In the limelight, from juice shops to health food counters, wheatgrass is the latest green superfood. Prepared from the freshly sprouted leaves of the common wheat plant, it can easily be grown and prepared at home. Let’s take a look at some of the health benefits of wheatgrass and how you can use it.

  1. Nutrient Profile

Wheatgrass is an excellent source of essential nutrients that include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants and more. Here is the nutrient profile of wheatgrass

  • Amino acids – It contains 17 amino acids of which 8 cannot be synthesized from the body and needs to be obtained from food sources
  • Chlorophyll – Its rich green colour is due to the presence of the plant pigment chlorophyll.  Chlorophyll  helps in improving iron intake, proliferation of red blood cells and hemoglobin
  • Antioxidants – It contains several important antioxidants including glutathione and vitamins C and E that help to fight free radicals, prevent cell damage and reduce oxidative stress
  • Minerals – It is a great source of Potassium, Manganese, Zinc, Iron, Calcium and Phosphorous

  1. Stabilise Cholesterol Levels

In animal studies, the use of wheatgrass has proven that it decreased levels of bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Too much triglycerides and LDL cholesterol in the blood can block your arteries and increase your risk of heart disease. Wheatgrass is beneficial for heart health and helps to manage cholesterol levels in its right balance.

  1. Cancer Prevention and Treatment

Due to its rich antioxidant properties, wheatgrass can help prevent cancer. According to a recent study, wheatgrass extract decreased the spread of mouth cancer cells by 41%. Other studies have also discovered that wheatgrass slowed the growth of cancer cells and caused some cancer cells to die. In addition, it can also be used as a supplement to cancer therapy to improve the effects of chemotherapy.

  1. Treats Gastrointestinal Distress

Wheatgrass has been widely used in traditional medicine to ease stomach disorders, digestive issues and diarrhea. Wheatgrass also contains fiber which is beneficial for the Gut. Besides, it is gluten-free and recommended for people with gluten intolerance.

  1. Manage Diabetes

Research has found that wheatgrass may benefit those with high blood sugar levels.  Studies on animals, show that wheatgrass helped to lower blood sugar levels, fight inflammation and also reduce other ill-effects of diabetes.

  1. Promote Weight Loss

Wheatgrass contains thylakoids that serve as tiny compartments found in plants to store chlorophyll. Studies have pinpointed that thylakoids could enhance satiety and increase weight loss. Just like other green vegetables, wheatgrass is beneficial to keep you feel full for a longer time and thereby aid in your weight loss.

Side Effects of Wheatgrass

There are no known side effects of consuming wheatgrass. Some people tend to experience nausea or constipation owing to its high fiber content, but it’s very rare. At times the raw form of wheatgrass is contaminated with mould or bacterial growth. So carefully examine and wash the wheatgrass before using it. Also, there is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking wheatgrass if you are pregnant or breast-feeding

Ways to Consume Wheatgrass

Wheatgrass is available in powder, juice and capsule supplements. You can also grow it easily at home and use a juicer to add it to smoothies and juices. The taste is similar to grass, so you can enhance the flavour of wheatgrass juice or smoothies by combining it with citrus fruits like lemon, orange or pineapple. You can also mix wheatgrass juice to salad dressings, tea or other beverages.

All in all, wheatgrass provides several health benefits and stands out for its rich chlorophyll content and antioxidant properties. Even though there is no conclusive evidence that it can treat or prevent certain health conditions, it can definitely be incorporated in your diet to gain extra nutrients.