Wheatgrass Juice

A buyer's guide

Wheatgrass juice may not be your beverage of choice, but you might consider trying it when you find out some of its healthful benefits. Wheatgrass juice is known to boost the immune system, neutralize toxins and provide vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Wheatgrass, grown as a nutritional supplement, is also known to increase energy and resistance to diseases such as cancer.

You can buy a growing kit and have freshly grown grass and juice at home, but if that sounds like too much work you can also purchase an organic grass supplement.

Wheatgrass is available as a freeze-dried supplement, as a dehydrated powder, as a tablet or as a bottled juice. Check with your local health-food retailers and check out online sources of wheatgrass juice.

Some people grow wheatgrass themselves for the purpose of then squeezing it into fresh juice. Wheatgrass grows quickly and can be available for harvesting in less than two weeks. Producing wheatgrass juice at home would be similar to making fresh fruit and vegetable juice in a juicer. The wheatgrass juice can be added as an ingredient to juice recipes or to a smoothie.

Before you hurry off to get your wheatgrass growing kit so that you can start growing and juicing, it is important to know that you are only going to be drinking about 1 or 2 ounces of wheatgrass juice per day. Since health-conscious people drink wheatgrass juice for its benefits rather than for its taste, you might consider drinking it in a cocktail with other juices. You can find recipes or work on creating some of your own using other fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, tomatoes, pineapple and other favorites. Using this 2-ounce recommendation, you can see why some people talk about their "shot" of wheatgrass juice.

Wheatgrass juice is not made from the kind of grass on someone's lawn or on a golf course. Wheatgrass juice is extracted from red-wheat-berry seed sprouts. The wheat is sprouted and grown to between 7 and 11 inches or for about 7 to 14 days. At this young stage, wheatgrass is jam-packed with energy that is also available in its juiced form.

Wheatgrass juice has so many benefits, and its chlorophyll and betacarotene are believed to reduce the risks of cancer. Dr.Chiu-nan Lai, Ph.D., of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, has shown that chlorophyll found in wheat-sprout extracts can reduce the metabolic activity of carcinogens.

The National Cancer Institute has reported in numerous studies that at least a 40 percent risk reduction in developing some kinds of cancer can be attributed to diets high in betacarotene. Wheatgrass juice is high in betacarotene.

If you have a wheat allergy, you will be interested that wheatgrass is a green vegetable, not a grain. So, there is no gluten in wheatgrass.

Wheatgrass juice is used in very small amounts and is introduced to the diet slowly, so children can benefit from it as well.

A wheatgrass-juice industry has "sprouted" up and has claimed that wheatgrass juice is immediately absorbed into the bloodstream, offering immediate energy.

With so many benefits associated with drinking wheatgrass juice, it has also been thought of a sort of elixir for slowing down the aging process.

Steve Meyerowitz, known as "The Sproutman," has written several books on the benefits of eating natural foods. Meyerowitz has a current book called The Complete Guide to Using Grass Foods & Juices to Revitalize Your Health. He called wheatgrass, "one of nature's best kept secrets."

By E.M. Robinson