Wheatgrass as a Diet Supplement

Functional Aging

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  1. Wheatgrass as a Diet Supplement


    Other common name(s): couchgrass, wheatgrass diet, agropyron

    Scientific/medical name(s): Triticum aestivum (subspecies of the family Poaceae)

    Wheatgrass has been promoted to treat a number of conditions including the common cold, coughs, bronchitis, fevers, infections, and inflammation of the mouth and throat. In folk medicine, practitioners used wheatgrass to treat cystitis, gout, rheumatic pain, chronic skin disorders, and constipation. Some proponents equate chlorophyll (the component that makes wheatgrass and other plants green) with hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood, saying that wheatgrass raises the body’s oxygen levels.

    The wheatgrass diet was developed by Boston resident Ann Wigmore who is an immigrant from Lithuania. Wigmore believed strongly in the healing power of nature. Wigmore’s notion that fresh wheatgrass had value came from her interpretation of the Bible and observations that dogs and cats eat grass when they feel ill. Wigmore claimed that this diet could cure disease.

    The Evidence

    Wheatgrass is a natural source of vitamins and minerals. However, available scientific evidence does not support the idea that wheatgrass or the wheatgrass diet can cure or prevent disease. One small early study found that its juice, when used along with standard medical care, seemed to help control symptoms of chronic inflammation of the large intestine, a condition called ulcerative colitis. This 2002 study tested fresh wheatgrass juice against a sham drink in a group of people with ulcerative colitis. All of them received regular medical care, including their usual diet. Next, those who drank about 3 ounces of the juice every day for a month had less pain, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding than those in the group drinking the placebo.

    Although there are individual reports that describe tumor shrinkage and extended survival among people with cancer who followed the wheatgrass diet, there are no clinical trials in the available scientific literature that support this claim.


    Wheatgrass is generally considered safe. It may cause nausea, headaches, hives or swelling of your throat. Wheatgrass is usually grown in soil or water and consumed raw, which means it could be contaminated with bacteria or mold. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, don’t use wheatgrass. If you have a wheat or grass allergy, celiac disease or gluten intolerance, check with your doctor before using wheatgrass. Wheatgrass can have a strong grassy taste, making it difficult to tolerate.


    Wheatgrass is available in many forms, including tablets, capsules, liquid extracts and tinctures. Wheatgrass is often used for juicing or added to smoothies or tea. In addition, you can even buy the seeds or kits to grow your own wheatgrass at home.

    Healthy Diet

    The American Cancer Society’s nutrition guidelines recommend eating a balanced diet that includes 5 or more servings a day of vegetables and fruit, choosing whole grains over processed and refined foods and limiting red meats and animal fats. Choosing foods from a variety of fruits, vegetables and other plant sources such as nuts, seeds, whole grain cereals, and beans is healthier than consuming large amounts of one particular food.


    Finally, Wheatgrass isn’t a miracle cure.  Wheatgrass also shouldn’t replace either your regular medical care or a healthy diet. Used sensibly and in moderation, wheatgrass may add interest to your diet.

    For further reading visit the Mayo Clinic website.


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Your Personal Best Training Studio
Doddridge Plaza
3765 S. Alameda, Ste 102
Corpus Christi, TX 78411
(361) 857-5087 info@ypbtrainingstudio.com