Wheat Grass and its Benefits ( A Fad or substance)

Recently I visited a neighbourhood store and when paying for the groceries, our friendly grocery store owner who is aware that I am a dietitian said Madam Have a look at this product . How come everyone is asking for it and you are not ? You are a dietitian so you should be the first one to ask for . At that stage I realized what a rage / fad wheat grass has become nowadays. everyone is just raving about its benefits as if it is the best product for health of an individual.

For the people who dont know what Wheatgrass is. It is the young grass of the wheat plant. Many people (Indians during Navratras) grow their own wheatgrass by putting wheat seeds in water and then harvest the leaves. It is a natural source of vitamins and antioxidants, including Vitamins A, E, and B-12, Calcium, Selenium, Magnesium, Iron. On its own, it is tough to digest and mostly people crush and squeeze to make its juice. Wheatgrass leaves are also dried and made into tablets or capsules.

To list the benefits that are claimed in various health magazines or TV shows – wheat grass is claimed to strengthen the immune system, detoxify the body, and ward off diseases.Wheatgrass is also claimed to help treat constipation and pain of rheumatism. People also believe that it can help combat a number of everyday health conditions, including colds, coughs, fevers, digestive ailments, and skin conditions. Some people even claim that a wheatgrass diet can shrink cancerous tumors and improve survival.

People reason it on chlorophyll, the pigment that gives plants their green color. Claims also go to an extent that chlorophyll acts like hemoglobin and increases oxygen levels in the body. Despite all the above listed claims, there is very little evidence or any scientific evidence on the benefits of wheatgrass. Some studies in ISRAEL showed that Wheatgrass is helpful in ulcerative colitis and some studies have shown that it helps reduce side effects of Chemotherapy on women of breast cancer. But like I said earlier all these studies havent been done at large scale and we cant conclude anything from these whereas the risk of contracting diseases from Wheatgrass also exist which every one has been ignoring . It is known to have side effects like nausea , headaches and allergic reactions like swelling of throats etc hence people suffering from any sort of ailment or compromised immune system should completely avoid it. Like I have been advocating everything in LIMITS is ok – so for people who want to try it can do so but that doesnt mean that they can go gung ho over it and have it all the time and expect miracles from Wheatgrass.

A healthy and balanced nutritious diet is what one needs to take instead of believing in these fads which come and go :-).

Published by

Niti Munjal

Dietician by Profession but an IT professional by heart who believes that marriage of IT and Healthcare is the way to go to improve lifestyle and health of people in the country.

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