Wheatgrass Benefits: 5 Huge Reasons to Drink Wheatgrass Every Day

Chances are you’ve heard already heard of wheatgrass. Maybe a helpful smoothie barista suggested you throw in a shot of the stuff with your Strawberry Power Protein shake? Or someone has taken you to a juice bar and you noticed a little patch of lawn growing on the counter?

Well, in case you’re not totally sure about the perks of drinking grass, here’s a little bit about the most potent wheatgrass benefits and what they mean for your body and overall health.

What is Wheatgrass?

No mystery here. Wheatgrass is exactly what its name suggests: the grass of the common wheat plant. Mostly ingested in freshly pressed juice form, you can also get it in pellets, capsules, powders and even frozen.

Though the ingestion of wheatgrass can apparently be traced back to the Mesopotamia (Kuwait, Syria, Turkey and Iraq about 5000 years ago) it gained popularity as a nutritional supplement in the U.S. in the 1930s, when a feed grain chemist Charles F. Schnabel (now dubbed the Father of Wheatgrass) claimed that by adding dried wheatgrass into the feed of his chickens over the winter, they laid more eggs. When he repeated the experiments with cows, they apparently produced richer, more nutritionally dense milk.

It wasn’t long before he was repeating these experiments with humans—though obviously instead of trying to get better eggs and dairy from people, he was seeing what he could do about improving our vitamin and mineral intake.

Since then, we’ve gained a better understanding of the nutritional benefits of wheatgrass and as it turns out, this green grass is damn good for you…

5 Powerful Wheatgrass Benefits

1. Wheatgrass is Crazy Nutritious

Just one ounce of wheatgrass is packing as much nutritional value as about 2.5 lbs of fresh green veggies. That’s ’cause that same one ounce of wheatgrass contains all the minerals known to man (obviously including the 13 essential ones), plus Vitamins A, B-complex, C, E, and K, as well as 17 amino acids (you know, the building blocks of protein) which are mostly poly peptides that the body is able to use more efficiently in the blood stream and tissues. Not to mention the dozens of trace elements and enzymes contained in wheatgrass.

In case you’re wondering how nutritionally dense this one ounce of wheatgrass is – it gives you 8 grams of protein, 240% of your RDA for Vitamin A, 93% of your RDA for Vitamin C, and 356% of your RDA for iron (pay attention, anemics)!

Oh, and that one ounce of wheatgrass is only 120 calories (of which 20% come from protein). Talk about getting the most nutritional return for your caloric buck.

2. Wheatgrass is One of the Best Sources of Chlorophyll

Wheatgrass is also one of the best sources of chlorophyll, being over 70% made of the stuff. This amazing ‘plant blood’ that allows plants to turn sunlight into sustenance isn’t just integral to plants, it’s also incredibly good for us humans as well. Find out how chlorophyll benefits your whole body!

Chlorophyll is very similar to hemoglobin at a cellular level, and is actually shown to help carry more oxygen to the bloodstream; this is probably why it’s used to help skin grafts heal, touted as having excellent natural antibiotic properties, and known to neutralize bad smells caused by bad bacteria. Studies are currently underway to assess the cancer-fighting properties of chlorophyll, which is thus far very promising.

3. Wheatgrass Benefits Your Heart

Studies show that regularly ingesting wheatgrass can lower cholesterol—even in those who have a high fat diet. It’s believed that the high concentration of fiber, vitamin C and an antioxidant called glutathione are responsible for helping combat bad cholesterols.  There is also an enzyme called transhydrogenase known to help increase heart strength.

4. Wheatgrass is Great for Your Blood 

In a study with patients suffering from an illness called thalassemia, over the course of 18 months patients who ingested wheatgrass juice daily significantly reduced their need for blood transmissions.

Thalassemia is no walk in the park: it’s a genetically acquired autoimmune blood disorder that results in improperly formed hemoglobin cells. Hemoglobin is responsible for transporting oxygen through your body and the results of this illness are severe: bone deformities, enlarged spleen, heart problems, infections and slowed growth rate in children.

Because this illness requires multiple blood transfusions, deadly levels of iron in the blood are a possible side effect. With just a shot of wheatgrass a day, numerous people were able to avoid this potentially deadly side effect by circumventing the need for the flood transfusions in the first place.

It’s reported that the same qualities in wheatgrass that help those with thalassemia also help those with anemia, a shortage of red blood cells in the body. The World Health Organization reports that there are hundreds of millions affected by anemia (one of the common side effects of which being iron deficiency.)

Taking wheatgrass daily has been shown to prevent and even reverse the effects of anemia.

5. Wheatgrass is Good News for Your Colon

One of the most popular forms of ingesting wheatgrass may not be so palatable to some, but has some pretty solid science to back it up. Wheatgrass colon cleanses are pretty hot, and it may have to do with research on its effectiveness in treating the symptoms of ulcerative colitis, or inflammatory bowel disease.

Just like thalassemia, ulcerative colitis is an autoimmune disorder. Only in this instance, the result is small ulcers forming in the colon’s lining, which results in pretty nasty symptoms such as frequent diarrhea, stomach pain, cramping, and needing to empty your bowels at an uncomfortable frequency.

When flare-ups occur and the symptoms get particularly bad, it’s usually treated with corticosteroids. In the aforementioned study, ingesting fresh wheatgrass (orally) resulted in reduction of symptoms, severity rectal bleeding with absolutely no negative side effects. Again, the study points to the fantastic antioxidants in the wheatgrass.

Though many who perform wheatgrass colon cleanses don’t have ulcerative colitis, there is evidence that it provides an overall boost in digestive health on that end of things.

…And a Few More Notes on the Benefits of Wheatgrass…

With more vitamin E, vitamin B12, and chlorophyll than most vegetables, wheatgrass has been reported to help with the side effects of breast cancer treatment, prevent tooth decay, act as a disinfectant and much more. There are even animal studies that suggest it can help speed up the body’s removal of metals, drugs and other toxic substances from the body.

This stuff comes on strong, especially when fresh but the best way to take is freshly juiced and taken on an empty stomach immediately after extraction. 

About the Author Jessica

After growing up a perpetually pudgy kid, Jessica discovered real food – and her waistline shortly afterward. When she’s not crafting concoctions in the kitchen, she spends her free time writing about food, making her own deodorant, watching sci-fi, doing headstands, and looking for gluten free food that doesn’t suck.

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1 comment
Sharon says November 1, 2016

I have been drinking wheatgrass juice fairly often for the past 4 months. I recently learned that I am deficient in iron, B-12, and D. I also eat kale salad nearly everyday, and regularly eat sardines. I’m wondering why the wheatgrass juice has not helped me to have a normal amount of B-12 in particular. What is the minimum amount that you would suggest? 1-2 ounces daily?

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