Organic Wheatgrass: Benefits, Side Effects & Dosage

What is Organic Wheatgrass?

Wheatgrass first became a household name in the United States in the 1930s and has since developed and gained a reputation in the medical industry. The good reputation of this ingredient has seen it enter the limelight in the world of natural health. Wheatgrass is now present in many health food stores and juice bars.

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Wheatgrass Benefits

High in Nutrients

Wheatgrass is a good source of vitamins and minerals. It contains 17 amino acids, and eight of them are essential. Those eight essential amino acids are only present in food sources since the body cannot produce them.

The chlorophyll pigment found in organic wheatgrass is also considered to have great health benefits. Chlorophyll contains enzymes and superoxide dismutase (SOD), which is a copper-rich protein found in mature red blood cells. This enzyme helps to decompose superoxide radicals in the body into a more manageable form, which helps to slow down the aging process.

Antioxidants

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Cholesterol Control

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Anti-Cancer Properties

Some studies have shown that wheatgrass could help kill cancer cells thanks to its high antioxidant content. One study showed that wheatgrass extract led to a decrease in the number of oral cancer cells by over 40 percent. Another study found that wheatgrass slowed the development of colon cancer cells and also caused some of the cells to die. Other trials show that it could help lessen the side effects associated with cancer treatments like chemotherapy. In one study, wheatgrass lowered the risk of impaired bone marrow function, which is a common complication of chemotherapy.

Reduces Inflammation

Inflammation is a normal response triggered by the immune system in order to protect the body against infections and injuries. Wheatgrass is believed to have antioxidants that help fight chronic inflammation, which is believed to contribute to health conditions like heart disease and cancer. Inflammation can occur when the immune system reacts to a number of health problems like skin issues, arthritis and stomach problems. Its chlorophyll pigment has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. One study showed that chlorophyll prevented the activity of a certain protein that triggers inflammation. Chlorophyll was also shown to lower inflammation in some cells found in the arteries.

Promotes Weight Loss

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Blood Sugar Regulation

Increased blood sugar levels can result in serious complications like vision problems, nerve damage and skin infections. Some of its symptoms are fatigue, headaches and thirst. According to some studies, wheatgrass can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels and also benefit people with diabetes. A study conducted in 2014 found that it could increase insulin levels, which helps lower blood glucose. It can also help lower the side effects associated with diabetes.

Wheatgrass for Acne

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Wheatgrass for Diabetes

Journal of Herbal Medicine and Toxicology

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Wheatgrass Side Effects

Nausea

Some people may experience nausea soon after they consume wheatgrass — often the first several times they take it. Some people attribute this to detoxification, but it could also be a sign of the body’s intolerance to wheatgrass. A study carried out by the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology showed that wheatgrass raised the symptoms of nausea in six of the patients involved. Wheatgrass contains gluten, therefore, those with celiac disease should not take it.

Constipation

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Loss of Appetite

Though this could be good news for individuals trying to control their weight, it could prove to be unhealthy in the long run.

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Headaches

Listeria monocytogenes

Warnings

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Wheatgrass can be contaminated by listeria monocytogenes which should be avoided by pregnant and breast feeding women.

Allergic Reactions

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Diabetics Take Note

Due to the effect of wheatgrass on blood sugar levels, individuals with health conditions like diabetes should first seek advice from their doctors before consuming it.

Mold Contamination

Since wheatgrass mostly grows in moist conditions, it can develop mold if not properly taken care of and the mold might be included in the final product (powder, pills, tablets, etc.).

Dosage and Instructions

Some people start with taking one ounce daily and then move up to two ounces after a week or so. A standard dose for wheatgrass is not yet clear. The dosage depends on the age and health status of the person in question. It is important for individuals to keep in mind that natural products are not necessarily safe and the dosage is important. People should follow relevant directions on supplement labels and consult medical professionals before consumption.

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The Bottom Line

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