What is wheatgrass powder?
Wheatgrass refers to the young shoots of the wheat plant, Triticum aestivum. At this stage of its development (the jointing stage), the plant is at its most nutrient-rich. Harvested wheatgrass is dried and crushed to produce wheatgrass powder.
When was wheatgrass discovered?
Wheatgrass has a long history as wheat was one of the first crops to be cultivated over 6,000 years ago in Mesopotamia. It is claimed that the ancient Egyptians considered wheatgrass as sacred in view of its health-enhancing properties. Scientific research into the health benefits of wheatgrass was carried out in the 1930s by Charles F. Schnabel, an agricultural chemist. He noticed that feeding wheatgrass to livestock increased yields dramatically and went on to patent a food supplement for humans using powdered wheatgrass at his Cerophyl Laboratories. Ann Wigmore, founder of the Hippocrates Health Institute, was also a great believer in the health benefits of wheatgrass as part of a raw food diet.
Why use wheatgrass powder?
Wheatgrass is rich in vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, enzymes, amino acids and anti-oxidants. It is high in vitamin E, zinc and copper which helps protect against cell damage from oxidative stress. Being rich in iron, it helps support normal formation of red blood cells and haemoglobin. As a good source of calcium, wheatgrass contributes to healthy bones and teeth. A small randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 2002 suggested that wheatgrass may ease the symptoms of ulcerated colitis. As a high fiber, low calorie food, wheatgrass helps maintain a healthy gut and encourages beneficial intestinal bacteria. Animal-based studies have indicated that wheatgrass may help in lowering cholesterol.
Safety issues around wheatgrass powder
High quality wheatgrass powder is made from wheat grown outside over the winter and harvested in spring. However wheatgrass grown indoors in trays under humid conditions may become contaminated with mold and bacteria. This may cause headaches, nausea, hives and swelling of the throat. Therefore, always buy wheatgrass from a reputable source. People with celiac disease, gluten intolerance or grass/wheat allergies are advised to avoid wheatgrass.
Wheat grass powder products at Shipley Health Store
At Shipley Health Store, 38 Westgate, Shipley, you can find a variety of wheatgrass powder products including: Naturya Wheatgrass Powder, Amazing Grass Wheatgrass (organic), Nua Naturals Organic Wheatgrass Powder with Probiotics, Pukka Wheatgrass Juice Powder and Lifestream Organic Wheatgrass Leaf Powder