13 Debunked Benefits Of Wheatgrass For Vibrant Health

Intrigued by wheatgrass? Wondering if you should jump on the green shot bandwagon? This “superfood” is rumoured to have many health benefits but not all are supported by hard facts. Read on to find out what science has to say about the properties of wheatgrass and decide for yourself if you should, perhaps, give it a try.

Benefits of wheatgrass


First things first; what is it actually? Wheatgrass is the young grass shoots of the Triticum Aestivum plant, more commonly known by the name of wheat plant. Just like barley, oat and rye grasses, wheatgrass is part of the cereal grass family and grows in temperate regions all around Europe and the United States. For those of you living in colder climates, fear not, as wheatgrass can also be grown indoors!

Where does wheatgrass come from?

Its origins can be tracked back to more than 5000 years ago. Back then, Egyptians allegedly considered the young wheat shoots sacred and readily consumed them for the positive effects they had on their health and vitality. Wheatgrass has also been used for thousands of years in India, as part of Ayurvedic medicine.

It’s popularity hit the Western world back in the 1930s, thanks to Charles F. Schnabel, an agricultural chemist who used the fresh cut grass to nurse dying chickens back to health. What’s particularly amazing is that the sick hens consuming it not only recovered, but also started laying an egg almost everyday instead of every three days – basically increasing their egg production three fold! Pretty impressive, right?

grow wheatgrass

About two decades later, wheatgrass was brought back into the spotlight by Ann Wigmore, an ordinary woman who consumed it, in combination with other various weeds, to heal herself of colon cancer. She went on to found the Hippocrates Health Institute, where her use of wheatgrass as a key food both popularized its use and spurred continued interest in the young grass.

What can wheatgrass do?

Wheatgrass is packed full of vitamins, minerals and amino acids in addition to containing plant nutrients (phytonutrients) thought to have antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s interesting to note that many of the phytonutrients contained in cereal grasses have yet to be identified and the mechanisms through which they provide their health benefits are still largely unknown.

So, are there any real benefits to wheatgrass or is it all gimmick? Fans of wheatgrass sure swear by it, citing its many health perks! So let’s entertain the discussion and take a deeper look at the evidence.

wheatgrass

1. Claim: A Shot Of Wheatgrass Juice Has As Much Nutritional Value As 2.5lbs Of Fresh Veggies.

Wheatgrass certainly is a source of many nutrients, including vitamins E and B12, iron, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus. It also contains beta-carotene, a nutrient typically found in orange pigmented fruits and vegetables such as mangoes, cantaloupe, pumpkin, carrots and yams and selenium, a trace element important for the functioning of the thyroid gland. Vitamin E, beta-carotene and selenium also happen to be powerful antioxidants. This means they can protect the body against the effect of harmful molecules known as free radicals. So, there’s no doubt about it, wheatgrass has an interesting nutritional value.

That being said, one ounce of wheatgrass juice has, on average, just about as many vitamins and minerals as three ounces of fresh vegetables, no more, no less.

So can a shot of wheatgrass compensate a lack of vegetables in the diet? Not fully. A daily consumption of wheatgrass juice doesn’t mean you can skimp on fruits and veggies the rest of the day, but it can definitely contribute towards your daily nutrient intake.

VERDICT: Not true. One ounce of wheatgrass juice will provide you with more or less the same amount of nutrients as three ounces of fresh veggies. So drinking it regularly won’t make up for a diet poor in veggies but can, none the less, be an easy way to add some extra nutrients to your day.

2. Claim: Wheatgrass Helps You Shed The Pounds

Some say that wheatgrass, due to its high nutrient density, provides your body with everything it needs, keeping it satisfied and, by the same token, curbing hunger and reducing cravings. Others say that wheatgrass stimulates the thyroid gland, which can, in itself, help fight obesity.

As nice as they sound, there is currently no scientific evidence supporting these claims. But, that doesn’t mean a daily shot of wheatgrass can’t help…

There’s definitely something to be said about the power of the mind! Once you decide on your goal, a daily reminder of that decision might be just the thing you need – and there are many worst reminders than a daily, nutrient-filled green shot!

VERDICT: There is no magic pill when it comes to weight loss. But a daily reminder of your decision can definitely help you persevere in your quest towards your goal.
wheatgrass health

3. Claim: Wheatgrass Oxygenize Your Body

This claim originates from wheatgrass’ high content of chlorophyll, a molecule that allows plants to produce energy from sunlight through a process called photosynthesis. What’s particularly fascinating about chlorophyll is that its structure is very similar to that of hemoglobin, a molecule known to carry oxygen from our lungs to the rest of our bodies. Since chlorophyll and hemoglobin are so similar in structure, intake of one could help your body produce more of the other.

Interestingly, some scientific evidence supporting this theory does exist. It comes in the form of a small study, performed on 32 patients with thalassaemia. Individuals with thalassaemia lack normally formed hemoglobin, which results in poor oxygen transport and destruction of vital red blood cells. To increase healthy hemoglobin levels, many individuals with this disorder must get regular blood transfusion. This particular study found that a daily intake of 3.5oz of wheatgrass led 50% of patients to require fewer transfusions, indicating that wheatgrass might have, at least in some people, a positive effect on hemoglobin levels.

Similarly, intake of 1oz of wheatgrass for 6 months was able to significantly increase hemoglobin levels in 348 terminally ill cancer patients.

P.S. Take a look at the 5 veggies that boost female metabolism and burn off lower belly fat.

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14 Comments

  1. Jordan Ring says:

    Despite all of the undiscovered potential of wheatgrass, it still sounds like it would be a good idea to at least try it! I sounds like it would probably oxygenize your body, help to up your fiber intake, and possibly aid in cancer prevention. I’d say its worth a try!

  2. Jewelia says:

    It seems as though all of your comments are inconclusive and have insufficient research
    behind them. Everyone that I know, myself included have showed powerful results from
    consuming fresh wheatgrass juice. Have you taken it upon yourself to grow it, juice it, and drink it for a 6 month trial? You might be pleasantly surprised. I also promote eating fresh organic fruits and vegetables as well. You might want to do your research on the truth about GMO’s and pesticides in our foods….this might have some very far reaching benefits for everyone reading this site. Thanks.

  3. Robert says:

    hyped as “13 Debunked Benefits Of Wheatgrass For Vibrant Health” but no convincing debunking, though the 3oz vs 2.5lbs equivalence is more likely – however one takes wheatgrass juice raw (with undamaged proteins and etc), while many vegetables are usually cooked.

  4. Donna says:

    I from experience am a big fan, I was bitten by a pet rat and my hand swelled up, doctor gave me antibiotics for the celulitus and pain meds, nothing worked, was a month. I was turned onto Wheat Grass juice and in two days the swelling went down, I continued on it and hand went back to normal. happend so fast that the skin on my fingers was actually baggy. I have used it for when I caught a cold, or bornchitis and I believe it sped up the healing, also used it after my second C- section and I beleive I was able to recover quicker

  5. Louis says:

    My first ounce of wheat grass tasted horrible (I was very toxic). But I kept taking it because it was highly recommended as a blood cleanser and detoxifier by Tom & Trish, owners of the health food restaurant Enzyme Express in Anchorage, Alaska in the mid 1980’s. Over a period of about two-three months I increased my daily intake to two, three, four, six and then eight ounces a day. The more I drank the better it tasted (I was becoming more detoxified). If I increased the dosage too much, I would get nauseated because toxins were coming out of my body faster than it could process. So the next day I would reduce the dosage by one ounce or two depending on how I felt. When I felt I was ready to move to a higher dosage, I would take more.

    The more detoxified my body became the more heavenly the wheat grass juice tasted which I never thought would happen. The reason it tasted so good was that it was being grown in a remote area two hours from Anchorage and was getting 18-20 hours of sunlight each day and water from rain or a nearby stream coming down from snow covered mountains. Each blade of grass was 1/4 inch wide, a very dark green, and it tasted heavenly-awesomely good–nothing at all like the thin, pale green, bitter stuff grown indoors with muni water (yuk!) in other places.

    After my 8 ounces one Saturday morning, Tom&Trish had excess wheat grass on hand (they were going to be closed for the next two days during which time it would wilt and start to lose flavor and nutrients) and starting offering no limit, free fillups. I kept getting 1-2 ounces of free refills until I had consumed an additional 28 ounces which added to my 8 ounces in the morning–36 ounces for the day. At that point I felt nauseated because of all the toxins the body was releasing. But I held it down because I thought it might somehow be beneficial.

    The next day was one very unusual day. I was extremely mentally alert with boundless energy. My mind felt like a super computer. I was processing data and thoughts faster than I could vocalize. When someone started to chat with me, I knew exactly everything they were going to say before they said it. My mind felt like it was a hundred miles wide and it seemed like I could perceive what was going on for miles around me. It was like this the whole day. The following day I went to visit a dear friend and she told me that I looked younger like I had dropped 10 years.

    If you ever get a chance to grow your own wheatgrass or can get it after it has been planted on well-prepared soil, watered with rain or from a nearby stream coming down from snow-covered mountain tops and grown in 18-20 hours of sunlight, you will be in for a treat you have never ever before experienced. The physical and mental results are too unbelievable for anyone to fully understand unless they have experienced how fantastically good wheatgrass can taste when it is grown under the above ideal conditions and taken to the max over a regulated period of time. If you take too much too soon, you will get nauseated. Just back off for a day or so and then resume. You will never forget that wonderful experience. If only everyday could be like that!!!

    • Penny says:

      Sounds like Louis had a surreal experience with wheatgrass, which I would love to have. I don’t care for the powder, but the closest I have found to fresh is frozen (not all frozen is alike, some considerably fresher than others I tried.) I drink 4 oz a day and feel so much better! Trying to learn more about the actual benefits and what other amazing plants and herbs are available to make me feel good.

    • grai says:

      do you have a history of mental illness?

      • Letitia says:

        You should stay in your low energy 3 dimensional world and stop polluting. If you dont understand what happened to him not even a little you probably never will..

  6. Ted says:

    Thank you for the article , I’ve been using this (swishing) to try to heal a tooth that is decayed (toothache) , not yet sure if it works.
    I have a question for anyone:
    As far as drinking , say 4 0z a day, for general benefits, what would the proper mix
    be if you are using powder form? A teaspoon of powder to 4 0z water 1/2 teaspoon ?
    Does it matter, so long as the mix is fairly dark ?

  7. Ted says:

    Pleases delete my above comment, I didn’t realize this site was moderated,
    free speech is much too important to me to patronize any ‘moderated’ sites.

  8. Mike says:

    whoever wrote this is categorically wrong
    do your own research and decide for yourself

    ALSO – the grass has to be fresh and alive prior to all these tests, clearly you used something else
    are you also afraid of the terrible terrible stuff marijuana
    go play Pokemon

  9. DAVID JONES says:

    it makes my blood boil we have been eating food since we first walked the earth, so when i keep hearing these magic word NO EVIDENCE, NO RESEARCH WTF. ever since the chemical industry got involved in creating drugs for profit, all natural healing food took a back seat mainly because you cannot patent plants or herbs, its a disgrace,

  10. EmJea says:

    This article loses credibility and debunks itself with the erroneous claim that wheatgrass is high in B12. The fact that you posted this without proper research tells me you winged the rest. It may be a good source of B6 and is actually a great source of zinc, a tooth and gum friendly vitamin. If you want to check for yourself; http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/custom/900675/2

  11. The ongoing research proves that wheatgrass does possess corrective and protective properties due to its high content of nutrients and chlorophyll and this healing potion also possesses strong antibacterial, anti-aging, antiviral and anti-cancer properties. To find it yourself go through researches and reports published through viable resources and you will get all the answers.

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