Of the superfoods you may be aware of, wheatgrass is the one least likely to be found outside of a health foods store. But its absence in our popular culture is not a reflection of the benefits it offers, more so just our understanding of it.
Wheatgrass in its preprocessed form is the grass shoots of a baby wheat plant known as Triticum Aestivum. Generally, it’s prepared from the freshly sprouted leaves of the plant and can be grown and prepared at home or purchased as a juice, powder or supplement.
Benefits of Wheatgrass
You may hear all kinds of things about wheatgrass. One popular myth is that 1 ounce of wheatgrass juice is equal to more than 2 pounds of fresh green vegetables. Of course, this is not true. In fact, wheatgrass hasn’t proven to be significantly more beneficial than an equal amount of any green vegetable.
Wheatgrass offers a number of health benefits though, from diminishing toxins in the body to increasing energy, improving digestion and decreasing the risk of diseases such as heart disease or diabetes.
Wheatgrass also has the potential to be involved in the treatment of bronchitis, certain types of infections, gout, chronic skin conditions and constipation. It contains a combination of the following nutrients:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B12
- Phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium
But perhaps more important than all of those, wheatgrass is known for containing large amounts of chlorophyll, the green plant pigment that helps carry oxygen to our cells. For this reason, it has been shown to increase the development of red blood cells, reducing the risk of anemia and maintaining energy levels. This can do a lot to improve the quality of life for people with certain blood disorders.
It is also associated with healthy doses of digestive enzymes and amino acids.
You’re probably aware that most places which sell food offer plant-based foods which offer powerful nutritional benefits similar to wheatgrass. But as you consider other, cheaper, types of heavy chlorophyll food, wheatgrass is something to keep in mind. It’s easy to grow and widely available at juice bars.
For those concerned with showing early signs of aging, it’s effective in helping fix gray hair.
Additionally, wheatgrass has been shown to have a positive impact on alleviating inflammation, a major cause of age-related issues. Inflammation has been proven to be related to poor cognitive health, heart disease, cancer and autoimmune disorders.
For those trying to manage diabetes on their own, wheatgrass has been proven in animal models to help control blood sugar levels. This, of course, does not include wheat grass drinks you may commonly find at juice bars with large amounts of sugar added, so keep that in mind.
As superfoods go, wheatgrass is one of the lesser recognized, distributed and consumed. The odds that you regularly start consuming wheatgrass are not great, but it’s nonetheless an extremely valuable supplement to a healthy diet that is worth considering if you are looking for things that will help you age gracefully.