Things move quickly in the world of superfoods and health food trends. It seems like every week, the title of “latest and greatest” is passed on to a different food.
Staying educated about cutting-edge research can certainly be beneficial, but there’s something you should always keep in mind while navigating this evolving system of natural health information: sometimes the original principles are worth sticking with.
For example, greens are still great for you, just like your mom always told you when you were a kid. Sugar should still be avoided whenever possible, and if it comes in a package, it’s probably not as healthy for you as something that grew out of the ground.
And while newly discovered and researched functional foods often exhibit great promise, it’s best to stick with ones that have been tried and tested through a long history of usage.
One such food is wheatgrass.
A classic functional food
Wheatgrass was championed as a health powerhouse long before the term “superfood” was even common parlance. The pharmaceutical industry began researching “cereal grasses” around the 1930’s, and by 1937, a blend of wheatgrass and other cereal grasses called Cerophyl was released commercially.
Though sales of Cerophyl were phased out rather quickly, enthusiasm for wheatgrass persisted. By the 1970’s, it was being widely hailed as a powerful and innovative way to add more “vegetable nutrition” to your diet and address specific health concerns in the process. Charles Schnabel, who is often called “the Father of Wheatgrass,” stated that “fifteen pounds of wheatgrass is equal in overall nutritional value to 350 pounds of ordinary garden vegetables.”
This focus on applying nutrient-dense nutrition for particular therapeutic functions—which took hold alongside the modern organic movement—can be viewed as the seed of today’s superfood and functional food movement.
But the therapeutic use of wheatgrass extends much further back into history than the 20th century. The ancient Egyptians even used it as a longevity and vitality elixir over 5,000 years ago. Customarily, they would press or grind freshly harvested wheatgrass and drink its juice—a tradition that’s been carried on today in the form of the wheatgrass shot.
You’ve probably seen them on offer at your local Whole Foods, coop, or health food store, and you may have wondered what all the fuss is about. They taste a bit intense, but it turns out that wheatgrass shots are a simple and powerful way to optimize nearly every aspect of your health.
Wheatgrass juice reverses gray hair (and much more)
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons you’d do well to integrate this long-celebrated superfood into your diet.
“Nutrient-dense” is an understatement. Wheatgrass contains every mineral known to man, as well as a load of vitamins, including vitamins A, B, C, E, and K. It even contains proteins and amino acids, and is thus considered a nutritionally complete food. A single ounce of wheatgrass juice contains the nutrients of two pounds of produce! Finally, it’s comprised of 70% chlorophyll, the blood-building and energizing compound that gives plants their green color.
Real anti-aging power. Like many other superfoods, wheatgrass exhibits potent antioxidant and immune-boosting qualities. But wheatgrass goes above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to anti-aging—by strengthening the blood and kidneys, it can actually prevent or even reverse the graying of hair and revitalize the skin.
Detoxification for the whole body. By flushing the body full of beneficial nutrients, cleansing the liver (and other organs central to detoxification), and building the blood, wheatgrass helps supercharge the body’s own detoxification system. It also actively lends a helpful hand by neutralizing a wide range of toxic substances, including nicotine, mercury, cadmium, strontium, and other heavy metals and industrial poisons. Its detox-promoting abilities make it an excellent treatment for a variety of skin conditions, and holding wheatgrass juice in your mouth for a few minutes aids oral health by detoxing the gums.
Bacterial balance. Wheatgrass’s ability to effortlessly stop aging in its tracks and optimize bodily functioning on every level can also be attributed to the profound bacterial balance it promotes within the body. Because if there’s one thing that scientists are learning about bacteria, it’s that they’re absolutely essential to our overall health and well-being. Wheatgrass juice supports the flourishing of beneficial bacteria (and improves gastrointestinal function in the process) and kills bad bacteria without harming the good ones—in short, it helps your microbiome help you.
No level of wheatgrass juice consumption has ever been found to be toxic to either humans or animals, so go ahead and make this nutrient-dense green (or one similar to it) a staple of your diet.
One word of caution: if you opt to use wheatgrass powder instead of drinking shots of wheatgrass juice, be sure to purchase from reputable companies. The seeds of wheatgrass contain gluten, which, as you know from our previous articles, just isn’t worth all its deleterious effects. As long as your wheatgrass juice or powder is made only from the grass before it goes to seed, though, it will remain a perfectly healthful product.
Give this time-tested functional food a try, and you’ll be delighted by the energy, vitality, and longevity that it provides.