Wheatgrass is the young grass of the wheat plant, Triticum aestivum. It is harvested early in its development, while it’s still a bright green and leafy plant. It is typically juiced or dried and ground into a powder for use as a dietary supplement. Wheatgrass is known for its high concentration of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants, and is often consumed for its potential health benefits.
History of Wheat Grass as a Supplement
Wheatgrass became a popular supplement in the 1930s, thanks to the work of Charles F. Schnabel, an agricultural chemist who discovered the potential health benefits of young wheat plants. Schnabel conducted experiments on animals and found that wheatgrass could significantly improve their health and growth. He then began consuming and promoting wheatgrass himself, and eventually started selling it as a dietary supplement.
In the 1940s, Ann Wigmore, a natural health practitioner, popularized wheatgrass in the United States through her “Living Foods” diet, which emphasized the consumption of raw and sprouted foods. Wigmore claimed that wheatgrass was a powerful healing food that could help cure various illnesses and improve overall health. She also founded the Hippocrates Health Institute in Boston, which offered wheatgrass and other natural therapies to its clients.
Since then, wheatgrass has continued to be popularized by various health practitioners, and its health benefits have been the subject of many studies and claims.
The Evidence for Wheatgrass’ Health Benefits
There have been some studies on the potential health benefits of wheatgrass, although more research is needed. Here are some examples of studies:
- A 2018 review of studies found that wheatgrass may have potential benefits for reducing oxidative stress, inflammation, and cholesterol levels. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings.
- A 2014 study found that wheatgrass may help reduce the severity of chemotherapy-induced side effects in breast cancer patients.
- A 2012 study found that wheatgrass may have potential benefits for reducing ulcerative colitis symptoms.
- A 2002 study found that wheatgrass juice may help improve the symptoms of thalassemia, a genetic blood disorder.
In addition to these rigorous peer-reviewed scientific studies, there is an enormous body of anecdotal evidence from millions of people who swear by the positive health effects of regular wheatgrass consumption.
Health Benefits of Wheat Grass
Some potential benefits of consuming wheatgrass include:
- Improved digestion: Wheatgrass is high in fiber and can help to promote regular bowel movements and relieve constipation.
- Boosts immune system: Wheatgrass contains various nutrients that can help to support the immune system and reduce inflammation in the body.
- Provides energy: The high nutrient content of wheatgrass can help to increase energy levels and reduce fatigue.
- Detoxifies the body: Wheatgrass contains antioxidants and other nutrients that can help to support the body’s natural detoxification processes.
- Promotes healthy skin: The nutrients in wheatgrass, such as vitamins A and E, can help to promote healthy skin and reduce the signs of aging.
What’s in Wheat Grass that makes it Good for you?
Wheatgrass is rich in many bioactive compounds, including chlorophyll, antioxidants such as flavonoids and phenolic acids, vitamins (particularly vitamin K), minerals (such as iron, magnesium, and calcium), enzymes, and amino acids.
These nutrients and compounds are responsible for wheatgrass’s reported health benefits, including its potential antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifying effects. Additionally, wheatgrass is a source of dietary fibre, which can promote digestive health and regularity.
However, more research is needed to fully understand the specific mechanisms behind wheatgrass’s potential health benefits.
Why it is Good for IBS
Wheatgrass is a nutrient-dense food that has been associated with a range of potential health benefits. One of the benefits of wheatgrass that has been explored is its potential to alleviate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
IBS is a common condition that affects the large intestine and causes symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. While there is no cure for IBS, managing symptoms can be done through lifestyle changes, including dietary changes.
Wheatgrass is a good source of fibre, which is an essential nutrient for digestive health. A diet high in fibre can help alleviate symptoms of IBS, including constipation and diarrhoea. In addition, wheatgrass contains a range of vitamins and minerals that are important for overall health, including vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, and magnesium.
Some preliminary studies have suggested that wheatgrass may help alleviate symptoms of IBS. One study published in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences found that wheatgrass juice significantly improved the quality of life in IBS patients compared to a placebo group. Another study published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research found that wheatgrass juice improved bowel movements in IBS patients.
While more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits of wheatgrass for IBS, these initial findings are promising. However, it is important to note that wheatgrass may not be suitable for everyone, and those with wheat allergies or gluten sensitivities should avoid it.
Wheatgrass is full of Alkalising Nutrients
Wheat grass is often used to help with maintaining the body’s correct pH balance, thanks to is abundance of alkalising nutrients. Alkalizing nutrients are those that help maintain the pH balance of the body in a slightly alkaline state (between 7.35 and 7.45).
This is important because when the body becomes too acidic, it can lead to inflammation, disease, and other health problems. Alkalizing nutrients include vitamins, minerals, and other compounds that are found in fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods.
These nutrients help to neutralize acid in the body and promote a healthy balance of alkalinity, which can improve overall health and well-being. Examples of alkalizing nutrients include potassium, calcium, magnesium, and certain vitamins like vitamin C.