These were my first words spoken in regards to wheatgrass, a drink my father always tried to get me to guzzle down. To the 6 or 7-year-old me at the time, I couldn’t imagine anything more gross than drinking the squeezed juice from blades of grass. Little did I know, this drink is not only incredibly healthy, but actually quite delicious.
Let’s find out what wheatgrass and just how healthy it can be!
So, what is wheatgrass?
Wheatgrass is just what it sounds like – the grass of the wheat plant. More specifically, this is the very young grass of Triticum aestivum, or the common wheat plant. You’ll often see a tray of grass in your local juice store where the employee goes up, cuts out a handful, and pushes it into the juicer. This wheatgrass is fresh grown, a favorite among many wheatgrass drinkers. Alternatively, though, you may find yourself handed a shot of wheatgrass when there is no tray of grass to be seen. This wheatgrass comes in the form of powdered mix, which, despite sounding less appealing, can be just as good when it is distributed by company’s focused on raw, organic principles.
With both indoor and outdoor cultivation, it’s important to cut the grass at the peak time of nutrition. This way, the customers gets the full circle of nutrients and the most of one of our favorite chemicals: chlorophyll! This helps make the case for wheatgrass being a drink of regular consumption – all these benefits mean a healthy drink for you and your family!
The Health Benefits
So what are some specific benefits?
First off, chlorophyll is considered to be a chemical of great health benefit, though professionals frequently note the need for additional studies. As noted by Diana Post, M.D., Harvard, there may be a connection between chlorophyll and heme, a chemical found in humans in the red blood cell. Drinking wheatgrass or other sources of chlorophyll may “protect people from some of the potentially harmful effects of red meat, which contains heme.”
Besides the chlorophyll, though, many argue that wheatgrass carries a number of other benefits. Some argue that it lowers blood pressure, betters complexion, and may even help with grey hair. While the science is still out on those claims, we do know a few things about wheatgrass. As explained by Creighton University, wheatgrass contains “provitamin A (carotene), Full spectrum B-vitamins, including Laetrile (B-17), vitamins C and E” in addition to minerals like “iron, phosphorus, magnesium, [and] sodium.” There’s also a handful of amino acids in wheatgrass, making it a great, well-rounded source for nutrition.
With all the benefits of wheatgrass, I look back at they younger me with a bit of disappointment. Who knows how my life would be changed if I had only drank more wheatgrass! Okay, that might be too dramatic, but I still think drinking wheatgrass as a young child would have been good. That said, next time you’re out to the juicer, order up a round of wheatgrass shots for the whole family!