Wheatgrass comes from Triticum aestivum – wheat plant.
It is the young grass of the wheat plant (of the family Poaceae) and can be consumed by humans as juice, powder form or tablets.
It is a popular ‘superfood’ that is found in health food stores.
Various forms of wheatgrass like juice and smoothies are said to offer us therapeutic and nutritional benefits.
This plant is found in the US and Europe. Wheatgrass can also be cultivated indoors. The stems and roots of the wheatgrass plant are used for making dietary supplements.
The popularity of wheatgrass was promoted by Charles F. Schnabel a nutritionist and agricultural chemist in the 1930s.
He conducted various experiments on wheatgrass. One experiment was conducted on dying hens. Dr. Schnabel treated these hens with wheatgrass and soon they became healthy again.
Hens gave wheatgrass supplements also started doubling their production of eggs. Dr. Schnabel started to vigorously campaign for wheatgrass among fellow chemists and industrialists.
Through his initiatives, Quaker Oats was one corporation to invest several million in further study and development of wheatgrass as a health food for humans and animals.
Dr. Schnabel began by growing wheatgrass outdoors.
It usually grows slowly from winter to early spring for about 200 days.
Harvesting is done during the jointing stage when the plant is said to have maximum nutritional value. It is then dried and powdered to be used in various forms.
Wheatgrass can also be grown indoors on large trays. This growing period is only 10 days after which wheatgrass attain the same nutritional content as the plant grown outdoors.
Once harvested indoor wheatgrass is dried at low temperatures, ground and sold in powdered or table forms.
After Dr. Schnabel’s efforts, for some time, wheatgrass was forgotten for a while until Ann Wigmore a holistic practitioner brought it into prominence again as a natural way to fight colon cancer.
This health food is usually consumed as powder or juice. Wheatgrass is said to contain 98 / 102 earth elements.
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Nutrition Content of Wheatgrass Juice
Wheatgrass provides excellent nutrition for humans and animals. It is rich in vitamin A, C, E, small amounts of niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and vitamins B12 and B6.
Wheatgrass has plenty of phosphorous and potassium. It also has good quantities of sodium, calcium, magnesium and small quantities of selenium, zinc, iron, choline and folic acid.
Wheatgrass is rich in chlorophyll. Chlorophyll possesses a molecular structure that is almost similar to hemoglobin molecules found in human blood.
Eating chlorophyll-rich foods helps to improve blood circulation. Chlorophyll also cleanses cells, liver, and tissues and purifies the blood.
Consuming wheatgrass helps detoxify the body and eliminate harmful heavy metals like mercury, lead, and aluminum that is toxic and get stored in body tissues.
The colon also gets cleansed during detoxification. Overall healing improves and the body is able to fight infection better after gaining good nutrition by consuming wheatgrass.
Wheatgrass has 12 amino acids of which 8 are essential. These include valine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, threonine, methionine, isoleucine, lysine and leucine.
Eating foods that contain essential amino acids are vital for good health because the body cannot produce them and can only get them from a good diet.
Wheatgrass eaten raw provides the body with much-needed enzymes that provide many external benefits.
It has an anti-aging effect, reduces the onset of gray hair and helps in quick healing of wounds.
It also tightens skin that becomes loose with age, promotes the growth of healthy hair.
Wheatgrass, when applied to minor burns and skin rashes, helps alleviate discomfort.
Calorie content of wheatgrass juice
Wheatgrass has 0 calories from fat and 23 calories per 100 g of juice.
A single serving of 3g wheatgrass provides 0 calories from fat and 15 calories overall. % of daily value:
- Total fat 0g 0% daily value
- Saturated fat 0%
- Trans fat
- Cholesterol 0%
- Sodium 0%
- Total Carbohydrates – 2g 1%
- Dietary fiber - 1g 4%
- Sugars 0g
- Protein – 1g
It also provides –
- Vitamin A 30%
- Vitamin C 12%
- Calcium 1%
- Iron 44%
The percent daily values mentioned here are based on a diet of 2000 calories. This varies with each person.
According to ‘Nutrition Data’ website, they give wheatgrass 4 ½ stars for weight loss benefits, 5 stars for optimum health and 2 ½ stars for weight gain.
They award these stars on a scale of 0-5 with 5 being the highest. The stars are given based on nutrient density and fullness factor or satiating effect. Foods that are both filling and nutritious are better to eat when you wish to lose weight.
Those who wish to gain weight must eat foods that are not so filling but still nutritious. Foods that contain plenty of essential nutrients are ideal for giving optimum health.
Since wheatgrass is rich in so many great nutrients, it helps to cure various health conditions like skin and hair problems, asthma, throat infections, improve digestion, ease symptoms of constipation, prevents tooth decay, heart disease, and diabetes, improves menopausal symptoms, detoxifies the blood, improves blood circulation and such.
The high chlorophyll content helps heal damaged tissues and prevents an attack from harmful bacteria.
Overall health improves from nutrition that we get by consuming wheatgrass.
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