You may have seen it growing in juice bars or heard about it from health-conscious friends, but do you really know the health benefits of wheatgrass? Consumed since ancient times and used in traditional Chinese medicine, wheatgrass and its juice is indeed as beneficial to health as you might have heard. But did you know that it promotes health in nearly every part of the body, benefiting everything from the blood, digestive tract and skin to aiding in weight loss and faster healing?
Wheatgrass Nutritional Content
Like most green vegetables, wheat grass is nutrient-dense. As opposed to empty calories that are high in calories but low in essential nutrients, wheat grass has a high nutrient density while low in fat and calories. This nutrient density packs a powerful punch as a source of iron, magnesium, calcium, selenium, potassium, phosphorus, amino acids, chlorophyll, enzymes and vitamins A, C and E. And because it is capable of growing both indoors and out, wheatgrass is also a non-seasonal source of nutrition, providing these nutrients all year long.
Wheatgrass and Blood Health
As blood makes its way through the body, it carries oxygen in the red blood cells to all parts of the body. Wheat grass aids in blood health due to its concentration of chlorophyll, the pigment that makes plants green and helps convert sunlight into energy during photosynthesis. Chemically similar to hemoglobin, chlorophyll aids in red blood cell synthesis and stimulation, helping the blood more effectively supply oxygen to the tissues. In addition to iron, also found in wheatgrass juice, chlorophyll increases energy, alleviates symptoms of anemia and fatigue, and aids in the formation of muscle tissue.
Wheatgrass and Weight Loss
When discussing the health benefits of wheatgrass juice in regards to weight loss, chlorophyll again features prominently. Studies indicate that chlorophyll provides two nutrients, phytanic acid and thylakoids, that may promote weight loss. Phytanic acid aids fat differentiation and mobilization, helping the body differentiate between fat used for energy and fat used for storage. The acid then sends fat from storage into the bloodstream to be used as energy. Thylakoids that have been found to aid in appetite suppression, creating a feeling of fullness. The magnesium in wheat grass is also important for muscle development. When used in conjunction with a consistent exercise regimen, wheat grass does indeed provide the body with the energy and the building blocks of muscle tone necessary for weight loss.
Wheatgrass and Digestive Health
Every day the body is subject to exposure to toxins, found in the food we eat, the water we drink and even the air we breathe. These toxins build up in the body, especially the digestive system, causing everything from gas and constipation to more serious conditions like ulcerative colitis. Wheat grass contains an enzyme called Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) that helps to combat the effect of toxins on the body. A powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, SOD promotes digestive health by neutralizing free radicals and the damage they cause to human cells, reducing colonic inflammation and removing bacteria and heavy metals in the digestive tract.
Wheatgrass and Skin Health
The presence of both vitamin A and E in wheatgrass juice promotes skin health. Vitamin A is the building block of healthy skin growth and anti-aging, aiding in cell growth and the production of collagen, while vitamin E aids in the reduction of acne and skin rashes as well as protecting cell membranes and the body’s supply of vitamin A. Most importantly, both of these fat-soluble vitamins boost immune health and help the skin to better heal itself. Other wheatgrass benefits attributed to vitamin A and E include antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that both protect and aid in the healing of cartilage below the skins surface.