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Wheatgrass: how healthy is that really?

  1. A few years ago it suddenly surfaced: wheatgrass. You have to juice it and that would be the basis for fabulous health. What is true about that? How healthy is such a shot of wheatgrass really?

  1. When you type wheatgrass into any internet search engine, you have to believe it is a miracle product. It would be 'living food', which is full of 'bioenergy' or life force. That would keep our cells young and ensure a good balance between acids and bases. It all sounds as fantastic as it is unscientific. Let's take a look at the facts.

Superfood?

  1. Wheatgrass has been known for nearly a century as a superfood, as a potentially health-promoting crop. As far back as the 1930s, experiments were conducted with both wheat and rye grass. The resulting powder, a few years later was already in great demand as a dietary supplement. Wheatgrass should be harvested before the crop develops stems, according to experts, so that it has its maximum nutritional value. According to experts, this mainly concerns chlorophyll or leaf green, to which many good properties are attributed. Some people even claim that 100 grams of wheatgrass contains as many micronutrients as 2.3 kilograms of vegetables.

Juice Cocktails

  1. Soon the rawfoodies embraced wheatgrass. In the US, wheatgrass has virtually entered the mainstream. It is not only available through the specialized channels, but also in the various juice bars it is now possible to order juice cocktails based on wheatgrass on a fairly large scale.

Claims and reality

  1. In the meantime, wheatgrass has been extensively tested and little of the claims about its nutritional value remains. Wheatgrass appears to be comparable in nutrients to spinach: it contains a little more vitamin E and a little more phosphorus, but considerably less beta-carotene, vitamin C, magnesium, calcium and potassium. The question of vitamin B12 remains. Rawfoodies, who are often vegans, claim that wheatgrass is the only plant-based food that contains this micronutrient. Indeed, in some analyzes, tiny traces of B12 have been found in wheatgrass â € ”of the order of just over 1 microgram per 100 grams. However, further analysis showed that it was a substance that was secreted by animal microorganisms living in the crop. Based on its own tests, the US Department of Agriculture has officially stated that pure wheatgrass contains no vitamin B12.

Conclusion

  1. Wheatgrass is certainly not an unhealthy product. However, the special properties attributed to it by adherents are not supported by any scientific study. Claims about bioenergy or life force are religious rather than scientific in nature. The importance of a good balance between acids and bases, a basic principle of the so-called alkaline diet, is also not based on a solid scientific basis. This does not detract from the fact that it can be a welcome - and easy - supplement to the diet for people who do not get enough fruit and vegetables in their normal diet.

When should you avoid using wheatgrass?

  1. Wheatgrass may interact with some medicines, mainly due to its high vitamin K content, which can affect blood clotting. Use is not recommended when someone is taking anticoagulants (blood thinners) or statins. A



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