Wheatgrass has become quite the health trend these days, and for good reason. Scientifically named triticum aestivum, wheatgrass comes from the cotyledon’s of the common wheat plant. Many nutrition enthusiasts (along with some experts) tout wheatgrass for its myriad of health-promoting benefits, but choosing the right form of wheat grass should be first and foremost.
Before getting into the debate between whether powder wheat grass or fresh juice from the plant itself it best, let’s take a quick look at some of the benefits.
Benefits of Wheatgrass
While more scientific studies are needed, we can be sure that wheat grass is impressively high in calcium, magnesium, potassium, selenium, zinc, iron and sodium. Perhaps most importantly, it is extremely high in chlorophyll, which oxygenates the blood, therefore increasing nutrient delivery to the body’s cells. This can support higher and more sustained energy levels, lessened risk of high blood pressure and more balanced blood sugar levels.
This can support higher and more sustained energy levels, lessened risk of high blood pressure and more balanced blood sugar levels.
The Hippocrates Health Institute claims that wheatgrass can also support healthy thyroid function, reduce hyper-acidic conditions in the body and detoxify the liver.
What is Wheatgrass Juice?
Fresh wheatgrass is probably the most common way of incorporating this superfood into your diet and consists of juicing the wheatgrass sprout itself.
Health authorities claim that we should be getting 4-5 servings of vegetables per day (and many professionals would opine that this is actually quite low), but most people miss even that mark by a long shot. Juicing provides a concentrated boost of fresh vegetables, so is particularly beneficial for those that aren’t getting an abundance in their regular diet.
Incorporating wheatgrass juice alone or mixed with other green veggies can be a seriously healthy way to jump start your day (you might even prefer it over coffee). Not to mention, fresh juice contains live enzymes that can work wonders in fighting off viruses and microbes.
What is Wheatgrass Powder?
Wheatgrass powder is the supplement form of wheatgrass, and can be found in either capsule form or in powder form that you add to a liquid. Like any supplement, quality can differ greatly, and you’ll need to pay close attention to the brand you’re buying (this might mean doing a little research).
And, since powder wheatgrass comes in much more concentrated doses, there could be more risk of side effects from use. Wheatgrass is a powerful, detoxifying herb, and some won’t do well with taking it on a regular basis. If you experience nausea, headaches or other new symptoms, you’re probably taking too much.
With that said, a high-quality wheat grass powder can provide serious benefits (due exactly to the fact that it is much more highly concentrated), you’ll just want to proceed with caution and start off with small quantities.
Which is Better?
So, which is better? When deciding between powder wheatgrass vs. fresh, you’ll want to consider the accessibility (where you can actually get it), quality (where it comes from), taste (chugging a big glass of water with wheatgrass powder can be extremely bitter) and dosage. In juice form, you are more likely to know where it comes from, as you’ll probably be buying it from a juice bar or growing and juicing it at home. Supplements, on the other hand, are trickier.
If you’re able to access fresh wheatgrass, this is your best bet. If not, opt for a high-quality wheat grass powder and start with a low dose. It’s also not a bad idea to check in first with a qualified healthcare practitioner, just to be on the safe side. If you experience stomach cramps, bloating or other intestinal discomfort, cut down the amount you’re taking and/or check with your doctor.