Wheat Grass Nutritional Facts

Overview

Wheat grass (Triticum aestivum) contains high levels of chlorophyll. All plants contain the substance, but wheat grass is made up of approximately 70 percent chlorophyll, which is believed to stimulate red blood cell production and increase energy, according to the Vanderbilt University. Wheat grass contains 17 amino acids. It also has the ability to retain 92 minerals from the soil.

History

The late Ann Wigmore of Boston first brought the supposed health benefits of wheat grass to the public view. During her lifetime she published 15 books outlining her viewpoints. She felt that wheat grass was depicted in the bible when Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar consumed grass for years to recover from insanity. She also felt strongly that grazing animals did not suffer from cancer, unlike carnivorous animals, although livestock do suffer from a wide ranges of cancers, according to the National Council Against Health Fraud. Later in life, Wigmore said wheat grass could cure AIDS and diabetes. She would be sued by the Massachusetts attorney general in 1982 and 1988 for her claims.

Growth

Wheat grass belongs to the Poacea plant family. It grows widely throughout the temperate zones of Europe and North America. It is widely cultivated for use in herbal remedies. The grass grows well outdoors, but it can be grown in small containers in a kitchen window or other sunny locations.

Cancer

Wheat grass is a natural form of many vitamins and minerals that can benefit a diet. Despite being nutritious, there are no clinical trials that substantiate the many claims that wheat grass helps cure cancer or shrink malignant tumors, according to the American Cancer Society. Individual reports have made the claim that wheat grass consumption shrinks tumors. It has also been proclaimed as an aid in the extension of life in cancer victims.

Dangers

Wheat grass is normally consumed raw, which increases the risk that the grass might contain bacteria and fungus that might be harmful to human health. The American Cancer Society advices that pregnant or breast feeding women refrain from consuming wheat grass.

Allergic Reaction

Individuals may suffer an allergic reaction when consuming wheat grass. Wheat allergies are one of the most common of all allergies, according to the Mayo Clinic. Nausea, headache, hives and a swollen throat can result from consuming wheat grass in juice form. Anyone with breathing difficulty should seek immediate medical treatment. Wheat grass can cause a life threatening reaction known as, anaphylaxis.

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About this Author

Kimberly Sharpe is a freelance writer with a diverse background. She has worked as a Web writer for the past four years. She writes extensively for Associated Content where she is both a featured home improvement contributor (with special emphasis on gardening) and a parenting contributor. She also writes for Helium. She has worked professionally in the animal care and gardening fields.