By Deb Powers
Drinking wheatgrass juice isn’t just another trendy health food fad. For one thing, it’s been around nearly 20 years. The touted benefits of wheatgrass, which is widely available in a number of different forms, were borne from a considerable amount of research. One of the remaining questions is the best way to use it. Does wheatgrass powder offer the same benefits as wheatgrass shots? The answer is yes; in fact, wheatgrass juice powder offers a powerful concentrated punch of all the best nutrients found in wheatgrass juice.
Why Wheatgrass Is Good for You
So what makes wheatgrass so good for you? For starters, it provides numerous antioxidants including vitamins A, C and E, along with trace minerals such as iron, magnesium and calcium, and all the essential amino acids. Research shows that consuming wheatgrass juice may help improve your cholesterol profile, reduce oxidative stress on your cells and help control blood sugar. Researchers are exploring its benefits in fighting cancer, improving symptoms of inflammatory diseases and supporting the immune system. While many of the studies are small, they clearly show that wheatgrass juice is a powerful addition to a healthy diet.
Are There Risks in Consuming Wheatgrass?
Research studies on wheatgrass indicate few side effects or risks; it’s considered safe for human consumption. That said, there are a few possible risks. While wheatgrass is technically gluten-free — gluten develops in the grains, not the grass itself — dietitian Tricia Thompson, who specializes in treating people with celiac disease, strongly recommends that those who have problems with gluten intolerance avoid most wheatgrass juice products. Aside from that, some people report nausea or constipation after using wheatgrass powder supplements, possibly because of the high fiber content. Finally, mold or bacteria can contaminate fresh wheatgrass juice. This can especially be a problem if you’re growing your own trays of wheatgrass for fresh pressing.
Wheatgrass Shots vs. Wheatgrass Powder: What’s the Difference?
If you want to add the benefits of wheatgrass to your diet, you have a few options. You can drink freshly pressed wheatgrass juice, choose wheatgrass supplements in pill or capsule form, or choose a wheatgrass juice powder to mix into your smoothies and other drinks or food. Freshly pressed wheatgrass juice can be expensive, messy and time-consuming. Wheatgrass pills are easy to take, but most are processed using high-heat drying methods that degrade some of the nutritional elements.
Green Foods offers two different types of wheatgrass juice powders, both made using a cool-drying method that preserves the nutrients so that you get the most benefits possible from them. Wheatgrass Shots are a powdered version of wheatgrass juice — the essential nutrients without the fiber. It’s a good choice for those who might suffer some intestinal discomfort from wheatgrass powder. Wheatgrass Whole Leaf powder is made using the entire leaf of the grass, including the fiber. It’s a good choice for people who want to add more fiber to their diets along with a healthy dose of antioxidants, chlorophyll and other nutrients.
Top Tips for Incorporating Wheatgrass Juice Into Your Routine
One of the most cited “cons” of drinking wheatgrass juice is its flavor. It tastes like — well, grass. Wheatgrass juice powder tastes a little less grassy, but the flavor is still strong. One way to get around this is to mix wheatgrass powder with juices that have strong flavors, such as orange or pineapple juice, or try it one of these wheatgrass juice recipes from Healthy Kitchens.
Remember that you don’t have to drink it. Try stirring wheatgrass juice powder into your favorite vinaigrette salad dressing, where the veggie flavor will be just one more complement to your fresh greens.
Stick to the recommended dosages on the the label. Remember, everything is best in moderation.
Drink wheatgrass juice on an empty stomach, and wait an hour before eating anything else to avoid nausea.
Wheatgrass juice powder is a convenient, easy way to add the healthy benefits of wheatgrass juice to your diet. With so many benefits and so few drawbacks, the only question to ask is why haven’t you started drinking it sooner?
Deb Powers is a writer and social media consultant with a commitment to healthy food access for all. She currently manages social media content for her local food policy council and food bank, as well as writing regularly about healthy foods and food policies that promote access to healthy, wholesome foods for everyone.