Wheatgrass is an antioxidant-rich food full of essential nutrients. It is often sold as premade wheatgrass juice or in powder form, which you can use to make beverages or take as a supplement. The nutrition and gluten content of wheatgrass products can vary among manufacturers.
Video of the Day
Wheatgrass Powder Nutrition Facts
Wheatgrass itself typically comes from the plant Triticum aestivum, which is essentially just your average wheat plant. However, it can be made from virtually any wheat, including spelt, durum, einkorn and emmer varieties. Unlike most other wheat products, which are made from wheat seeds, wheatgrass comes from freshly sprouted young wheat plants.
According to a September 2016 study in the journal Quality Assurance and Safety of Crops and Foods, wheatgrass should be gluten-free as long as it has been harvested at a young age (usually after between five and 15 days of sprouting).
However, you should be aware that this may vary depending on the age at which your wheatgrass was harvested, and older products are more likely to contain gluten. Wheatgrass products that are processed in facilities with gluten products are also more likely to contain gluten.
According to the Mayo Clinic, wheatgrass typically contains chlorophyll, iron, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C and E. A May 2017 study in the International Journal of Food Science and Technology found that wheatgrass products also contain zinc, potassium, manganese, copper, protein, fiber and various antioxidants. This study found that the nutrition of wheatgrass powders can vary substantially based on how they have been processed.
A May 2014 study in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture also found that the antioxidant content of your wheatgrass is highly dependent on the species of wheat that the product came from. Einkorn and emmer wheatgrasses are twice as rich in antioxidants compared to spelt and durum wheatgrasses.
Wheatgrass Powder Benefits
Wheatgrass has a variety of benefits thanks to its nutrient content. For example, an April 2016 study in the IOSR Journal of Pharmacy and Biological Sciences reported that this plant has twice as much vitamin A compared to carrots, as well as more vitamin C than oranges.
According to this study, an October 2015 study in the Mini Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry _journal and a November 2014 article in the _International Journal of Chemical Studies, wheatgrass is thought to support the treatment of chronic diseases and other health problems. Wheatgrass juice, powder and supplements may also be useful in the treatment of health issues like:
- Hematological problems
- Parkinson's disease
- Inflammatory issues
- Gastrointestinal issues, like flatulence or constipation
- Ulcerative colitis
You should be aware that very few clinical trials support wheatgrass powder's benefits for the treatment of these conditions in humans. However, wheatgrass has been reported to:
- Help reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as reported in a January 2017 study in the Journal of Dietary Supplements.
- Reduce blood glucose levels in diabetics, as reported in an October 2016 study in the Food Science Research Journal.
- Reduce vascular damage, blood clots and inflammation in colon
cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, as reported in a May 2019 study in the_ Journal of Clinical Oncology_.
The Mini Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry and Quality Assurance and Safety of Crops and Foods studies also reported that wheatgrass had helped to manage ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, blood diseases, diabetes, obesity and chemotherapy-related side effects. However, you should be aware that all of these studies were performed in small trials of less than 100 people.
Additionally, a small June 2019 study in the Indian Journal of Surgery used wheatgrass extract to promote burn healing. Wheatgrass was found to promote faster healing and helped patients experience less pain compared to silver sulfadiazine-based wound treatment. However, in this case, wheatgrass was applied externally rather than ingested.
Ultimately, all of these studies have shown highly promising results on wheatgrass powder's benefits for your health, but this research is still fairly limited. While wheatgrass is considered to be a healthy and safe dietary supplement, you shouldn't take it for the treatment of any of these conditions without direct instructions from your physician.
Wheatgrass Powder Drink Recipes
Wheatgrass powder is extremely easy to work with. A spoonful of this powder is usually sufficient for most wheatgrass powder drink recipes, but actual serving sizes vary between manufacturers.
Plain wheatgrass juice or wheatgrass powder shots can be made by simply mixing the pure powder with water. However, the average person might not like how intensely grassy the resulting beverage is, especially if you're not adding any sweeteners.
Unfortunately, older wheatgrass (regardless of whether it was harvested late or has just been stored for a while) also tends to take on a slightly bitter flavor, which can make plain wheatgrass juice even more unpleasant.
If you're put off by the grassy, bitter flavor of plain wheatgrass, the easiest thing to do is mix natural sweeteners like stevia, lucuma or monk fruit powder into your wheatgrass powder shots. Mixing your wheatgrass powder with ingredients like ginger, lemon, lemongrass and mint can also help mask some of wheatgrass juice's flavors.
You don't have to consume your wheatgrass on its own, either. Many people like to mix wheatgrass juice into hot beverages, like matcha green tea or Chinese Pu'er tea_._ Both of these beverages already have earthy undertones and can mask some of the unpleasant flavors present in plain wheatgrass powder.
If you prefer your wheatgrass juice to be slightly sweeter but want to avoid sweeteners, you can mix it with naturally sweet fruit and vegetable products, like coconut milk or pomegranate, pineapple or beetroot juice. Another alternative is blending your wheatgrass into smoothies. Bananas, carrots, cucumbers, apples and pears are all flavorful and healthy ingredients that you can easily blend to create tasty wheatgrass beverages.
- Quality Assurance and Safety of Crops & Foods: "Confirmation of Gluten-Free Status of Wheatgrass (Triticum Aestivum)"
- International Journal of Food Science and Technology: "Chemical, Nutritional and Phenolic Composition of Wheatgrass and Pulse Shoots"
- Mayo Clinic: "Should I Add Wheatgrass to My Smoothies for Better Health?"
- Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture: "Phenolic Compounds in Grains, Sprouts and Wheatgrass of Hulled and Non‐Hulled Wheat Species"
- IOSR Journal of Pharmacy and Biological Sciences:"Green Blood Therapy of Wheat Grass - Nature’s Finest Medicine’- a Literature Review"
- Mini Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry: "The Medical Use of Wheatgrass: Review of the Gap Between Basic and Clinical Applications"
- International Journal of Chemical Studies: "A Pilot Study on Wheat Grass Juice for Its Phytochemical, Nutritional and Therapeutic Potential on Chronic Diseases."
- Journal of Dietary Supplements: "Impact of Wheatgrass (Triticum Aestivum L.) Supplementation on Atherogenic Lipoproteins and Menopausal Symptoms in Hyperlipidemic South Asian Women – a Randomized Controlled Study"
- Food Science Research Journal: "Effect of Supplementation of Wheat Grass (Triticum Aestivum L.) Powder on Blood Glucose Level of Selected Diabetic Subjects"
- Journal of Clinical Oncology: "The Effects of Wheatgrass Juice Administration in Colon Cancer Patients During Adjuvant Chemotherapy and the Treatment Reflection on the Extracellular Vesicles."
- Indian Journal of Surgery: "Efficacy of Wheat Grass Extract Versus Silver Sulfadiazine in 1–5% Second Degree Burns: A Randomized Controlled Trial"