Healthy Outlook – JANUARY – Wheatgrass
What is wheatgrass?
Wheatgrass is the young grass of the common wheat plant. This edible grass is either juiced into a wheatgrass shot or milled down into a fine green powder that is used to create a multipurpose product for both humans and animals.
Wheatgrass can be consumed on its own, or used in combination with other juices or supplements. Several forms of wheatgrass are available; juice, capsules, powder, pills, and tablets. Which type is best? Remember the best way to consume all foods is as close to their natural state as possible. For wheatgrass, this means that drinking it in juice form would be preferred over consuming it in tablet or powder form. You can visit an establishment, like Old Town Market & Deli, that sells freshly made shots or try growing and making them on your own.
Is it Gluten Free?
If the grass is cut from a growing plant and does not include the seed kernel, it should be safe for those who follow the gluten-free diet.
Some experts claim that wheatgrass contains over 100 different elements needed by man. One of the most noticeable (and important) is chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the substance that gives wheatgrass its signature, bright green color. Like other nutrient-dense greens, it’s used in the body for a number of important processes: as a natural liver cleanser and detoxifier, as an antioxidant to reduce free radical damage, as a blood strengthener and as an energy booster.
Wheatgrass is rich in the following nutrients:
- Antioxidants like flavonoids and phenolic acid
- Electrolytes including magnesium and calcium
- Amino Acids
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Encourages a highly oxygenated environment in your body
- Promotes a healthy metabolism
- Establishes an alkaline environment in the body
- Acts as an antibacterial by halting the growth of unfriendly bacteria
- Rebuilds and strengthens the blood
- Detoxifies the body of heavy metals
- Purifies the liver
- Helps with blood sugar regulation
- Improves digestion
- Reduces inflammation
- Boosts the immune system
Let me expound on a couple of these benefits.
Alkalizing the body and boosting nutrient absorption
Wheat grass provides vital alkalizing benefits for the body, along with increasing absorption of nutrient like electrolytes, vitamin C and vitamin E. If you want to prevent cancer and other chronic disease from flourishing in your body as you get older, creating an alkaline environment is essential. The chlorophyll is primarily responsible for assisting in naturally balancing the body’s PH level. This is one of the reasons chlorophyll consumption is associated with anti-aging effects ranging from younger-looking skin to better weight management. Cancers and other diseases flourish in acidic environments and don’t in alkaline environments.
Lowering Free Radical Damage
Wheatgrass can lower oxidation/free radical damage that causes aging and contribute to disease formation. Studies have found that wheatgrass can significantly inhibit lipid peroxidation in the liver and protect mitochondria within cells. This is tied to reduced inflammation levels and lower risk for diseases like cancer, liver disease and heart disease.
Studies have found that wheatgrass demonstrates anti-cancer potential, and that it seems to do so through the mechanism of inducing apoptosis. According to research done by the Integrated Oncology and Palliative Care Unit in Israel, wheatgrass can be effectively used in holistic cancer treatment programs (even those that are combined with chemotherapy) and also for cancer prevention. Its benefits for overall immune function include regulating immunological activity and fighting oxidative stress that contributes to cell mutations. Research shows that wheatgrass can also help attenuate chemotherapy-related side effects such as fatigue, malabsorption and deficiencies. Clinical trials also show that wheatgrass may induce synergistic benefits to those with other immune-related conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, hematological diseases diabetes and obesity.
Dr Josh Axe