation of the nucleic acids RNA and DNA. Damaged DNA can wreak havoc in your body, causing sterility, genetic abnormalities, and abnormal aging.
31. Improve Your Exercise Regimen
The high amount of oxygen in chlorophyll helps deliver more oxygen to the blood, which is particular helpful prior to strenuous exercise, when you want all the oxygen you can get.
32. Slow Down Aging
Wheatgrass is brimming with antioxidants, which help to neutralize free radicals in the body. Free radicals are essential what age us, from head to toe and from inside to out. Antioxidants help us to slow down the aging process and reveal a more youthful vitality in our appearance and mood.
33. Fight Radiation
In one study, wheatgrass extract proved successful in topically treating acute radiation-induced skin reactions. We are exposed to radiation on a daily basis, from our iPhones to iPads, and wheatgrass makes for a useful tool in offsetting overexposure. Like all other pollutants, radiation is equally vulnerable to wheatgrass’ detoxifying prowess.
34. Refine and Renew Bodily Tissues
Wheatgrass refines and renews bodily tissue by improving circulation, boosting the blood’s oxygen levels, and detoxing tissue cells from harmful toxins.
35. Flush Drugs out of the System
Flush your liver of over-the-counter and prescription drugs by consuming wheatgrass. Wheatgrass protects the liver from oxidative stress and helps to cleanse it of any foreign substances that come its way.
36. Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels
Wheatgrass has been shown to be a powerful anti-hyperglycemic agent. This makes it a fitting supplement for those with diabetes or who are trying to reduce blood sugar levels.
37. Be Smarter
The chlorophyll in wheatgrass fuels the body with oxygen. Oxygen is vital to many body processes, especially for the brain, which uses 25% of the oxygen supply. A better functioning brain means you can make smarter decisions and operate in a more diligent fashion in your day-to-day life.
38. Balance Your Diet
Just 1 ounce of wheatgrass juice is equivalent to 2 pounds of vegetable produce. If your diet is subpar, consider wheatgrass a necessary addition to your lifestyle. It fuels your body with the veggies it needs, only in a single shot!
39. Improve Oral Health
Rinsing the mouth with wheatgrass juice draws toxins out of the gums and improves oral health. Wheatgrass juice also treats bleeding gums.
40. Clean the Bowel (enema style)
If you conduct enemas on yourself to draw impacted matter out of the colon, add a shot of wheatgrass to the water in order to attract even more acidic waste and shepherd it out of the body.
41. Heal Skin Irritation
The high alkalinity of wheatgrass helps to comfort and soothe skin irritations. Both topical application of wheatgrass juice and consumption of wheatgrass supplements work well.
42. Get Rid of Dandruff
Dandruff thrives on a dry, unhealthy scalp, and topical application of wheatgrass juice can help to balance the pH of your scalp and ultimately repair it.
43. Enjoy a Better Douche
Remove odor down under with a wheatgrass juice douche. It will not only get rid of unwanted smells but also improve the overall health of your nether regions.
44. Improve Your Sex Life
A healthier lifestyle equates to increased libido and better sex. Regular wheatgrass supplements will have you feeling and looking your best, so you can get under the sheets with more confidence and stamina.
45. Eliminate Heavy Metals from the Body
Wheatgrass is popularly known for its ability to detox heavy metals from the body. Heavy metals are toxic and can interfere with bodily processes.
46. Diversify Your Gluten-Free Diet
Wheatgrass is gluten-free because it is harvested when young, before it ever has the chance to grow grains.
47. Boost Energy
Decreased energy is closely related to diet and often a result of nutritional deficiencies. Wheatgrass helps to put your body in balance so your energy levels soar!
48. Improve Your Smoothies
Add wheatgrass powder or juice to your morning, post-exercise smoothie for an extra health kick. Just add 1 teaspoon of wheatgrass powder of 1 ounce of wheatgrass juice to each serving. Try this green smoothie recipe as a start:
Wheatgrass Green Smoothie
1 ½ bananas, peeled, chopped, and frozen
Small handful of fresh spinach
1 teaspoon wheatgrass powder
2 Medjool dates, seeded
Dash of ground cinnamon
Directions: Place all the ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
49. Increase Fertility
P4D1 is a compound found in wheatgrass that impacts sperm cells and DNA, ultimately increasing fertility.
50. Improve and Create a More Discernible Palate
Wean off of unhealthy, nutritionally-devoid foods with wheatgrass. By balancing your body’s pH and satisfying your nutritional needs, wheatgrass steers you away from bad food cravings and doesn’t leave you craving for foods packed with sugar, excess fat, and preservatives. Wheatgrass trains your taste buds to start craving healthier foods and to appreciate subtle flavors more fully.
51. Reduce Appearance of Scars
Wheatgrass juice helps to rebuild damaged skin. Topically apply wheatgrass juice to the affected area and let sit for 20-30 minutes before rinsing clean.