Written by: Joanne Beccarelli
Let’s get this out of the way up front. Wheatgrass juice does NOT taste great! It tastes like grass, as you may have imagined by it’s name. It’s earthy and pungent and although some that drink it often say it is sweet(ish), it’s definitely an acquired taste.
I have never met someone who actually likes the taste of wheatgrass the first time they try it - myself included. That first sip, usually taken too slowly because of the cautious nature of the drinker, lingers a tad too long on the tongue, making that first experience even worse. You’re better off simply throwing back that shot!
The taste is not WHY you should drink wheatgrass, though. You should try it and drink it because of it’s really good for you - a true elixir of health and repair.
With that in mind, here are many of the reasons to drink wheatgrass and why you definitely should.
Chlorophyll is the primary reason wheatgrass is so special and it provides many health benefits.
1. A shot of wheatgrass is like having liquid sunshine and all the concentrated goodness that comes with it. The intense green color in wheatgrass comes from chlorophyll and chlorophyll is all about photosynthesis - a plant's way of absorbing energy from the sun that is now available to you.
2. Wheatgrass is the star of green plant healers because it contains up to 70% chlorophyll, much more than all other leafy greens.
3. Chlorophyll prompts blood oxygen levels to increase, helping to cleanse the blood and deliver oxygen throughout the body to fight disease. This highly oxygenated condition gives all tissues a perfect environment to optimize health and healing.
4. The chlorophyll in wheatgrass increases the number of red blood cells, which helps to alleviate anemia. Increasing red blood cell count is often very important for patients undergoing chemotherapy as well.
5. While wheatgrass cleanses the blood, it also helps cleanse and detoxify the liver.
6. Chlorophyll helps to fight disease and aging. It does this by by counteracting excessive free radicals and providing protection to cells against oxidative damage.
7. Wheatgrass helps to remove heavy metals from the body since it’s a chelating agent, which binds with metals and helps transport them out of the body.
Although chlorophyll is the star, wheatgrass also contains a wide assortment of essential minerals, vitamins (including A, C, E, K and the B-vitamins), amino acids and trace elements.
The list of benefits wheatgrass has to offer your beautiful body is huge! In addition to the superstar reasons I listed above, it’s also been shown to:
- Improve anemia
- Neutralize toxins and carcinogens throughout the body
- Improve digestion and support correction of gastrointestinal issues such as ulcerative colitis, IBS and ulcers
- Aid in the treatment and prevention of cancer and AIDS
- Help to fight chronic fatigue syndrome
- Reduce high blood pressure
- Fight common colds, coughs and sore throats
- Reduce rheumatic pain
- Help to prevent tooth decay and oral conditions
- Repair, clear and prevent skin conditions such as acne, eczema and psoriasis
- Freshen the breath
- Help to prevent hair from graying (perhaps because of the oxygen delivery benefits)
The best way to consume wheatgrass is fresh pressed within fifteen minutes of juicing, undiluted and on an empty stomach for efficient absorption and maximum benefit. Shots, measuring 1-2 ounces, are the most common way for consuming wheatgrass. Second to fresh, opt for flash frozen juice that comes in cubes and can be found in the freezer at many health food stores.
Orally, the list would not be complete without mentioning powdered and freeze-dried wheatgrass supplements as well. These offer convenience, and while a healthy supplement, they are considered much less effective than fresh wheatgrass juice.
Beyond drinking the juice, consider using wheatgrass in other ways as well. For skin conditions, wheatgrass can be applied to the skin in the form of a poultice, using the fresh pulp or even by using the juice topically. It can also be used to enhance a bath for soaking. And finally, some healing centers also use wheatgrass in enemas to help speed healing and absorption.
No matter how you decide to use wheatgrass, proceed slowly. Some people initially may feel mildly nauseated from the strong smell or have a sense of bathroom urgency from the high levels of magnesium, but these sensations tend to go away. On the positive side, wheatgrass will give you a renewed level of energy, health and well-being.
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