Why add wheatgrass to your daily juice or smoothie?
It may sound strange to some, but wheatgrass is indeed a worthy superfood with unparalleled nutrient content. Of course it doesn’t contain any fat, cholesterol, sodium, and sugar, but what’s even more impressing is that wheatgrass is a fantastic vitamin source. A small serving delivers impressive amounts certain minerals and vitamins such as: B group vitamins, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Iron, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, and Selenium.
What are the health benefits of wheatgrass?
According to the Hippocrates Institute, a leading raw food advocacy organization, wheatgrass is a very nutritious type of food that offers certain health benefits:
- Cleanses the blood
- Improves skin and hair
- Builds muscle and boosts endurance
- Fights infection
- Lowers blood pressure
- Fights tumors
- Lessens the effects of radiation
- Increases energy
- Neutralizes toxins including nicotine, cadmium, strontium, mercury and polyvinyl chloride.
- Аcts as an appetite suppressant by stimulating the thyroid and metabolism
How to properly take wheatgrass?
Because it’s bitter to taste, smoothie and juice fans should add just a small amount (with the thickness and length of a thumb) to a single serving. Simply add wheatgrass to your smoothie blender without any second thoughts, there’s really not much into it. Some people drink wheatgrass juice straight, and claim that they don’t mind the taste, and that a person can get used to it.
Juicing is another matter. You need a special juicer for wheatgrass or any leafy greens. “Slow juicers” are currently the most popular, but there are inexpensive hand operated wheatgrass juicers available online too.
Bottled wheatgrass is available in your local natural foods store, but anything bottled or canned doesn’t always include the full spectrum of the nutrients found in fresh food. Powder and tablet forms are also not hard to come by, but like bottled wheatgrass, these options have fewer nutrients.
The best options you probably have are buying organic wheatgrass, or better yet growing it in your own home for pennies! It’s as simple as growing normal grass, because it requires no special directions or equipment. Don’t be off-put by warnings on the web of mold and pests – these dangers are only applicable to large-scale commercial growers. Below we’ll explain just how easy it is.
Easy guide on how to grow wheatgrass at home
- Start by purchasing organic wheatgrass seeds at your local garden store or online for a few dollars. A pound will suffice for about a year!
Try to assess how much you could consume yearly, because if you buy excessive amounts, you may have to throw them away, as the seed’s lifespan is no longer than 360 days in a fridge.
- Look for organic soil to avoid harmful chemicals.
- Fill a pot or a small plastic flat with soil and spread the crop liberally on the surface. Then cover it with about 1/8” of soil. Water and place anywhere near sunlight.
Be sure that your pot or other container allows water to drain.
- Seeds will sprout in about 2 days and grow 5-7 inches for harvest within another 2-3 days.
The best time to harvest is when the nutrient content is at its peak. This happens after the grass is about 4” tall but BEFORE the “jointing stage” which is when the initial stalk of grass divides and starts to brown at the base. This process usually occurs in about 10 days, so you have a comfortable amount of time for harvesting.
After about 3 of these ‘harvests’, compost the remaining crop and soil, and start over. Upon 3 cuts, you’ll have the soil’s nutrients depleted.
Try growing 2 or 3 pots in intervals, so when you’ve harvested one, the next pot could be ready, thus making sure you’re never going to run out of supplies.
Healthy wheatgrass juicing recipes
Just add some wheatgrass to any of your preferable fresh juice or smoothie recipes. Here’s one of our favorite:
Carrot wheatgrass delight
- 4 carrots – peel only half the surface for more nutrients!
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 beet
- 1 thumb of wheatgrass
Mix all the ingredients in a blender.
This article is written by Bob Hannum. Bob is the ‘Juicing Expert’ for About.com and author of the popular Juicing & Smoothie Recipes That Heal! with over 275 recipes that fight illnesses based on the latest nutritional discoveries, and How to Make the Best Juice and Smoothies – 23 Essential Tips.