Wheatgrass Article

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Indoor-grown wheatgrass 8–10 days before harvest.
Spelt grass grown outdoors. With a deeper green color than wheat.

Wheatgrass is the freshly sprouted first leaves of the common wheat plant, used as a food, drink, or dietary supplement. Wheatgrass is served freeze dried or fresh, and so it differs from wheat malt, which is convectively dried. Wheatgrass is allowed to grow longer and taller than wheat malt.

Like most plants, wheatgrass contains chlorophyll, amino acids, minerals, vitamins, and enzymes. Claims about the health benefits of wheatgrass range from providing supplemental nutrition to having unique curative properties, but these claims have not been scientifically proven. [1]

Wheatgrass juice is often available at juice bars, and some people grow and juice their own in their homes. It is available fresh as produce, in tablets, frozen juice, and powder. Wheatgrass is also sold commercially as a spray, cream, gel, massage lotion, and liquid herbal supplement. Because it is extracted from wheatgrass sprouts, i.e. before the wheat seed or " berry" used in flour begins to form, wheatgrass juice is gluten-free, but some dietitians recommend that those with celiac disease avoid it due to a high risk of cross contamination. [2]

History

The consumption of wheatgrass in the Western world began in the 1930s as a result of experiments conducted by Charles Schnabel in his attempts to popularize the plant. [3] By 1940, cans of Schnabel's powdered grass were on sale in major drug stores throughout the United States and Canada. [4]

Ann Wigmore was also a strong advocate for the consumption of wheatgrass as a part of a raw food diet. Wigmore, founder of the Hippocrates Health Institute, believed that wheatgrass, as a part of a raw food diet, would cleanse the body of toxins while providing a proper balance of nutrients as a whole food. She also taught that wheatgrass could be used to treat those with serious ailments. [5]

Cultivation

Outdoor-grown wheatgrass grows slowly through the winter in a climate like that of Kansas in the United States.

Wheatgrass can be grown indoors or outdoors. A common method for sprout production indoors is often on trays in a growth medium such as a potting mix. Leaves are harvested when they develop a "split" as another leaf emerges. These can then be cut off with scissors and allow a second crop of shoots to form. Sometimes a third cutting is possible, but may be tougher and have fewer sugars than the first. [6]

Schnabel's research was conducted with wheatgrass grown outdoors in Kansas. His wheatgrass required 200 days of slow growth, through the winter and early spring, when it was harvested at the jointing stage. He claimed that at this stage the plant reached its peak nutritional value; after jointing, concentrations of chlorophyll, protein, and vitamins decline sharply. [7] Wheatgrass grown is harvested, dehydrated at a low temperature and sold in tablet and powdered concentrates for human and animal consumption. Indoor grown wheatgrass is used to make wheatgrass juice powder.

Nutrition and health claims

Table 1. Nutrient comparison of 1 oz (28.35 g) of wheatgrass juice, broccoli and spinach.
Nutrient Wheatgrass Juice Broccoli Spinach
Protein 860 mg 800 mg 810 mg
Beta-carotene 120 IU 177 IU 2658 IU
Vitamin E 880 mcg 220 mcg 580 mcg
Vitamin C 1 mg 25.3 mg 8 mg
Vitamin B12 0.30 mcg 0 mcg 0 mcg
Phosphorus 21 mg 19 mg 14 mg
Magnesium 8 mg 6 mg 22 mg
Calcium 7.2 mg 13 mg 28 mg
Iron 0.66 mg 0.21 mg 0.77 mg
Potassium 42 mg 90 mg 158 mg
Data on broccoli and spinach from USDA database. [8] Data on Wheatgrass juice from indoor grown wheatgrass. [4]

Proponents of wheatgrass make many claims for its health properties, ranging from promotion of general well-being to cancer prevention. However, according to the American Cancer Society, "available scientific evidence does not support the idea that wheatgrass or the wheatgrass diet can cure or prevent disease". [9] Some research was done on drug-induced diabetic rates, suggesting it has an insulin raising effect, helpful for unmedicated Type 1 Diabetics [10]

Nutritional content

Wheatgrass is a source of potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E (alpha tocopherol), vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium. Wheatgrass is also a source of protein (less than one gram per 28 grams).

The nutrient content of wheatgrass juice is roughly equivalent to that of dark leafy vegetables (see table 1).

See also

References

  1. ^ "Wheatgrass". WebMD.
  2. ^ Anderson, Jane (23 February 2018). "Are Wheat Grass and Barley Grass Gluten-Free?". Verywell Fit. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  3. ^ Murphy, Sean (13 October 2002). "Wheatgrass, healthy for the body and the bank account". ABC Landline. Archived from the original on 2 December 2002. Retrieved 6 October 2006.
  4. ^ a b Meyerowitz, Steve (April 1999). "Nutrition in Grass". Wheatgrass Nature's Finest Medicine: The Complete Guide to Using Grass Foods & Juices to Revitalize Your Health (6th ed.). Book Publishing Company. p. 53. ISBN  1-878736-97-3.
  5. ^ Jarvis, William (15 January 2001). "Wheatgrass Therapy". The National Council Against Health Fraud. Archived from the original on 21 June 2018.
  6. ^ "4 Ways to Grow Wheatgrass". wikiHow. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  7. ^ "Site Dedication and Construction Preliminaries, 1921-1923". Ahr-kc.com. Retrieved 2013-04-19.
  8. ^ "USDA Nutrient Database". Retrieved 6 November 2007.
  9. ^ "Wheatgrass". American Cancer Society. November 2008. Archived from the original on May 2, 2015. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  10. ^ Shakya, Garima; Randhi, Praveen Kumar; Pajaniradje, Sankar; Mohankumar, Kumaravel; Rajagopalan, Rukkumani (June 2016). "Hypoglycaemic role of wheatgrass and its effect on carbohydrate metabolic enzymes in type II diabetic rats". Toxicology and Industrial Health. 32 (6): 1026–1032. doi: 10.1177/0748233714545202. ISSN  1477-0393. PMID  25116122.

External links

Wheatgrass