Wheatgrass are the edible young shoots of the Agropyron plant. It is most commonly consumed as a juice which is made from the crushed wheatgrass but also can be found in a freeze dried powdered form. Wheatgrass is best known for being a good source of chlorophyll.
Wheatgrass can be easily grown at home year-round. It takes a little patience and care but is well worth the minimal effort. In order to optimize your results the seeds should be pre-sprouted in water before transferring to trays of soil. Wheatgrass loves sunlight however it does not grow well in direct sunlight which is too hot.
It is important to keep the wheatgrass adequately watered without excessively watering which can cause mold growth. Harvest the wheatgrass by cutting when the shoots are about 6 inches in height. The process from pre-sprouting to harvest takes about 2 weeks.
Wheatgrass Nutritional Values
The following nutritional information is for approximately 3 ounces or 100 grams of wheatgrass juice.
Calories 21.0 Cal
Dietary Fiber 0.1g
Vitamin C 3.64mg
Vitamin A 427 IU
Vitamin B1 0.08mg
Vitamin B2 0.13mg
Vitamin B3 0.11mg
Vitamin B5 6.0mg
Vitamin B6 0.2mg
Vitamin B12 1mcg
Vitamin E 15.2 IU
Folic Acid 29mcg
Wheatgrass Health Benefits
Wheatgrass is a good source of many vitamins, minerals, and chlorophyll. Many claims have been made concerning the health benefits of consuming wheatgrass. However, little research has been done to substantiate those claims. Some research has shown that a diet high in chlorophyll such as that found in wheatgrass and other leafy green vegetables can aid in lowering the risk of colon cancer.
Getting the Most Out of Wheatgrass
The best way to utilize wheatgrass is in the juice form. In order to get the most nutrition from your wheatgrass it is important to minimize the amount of time between cutting, juicing, and drinking. Wheatgrass can also be found in a freeze dried powdered form although this is not the preferred method for peak benefits.
Wheatgrass Concerns and Cautions
When beginning to add wheatgrass into your diet it is important to start slowly. Wheatgrass juice should be drank on an empty stomach and immediately followed with a balanced meal. It is recommended to start with 1/2 to 1 ounce of wheatgrass juice then slowly increase to the recommended 2 ounces once or twice a day.
It is recommended by some wheatgrass users that wheatgrass juice should be consumed on a rotational basis with 3 weeks of consumption followed by 1 week of avoidance. It is also important to ensure that your wheatgrass is not contaminated by mold which can cause severe allergic reactions in some people.
Want to learn more about the health benefits of wheatgrass?
Benefits of Chlorophyll in the Diet by the Journal of Nutrition
Wheatgrass: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings