Diet & Nutrition 5 MIN READ 101 VIEWS June 4, 2022

Top 5 Health Benefits of Wheatgrass

Written By HealthKart
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Benefits of Wheatgrass

In recent times, wheatgrass has gained a lot of attention in the domain of natural health. Available everywhere – from organic juice bars to even the simplest healthy food stores, it is prepared from the newly sprouted leaves of triticum aestivum, the common wheat plant. You can easily grow and prepare wheatgrass at home or simply purchase it in powder, juice, or supplement form. Packed with more than 100 essential nutrients, these young shoots of the wheat plant look like a thin blade of grass. Being low in calories, it is a rich source of powerful antioxidants like glutathione and vitamins C and E. Wheatgrass is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties and high chlorophyll content. Moreover, it is packed with the power of various enzymes, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, flavonoids, tannins, and alkaloids. Owing to its high content of nutrients, there are several health benefits of wheatgrass, ranging from improved immune function and detoxified liver to protection against conditions like cancer and arthritis. 

Benefits of Wheatgrass

Here is a list of the five major benefits of wheatgrass:

  1. Lowers Cholesterol Levels

Cholesterol is a waxy substance present throughout your body. Even though it is essential in order to produce bile and make hormones, too much of it can block your blood flow and make you susceptible to cardiac issues. There have been several studies that prove that one of the benefits of wheatgrass is that it can help lower cholesterol levels, further promoting heart health. 

One Lab study showed that when rats with high cholesterol levels were fed wheatgrass juice, their levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol, and bad “LDL” cholesterol decreased. This study showed that the effects of wheatgrass are very similar to those of a common cholesterol-lowering prescription drug called atorvastatin. Another one of these studies showed that after 10 weeks of being fed wheatgrass, rabbits on a high-fat diet had lower total cholesterol levels and higher good HDL cholesterol. 

  1. Relieves Inflammation

While inflammation is the immune system’s normal response to protect your body against infections and injuries, chronic inflammation can result in serious health issues like heart diseases, cancer, and autoimmune disorders. As wheatgrass is a rich source of chlorophyll, which is a plant pigment with strong anti-inflammatory properties, it can help with chronic inflammation. 

A study conducted on 23 people showed how wheatgrass positively affected ulcerative colitis, which refers to severe inflammation in the large intestine. After drinking less than half a cup of wheatgrass juice for a month straight, patients suffering from ulcerative colitis experienced a reduction in the severity of their disease and less rectal bleeding. According to a test-tube study, chlorophyll in wheatgrass inhibits the activity of a certain kind of protein that causes inflammation. While the research on the subject is limited, it is clear that one of the benefits of wheatgrass is that it helps soothe conditions like ulcerative colitis and arthritis. 

  1. Regulation of Blood Sugar Levels

There is a wide range of health issues and problems caused by high blood sugar levels. These include frequent urination, increased thirst, fatigue, and headache. When stretched over a long period of time, high blood sugar can also result in serious issues like vision problems, nerve damage, and skin infections. There has been some research that indicates that one of the benefits of wheatgrass may include blood sugar regulation, helping people suffering from diabetes. 

While all the research and studies have been limited to animals as of yet, experts are hopeful about its ability to work on humans just as well. In a study, the blood sugar levels in diabetic rats significantly decreased after they were treated with wheatgrass extract for a month. Another study found that wheatgrass modified the levels of specific enzymes in diabetic rats, resulting in lower blood sugar levels. 

  1. Anti-Cancer Effects

Owing to its high antioxidant content, many studies claim that one of the major benefits of wheatgrass is that it may help in killing cancer cells. Packed with essential nutrients like zinc, copper, magnesium, and selenium, wheatgrass helps in detoxifying the body and lowering the risk of inflammation.

The research is quite encouraging when it comes to the effects of wheatgrass on cancer. In one test-tube study, within three days of treatment with wheatgrass, leukaemia cells were killed and there was a 65% decrease in the number of these cells. According to another test-tube study, the spread of mouth cancer cells was decreased by 41% with wheatgrass extracts.

There has been some research that found that wheatgrass can help in minimising the adverse side effects of traditional cancer treatment. A study, involving 60 patients suffering from breast cancer, showed that the regular intake of wheatgrass juice reduced the risk of weakened bone marrow function, which is a very common side effect of chemotherapy. While most of this research is based on test-tube studies, experts believe that the powerful antioxidant profile of wheatgrass can help in killing tumour cells and preventing cancer. 

  1. Promotes Weight Loss

Nowadays, several fitness enthusiasts and health buffs have started adding wheatgrass powder or juice to their daily diet in an effort to lose weight quickly. Loaded with plenty of nutrients, wheatgrass prevents your body from craving extra food to compensate for the lack of vitamins and minerals. This helps in preventing overeating for the rest of the day. Rich in selenium, wheatgrass stimulates your thyroid gland to improve your metabolism, boosting both your energy levels and weight loss. 

In addition, wheatgrass is a rich source of thylakoids, which are the tiny compartments present in plants to contain chlorophyll and absorb sunlight for the process of photosynthesis. There have been several studies that indicate thylakoids can enhance the feeling of satiety and aid in weight loss. A study found that as compared to a placebo, thylakoids intensified the feeling of satiety when supplementing a high-carb meal.

Another study on rats found that supplementing with thylakoids boosted satiety by increasing the release of hormones responsible for decreasing hunger and slowing down the stomach from emptying. Similarly, according to a different study, the body weight and food intake of rats on a high-fat diet considerably decreased on the regular intake of thylakoids. While all these studies have still been limited to rats and other animals, it is quite possible that one of the major benefits of wheatgrass is boosting weight loss

Conclusion

Even though there still is not enough justifiable evidence to prove many of the benefits of wheatgrass, it is clear that it is quite good for your health. So, adding it to a well-balanced daily diet can prove to be quite beneficial for your body and mind.

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