Let them eat grass – Wheatgrass

April 9, 2008

Wheatgrass seems to be the hot health idea at the moment and you can’t go into a trendy juice bar – as I am sure you do every other day – without being offered an expensive shot of green liquid. Like all ‘hot’ ideas it has actually been around for some time. In fact it has been something of a cottage industry, rather the old sprouters on the windowsill that were seen in all healthy homes in the 1970′s, you now find trays of wheatgrass or, if they are flat dwellers like me, it’s probably ‘grow your own grass’ for the cats.

However, wheatgrass has many great qualities as a supplement to your diet but unlike the sprouts, you don’t eat it – you juice it to get the maximum benefit. So what are these benefits? Well, increasing numbers of people are turning to it in their fight against cancer, to boost their immune system, and as an essential part of any detox programme. Wheatgrass first earned its reputation from people with terminal illnesses, who took it at the eleventh hour after conventional medicine left them with no hope. In the 1970s, Dr Ann Wigmore opened the Hippocrates Health Institute, in Boston, nourishing terminally ill patients back to health with fresh squeezed wheatgrass and from then on it has been an underground health story passed on by word of mouth.

Wheat grass has been called one of nature’s finest medicines. It is perhaps the most nutritious and cleansing juice there is. In its natural state, wheat grass is indigestible for humans; so don’t go plucking it straight out of the field. However, wheatgrass juice is easily digested and its nutrients and enzymes are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, providing an instant boost of energy and ongoing nourishment. It is high in chlorophyll, potassium, calcium, and magnesium and is a highly effective detoxifier, especially for the liver and gallbladder. Wheat grass has nearly a gram of protein per teaspoon, and includes all eight of the essential amino acids, as well as 13 of the remaining 16. It contains Vitamins A, B1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, and 12; C, E and K. A teaspoon of wheat grass contains around 15mg of Calcium, 8mcg Iodine, 3.5mcg Selenium, 870mcg Iron, 62mcg Zinc, and many other minerals.

There is another good reason to take a daily shot of wheatgrass: it contains Superoxide Dismutase (SOD), and it has been found that cancerous cells have a deficiency, or a complete lack of, SOD. Anti-oxidants have the ability to mop up free radicals and so reduce or avoid cell mutation. Mutation is part of the first stage of cancer formation so, if you supplement your diet with wheat grass you will almost certainly be helping your body to avoid, or deal with, cancerous conditions.

You don’t have to drink gallons of the stuff either, the intense green juice is best taken in ‘shots’ of about 1tbsp at a time. Like all fresh juices it needs to be drunk immediately, it goes off in about 30 minutes, so cut from the tray and juice, or cut the shoots and keep in a plastic bag in the refrigerator where they will retain their nutrients for up to seven days after cutting.

For those with an intolerance to gluten, do not be put off because the grain metamorphoses completely into a vegetable, with none of the allergic proteins common to the glutenous grains. You can indeed follow the advice of Hippocrates, the father of medicine, who said “our food is our medicine and our medicine is our food”

Oh, and if you are not a gardener, even of the windowsill variety, then you will be delighted to learn you can actually buy the stuff ready grown, cut and ready to stuff in your juicer. Ask at your local health store as it can often be found as tablets or powder supplements and in bags in the chiller cabinet, or you can order trays of wheat, barley, oat and rye grass from this site: www.browfarmwheatproducts.co.uk

Whatever you do, start with small amounts as it is a powerful detoxifier and you can mix it with juice if you find the taste not to your liking.


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