It may resemble a thin blade of grass, but wheatgrass packs a powerhouse of nutrients. An ounce – about 28 gm – of this green elixir is packed with nutrition – containing 8 gm of protein and dietary fiber each, 240% of the RDA of vitamin A, 93% of the RDA of vitamin C, 356% of the RDA of iron, and 12% of the RDA of calcium, it has the nutritional equivalent of 2.5 pounds of the best raw organic vegetables, and is only 120 calories!
It’s nutritional value doesn’t just end there! Comprising of 98 of the 102 earth elements found in soil, including calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus along with essential enzymes and 19 amino acids, wheatgrass is a power packed supplement! Made up of 70% chlorophyll, the life-blood of plants, wheatgrass is nature’s finest medicine.
From helping with weight loss to improving overall health, skin and hair, wheatgrass benefits are multifold.
1. It facilitates digestion
The American Cancer Society says that wheatgrass powder contains certain alkaline minerals that provide relief from ulcers, constipation and diarrhoea. It helps cleanse the colon and keeps acidity at bay.
2. It reduces food cravings
Loaded with nutrients, wheatgrass ensures that your body doesn’t crave food items to compensate for lack of vitamins or minerals. A wheatgrass supplement every morning may prevent overeating throughout the day.
3. It helps with weight loss
Regular consumption of wheatgrass helps stimulate the thyroid gland, which boosts metabolism, provides more energy and aids in weight loss.
4. It helps you detox
The cleansing properties of wheatgrass detoxify the bloodstream, liver and colon, and enhances strength of cells!
5. It improves immunity
Wheatgrass helps increase the count of red blood cells, strengthening the body’s immune response, and preventing the occurrence of illness/disease.
6. It works against diabetes
The fiber present in wheatgrass regulates absorption of cholesterol and sugar, helping control blood sugar levels.
7. It lowers inflammation
Wheatgrass can help lower and even eliminate general inflammation, offering relief from common aches and pains.
8. It prevents varicose veins
Regular consumption may reduce the chances of developing varicose veins.
9. It can help de-stress and fight depression
Wheatgrass contains vitamin B, which curbs anxiety and helps one relax. Being a powerhouse for iron, it helps keep depression at bay.
10. It averts dental problems
Powdered wheatgrass can help treat tooth decay and other dental issues. Apart from consuming it, try massaging your gums with the powder to keep them firm and healthy.
11. It can treat hemorrhoids
The combination of fiber, chlorophyll, vitamins and minerals can help treat hemorrhoids, or piles. The recommended dosage is twice a day for 3 months.
12. It can rid your skin of acne
Applying a paste of wheatgrass powder and milk can prevent breakouts, treat acne and promote healthy skin.
..13. It helps stimulate circulation
Rubbing wheatgrass juice on your face and neck can help dilate blood vessels, making your skin glow.
14. It has antiseptic properties
These properties make it the best natural solution for bruises, sores, insect bites, rashes, sunburns, boils and cuts.
15. It offers anti-aging benefits
The natural anti-ageing properties of wheatgrass help rejuvenate cells, take care of sagging skin, maintain skin elasticity and keep you looking younger.
16. It rids the body of odours
Wheatgrass’ detoxifying nature cleanses your blood and helps eliminate bad odours of breath and sweat.
17. Use it to treat dandruff and scalp problems
Get rid of dandruff or a dry/itchy scalp by applying a poultice of wheatgrass powder and water.
18. It improves hair quality
Adding a teaspoonful of wheatgrass powder to your regular shampoo can reverse hair damage and strengthen the roots.
19. It promotes hair growth
Regular consumption of wheatgrass along with topical application helps remove dead cells from the scalp and promotes hair growth.
20. It reduces greying of hair
Applying wheatgrass powder on your scalp can prevent greying of hair.
Wheatgrass should always be consumed on an empty stomach or with other fruits and vegetables. Start with an ounce a day and slowly graduate to 2 ounces. The ideal consumption time is in the morning, a few minutes after waking up. Avoid consuming it after a meal because it may leave you feeling nauseous.
This natural supplement is easily available – you can grow and juice it at home or buy it from a health and wellness store, best when made fresh and you can even find frozen varieties. While the fresh juice should be consumed within 10 minutes of juicing, wheatgrass in bottled, powdered, tablet or capsule form can be stored for longer.
If you can’t bear the taste initially, mix it with orange juice, milk shakes or smoothies - like this simple Spinach & Banana Smoothie - and then move on to other forms of consumption.
Additional Contributtions: by Alpa Momaya, Healthline.com
One of the things I love most about what I do is teaching others how to live a healthy lifestyle through plant-based food. While love spending time in the kitchen experimenting with plants, herbs and spices, I enjoy sharing the knowledge I have received through hours of research and sometimes simple trial and error. I often encounter individuals who are apprehensive about living a plant-based life because they afraid they won't know how to feed themselves. My approach is simple: Keep it simple. That's it.
There are so many plant-based chef, just like me, who not only have culinary experience, but have spent thousands of hours creating and developing recipes. We take pleasure in pushing our culinary skills to the max, in an attempt to see how we can create new and innovative recipes using plants. While it's perfectly fine to try plant-based cuisine when dining out, I often discourage my clients to prepare these often complicated recipes when starting their journey. More often than note, there are so many components to preparing chef-quality recipes, that making dishes like these every day is not only unsustainable, it leaves you frustrated and, well, hungry. Make food fun to eat, but make it quick and easy. When you're hungry, you really don't want to put much thought into preparing your food.
This is why I love preparing food like this simple Collard Green Burrito recipe. It is simply delicious and takes less than 15 minutes to prepare. I will say, the key to sticking to your healthy eating lifestyle and preparing for success. I recommend taking one day out of the week to shop for groceries and prepping produce in advance. Food prepping will save you valuable time when preparing your smoothies, wraps and salads. Less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying your food.
Whenever I prepare this for workshop participants, they are always shocked at the flavor and texture of this recipe. Many people have never eating collard greens in the raw, which makes this such a fun recipe to demonstrate. This recipe is filled with nutrients and I highly recommend eating it in its natural form. can No cooking or heating elements required! However, if you don't want the earthy taste from the greens, you can always blanch your collard leaves before making your burritos. It's an extra and unnecessary steps, but will soften the leaves if you find raw leaves less desirable.
Collard Green Facts
The collard green plant is grown for its large, dark-colored and edible leaves; it grows in Brazil, Portugal, the southern United States, many parts of Africa, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, southern Croatia, northern Spain and northern India. Similar to kale, it has an upright stalk, often growing up to two feet tall. The leaves are thick and have a slightly bitter taste. Cruciferous vegetables, like collard greens, are unique because they’re rich in sulfur-containing compounds called glucosinolates, which support detoxification, and indole-3-carbinol that greatly reduces the risk of breast, colon and lung cancer. Collard greens are a great source of vitamin K and vitamin A; they’re also rich is soluble fiber and have strong antioxidant properties. By adding collard greens to your diet, you reduce disease-causing inflammation, cure digestive conditions, detox your body and boost cardiovascular health.
One of the most important components of collard greens, and other cruciferous vegetables, is glutathione. This peptide consists of three key amino acids that play several vital roles in the body. It helps the liver cleanse and detoxify fat, boosts immune function, fights cancer, protects the body from environmental toxins, and prevents drug resistance. Glutathione is so important to our health that longevity researchers believe the levels that are present in our cells serve as a predictor of how long we are going to live. Collard greens boost glutathione levels and allow this molecule to do its magic.
How to Blanch Collard Green Leaves
About Ice Baths: By placing greens in an ice bath, you "shock" the vegetable leaves and which immediately stops the cooking process. This will keep the greens fresh, bright in color and helps preserve vital nutrients often lost when leafy greens and vegetables are boiled.
Regina Thomas Dillard is a certified chef, founder of Inner Sanctum Wellness, Regina Cooks Culinary School and the author of FEED: Living Food Recipes to be Made and Eaten with Love. Available softcover, digital download and Amazon.