Wheatgrass boasts some impressive nutritional stats. It’s an excellent source of chlorophyll, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E, and to top it all off wheatgrass contains 98 of 102 earth elements found in soil, including phosphorus, calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium as well as essential enzymes and 19 amino acids. Wheatgrass is also overflowing with vitamins, and liver enzymes.
The star of wheatgrass’ nutritional makeup is chlorophyll, a phytochemical that gives dark leafy greens their color. Chlorophyll is essentially the blood of plants; and in humans, it reverses aging, suppresses hunger, cleanses the blood, combats odor, and has been linked to the prevention of cancer. Wheatgrass is made up of 70 percent chlorophyll — it’s no wonder it’s so powerful.
But it’s not just what it contains — it’s the amounts that are important. Holistic nutritionist Carina Parikh, MScN, MSiMR notes that it contains these elements “in a balanced ratio that is optimal for the human body.”
Wheatgrass is unlike any other health food. Here are 35 reasons to incorporate wheatgrass into your daily routine.
- Treat Skin Diseases
Wheatgrass can be used to treat skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis. While no clinical studies have been conducted as yet to support this, many testimonials of home treatments with wheatgrass seem to prove this claim.
There are several ways you can go about using wheatgrass for your skin. Pour wheatgrass juice into a few holes in an ice cube tray, freeze, and rub a cube across blemishes on your skin as well as on any scars or damaged areas. Alternatively, you could pour a cup of wheatgrass juice or powder into a warm bath and soak your body in the bath for at least 30 minutes.
- Lose Weight
If you have a few pounds to lose, wheatgrass may be the answer.
Wheatgrass contains selenium, which is crucial for the healthy functioning of the thyroid gland. According to a 2013 study in Clinical Endocrinology, adding selenium to your diet can help improve irregular thyroid function, even when linked to other issues such as autoimmune diseases.
The thyroid is one of your body’s natural weight management tools, so ensure that your thyroid is healthy by downing a wheatgrass shot first thing in the morning.
- Reduce Food Cravings
Wheatgrass is loaded with so many nutrients that your body isn’t lusting for other foods to compensate for any lack of vitamins or minerals. Some common nutrient deficiencies — such as magnesium, iron, and omega-3s — can make you snack as your body searches for a source of these much-needed minerals. While the idea of your body searching for a precise food — such as almonds when you’re magnesium-deficient — is an old wives’ tale according to Dr. Mike Roussell, studies have shown that sugar cravings can often be linked to calcium and magnesium deficiencies, according to nutritionist Caroline Pearce.
Take a wheatgrass supplement (or juice shot) each morning on an empty stomach, and it may prevent overeating throughout the day.
- Detox Your Cells
Wheatgrass is highly alkaline and high in nutrients, making it the perfect tool for a detox. While the jury is still out on whether alkaline diets can truly change the alkalinity or acidity of your blood, nutritionists agree that by eating an alkaline diet, we inadvertently end up eating healthier.
As Dr. Melinda Ratini told WebMD, “The foods you’re supposed to eat on the alkaline diet are good for you and will support a healthy weight loss: lots of fruits and vegetables, and lots of water.”
No matter how you slice it, a move towards a more alkaline diet is a good idea. Accompanied by other alkaline foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and legumes, wheatgrass is a great way to prime your cell function.
- Improve Immunity
One of the top documented wheatgrass benefits is its ability to increase red blood cells in the body, Parikh notes, making it an excellent immunity booster.
A 2004 study in the journal of Indian Pediatrics showed that wheatgrass was such a powerful red blood cell booster it was able to reduce the need for transfusions in patients.
Take a shot when you’re particularly susceptible to cold, flu, and infection to give your immune system a jolt.
- Stimulate Circulation
Wheatgrass has the ability to increase the amount of oxygen in the blood, making it a great way to stimulate circulation.
While a 2008 study in the Internet Journal of Alternative Medicine showed that wheatgrass does not significantly increase the blood oxygen levels of resting individuals, a follow-up study in the same journal showed that wheatgrass did, in fact, increase oxygen levels when taken directly before exercise.
To take advantage of this benefit, take a shot of wheatgrass before beginning your regular exercise regime.
- Improve Digestion
Instead of reaching for antacids to relieve heartburn or indigestion, introduce wheatgrass into your daily regimen.
Wheatgrass contains several elements that can boost digestion, including a great deal of fiber, and B complex vitamins, which boost the function of the muscles of the digestive system, according to Dr. Marc Micozzi.
“In general (B complex vitamins) help move energy obtained from food into the tissue cells, where it is needed,” he says. Thiamine helps convert carbs into energy, and riboflavin keeps the mucosal lining of your digestive tract healthy; wheatgrass contains both.
- Treat Arthritis
Health experts believe wheatgrass is effective in treating arthritis. A 2012 study in the International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Research showed that rheumatoid arthritis patients who followed a raw vegetarian diet rich in lactobacilli saw decreased symptoms, and that nearly half of these benefits were due to the increased consumption of fermented wheat drinks, wheatgrass drinks, fiber, and iron.
Chlorophyll is thought to fight inflammation, which is associated with joint pain and may be the reason wheatgrass is so helpful in these cases.
- Reduce Fatigue
When you experience fatigue, your body is likely deprived of rest and is dealing with a weakened immune system.
Not only does chlorophyll boost the immune system, it also helps to increase oxygen supply in your body’s cells and tissues, contributing to cell regeneration, which heals the body and reduces fatigue symptoms.
Chlorophyll is also naturally regenerative for the adrenal glands, according to Ellen Tart-Jensen, Ph.D, D.Sc. Boosting the adrenal system is crucial for sufferers of chronic fatigue