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What Is the Nutritional Value of Wheatgrass?

by Karen Hellesvig-Gaskell

About Karen Hellesvig-Gaskell

Karen Hellesvig-Gaskell is a broadcast journalist who began writing professionally in 1980. Her writing focuses on parenting and health, and has appeared in “Spirituality & Health Magazine" and “Essential Wellness.” Hellesvig-Gaskell has worked with autistic children at the Fraser School in Minneapolis and as a child care assistant for toddlers and preschoolers at the International School of Minnesota, Eden Prairie.


Wheatgrass is a nutrient-packed type of young grass. Proponents say wheatgrass can boost the immune system and treat a long list of ailments that range from constipation to cancer. Wheatgrass and other "green" juices are suggested to help cleanse the body and improve health. Little scientific evidence exists to support these assertions. Wheat grass contains numerous amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Ask your doctor about the possible health benefits of wheatgrass.


Wheatgrass is suggested to enhance the immune system, destroy bacteria and remove toxins, including carcinogens, from the body. Wheatgrass is also purported to treat AIDS, manage blood pressure, prevent tooth decay, relieve arthritis pain and even stop hair from turning gray, reports the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, or MSKCC. These touted benefits of wheatgrass are not backed by credible scientific studies.


Nutrients found in wheatgrass include vitamins A, B-complex, C, E and K along with calcium, iron and magnesium. Wheatgrass also contain protein forming amino acids which the body needs to digest food, notes Medline Plus. Wheatgrass possesses a substance called chlorophyll which has anti-inflammatory and wound -healing effects, according to the website Nutritional Supplements Health Guide.com.


Wheatgrass is available in numerous forms including capsules, tablets, powder, liquid extracts and tinctures. Wheatgrass is sometimes added to tea, smoothies or juice. Wheatgrass seeds are also available for purchase to grow the herb at home. An average daily dosage of wheatgrass juice is 100 millileters to 300 millileters, notes the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, or UPMC.


Wheatgrass is generally regarded as safe, however thorough safety studies have not been conducted. Side effects of wheatgrass may include headaches, nausea and possible swelling of the throat. People who are allergic to wheat or grass as well as women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use wheatgrass. Wheatgrass may be tainted with mold or bacteria since it is typically grown in soil or water and consumed raw. Ask your health care provider about the potential risks and benefits associated with wheatgrass.


Wheatgrass isn't a miracle cure and should not be considered a substitute medical care or a nutritious diet that includes whole grains, lean protein sources, as well as fruits and vegetables. Wheatgrass may add variety to your diet when used sparingly and sensibly.

Photo Credits:

  • Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.