Chlorophyll is a plant molecule that has a bright green pigment.
This molecule absorbs sunlight and helps plants with photosynthesis.
When human beings consume chlorophyll from plants, it offers many health benefits.
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Wheatgrass juice and powders are popular nutritional supplements made from the young wheat plant.
Fresh wheatgrass can be used to make juice or you can buy dried powders or tablets too.
Wheatgrass is rich in vitamins and minerals just like other fresh green vegetables.
It contains vitamins A, E, C, B12, and B6, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, amino acids and enzymes.
Chlorophyll Content in wheatgrass
Wheatgrass has very high chlorophyll content. 70% of wheatgrass is chlorophyll.
This chlorophyll molecule is similar to hemoglobin.
The only difference is that chlorophyll contains magnesium - central oxygen-binding element in plants – whereas hemoglobin contains iron – central oxygen-binding element in blood.
This gives wheatgrass its chief benefits of having anti-oxidant properties and as a blood purifier.
The following data provide the nutrient analysis for 100g wheatgrass juice:
- Calories 21.0
- Water 95g
- Fat 0.06g
- Dietary fiber <0.1g
- Chlorophyll 42.2mg
- Choline 92.4mg
- Glucose 0.80g
Benefits of Chlorophyll and Wheatgrass
Fat-soluble chlorophyll a and b are present in plants.
Plants also contain chlorophyllin that is a semi-synthetic combination of sodium copper salts, which are water-soluble and derived from chlorophyll.
Chlorophyllin has been used as a topical medication to treat slow-healing wounds and there are no side effects.
Both chlorophyllin and chlorophyll combine with certain cancer-causing chemicals and form molecular complexes.
These can block carcinogenic effects. Those with a high risk of liver cancer benefited from chlorophyllin taken before meals.
Chlorophyll could be effective in the treatment of pancreatitis, reduce colostomy odor, constipation, and wound healing and bad breath. Most people do not suffer from any side effects of consuming chlorophyll.
More studies are needed to prove the effectiveness of chlorophyll for these medical conditions.
The high content of chlorophyll in wheatgrass means that it can offer these and other benefits. Wheatgrass acts as an anti-oxidant because of the presence of chlorophyll.
This eliminates harmful toxins from the body. It heals damaged tissues.
It is high in light energy and oxygen and this provides good environment for the optimal functioning of body tissues and the brain.
Chlorophyll in wheatgrass can prevent the development of dangerous bacteria that can harm the body.
Since chlorophyll found in wheatgrass is similar to hemoglobin, it can increase RBC count and improve oxygen supply to cells.
It can normalize blood pressure by dilating blood vessels. Harmful carbon dioxide is destroyed and free oxygen is released.
This stimulates enzyme systems and increase rate of metabolism. Chlorophyll content in wheatgrass can energize the body and alkalize blood.
Chlorophyll can also prevent myelotoxicity (damage of bone marrow) in chemotherapy patients.
It also reduces the need for drugs to manage nausea and other side effects caused by chemotherapy drugs. It does all these without decreasing the effectiveness of the treatment.
In people with blood disorders, consuming wheatgrass daily could reduce the need for frequent blood transfusions.
Anyone with hypersensitivity or known allergies to chlorophyll or its derivatives must be careful when consuming wheatgrass.
Some adverse reactions to chlorophyll include nausea, green stools, diarrhea, discoloration of urine and abdominal cramps.
People who suffer from photosensitivity must be cautious when consuming foods rich in chlorophyll since they could develop rashes.
Those with liver problems could develop jaundice when taking chlorophyll.
Others who must exercise caution are those taking immunosuppressant medications, for chlorophyll could normalize the counts of T-lymphocyte.
Chlorophyll could have anti-diabetic effects. Hence those with diabetes and taking diabetic medications must be careful.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women must exercise caution when consuming wheatgrass. The chlorophyll content could increase the reaction of photosensitizing drugs.
Excess chlorophyll content in the body can also increase the risk of sunburns and blisters. Hence, always use a sunscreen.
As such wheatgrass is safe to consume. However, you need to exercise caution because it can cause side effects like nausea, headaches, swollen throat and hives.
Those with celiac disease, gluten intolerance and grass allergies must consult their doctor before taking this supplement.