Your body needs enzymes to break down food into compounds that are easily absorbed. Wheatgrass contains a unique trinity of digestive enzymes – Amylase, Protease and Lipase. Amylase reduces carbohydrates into simple sugars that are utilised as energy, especially by the brain. Protease metabolises proteins into amino acids which are then used by the body as building blocks to make muscles, tendons, organs and skin. Finally, Lipase metabolises fats into fatty acids – saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. Whilst this enzyme is also produced in the intestines and gall bladder, the extra lipase from Wheatgrass can boost fat metabolism which can lead to weight loss.
Alkalises the Body
Our body’s Ph is now known to be of paramount importance, with countless studies pointing to the fact that disease struggles to take hold and thrive in an alkaline environment. Wheatgrass is highly alkalising (as are many leafy green vegetables), but what makes Wheatgrass stand out head and shoulders above the rest is the amount of alkaline minerals it contains (calcium, magnesium, manganese, and potassium to name but a few).
In his ground-breaking book “Healing is Voltage”, Dr Jerry Tennant explains that voltage is synonymous with Ph. He discovered that cells are designed to operate at -22mv which is equivalent to a Ph of 7.35 (slightly alkaline). He found that an alkaline Ph will provide your cells with an electrical charge whilst an acidic Ph depletes this charge. Ann Wigmore, author of “The Wheatgrass Book” explains this eloquently: “Each of us is the keeper of ten trillion little batteries called cells. Like flashlight batteries, our cells hold a charge of electricity. In order for this charge to be strong and steady we need to have a steady supply of proper nutrients. With the addition of wheatgrass and raw foods to your diet, your cells will store a maximum electrical charge, and you will have plenty of energy.”
If you eat too many acid forming foods without counterbalancing with alkaline foods, the body struggles to maintain the blood’s Ph – normal blood Ph is tightly regulated between 7.35 – 7.45, the result of too many acid forming foods is catastrophic to the body in many ways. Firstly it will pull alkalising minerals out of your bones and teeth, such as calcium, magnesium and potassium. This can understandably lead to a whole host of disorders including osteoporosis. The body will also store excess acid in the muscles, one of the primary causes of fibromyalgia. If not kept in check, your body may go into a state of “acidosis”, this occurs when arterial Ph falls below 7.35 - chronic acidosis corrodes body tissue, and if left unchecked, will interrupt all cellular activities and functions.
Everyday stress, pollution and processed foods can lead to the formation of free radicals. These are rogue atoms or atomic groups which have lost at least one electron and are forced to steal electrons from neighbouring molecules in the hope of stabilising themselves which can cause havoc in the body. The antioxidants found in Wheatgrass can literally mop up these free radicals, with studies finding that Wheatgrass significantly inhibits lipid peroxidation in the liver and protects mitochondria within cells.
There are many other Wheatgrass benefits, including:
- Promotes healthy metabolism
- Inhibits the growth of bad bacteria
- Hormone balancing
- Liver purifying
- Blood sugar regulation
- Improved eyesight – especially night vision
- Immune boosting
- Improves nerve signalling and mental well-being
Folklore and history
Thanks goes to Dr Ann Wigmore, who in 1958 tested the various weeds and grasses at the Hippocrates Health Institute in Boston. Wheatgrass was her favourite and her studies widely popularised it's use.
It is harvested before the development of the stem and immediately dehydrated at body temperature to preserve the natural pure " living" biological properties and potency of the superfood, including all the heat sensitive enzymes and nutrients.
Wheatgrass was famously used2 in Traditional Chinese Medicine primarily to reverse grey hair back to its normal colour. Whilst this might seem outlandish, the premise in TCM is that hair pigmentation is influenced by the quality of blood and the strength of the kidneys - if hair has gone grey, the kidneys and blood need to be strengthened. Foods that accomplish this include Wheatgrass3 and, indeed, any other foods with a high chlorophyll content. A surprising fact about chlorophyll is that its molecular structure is almost identical to that of haemoglobin, a critical part of human blood. The only difference is their central atom which is iron for haemoglobin and magnesium for chlorophyll – in the body it performs the same function as haemoglobin, which is to oxygenate the blood.
It is recommended to take ½ to 4 teaspoons of Wheatgrass per day added to smoothies, water, dips or food.
Wheatgrass should be introduced gradually to enable the body to get used to detoxification effects.
Wheatgrass has an astounding nutrient profile. Rich in Vitamins; A, E, C, B1, B2, B3, B6 and Folate. High in minerals; Potassium, Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Iron, Copper, Manganese, Chromium, Molybdenum, Iodine and Zinc.
The antioxidants found in Wheatgrass are; phenolic compounds, flavonoids, sulfonic acid, DPPH (1,1′-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl), triterpenoids, anthraquinol, alkaloids, tannins and saponins.
Wheatgrass is a complete protein (containing all 9 essential amino acids), making it a fantastic addition to a vegan or vegetarian diet. This protein is in the form of polypeptides, simpler and shorter chains of amino acids which the body finds easier to assimilate into the bloodstream and tissues.