Wheatgrass is a nutrient-rich superfood. Wheatgrass juice provides the vitamins, minerals and enzymes we need in one of the freshest and most natural forms available. It is quite simply one of the healthiest things you can put in your body.
Wheatgrass is young sprouted wheat of 1 to 2 weeks of age. Once wheatgrass reaches a height of 12 to 20 cm it can be cut and then juiced. Wheatgrass should be juiced before it is consumed because due to its fibrous nature, it is indigestible to humans.
Chlorophyll - The Key to Wheatgrass's health Benefits
Wheatgrass contains the highest concentration of chlorophyll - about 70%. Chlorophyll is the green pigment in plants and is considered the "blood" of plants, due to the similarity to our blood in molecular structure. Therefore, it is the closest thing there is to blood itself.
The high chlorophyll content of wheatgrass juice causes hemoglobin production in the body to increase, which then increases the oxygen-carrying capabilities of the blood. This increased capability of the blood to carry oxygen has a number of health benefits including purification of the blood, improving blood sugar disorders, helping combat toxins such as carbon monoxide and other pollutants and heavy metals that can get into the blood.
The brain and other tissues also function best when they are in a highly oxygenated environment.
Chlorophyll also has been shown to provide some protection from carcinogens by strengthening the cells. In a study reported in the journal Mutation Research comparing the anticancer effect of chlorophyll to Beta-carotene, and vitamins A, C and E, chlorophyll was proven to be a more effective anti-mutagen than any of them.
Chlorophyll also has anti-bacterial properties and can help decrease the growth and development of unhealthy bacteria in the body.
Wheatgrass is so nutrient-rich that that only 30ml of freshly squeezed wheatgrass juice is equivalent in nutritional value to 1kg of leafy green vegetables.
Kilo for kilo, wheatgrass has more Vitamin C than oranges and twice the Vitamin A of carrots.
As well as chlorophyll and Vitamin C, wheatgrass also contains the vitamins A, B, E and K, calcium, iron, lecithin, magnesium, all the required amino acids and up to 30% protein. Wheatgrass juice also contains enzymes which help in the digestion and assimilation of nutrients, and abscisic acid, which is known for its anti-tumor properties.
A Natural Cleanser
Our bodies accumulate waste and harmful toxins from eating processed and chemically grown food, and from polluted air and water. The body must rid itself of these toxins as they can cause long term damage and disease. One of the fastest and surest ways to cleanse our bodies of environmental pollutants is to drink wheatgrass juice.
Its high levels of enzymes and amino acids work like a natural detergent to detoxify the liver, eliminate toxic heavy metals from the bloodstream, rid the body of waste matter and help to strengthen the body's immune system. This allows valuable nutrients to then be distributed more efficiently throughout the body, along with stimulating healthy tissue cell growth.
How to Grow wheatgrass
Before growing wheatgrass, the seeds must be sprouted first.
Make sure that you only prepare as many sprouts as you can eat in about 2 weeks. Wheatgrass will triple in size, so measure accordingly.
For a 15" X 9" seed tray, measure ½ cup of wheat seeds.
Soak your seeds in water in a covered glass jar or seed sprouter.
After 8-12 hours, drain the water and rinse the seeds. Continue to rinse and drain the wheatgrass for 2-3 days until the seeds begin to sprout.
Prepare the seed tray. Add about 1½ inches of moist, fine compost.
Spread the seeds evenly in the tray. The seeds should be closely packed together. Add another half inch of compost to cover the seeds then water thoroughly. Make sure the water drains away, to a tray underneath. Cover the tray of seeds with another tray turned upside-down. This helps to keep the moisture in.
It is vital to keep the wheatgrass moist whilst it is growing so it should be watered everyday.
After 3 days the wheatgrass should be a couple of inches in height. You can then remove the cover and place the tray in a position where the wheatgrass will receive good amounts of indirect sunlight. The sunlight will enable the sprout to produce chlorophyll which will quickly transform the yellow wheatgrass sprouts to a vivid green color.
Harvest the wheatgrass when it is about 7-8 inches in length as this is when it's at its nutritional peak. To harvest, simply trim it just above the soil surface with a pair of scissors or a knife. Rinse the wheatgrass thoroughly before juicing it.