On a recent episode of Jay and Jack’s Ramblecast (“Goodbye, 19-49”), Jay mentioned that I had been taking wheatgrass supplements lately. I also posted a picture of a shot of it on my Instagram feed. Jack teased me about it, Jay expressed concern about it, and some Instagram followers questioned me about what it was. I figured I’d briefly explain what wheatgrass is and talk about my experience with it thus far.
What is wheatgrass? Wheatgrass is a fast-growing grass that (I’ve read) has one of the highest concentrations of nutrients and amino acids. One ounce of wheatgrass is supposedly nutritionally equivalent to 2.5lbs of garden vegetables, which results in more energy and helps suppress your appetite. Wheatgrass is high in vitamins A, C, E, K, and B-complex and contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, phosphorous, sodium, and selenium.
What are the benefits of taking it? First, wheatgrass acts as a “cleanser.” It is supposed to flush the toxins in your cells and fatty tissues out into your bloodstream and then cleanse the blood and colon. It is also increases production of red blood cells, which increases the body’s oxygenation and endurance during exercise as well as improve circulation. Wheatgrass is said to be made up of live enzymes that are vital to cell respiration, digestion, and blood cleansing. It is also filled with liquid oxygen and supposedly a good source of laetrile (vitamin B17) and chlorophyll that some [in alternative medicine] think has anticancer properties. In short, the more obvious effects are supposed to be increased energy, stronger teeth, bones, and nails, healthier skin, and healthier, faster hair growth.
Side Effects: While your body is adjusting to take it, wheatgrass can cause nausea, headaches, appetite loss, and constipation. Obviously you should proceed with caution or avoid it if you have a wheat allergy.
My Experience with Wheatgrass. I decided to try wheatgrass after seeing a lot of fellow Keva Juice customers drink it either before or after their workouts. Keva Juice is my go-to smoothie joint, as it’s directly connected to the North Hills branch of my gym. I had read a little bit about it and its purported health benefits and since Jay was away at Apple Training Camp, I was looking for a little adventure. 😉 I believe I’ve been taking it for just over a month now now and I try to do it 4-5 times a week.
I started out with a one ounce shot and a lemonade chaser. I’m not going to lie; wheatgrass tastes gross. It tastes like grass and you’ll need a chaser after you down the shot. I didn’t really feel much of a difference, though I did notice that as a part of that detoxing process they say your body goes through, I was peeing constantly. I also had a bit of a headache, though I’m not sure if that was sinuses, extreme tension, or wheatgrass. I know that it is supposed to suppress your appetite, but I swear mine increased. Another adverse affect I think I had was basically instead of diarrhea, I had some constipation. (Yeah, what else is new, right?)
After about two weeks, I thought that I was ready to graduate to a two ounce shot. That was a mistake. I started to get the nausea that is associated with beginning to take wheatgrass. I would do the shot and get my smoothie, then an hour later turn pale and feel like death. Jay was back from Apple Camp #2 at this point & decided that he was not a fan of me taking it. The day that they recorded that Ramblecast, I had to lie down from feeling so dizzy & nauseous. I was also in a little fog.
I spoke with someone at Keva Juice who recommended that I go back down to the one ounce and do my best not to eat within an hour of taking it. If I could take it before my workout, that would also be beneficial, as it would give me more energy during it. That did the trick. I still only do one shot of wheatgrass, but I’ve stopped feeling sick when I drink it with a smoothie. I have absolutely noticed that my nails have gotten MUCH stronger and grow faster, as does my hair. That actually is very noticeable. My one little gray hair grows double what it did before the wheatgrass and my nails are hard as rocks despite the fact that I still chew on my fingers every 5 minutes. I’ve noticed that I do have more energy throughout the day. I used to be super tired at work by 3:00pm; now, I’ve noticed now that I’m actually pretty alert all day long.
All in all, I would recommend giving wheatgrass a try. If you can get through the possible side effects of the detox process, I honestly think it’s worth it. It’s not FDA tested or anything like that, so I really hope that 10 years from now I won’t be looking back thinking, “Hey remember when I partook in that wheatgrass craze?” Check it out on your own and make your decision.
[Editor’s note: I compiled my facts from a variety of sources, but most of it can be found on Web MD or InfoBarrel.]