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Diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by inadequate production of insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by pancreas and has a key role in controlling blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes is also frequently associated with excess weight and high blood levels of fats. Wheat grass, which is scientifically known as Triticum aestivum, is a herb from the wheat family. Wheat grass is a natural source of vitamins A, C, E, K and B complex and minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, selenium, amino acids and chlorophyll. The juice from wheat grass leaves usually are consumed in the raw form, and done so by many, as a medicinal practice.
Because wheatgrass is rich in healthy nutrients, this herb has been proposed for improving a variety of health conditions, from boosting immune system and antibacterial activity to colon detoxification, diabetes and cancer. However clinical studies are needed to confirm these health benefits.
In December 2009, a study was published in the Journal of Herbal Medicine and Toxicology , stating that wheatgrass has a definite role in improving glucose and lipids levels and can effectively be used in the management of diabetes. The study was conducted on 30 volunteers, where wheatgrass was added to one meal. Glycemic index (GI) is a number that measures the impact that a food has on blood glucose levels. It is recommended that diabetics should consume low GI foods. The researchers found that adding 15 g of wheat grass to certain foods significantly lowered the GI of those foods and thus improving blood glucose levels. The blood levels of some fats called triglycerides were also improved in the participants who consumed wheatgrass. Hopefully more larger scale studies can be completed to back up these findings.
Wheatgrass has a good safety profile and aside from the sweet flavor, is well tolerated by most. Rare side effects include mild nausea and headaches. Findings from USDA research notes, “Gluten is found only in the seed kernel (endosperm) and not in the stem and grass leaves.” However many are still a bit skeptical. Of course, there is an exception, if the company has gotten gluten-free certification through the Celiac Sprue Association, the Gluten Intolerance Group, or the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, where products are tested to contain less than 5ppm or 10 ppm of gluten, respectively.
The safety of wheatgrass is not fully assessed during pregnancy or lactation, so it is recommended that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not consume wheatgrass.
Always consult with a qualified health-care provider before starting any new health regimen, and to find out optimal dosage of daily wheatgrass that may help improve your condition. Wheatgrass does not replace and should not be used to replace any medication you are currently taking.
Growing and juicing wheatgrass isn’t as hard as some may think. A recent endeavor into the sprouting world has proven this to me. It started with wheatgrass seeds, trays, organic soil, water and some patience. The result, my own, homegrown wheatgrass to juice as I want, share or sell if anyone is interested! I have been earning more and more about using food as medicine. Sprouted grains, and seeds fall into the “Super Food” category. So naturally drinking an ounce or two of wheatgrass juice daily, will give your body a super food boost. It is thought to have the equivalent nutrients as 5 pounds of vegetables. Here are a few more reasons why juicing wheatgrass is so beneficial to your health:
1. Wheatgrass is high in living chlorophyll. Liquid chlorophyll can increase the quality and quantity of your red blood cells because the compound has a chemical composition very similar to hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a molecule found in your red blood cells responsible for transporting oxygen.
2. Chlorophyll has antibacterial properties and can be used inside the body and on the outside.
3. Wheatgrass is high in protein, contains 17 amino acids and virtually every vitamin and mineral known. This composition makes it great to use for its healing properties.
4. Liquid chlorophyll neutralizes toxins within the body, cleansing the liver and has also been said to remove drug deposits from the body.
5. Wheatgrass is high in oxygen, which the body needs and benefits highly from. The brain and blood are very happy in a highly oxygenation environment.
6. The wheatgrass seed contains a starch that is converted from a stored energy into a quick energy source that is especially good for athletes. In juice form it is digested quickly and uses very little of the body’s energy to extract the nutrients.
There of course are many, many more benefits to wheatgrass juice, but I just wanted to touch on a few that are really beneficial and in the end can leave you feeling energized, renewed, and hopefully stronger in mind and body.
So what are you waiting for? Ready to grow your own wheatgrass? It really is easy and inexpensive. The most expensive part of the investment is getting a good quality wheatgrass juicer. But if your overall health improves, reduces visits to the doctor, the initial investment is well worth it!
The quality of the wheatgrass you grow or purchase is important. As I have said, it is cheaper to grow your own, but thats not for everyone. Either way, pay attention to the quality.
Harvest time is crucial too, and that is typically around one week after you germinate the seeds at what is called the “jointing stage.” Some stores that sell wheat grass will harvest it once and then let it grow again for a second harvest. The wheatgrass loses nearly all its health benefits after the first cut. You can regrow it again for your pets, however, the benefits have drastically reduced. Some also sell frozen wheat grass but this is far less effective than freshly harvested wheat grass.
The taste of wheatgrass juice is not for everyone, but I think you get used to it. Especially when you start feeling the health benefits from it. Next time you are out and about, look for a juice bar, try a shot of wheatgrass either on its own, or in a drink. If you are feeling adventurous, or already enjoy juicing wheatgrass, try growing it for yourself. Below are a couple favorites you can try out, and let me know how it ‘grows’!