Last week I was grocery shopping at Vitamin Cottage (follow them on Twitter here), and the first thing I saw was wheatgrass for sale. I was intrigued – I’ve seen wheatgrass shots at juice bars, but I’ve never used it myself. I have a rule that every time I grocery shop, I try to buy something a little bit new or obscure, so I get experience cooking all types of veggies or meats, or try new fruits or spices. So, on that particular day my new item was wheatgrass.
When I got home, I placed it on my kitchen windowsill. Along with the 70-degree weather we had last week, the wheatgrass looked very “springy” and I loved having it there. But after a few days I decided it was time to face it.
So, I cut off a chunk one morning and put it into our smoothie, along with a banana, some kale, frozen cranberries, pomegranate juice, flax meal, almonds, and coconut water. To be honest, I couldn’t even taste the wheatgrass.
The next day I tried juicing it. I did my first wheatgrass shot! It tasted fine – but keep in mind I’m a girl who is used to “green” drinks (and I’m not referring to the green beer that was served a last week in honor of St. Patrick…).
So my next question was this: what is the wheatgrass doing for me? It’s pretty safe to assume that any green vegetable has health benefits, but I like to know exactly what those are. So I did some research. Here’s what I found out:
- Wheatgrass is full of vitamins A, C, E, K, and B-vitamins. It also is packed with chlorophyll, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and manganese. Chlorophyll helps prevent damage to genes and therefore protects against diseases such as cancer. Wheatgrass also contains many amino acids and is a good source of protein.
- Wheatgrass detoxifies the blood, organs and GI tract. It dilates blood pathways, with helps with circulation and decreased blood pressure. It also is a very alkaline food and therefore acts as a detoxifier of our blood and also our liver. It repairs damaged cells and creates a cleaner environment.
- Wheatgrass also stimulates the thyroid, which aids in digestion and metabolism. This is beneficial for weight loss and overall health.
- If you juice wheatgrass, the actual juice can help with skin rashes, sores, cuts, burns, and even athlete’s foot. It is full of beneficial enzymes that aid in quick healing, whether the healing is on your skin, inside your mouth or in your digestive system.
Are you sold yet?! I am. It was about $3 for my little plot of wheatgrass, which lasted for 3 smoothies/juice shots. Next time you are shopping at your local health food store, look around to see if they’re selling wheatgrass. Or, head over to a juice bar and order a shot to take before drinking your smoothie.
You can also purchase wheatgrass powder, but don’t forget the power of whole foods. Any type of protein powder is not considered a whole food, and therefore nutrient absorption will be affected. I stick with the whole foods, but I know some people really rely on protein powders in their diet, and if you are one of them, then wheatgrass may be something to try.