Wheatgrass is one of the “greenest” tasting things on the planet – and one of the toughest shots to take! Thankfully, the flavor wizards at Pressed Juicery have created a new fall concoction (including wheatgrass, apple, ginger, yuzu, mint and coconut water) that we’re more than happy to drink. Each bottle is stuffed with as much of the green stuff as we’d get from a single shot, which is great news, since a shot of wheatgrass a day is sworn by more health advocates than we care to count!
Dr. Lisa Davis of Pressed Juicery’s Medical Board is brushing up our knowledge on the benefits of wheatgrass below. Still not sold? Check out our piece on 50 reasons to drink it (the comments are filled with extra insights too!)
The color catches you first: a vibrant, tourmaline green. Then there’s the flavor: sweet, strong, fresh, definitely grassy, with a certain note of very-good-for-you. A sip of cold wheatgrass juice is singularly invigorating. Close your eyes and it’s easy to imagine that you live in Malibu and ride your horse along the beach every morning before your three-hour yoga sessions. No wonder A-listers like Drew Barrymore and Angelina Jolie are rumored to be fans! But do the benefits of wheatgrass juice have more weight than just celebrity cred? Let’s explore…
What Is Wheatgrass?
It’s definitely a grass, and it actually is related to wheat. It’s grown and harvested raw while it’s still young (learn why young and sprouted plants matter). The tender blades are then pressed into juice that’s amazing on its own, and nutritious and yummy when added to smoothies and juice combos. Learn more about this superfood here.
What DOes Science Say?
Research has put wheatgrass to the formal test in a couple of small studies: One experiment in 2004 tested 32 people with thalassemia, a type of anemia characterized by low production of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the compound in red blood cells that helps the cells carry oxygen throughout the body. The subjects in this test who took a daily 100 ml shot of wheatgrass juice were less likely to need blood transfusions. In 2002, another handful of test subjects with ulcerative colitis showed improvement in bowel inflammation after a month of drinking 100 ml of wheatgrass juice a day.
The studies themselves were too small to be conclusive. Testing 20 or 30 people isn’t the same as testing 20,000 or 30,000 people over a long period of time. More (and larger) studies will be needed before science can stand behind these exciting-but-kind-of-premature observations.
A Few Benefits of Wheatgrass
What we do know for sure is that wheatgrass juice delivers a big concentration of nutrients, including iron, calcium, magnesium, amino acids and vitamins A, C and E. Some people find that it tames the appetite as well.
That jewel-like color is a sign of wheatgrass’s high levels of chlorophyll, the pigment that makes green plants green and helps them transform sunlight and water into energy. Chlorophyll sweetens bad breath and digestive odors, and has antioxidant properties, neutralizing the free radicals that cause wear and tear on your cells. Studies suggest that chlorophyll might be useful to counteract certain carcinogens called aflatoxins, which are associated with liver cancer in some populations.
What If I’m NOt Into The Taste?
If you want to use wheatgrass juice to augment a smoothie or juice blend, you’ll find that it’s fantastically versatile. Lemon is a classic accompaniment to wheatgrass juice; shots are often served with a lemon wedge to complement (or cover up) the fresh, vegetal flavor.
The marriage of wheatgrass and mint is also a match made in heaven: Try blending wheatgrass with some chilled peppermint tea for a lovely refresher that leaves you with kiss-worthy breath. Or, throw in a handful of blueberries for a touch of sweetness that boosts the antioxidant factor even further into the healthy zone.
The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program.