Wheatgrass Benefits: 10 Solid Reasons To Give it a ‘Shot’

Glass of wheatgrass juice and leaf bundles.
Spread the love

Wheatgrass is a powerhouse with more vitamin C than oranges, provitamin A than carrots, and more potassium, phosphorus, iron, and magnesium than in any other grain.


When I first started drinking and growing wheatgrass decades ago, people thought I was nuts. I was asked the question again and again when folks saw the long green blades spiking up in my window, catching the light of the sun:    

“Seeding a lawn there, eh?”

“Your cats like grass?”    

Unsurprisingly, I had to explain. And trust me, it wasn’t so easy. In fact, looking back, if I really had to guess, I’d say most folks had never heard about wheatgrass. Its benefits seemed widely unknown.

Grass was for animals.

Period.  

A happy white goat chomping on grass.

So aren’t we actually animals? Well biologically speaking, yes. Research has shown we share between 93-99% of our DNA sequences with primates (think apes, monkeys).

We’re also in a family called Hominidae, which makes us hominids like gorillas and chimps.

And while we all know that humans eat both meat and plants—the mammalian classification of ‘omnivore’—biologically, we’re primarily herbivores. Designed for a plant-based diet.

According to Dr. Milton Mills, M.D:

“From comparing the gastrointestinal tract of humans to that of carnivores, herbivores and omnivores, we must conclude that humankind’s GI tract is designed for a purely plant-food diet. Humankind does not show the mixed structural features one expects and finds in anatomical omnivores such as bears and raccoons. [Hence], human beings have the gastrointestinal tract structure of a ‘committed’ herbivore.”

What is Wheatgrass?

Tall wheatgrass leaves in trays.
A tray of wheatgrass yields seven to 12 ounces of green juice.

Well beyond the fact that wheatgrass is one of the most healing foods on earth—it’s been in use for over 5000 years—in a nutshell, it’s the growth from the young shoots of the wheat plant, scientifically known as triticum aestivum.

It’s harvested for use between 7-11 days old, then ingested (or applied) in several forms: powder, pill form, juice, and more, such as hair food and topical creams.            

I personally like juicing it, which requires a specific juicer, but it’s also sold in smoothie bars and health stores.

Lately I’ve seen it popping up in big-box chains, many of which carry it raw. 

It’s clearly come a long way since I started.

1. Wheatgrass Is Nutrient-Dense

Glass of wheatgrass by leaf bundles.
Wheatgrass is a nutrient-dense food.

When it comes to ensuring my own optimal health, I’m a huge fan of all things grass.

And of all the many grasses that have nourished the Earth, I use wheatgrass and barley grass the most.

Like siblings, they’re related, yet uniquely set apart, with varieties of overlapping benefits.

One of which is nutrient-density.

Wheatgrass Nutrition 

  • Vitamin C..
  • Vitamin E.
  • Carotene.
  • Vitamin K.
  • Vitamin B1.
  • Vitamin B2.
  • Vitamin B3.
  • Vitamin B5
  • Vitamin B6.
  • Vitamin B8.
  • Vitamin B12.
  • Calcium.
  • Magnesium.
  • Selenium.
  • Boron.
  • Iron.
  • Potassium.
  • Phosphorous.
  • Zinc.
  • Copper.
  • Manganese.
  • Molybdenum.
  • Vitamins C (more than in oranges).
  • Provitamin A (more than in carrots).

With more of these than in any other grain:

  • Potassium.
  • Phosphorus.
  • Iron.
  • Magnesium.
  • Molybdenum.

Not to mention it’s loaded with ‘grass juice factor,’ a powerful regenerative fuel.

Which is largely attributable to ramped biogenesis in raw living sprouts from seed:   

“Wheatgrass contains extraordinary nutrients, identified by G.O. Kohler as the “grass juice factor,” which he found only in grasses. Clinical and research evidence has revealed the ‘Grass Juice Factor’ to have, probably by the stimulation of human growth factors, a powerful effect on the regeneration of damaged skin and the body in general. Grass contains hundreds of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, phytochemicals, anti-oxidants, immunomodulators, cellular RNA and DNA all in concentrated form.” 

According to this report:

“Wheatgrass juice is a rich source of Vitamins A, C, E and B complex. It contains a plethora of minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, alkaline earth metals, potassium, zinc, boron, and molybdenum. The various enzymes responsible for its pharmacological actions are protease, amylase, lipase, cytochrome oxidase, transhydrogenase, super oxide dismutase (SOD).” 

2. Wheatgrass Is Protein-Rich

Wheatgrass bundles in a pretty white bowl.
Wheatgrass rocks 17 amino acids and eight essential amino acids.

Raw living wheatgrass contains 17 amino acids and eight essential amino acids.

According to this report:

“Proteins found in wheatgrass are known to be involved in preventing many diseases, oxidative stress, primary metabolism, storage, and energy-related mechanisms.”

Amino Acids In Wheatgrass 

Essential:

  • Lysine. 
  • Isoleucine. 
  • Leucine. 
  • Tryptophane. 
  • Phenylalanine.
  • Threonine.
  • Valine.
  • Methionine.

More . . .   

  • Alanine.
  • Arginine.
  • Aspartic acid.
  • Glutamic acid.
  • Histidine.
  • Proline.

3. Wheatgrass Is Antioxidant-Rich

Wheatgrass trays, bundles, and scissors on wood.
Raw living grass is a powerhouse.

Wheatgrass is loaded with powerful antioxidants that are remarkably good for your health.

Think flavonoids, carotenoids, enzymes, selenium, glutathione, zinc, SOD.

Wheatgrass Antioxidants

  • Zinc.

  • Selenium.

  • Glutathione.

  • Superoxide dismutase (SOD).

  • Saponarin.

  • Quercetin.

  • Carotenoids.

  • Apigenin.

  • Phenolic Acids.

  • Luteolin.

  • Lipoic Acid (ALA).

  • Abundant enzymes.

  • Growth hormone.

  • Powerful micronutrients.

  • Antioxidant bioflavonoids.

According to this report:

“The major clinical utility of wheatgrass juice is due to its antioxidant action which is derived from its high content of bioflavonoids like apigenin, quercetin and luteolin. Other compounds present, which make this grass therapeutically effective, are the indole compounds, choline and laetrile (amygdalin).”

It’s also been shown that antioxidants in wheatgrass can mitigate serious disease: 

“Wheatgrass extract has an antioxidant activity, inhibits proliferation of leukemia cells, and induces apoptosis [cancer cell death].”   

4. Wheatgrass Is A Detoxifier

Wheatgrass ensemble of seeds, shots, and bundles.
Raw living wheatgrass is a detoxifier.

Wheatgrass not only detoxifies cells, it’s a powerful antagonist of pollutants. 

Here’s a list just to give you an idea:

Wheatgrass Detox

  • Cadmium.

  • Nicotine.

  • Strontium.

  • Mercury.

  • Polyvinyl chloride.

  • Polluted water.

  • Air pollution.

  • Organophosphates.

  • Glyphosate.

  • Chemicals and Pesticides.

  • Emissions (smokestack, landfill).

  • Perfluorocarbons (PFCs).

  • Dirty electricity.

  • Paint, construction.

  • Household chemicals.

  • Chromium pollution.

  • Mining pollution.

  • Toxic furniture, bedding, cookware.

  • Plastics, microplastics (PE, BPA).

  • Radiation, electromagnetic fields (EMFs).

  • Sunburn, UV UVC Light (Ultraviolet Wave).

  • Smoke (secondhand, wildfire, direct).

  • Preservatives, additives, GMOs.

  • Processed food and drinks.

  • Saturated fat, trans-fat, oxidized oil.

  • Sugar, high-fructose corn syrup.

  • Drugs, medications (pharm, OTC).

  • Alcoholic beverages.

  • Chemical cosmetics, toiletries.

  • Fried (grilled) foods.

According to this report:

The amino acids [in wheatgrass] are absorbed directly into the blood. As well as neutralizing toxic substances like cadmium, nicotine, strontium, mercury, and polyvinyl chloride, by changing them into insoluble salts which the body can eliminate more easily, they stimulate cellular metabolism. The flavonoids act to detoxify cells and prevent their deterioration. 

In addition

The vitality of the liver is of high concern for the overall wellbeing of an individual as it is the major organ implicated in detoxification. In addition to the stimulating and regenerative properties of chlorophyll, other constituents of wheatgrass juice like choline and its high mineral content are responsible for the therapeutic benefit. It has been demonstrated experimentally that the dietary indoles like indole-3-carbinole and ascorbigen increase the activity of phase I and phase II xenobiotic metabolic enzymes in the liver and intestinal mucosa. [19] Thus the indole compounds of wheatgrass may have a role in the deactivation of carcinogens. 

And this:

“Wheatgrass helps to detoxify the body by breaking impacted matter in the colon. Wheatgrass juice is a fast and sure way to cleanse the body from environmental pollutants. Its high levels of enzymes and amino acids work like a natural cleanser to detoxify the liver, eliminate toxic heavy metals from the blood stream, rid the body of waste matter, and slow down the aging process.”

The International Journal of Chemical Studies concurs:

Wheatgrass is a competent detoxifier, especially of the liver as well as blood. It kills poisons as well as ecological contaminations within the body. It scrubs the body coming from top to toe of any vast metals, harmful toxins as well as various contaminants which may be stored in the body’s organs and cells. It’s best to have 2 ounces of wheatgrass juice daily. 

Lastly:

Japanse scientists working along with Yoshihide Hagiwara, M.D., found that the enzymes and amino acids in young grass plants deactivated the carcinogenic and mutagenic effects of 3,4 benzpyrene, a substance found in smoked fish and charcoal-broiled meats. The enzymes in grasses have also been shown to neutralize the toxicity of various nitrogen compounds found in automobile exhaust. According to Tsuneo Kada, director of the Japan Research Center of Genetics, these tests show that grasses have a wider range of metabolic activity than animals and humans, and are capable of more efficient neutralization and detoxification of certain pollutants. It has been my experience that by including wheatgrass juice in the diet, we can protect ourselves from pollution. The enzymes that seem to be particularly effective in strengthening the body’s defenses are superoxide dismutase (SOD), protease, amylase, and catalase. The many active compounds found in grass juice can cleanse the blood and neutralize and digest toxins in our cells. 

5. Wheatgrass Rocks Chlorophyll 

Close-up of chlorophyll molecules.
The chlorophyll molecule boosts oxygen.

Raw living wheatgrass is chock-full of chlorophyll which helps carry oxygen to cells. 

It revs circulation, pumps ATP, and immerses your body in nutrients.

It’s also well known that the chlorophyll in wheatgrass—otherwise known as green plant blood—is key to survival for every species on earth and can nourish every cell in your body, from your hair to the tips of your toes.

And of course every system in-between.

“Chlorophyll is condensed sunlight,” says Steve Meyerowitz. “Since we are light beings, spirit and soul inside solid bodies, the light force vibrates through the physical body. That’s the energy you feel.”   

And it matches our blood:

“The chlorophyll molecule in wheatgrass is almost identical to the hemoglobin in human blood. The only difference is that the central element in chlorophyll is magnesium and in hemoglobin it is iron. The molecular structure of chlorophyll in wheatgrass and hemoglobin in the human body is similar, and because of this wheatgrass is called ‘Green Blood.'”

In addition

Whenever anyone talks about the healing powers of grass, they mention chlorophyll first. Grasses, along with alfalfa and algaes, are the richest sources of chlorophyll on the planet. Famous research scientist E. Bircher called chlorophyll “concentrated sun power” and reported that it “increases the functions of the heart, affects the vascular system, the intestines, the uterus, and the lungs. It raises the basic nitrogen exchange and is therefore a tonic which, considering its stimulating properties, cannot be compared with any other. 

Dr. Ann Wigmore explains that “chlorophyll can protect us from carcinogens like no other food or medicine can. It acts to strengthen the cells, detoxify the liver and bloodstream, and chemically neutralize the polluting elements themselves.” 

6. Wheatgrass Is Anti-Aging

Girl doing yoga on the seashore.
Wheatgrass boosts longevity.

We all are aware of (and sometimes dread) the notorious effects of aging.

And even if you’re young and haven’t thought about it yet, the best time to prepare is now.

What you’re building today, you’re living in tomorrow, and time, as they say, waits for no one. 

Nonetheless there are ways to fight premature aging, and we can, studies show, slow it down.

And especially with raw living wheatgrass—its powerful juice from the sun.

According to this report:  

“One of the enzymes found in cereal grasses, SOD, plays a crucial role in wheatgrass’s ability to prevent aging. This enzyme has received plenty of attention in scientific circles as a possible anti-aging enzyme. . . . Remarkably, SOD lessens the effects of radiation, acts as an anti-inflammatory compound, and may prevent cellular damage following heart attacks or exposure to irritants. Wheatgrass is a superior food source of SOD.” 

Vicktoras Kulvinskas says this:

Wheatgrass juice is the nectar of rejuvenation, the plasma of youth, the blood of all life. The elements that are missing in your body’s cells — especially enzymes, vitamins, hormones, and nucleic acids can be obtained through this daily green sunlight transfusion.

Wheatgrass Benefits 

  • Fights free radicals.

  • Curbs oxidative stress.

  • Reduces inflammation.

  • Oxygenates the blood.

  • Ramps ATP.

  • Boosts circulation.

  • Improves digestion.

  • Revs metabolism.

  • Powerful enzymes.

  • Relieves constipation.

  • Balances blood sugar.

  • Mitigates stress.

  • Promotes restful sleep.

  • Alkalizes pH.

  • Detoxifies pollutants.

  • Supports the microbiome.

  • Helps heal the gut.

  • Is a high-fiber food.

  • Provides superior protein.

  • Boosts mitochondria.

  • Fights diseases.

  • Reduces nutritional deficiency.

  • Supports good mental health.

  • Helps you lose weight.

  • Increases longevity.

7. Wheatgrass Supports A Healthy Weight

Girl in baggy pants displays her shrunken waistline.
‘Tthylakoids’ in wheatgrass suppress hunger.

When I personally went vegan many decades ago and started massively consuming raw wheatgrass, I not only lost a whole boatload of weight, I lost eczema, fatigue, and more (which I note in my optimal vegan diet plan).

It not only facilitates an optimal weight when included in a healthy vegan diet, it helps you maintain it so you don’t gain it back, and for me it dramatically ramped workouts.

Definitely a go-to fuel.

Not mention it’s packed with thylakoids—a fat-burning membrane in plants.    

Here’s a look at what thylakoids do:

We have found that thylakoids, the photosynthetic membranes of green leaves, suppress hunger and promote satiety. This occurs through the modulation of gastrointestinal appetite peptides and a modulation of the gut microflora. In long-term studies the thylakoids produce weight loss together with a reduction of blood lipids and blood glucose. Subjects receiving thylakoids also have a decreased liking for fat and sweets. Thylakoids when added to food may therefore be helpful in achieving weight loss and improved health.

In addition

Wheatgrass helps dieters by speeding up blood circulation and metabolic rate, and by enhancing digestive powers, thereby melting the excess fat in the body. If you take a moment to consider the many roles played by enzymes, you will realize that if you lose one pound (or gain another) it will be because of the activity (or lack of it) of the enzymes in your food or body. The effectiveness of live foods and fresh juices, especially wheatgrass juice, has bankrupted many complex theories about why we become fat and how to reduce quickly. 

Wheatgrass For Weight Loss 

  • Boosts circulation.

  • Improves digestion.

  • Promotes regularity.

  • Reduces cravings.

  • Ramps thyroid.

  • Mitigates stress.

  • Balances blood sugar.

  • Curbs inflammation.

  • Promotes restful sleep.

  • Alkalizes pH.

  • Ramps thylakoids.

  • Helps purge toxins.

  • Nourishes the biome.

  • Ramps ATP.

  • Boosts mitochondria.

  • Contains superoxide dismutase (SOD), which helps burn fat.

  • Fights diseases like diabetes.

  • Revs metabolism.

8. Wheatgrass is an Energy Food 

Girl lacing tennis shoes by a cup of wheatgrass.
Wheatgrass boosts the metabolism.

While there’s honestly no shortage of the benefits of wheatgrass, it rocks when it comes to energy. Through its powerful combination of regenerative properties, wheatgrass invigorates cells.  

It infuses the blood with important phytochemicals and jumpstarts a sluggish metabolism.  

Which in turn gets your bloodstream pumping.

Which in turn helps your body refuel:    

Wheatgrass juice contains liquid oxygen. Oxygen is vital to many body processes: it stimulates digestion (the oxidation of food), clearer thinking (the brain utilizes 25 percent of the bodily oxygen supply), and protective oxygenation of the blood (a defense against anaerobic bacteria). It also promotes better circulation of the blood, ultimately nourishing every cell in the body.

According to this report: 

With the addition of wheatgrass and raw foods to your diet, your cells will store a maximum electrical charge, and you will have plenty of energy. At the same time, wheatgrass will help to release excess fats, mineral deposits, and proteins that are trapped in the organs of digestion and elimination, and in the blood, thus saving you energy that would otherwise be spent in your body’s struggle to cleanse itself.

Furthermore:  

Wheatgrass may be used as a tonic and rejuvenator because of its abundance of natural vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and enzymes. It is also a high-quality source of fuel, and it is highly assimilable, requiring little energy to digest. 

9. Wheatgrass Boosts Alkalinity

Tall glasses of wheatgrass juice by bundles and trays.
Natural wheatgrass and blood have the same pH.

The benefits of wheatgrass are clearly aligned with an optimized alkaline diet.

And in case you didn’t know, an alkaline pH is immensely beneficial to health.

Here’s a look at why alkaline rocks:

Unless the body’s pH level is slightly alkaline, the body cannot heal itself. You cannot improve your oral or general health until pH levels are above 7. . . . Acid decreases the body’s ability to repair damaged cells, decreases the ability to get rid of heavy metals and it makes the body more susceptible to fatigue and illness. Everything pivots on a balanced pH. When bodily pH drops, enzymes are deactivated, digestion is interrupted; vital nutrients are not effectively assimilated. Disease cannot survive in an alkaline state; however, in a low oxygen/low pH (acidic) state, viruses, bacteria, yeast, mold, fungus, Candida and cancer cells all thrive.

According to this report:

“The pH factor of the blood is 7.4 and the pH factor of wheatgrass juice is 7.4, which is why it is quickly absorbed into the blood.”   

10. Wheatgrass is Enzyme-Rich

Top view of wheatgrass juice in a glass by bundles.
Enzymes are perhaps more important than any other active ingredients in wheatgrass. — Ann Wigmore.

Raw living wheatgrass is literally teeming with powerful, restorative enzymes.

It’s also a great source of superoxide dismutase (SOD)—one of the best antioxidants around:

SOD enzymes are one of the fastest enzymes known, and they are also inducible, meaning that the higher their exposure to superoxides [free radicals] the greater their number and detoxifying activity.

And that’s not all:   

To date, literally hundreds of enzymes have been discovered in cereal grasses. An even more thorough study in the future may turn up thousands, because grass is a storehouse of enzymes.

Enzymes in Wheatgrass

Mug and shooter of wheatgrass juice on a kitchen counter.
To date, literally hundreds of enzymes have been discovered in cereal grasses. — Ann Wigmore

Powerhouse enzymes in wheatgrass:

  • Peroxidase.

  • Phosphatase.

  • Cytochrome oxidase.

  • DNase.

  • RnaseSuperoxide.

  • Hexokinase.

  • Malic dehydrogenase.

  • Nitrate reductase.

  • Nitrogen oxyreductase.

  • Fatty Acid Oxidase.

  • Phosolipase.

  • Polyphenoloxidase.

  • Dismutase.

  • Transhydrogenase.

  • Amylase.

  • Protease.

  • Lipase.

Says Dr. Wigmore: 

All of the enzymatic activity in wheatgrass adds up to one vitally important thing—greater strength and resistance to pollutants both outside and inside the body. Enzymes are perhaps more important than any other active ingredients in wheatgrass.

Wheat vs. Wheatgrass: What’s the Difference?

Glass of wheatgrass juice on rustic wood.
Wheatgrass is most nutrient-dense at 9-10” tall.

So in case you’re wondering why we can’t just eat the mature wheat grain to obtain all those rich, valuable nutrients in wheatgrass, here’s why:

According to Dr. Charles F. Schnabel,

If [wheatgrass] is not grazed or cut and preserved within a few days of the jointing stage, its value is lost forever because the vitamins associated with photosynthesis are not transferred to the grain or returned to the soil. They are used up by the grass plant during the reproductive stage of growth. It is this transient nature of the quality of grass at the jointing stage that has made the secret of grass so elusive. The irony of it is that our ‘dumb’ animals seem to have known the secret all the time.

Wheatgrass Benefits Window: Optimal Harvest Time

It’s important to note that if you’re growing raw wheatgrass or purchasing wheatgrass in trays, its optimal harvest time is nine-10” tall when the blades are most nutrient-dense.

Is Wheatgrass Gluten-Free?

Wheatgrass shot with blades and seeds.
Young wheatgrass leaves are naturally gluten-free.

If you’re anything like me and sensitive to gluten, you’ll be happy to learn that wheatgrass is gluten-free.    

Since it’s the first seedless blades of the wheat plant, it does not contain gluten.

That’s in the seeds. 

However you should always research products thoroughly if you’re gluten-intolerant.

Where do you get Wheatgrass?   

There are many ways to get wheatgrass these days, such as buying the organic seeds and growing your own, purchasing ready-to-go trays and juicing it yourself, or finding a juice bar that serves it on the go, which are harder to come by these days. 

You can also get the organic powder or tablets in stores and online — just make sure it’s a solid brand.   

Potential Side Effects of Wheatgrass

Raw living wheatgrass juice is potent and can be intense for some people.

I suggest starting slow with small doses (shooters) to let your body adjust.  

Reactions can vary depending on whether you drink it on an empty stomach — which I always do — or with food, which dilutes its potency.

 Either way, you can gradually build up and experiment with its effects on your own system.

It’s been suggested that one to two ounces a day on an empty stomach is optimal.  

It’s also recommended that if you take medications or have underlying conditions you should consult your physician first.

Dr. Wigmore says this:

Wheatgrass contains a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals, including the thirteen essential ones, packaged with dozens of trace elements and enzymes. It is a nutritionally complete food which will sustain the growth and development of laboratory animals and humans alike. In addition, scientists have never found wheatgrass to be toxic in any amount when given to either animals or humans.

More healthy lifestyle posts: 

Barley Grass Benefits

Chlorophyll Benefits

Vegan Diet Plan

Green Smoothie Recipe

Foods High in Fiber

Benefits of a Vegan Diet

Veganism: A High-Fiber, Biologically Optimal Jam


The medical and health topics covered on the Plate of Grass website and blog have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to prevent or cure any disease. This article and its content is presented ‘as is’ for informational purposes only. It represents the opinions, experiences, and research of its author and is not intended as medical advice and should not be construed as such. Questions regarding your health should be directed to a qualified medical professional before beginning any treatments or programs. The use of information and materials in and/or linked to this blog is at the users’ own discretion.  

 

Follow:
Share: