The 411 on Wheatgrass

The Benefits of Wheatgrass, Angelina Jolie & More!

By Courtney Leiva

If you’ve been to a Jamba Juice or any health food store recently, you’ve likely seen people taking shots of what appears to be juiced grass. Not exactly the shots you usually see people taking at bars, we know! But, with its potent properties of chlorophyll and vitamins galore, the cool kid on the nutrition block these days seems to be wheatgrass.

If you’ve never tried wheatgrass before, though, the thought of what appears to be fresh cut grass being pressed through a juicer and into a shot glass can seem odd, at best, even if Angelina Jolie does swear by it. (Hey, she used to wear blood in a vile around her neck and we didn’t jump on that bandwagon either no matter how much we love her.)

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What does wheatgrass taste like? 

Wheatgrass juice is extracted from red wheat sprouts, a grass-like plant that tastes, well, kinda like grass, with a touch of asparagus.

It’s not the taste, though, that has nutritionists, dieticians, tree-huggers, juice-cleansers, celebrities (like Russell Simons, Angelina Jolie and more) taking wheatgrass shots on a regular basis.

What are the benefits of wheatgrass?

According to ND Mike Herbert, “In the 1930s, Charles Schnabel, an agricultural chemist, fed wheatgrass to dying hens. The chickens seemed to come back to life and then went on to produce more eggs than their coop-mates. Wheatgrass as a nutritional supplement was born.” Since then, wheatgrass shots have been touted with ability to detox the liver, cleanse the blood, fight cancer, prevent tooth decay and even prevent gray hair.

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Although, none of these claims are scientifically substantiated, and some experts believe that a shot of wheatgrass is no better than an added serving of green vegetables in your diet, ND Mike Herbert tell us that “wheatgrass juice is rich in minerals (including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, sulphur, and zinc), vitamins (especially high in Vitamins A, B including laetrile or B17, C and E), enzymes and chlorophyll.” And wheatgrass juice does contain 70% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, 20% of the recommended daily intake of iron and is rich in calcium – which is nothing to balk at for a measly 2-ounce serving.

The keyword, though, when it comes to the benefits of wheatgrass is chlorophyll. (We know, chlorophyll might have sounded boring in chemistry class, but your body would disagree.)

Alison Price, founder of OrganicGlow.com, tells us that chlorophyll helps our body to cleanse and heal and may even stimulate tissue growth and red blood cell production since it’s almost identical to hemoglobin, the red pigment in blood.

How do I take it?

Stroll through any health store and you’ll see lots of wheatgrass products available, from grass and juices to pills and powders. But, as celebrity nutritionist Paula Simpson tell us, as with most things, the most natural form is best (and easiest to digest!).

For Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of Cook Your Way through the S.A.T., the trick with fully optimizing wheatgrass shots is taking it on an empty stomach for the most benefits.

Wheatgrass in Hydro Colonic Therapy?

Want to take the benefits of wheatgrass even deeper (literally)? Add wheatgrass to colonics (AKA Colon Hydrotherapy) too for added detoxification and deeper nutrient infusion!

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