By: Nutrition Expert- Vidula Kozarekar, Mumbai.
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Wheat Grass is nature’s finest medicine. Many Herbal practitioners prefer intake of Wheatgrass powder or juice because of its many basic components and trace elements with immense healing capacity. It is a powerful concentrated liquid nutrient having immense benefits.
Nutritional Value of Wheat grass:
wheatgrass is rich in chlorophyll, minerals like magnesium, selenium, zinc, chromium, antioxidants like beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A), vitamin E, vitamin C, Vitamin K- which is a blood-clotting agent, anti-anaemic factors like vitamin B12, iron, folic acid, pyridoxine and many other minerals, amino acids and enzymes, which have significant nutritious and medicinal value (1).
Different varieties of wheatgrass extracts are therapeutically used in treatment of anaemia, thalassemia (major), cancer and bacterial diseases (1).
Health Benefits of Wheat grass: (2), (3), (4)
- Chlorophyll as green blood
Wheatgrass is rich in chlorophyll and enzymes. It contains more than 70% chlorophyll (which is an important dietary constituent). The chlorophyll molecule in wheatgrass is almost identical to the haemoglobin in human blood. The only difference is that the central element in chlorophyll is magnesium and in haemoglobin it is iron. The molecular structure of chlorophyll in wheatgrass and haemoglobin in the human body is similar, and because of this wheatgrass is called ‘Green Blood.
A 70-83% increase in red blood cells and haemoglobin concentration was noted within 10-16 days of regular administration of chlorophyll derivatives.
Chlorophyll present in wheatgrass can protect us from carcinogens; it strengthens the cells, detoxifies the liver and blood stream, and chemically neutralizes the polluting elements.
- Cancer Preventive
Wheat grass extract, which contains chlorophyll, an antioxidant, may affect cancer prevention. Additionally, selenium and lactrile present in wheatgrass have anti-cancer properties. Selenium builds a strong immune system, and can decrease the risk of cancer. Wheatgrass contains at least 13 vitamins (several of which are antioxidants) including B12, abscisic acid, superoxide dismutase (SOD), cytochrome oxidase, and mucopolysaccharide.
- Anti-diabetic agent
Supplementing its intake through wheatgrass powder has shown good improvement in resolving Diabetes condition. Abundance of natural fiber in wheatgrass optimizes blood sugar levels. Instrumental characterization of wheatgrass (spray dried powder of juice) confirmed the presence of chlorophyll, which is believed to be the pharmacologically active component in wheatgrass, acting as an anti-diabetic agent.
Its anti-inflammatory properties exert a positive effect on bone and joint problems, reducing pain and swelling.
Chlorophyllin has bacteriostatic properties that aids in wound healing. It has been used to treat various kinds of skin lesions, burns, and ulcers, where it acts as a wound-healing agent, stimulating granulation tissue and epithelialization.
- For general well being
Wheatgrass loaded with vitamins A, C, and E acts as an anti-oxidant and retards ageing of cells in the body that causes brain and heart problems.
Wheatgrass is an effective tonic, skin allergies, greying or hair loss, weakness, kidney stones, weak eyesight, pyorrhoea, or dental infections and fatigue.
It is also super effective in serious cases of heart disease, acute stomach ache, infection of digestive system, gas, paralysis, asthma, constipation.
It restores fertility and promotes youthfulness because the high magnesium content in chlorophyll builds enzymes that restore sex hormones.
How to Use Wheat grass? (5)
- Normal person should drink one FL oz. (thirty ml) fresh wheat grass juice twice a day or take three gram wheat grass powder in a glass of water, twice a day. A little honey may be added to juice to enhance taste.
- Else you can chew approx. fifty gram fresh wheat grass.
- Do not take any food half an hour before and after taking wheat grass.
- Wheat grass powder may also be added to regular food as children sometimes may avoid taking it.
- You can mix with any other juice, except citrus juices. It is advisable to take wheat grass empty stomach in the morning.
- In case of health problems quantity of wheat grass may vary according to the severity of the problem.
- Please do not discontinue or reduce dose of your regular medicines, if any, without consultation with your doctor.
Where do you get wheatgrass?
- If you have space and want to nurture a hobby of gardening, you can grow wheat grass in your backyard or in kitchen garden too.
- It takes only seven days for the seeds to germinate and grow to an extent ready to be consumed.
- Else, buy wheatgrass powder from a reputed naturopathy retailer or Ayurveda shop.
Widespread data from a number of studies has made known the multitude effects of Wheatgrass is known to help diminish fatigue, improve sleep, increase strength, naturally regulate blood pressure and blood sugar, support weight loss, improve digestion and elimination, support healthy skin, teeth, eyes, muscles and joints, improve the function of our heart-lungs and reproductive organs, heal ulcers and skin sores, slow cellular aging, improve mental function, and is beneficial in arthritis and muscle cramping, thalassemia, haemolytic anaemia, cancer, asthma, allergy, inflammatory bowel disease and detoxification.
Thus, it should be made part of daily dietary intake in order to explore its utmost benefits.