Wheatgrass, the young shoot of the wheat plant, is freshly juiced or dried into a powder. So, why is wheatgrass good for you? Is wheatgrass gluten-free? To answer that, let’s check on some of the wheatgrass nutrition facts.
Wheatgrass as Whole Food
According to experts, whole foods refer to foods that are not processed, or foods that are close to their original form with minimal processing.
Some people think that you can enjoy the full benefits of a vegetable when you consume whole foods instead of juices alone.
So, are wheatgrass whole foods? Well, yes, if you will consume it with their leaves. But the fresh leaves are hard to digest so making it into powder form is a better idea.
You can use organic wheatgrass powder and create whole foods wheatgrass smoothies. You might want to check our great smoothie recipe ideas on this website.
Wheatgrass Nutrition Facts
Vitamin A, or retinol, is a nutrient that is known to promote healthy vision. It is also important in growth, reproduction, immunity, and skin health.
Wheatgrass is one of the richest sources of vitamin A. Actually, it contains more vitamin A than carrots. That’s why it can help to improve eyesight.
Being a natural detoxifier, it can also help to maintain your younger-looking and healthy skin.
Vitamin B complex
Another wheatgrass nutrition fact is that it is rich in B-complex vitamins. Specifically, it has thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), nicotinic acid (B3), pyridoxine (B6), folic acid (B9) and cyanocobalamin (B12).
They help to convert carbohydrates, fats, and protein into energy. Plus, they help to maintain a healthy nervous system. In fact, they are called the anti-stress vitamins.
All B-complex vitamins are water-soluble, which means that they are not stored in the body. So, you can get enough of these vitamins from the food you eat, such as wheatgrass.
Wheatgrass contains as much vitamin C as oranges and other citrus fruits. This vitamin cannot be produced by your body. So, we need to get it from the food we eat.
Your body needs Vitamin C to produce collagen, which plays a vital role in wound healing. It also works as an antioxidant and limits the damaging effects of harmful substances in the body.
Additionally, it plays an important role in improving iron absorption and boosting our immunity.
Wheatgrass also contains vitamin E. It is a fat-soluble nutrient that boosts your immune system. In this way, it fights off bacteria and viruses.
Aside from that, vitamin E is also important in the vision and the health of your blood, brain, and skin.
Significantly, your body also needs this vitamin to widen blood vessels to avoid blood clotting.
According to USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), 8 grams of organic wheatgrass powder contains 86 micrograms of vitamin K, or about 70% DV (daily value) or daily requirement for an adult.
One of the main functions of vitamin K is activating proteins that play a role in blood clotting. It also regulates calcium absorption and promotes good bone health.
Based on USDA’s data, one tablespoon (8 grams) of wheatgrass powder contains 6 grams of carbohydrates, or about 2% DV for an adult.
Carbohydrates are a large group of compounds that include sugar, starch, and fiber. Your body needs carbs to provide energy to your muscles and organs.
Proteins and Amino Acids
One tablespoon of wheatgrass powder has 1 gram of protein. This is a macronutrient important for our muscular strength.
On the other hand, amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Wheatgrass has 17 forms of amino acids. These are needed by your body to produce hormones and neurotransmitters.
One of the trace minerals that can be found in wheatgrass is selenium. Your body only needs a small amount of this, but it plays an important role in your metabolism and thyroid function.
Eight grams of wheatgrass powder contains 1 mg of iron. It is about 6% of the daily requirement for an adult.
One of the most important functions of iron in the body is in hemoglobin formation. This is necessary to transport oxygen throughout the body.
There is 24 mg of calcium in a tablespoon of wheatgrass powder. Calcium is one of the most important minerals in your body.
Actually, it is vital in building strong bones and teeth, blood clotting, relaxing muscles, and normalizing your heartbeat.
Wheatgrass also contains potassium. It is a mineral that your body needs to function properly. For example, it helps to regulate fluid, send nerve signals, and improve muscle contractions.
More to that, it helps to tone muscles and firm our skin. And that is the reason why some nutritionists call it the youth mineral.
Another nutrient that can be found in wheatgrass is zinc. It also promotes healthy growth in childhood, plus it helps regulate your immune system.
In fact, a clinical trial said that zinc reduces the severity and duration of the common cold.
Wheatgrass aids in digestion and is great for constipation. This is because it contains magnesium.
Magnesium counterbalances stomach acid and stimulates peristalsis. Good peristalsis, or intestinal contractions, make it possible for digested materials to move through your intestines and out of the body.
Another wheatgrass nutrition fact is that it gives us phosphorus. This mineral has a lot of functions in the body. For example, it helps in kidney function, nerve signaling, muscle contractions, and heartbeat regulation.
Wheatgrass also offers a little amount of manganese. It contributes to the metabolism of amino acids, cholesterol, glucose, and carbohydrates. Plus, it helps in bone formation and blood clotting.
Wheatgrass is also a good source of digestive enzymes, like amylase, lipase, and protease. This helps break down food into compounds that your body can absorb easily.
This is also the reason why wheatgrass aids in digestion. Significantly, these enzymes make wheatgrass an effective supplement because we can efficiently absorb all the necessary nutrients from the food we eat.
Wheatgrass contains 70% chlorophyll. This is the pigment that gives wheatgrass its green color.
The molecular structure of chlorophyll and hemoglobin is similar. For this reason, wheatgrass is called green blood.
Most of the wheatgrass nutrition benefits are because of chlorophyll. It eliminates bacteria and neutralizes odors in the mouth. Because of its antioxidant properties, it cleanses and protects our liver.
Besides, it is believed that it improves blood circulation because it is similar to human blood.
Does wheatgrass have gluten?
Gluten is the protein found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley. But, does wheatgrass contain gluten?
Since wheatgrass has wheat in its name, many people associate it with gluten. However, gluten is only present in the seeds of the wheat plant.
When harvested at the right time, 7 to 10 days after sowing it, the leaves of wheatgrass are gluten-free.
Despite that, people with celiac disease and wheat allergy should still be cautious about eating wheatgrass. It is better to consult your physician for personalized advice.
What are the benefits of drinking wheatgrass?
Further studies are needed to evaluate the precise therapeutic capabilities of wheatgrass. However, just by looking at the nutritional contents of it, we can say that wheatgrass has a lot to contribute to your health.
Because it is packed with nutrients, wheatgrass can help with the following conditions: