What is Wheatgrass and its Benefits
Fast facts on wheatgrass:
- Wheatgrass first became popular in the United States in the 1930s.
- Wheatgrass must be processed before being consumed.
- Some studies suggest that wheatgrass can improve health.
- There is no evidence that wheatgrass poses health risks unless a person is allergic to it. (Medical News Today)
What is wheatgrass?
Wheatgrass has a number of health benefits and first became popular in the United States in the 1930s.
In the 1930s, agricultural chemist Charles F. Schnabel used young grasses to try to save dying chickens. The chickens survived and produced more eggs than other hens.
Quaker Oats and other companies began funding research into the benefits, and soon wheatgrass supplements, juices, and powders were widely available. Proponents of wheatgrass say that it is dense in plant nutrients that can improve health and offer supplemental nutrition.
When people consume the raw grass, they usually do so as part of a juice.
Benefits of wheatgrass
Some of the benefits of wheatgrass include:
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
Wheatgrass can be used to help relieve stomach pain and improve symptoms of other gastrointestinal problems.
Some studies have shown that wheatgrass acts as an antioxidant because of it contains vitamins A, C, and E.
Antioxidants reverse the effects of free radicals. These volatile compounds in the body have links to aging and other health issues, including cancer. Antioxidants help fight chronic inflammation, which occurs when the immune system reacts to particular health issues, such as arthritis, stomach problems, skin issues. Antioxidants might even help with mental health concerns, such as depression.
Many health benefits of wheatgrass may be due to its role as an antioxidant. So it may offer benefits similar to many other plant-based foods.
Cancer prevention and treatment
Like other antioxidants, wheatgrass may help prevent cancer. It could also supplement traditional cancer treatments. A 2017 study found that wheatgrass could slow the growth of oral cancer.
Other studies have reached similar conclusions. A 2015 study, for example, found that wheatgrass slowed the growth of colon cancer and caused some cancer cells to die.
Wheatgrass may also improve the effects of chemotherapy. One study has found wheatgrass can reduce side effects associated with chemotherapy. *( Medical News Today 2017)