Last updated: August 30, 2021

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Wheatgrass shots have taken Instagram by storm. Are you familiar with this product? In our new guide, we will tell you why it has become the latest health trend. Wheatgrass is obtained from the freshly sprouted first leaves of the common wheat plant (Triticum aestivum).

This green superfood is a source of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, and chlorophyll. It has antioxidant, antibacterial, hypolipemic, and anti-inflammatory properties. A few sips of wheatgrass juice are enough to provide your body with a large portion of the micronutrients it needs, all the while taking care of your health.




Key Facts

  • Wheatgrass is the name given to the leaves of the common wheat plant. They contain vitamins, minerals, pigments (chlorophyll and beta-carotene), amino acids, and enzymes. Regular consumption of wheatgrass can mitigate oxidative damage, reduce cholesterol levels, improve digestion, and help you feel more energized.
  • You can make your own juice from fresh wheatgrass, but most people prefer to buy it in the form of tablets, powder, or frozen juice.
  • You will have to take various factors into account to find the most suitable wheatgrass supplement for your needs. These include the manufacturing process and the presentation form of the product, as well as your potential dietary restrictions.

Our Selection: The Best Wheatgrass Products

While you can decide to grow your own wheatgrass and make homemade juices in your kitchen, the fast-paced nature of modern society means that it is often much more practical to buy supplements that are ready to use. In the following section, you will discover our selection of the best wheatgrass products currently available on the market:

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Wheatgrass

Now that you know what's out there for you, let's delve into the nutritional profile and properties of wheatgrass. That way, you will understand exactly how this superfood can be beneficial for your health. We will also solve any remaining doubts you might have regarding wheatgrass while tackling common misconceptions surrounding one of its star components, chlorophyll.

You can make your own homemade juice with fresh wheatgrass if you have the time.
(Source: Sidelnikov: 81712320/ 123rf.com)

What is wheatgrass exactly?

It is the name given to the recently sprouted first leaves of the Triticum aestivum plant (common wheat). These leaves are harvested early to make the most of the nutrients. Then, we either extract the juice from them or turn them into a fine powder. Dr. Ann Wigmore, a famous holistic health practitioner and naturopath, popularized the use of wheatgrass juice for therapeutic purposes during the 1940s (1, 2)

What nutrients does wheatgrass provide?

Wheatgrass is a source of beta-carotene (provitamin A), vitamin K, C, E, and B complex, as well as iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and copper. It also contains enzymes, chlorophyll, and sulfur compounds that possess biological properties (3, 4).  It is hard to estimate the exact amounts of vitamins, minerals, and chlorophyll found in wheatgrass as they vary according to the time of harvest.

The juice obtained from these leaves is very low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates, which is why it is ideal for individuals following weight-loss diets. The nutritional composition of wheatgrass juice is different from that of powder and capsules, as you can see in the table below:

Nutritional composition (per 100 ml/gram) Juice Powder Tablets/capsules
 Proteins 2.47 g 17 g 28 g
Carbohydrates 2.3 g 26.5 g 5 g
Fat 0.13 g 2.3 g 6 g
Fiber 0.3 g 46.1 g 34 g

What are the health properties of wheatgrass?

While wheatgrass is considered a wonderful natural remedy in the world of naturopathy, allopathic medicine professionals are more skeptical about its benefits. Here is a list of the properties of wheatgrass that have been confirmed by scientific studies and trials:

  • Anti-inflammatory: Chlorophyll and certain polysaccharides present in wheatgrass are responsible for this (5). Inflammation is common in cardiovascular conditions, inflammatory bowel diseases (ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease), obesity, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and certain types of cancers.
  • Energizing: B-complex vitamins, zinc, and magnesium are vital nutrients for energy metabolism. The daily consumption of wheatgrass will reduce fatigue and increase your energy levels (6).
  • Antioxidant: The pigments of wheatgrass (chlorophyll and beta-carotene), zinc, and vitamins E and C are potent antioxidants. This is why these supplements can counteract oxidative damage that is related to various diseases (cardiovascular and neurodegenerative conditions, diabetes) and aging (7).
  • Antibacterial: Chlorophyll has the ability to inhibit the growth of bacteria (8).
  • Lipid-lowering: A study in rats demonstrated that wheatgrass juice decreased the level of triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and total cholesterol. Regarding the latter, it has also been proven that wheatgrass significantly increases the fecal excretion of this compound (9).
  • Digestive: It has been reported that wheatgrass could relieve dyspepsia (indigestion) thanks to the enzymes it contains. Its fiber also contributes to fighting constipation (10).
  • Antiaging for the skin: Antioxidants – and, more specifically, beta-carotene and vitamin C – delay the aging of the skin. In addition, vitamin C is an essential nutrient for collagen formation, which makes the skin smooth and firm (11).
  • Immunostimulant: Zinc, iron, and vitamin C found in wheatgrass are essential micronutrients for the proper functioning of the immune system (12).

Wheatgrass is the name given to the recently sprouted first leaves of the Triticum aestivum plant (common wheat).
(Source: Bigacs: 53621627/ 123rf.com)

What types of wheatgrass supplements are there?

While many people have started to grow this food, wheatgrass can be consumed as juice, powder, or in capsules. Each of these products has its own set of characteristics, as you can see below:

  • Wheatgrass juice: The juice is extracted from the leaves, and the fiber is almost entirely removed. The resulting liquid is generally sold in small bottles of 10 to 100 milliliters. You can also purchase frozen juice.
  • Wheatgrass powder: A microwave drying process is used to preserve the quality of the leaves. Once dried, they are ground into a fine powder that you can dissolve in water or shakes. You can even add it to your soups and stews (13).
  • Wheatgrass capsules or tablets: These capsules usually consist of wheatgrass powder wrapped in hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (plant-based cellulose).
Characteristics Juice Powder Capsules 
Flavor Herbal, slightly sweet Herbal, more powerful Soft, almost neutral
Recommended dose 10 to 100 ml 5 to 10 grams (1 to 2 teaspoons) From 2 to 6 capsules (depending on the concentration)
Form of consumption Pure or mixed with orange, pear, or apple juice Diluted in water, smoothies, soups, and stews On its own with a sip of water

What are the naturopathic properties of wheatgrass?

The Green Blood Therapy is a popular remedy which consists of drinking wheatgrass juice to cure or alleviate various ailments listed below (14, 15):

  • Asthma and allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Parkinson's disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Bronchitis
  • Hemorrhages
  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Diabetes
  • Eczema
  • Dyspepsia (indigestion)
  • Hyperuricemia (high uric acid)
  • Digestive ulcers
  • Migraines

Can wheatgrass juice replace eating vegetables?

The answer is a resounding no. Vegetables provide fiber, an indigestible compound essential for the proper functioning of your organism. When the juice is extracted from the common wheat leaves, the fiber is eliminated from the liquid and remains in the extractor. Besides, wheatgrass contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals, but not all that your body requires.

Can celiac individuals consume wheatgrass?

Yes, gluten-intolerant people can eat or drink wheatgrass as its leaves do not contain this allergen. Besides, the richness of minerals and vitamins make it particularly suitable for newly diagnosed individuals; it helps them counter nutritional deficiencies caused by malabsorption syndrome (16).

The juice obtained from wheatgrass is very low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates; this is why it is ideal for individuals following weight-loss diets.
(Source: Marctran: 96521138/ 123rf.com)

Is chlorophyll needed to oxygenate the blood?

No. This is a myth that surrounds many green juices, including wheatgrass. In reality, oxygen is part of the air we breathe and enters the lungs before passing into the blood. No supplement, superfood, or other dietary product can provide oxygen to the bloodstream.

Should I take wheatgrass on an empty stomach?

Again, the answer is no. There is no specific time of day that is more appropriate to take a wheatgrass supplement. Many manufacturers recommend taking it half an hour before a meal to favor its assimilation. The advantage of consuming wheatgrass on an empty stomach is that, by not ingesting anything for a while, you maximize the absorption of nutrients.

Is wheatgrass a good source of vegan protein?

No, wheatgrass doesn't stand out for its content in macronutrients such as protein, fat, or carbohydrates. While it does contain certain amino acids (the basic units of protein), it cannot be considered a good source of these nutrients. The value of wheatgrass lies in its contribution in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and pigments (chlorophyll and beta-carotene).

Did you know that naturopaths claim that wheatgrass gives the body the nutrients it needs while helping it eliminate waste, toxins, and other undesirable substances?

Does wheatgrass present side effects or contraindications?

Wheatgrass supplements are contraindicated during pregnancy and breastfeeding because no studies have proven their safety during these periods. In addition, you should consult a health professional before taking wheatgrass if you are currently ill or taking medication. When it comes to side effects, there have been reports of nausea, headaches, and skin rashes (15).

Buyer's Guide

As we have discussed throughout our article, wheatgrass supplements are sold in different forms on the market. However, you have to consider a series of key criteria in order to determine which product is the most suitable for your needs. In the following section, we will delve into these essential factors to help you make the right purchase:

Dosage Form

Those who enjoy the taste of wheatgrass and want a product that is as natural as possible can opt for the juice or powder. The former comes ready to drink, while you will have to mix the latter with hot or cold liquids. Wheatgrass capsules are recommended for those of us who want to avoid its peculiar taste and are looking for the most practical option.

While many people have started to grow this food, wheatgrass can be consumed as juice, powder, or in capsules.
(Source: Koifman: 43612410/ 123rf.com)

Organic Farming

Most of the wheatgrass supplements available on the market are made from organically farmed common wheat. This is fundamental because all leaf foods tend to be very sensitive to pests; the more vulnerable they are, the more synthetic fertilizers and pesticides are used in their cultivation. In that regard, we strongly encourage you to choose a supplement with the organic label of approval.

Manufacturing Process

Before it is transformed into powder, wheatgrass is dried by means of microwaves. This process allows the preservation of its nutritional quality. In addition, the content of vitamins – the nutrients most fragile to heat – remains unaltered. If you opt for frozen juice, on the other hand, the freezing process must be quick to avoid nutritional and organoleptic deterioration.

Presence of Gluten

While wheatgrass is naturally gluten-free, you should always look for the seal that certifies that the supplement is suitable for people with celiac disease. Small parts of seeds can sometimes contaminate the wheatgrass. If gluten-intolerant individuals consume these products, this food transgression will expose them to a series of potential complications.

Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, MS, RD, CDNWomen's Health Expert & Registered Dietician
"If making your own juice, you want a ratio of 2:1 when it comes to the perfect veggie to fruit ratio. Say, two cups of spinach to one cup of berries."

Value for Money

The wheatgrass powder and capsules generally have an excellent price-quality ratio. If you opt for a juice that is made with 100% wheatgrass, it will be more expensive than other supplements forms. In fact, it can double or triple the price. While wheatgrass juices mixed with fruit juices are more affordable, keep in mind that their quality is inferior.

Summary

Wheatgrass offers numerous health benefits, many of which are actively being investigated. Chlorophyll, the pigment responsible for its green color, confers anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties to the common wheat leaves. In fact, this plant provides almost all the vitamins needed by the human body, as well as essential minerals.

Wheatgrass can increase your energy levels, relieve constipation, lower cholesterol, and reduce inflammation. Whether you take it as a natural juice, powder, or capsules, get ready to enjoy its goodness!

We hope that you found our shopping guide on wheatgrass helpful and informative. We'd love to hear your opinion, so feel free to leave us a comment in the section below. You can also share this article on your social media, so your friends and family make the most of this superfood!

(Featured Image Source: Vorobeva: 83768291/ 123rf.com)

References (15)

1. Adrianos S L, Mattioni B, Tilley M. Confirmation of gluten-free status of wheatgrass (Triticum aestivum) [Internet].
Source

2. Singhal V, Singhal A, Jagatheesh K. Multifunctional role of green blood therapy to cure for many diseases. [Internet]. 2012 [cited 28 November 2019].
Source

3. Pallavi S, Shikka S, Bhawna S. Nutritional Composition of Wheat Grass Powder as Affected by Different Drying Process [Internet]. International Journal of Advanced Research. 2016 [cited 28 November 2019].
Source

4. Nova E, Montero A, Gómez S, Marcos A. La estrecha relación entre la nutrición y el sistema inmunitario [Internet]. Seom.org. 2019 [cited 28 November 2019].
Source

5. Telang P. Vitamin C in dermatology [Internet]. 2013 [cited 28 November 2019].
Source

6. Payal C, Davinder K, Sunaina, Gurlaganjeet K. Wheat Grass: A Review on Pharmacognosy and Pharmacological Aspects [Internet]. 2015 [cited 27 November 2019].
Source

7. Kothari S, Jain K, Mehta S, Tonpay S. Hypolipidemic effect of fresh Triticum aestivum (wheat) grass juice in hypercholesterolemic rats. - PubMed - NCBI [Internet]. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. 2011 [cited 28 November 2019].
Source

8. Singh J, Kapoor R. The Green Blood” Wheatgrass Juice, a Health Tonic Having Antibacterial Potential” [Internet]. 2014 [cited 28 November 2019].
Source

9. Mis L, Comba B, Uslu S, Yeltekin A. Effect of Wheatgrass on DNA Damage, Oxidative Stress Index and Histological Findings in Diabetic Rats [Internet]. 2018 [cited 27 November 2019].
Source

10. Huskisson E, Maggini S, Ruf M. The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Energy Metabolism and Well-Being [Internet]. SAGE Journals. 2007 [cited 27 November 2019].
Source

11. Oloffson P, Hultqvist M, Hellgren L, Holmdahl R. Phytol: A Chlorophyll Component with Anti-inflammatory and Metabolic Properties [Internet]. 2014 [cited 27 November 2019].
Source

12. Chauhan M. A pilot study on wheat grass juice for its phytochemical, nutritional and therapeutic potential on chronic diseases. [Internet]. Chemijournal.com. 2014 [cited 27 November 2019].
Source

13. Annapurna A. Wheat grass health benefits [Internet]. 2011 [cited 27 November 2019].
Source

14. Padalia S, Drabu S, Raheja I, Gupta A, Dhamija M. Multitude potential of wheatgrass juice (Green Blood): An overview [Internet]. Cysonline.org. 2010 [cited 27 November 2019].
Source

15. Singh N, Verma P, Pandey B. Therapeutic Potential of Organic Triticum aestivum Linn. (Wheat Grass) in Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Diseases: An Overview [Internet]. 2012 [cited 27 November 2019].
Source

Why you can trust me?

Artículo científico
Adrianos S L, Mattioni B, Tilley M. Confirmation of gluten-free status of wheatgrass (Triticum aestivum) [Internet].
Go to source
Artículo científico
Singhal V, Singhal A, Jagatheesh K. Multifunctional role of green blood therapy to cure for many diseases. [Internet]. 2012 [cited 28 November 2019].
Go to source
Artículo científico
Pallavi S, Shikka S, Bhawna S. Nutritional Composition of Wheat Grass Powder as Affected by Different Drying Process [Internet]. International Journal of Advanced Research. 2016 [cited 28 November 2019].
Go to source
Artículo científico
Nova E, Montero A, Gómez S, Marcos A. La estrecha relación entre la nutrición y el sistema inmunitario [Internet]. Seom.org. 2019 [cited 28 November 2019].
Go to source
Artículo científico
Telang P. Vitamin C in dermatology [Internet]. 2013 [cited 28 November 2019].
Go to source
Artículo científico
Payal C, Davinder K, Sunaina, Gurlaganjeet K. Wheat Grass: A Review on Pharmacognosy and Pharmacological Aspects [Internet]. 2015 [cited 27 November 2019].
Go to source
Artículo científico
Kothari S, Jain K, Mehta S, Tonpay S. Hypolipidemic effect of fresh Triticum aestivum (wheat) grass juice in hypercholesterolemic rats. - PubMed - NCBI [Internet]. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. 2011 [cited 28 November 2019].
Go to source
Artículo científico
Singh J, Kapoor R. The Green Blood” Wheatgrass Juice, a Health Tonic Having Antibacterial Potential” [Internet]. 2014 [cited 28 November 2019].
Go to source
Artículo científico
Mis L, Comba B, Uslu S, Yeltekin A. Effect of Wheatgrass on DNA Damage, Oxidative Stress Index and Histological Findings in Diabetic Rats [Internet]. 2018 [cited 27 November 2019].
Go to source
Artículo científico
Huskisson E, Maggini S, Ruf M. The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Energy Metabolism and Well-Being [Internet]. SAGE Journals. 2007 [cited 27 November 2019].
Go to source
Artículo científico
Oloffson P, Hultqvist M, Hellgren L, Holmdahl R. Phytol: A Chlorophyll Component with Anti-inflammatory and Metabolic Properties [Internet]. 2014 [cited 27 November 2019].
Go to source
Artículo científico
Chauhan M. A pilot study on wheat grass juice for its phytochemical, nutritional and therapeutic potential on chronic diseases. [Internet]. Chemijournal.com. 2014 [cited 27 November 2019].
Go to source
Artículo científico
Annapurna A. Wheat grass health benefits [Internet]. 2011 [cited 27 November 2019].
Go to source
Artículo científico
Padalia S, Drabu S, Raheja I, Gupta A, Dhamija M. Multitude potential of wheatgrass juice (Green Blood): An overview [Internet]. Cysonline.org. 2010 [cited 27 November 2019].
Go to source
Artículo científico
Singh N, Verma P, Pandey B. Therapeutic Potential of Organic Triticum aestivum Linn. (Wheat Grass) in Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Diseases: An Overview [Internet]. 2012 [cited 27 November 2019].
Go to source
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