What Is Wheatgrass?
Sprouted from wheat seeds, wheatgrass juice is a common juicing ingredient that's high in chlorophyll, beta carotene, and antioxidants.
Wheatgrass Juice for Your Health
By taking wheatgrass juice shots or adding the intensely flavored juice to their smoothies, wheatgrass juice fans aim to boost their immunity, detox their systems, and increase their energy. Some proponents claim that chlorophyll can raise the body's oxygen levels and stave off or treat conditions like gout, rheumatic pain, and even cancer.
The Science Behind Wheatgrass Juice
Very few studies have looked into the effect of wheatgrass juice on human health, and there's no evidence that chlorophyll offers nutritional benefits for the body.
A 2002 study of 21 people, however, suggested that wheatgrass juice may help reduce symptoms of ulcerative colitis (an inflammatory bowel disease). Those study members who drank 100 cubic centimeters (just under half a cup) of wheatgrass juice daily for one month had a significant drop in disease activity and rectal bleeding compared to those who received a placebo.
Learn about other natural remedies for ulcerative colitis.
Although it may not wipe out your health woes, using wheatgrass juice can add a considerable nutrient boost (much like other, more affordable antioxidant-rich foods, such as blueberries and strawberries). Since introducing large amounts of wheatgrass juice into your system too quickly can cause nausea and diarrhea, it's important to start with no more than two to three tablespoons daily.
Some individuals are allergic to wheatgrass, so seek immediate medical attention if you experience hives or swelling in your throat after ingesting the juice.
Check out other healthy ingredients to use in your juicing.
Ben-Arye E, Goldin E, Wengrower D, Stamper A, Kohn R, Berry E. "Wheat grass juice in the treatment of active distal ulcerative colitis: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial." Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology 2002 37(4):444-9.