Inside: The benefits of wheatgrass and barley grass are legendary. They contain life-giving chlorophyll and essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids and more. If you’re looking to lose weight, turn back the clock on aging and feel more energetic…continue reading about these amazing grasses.
This blog is part of my “Tidbits of Wisdom for Parents” YouTube video series. If you would like to watch the video, click here.
In the 5th grade, my teacher told our class the story of Ponce de Leon—the man who searched his whole life for the elusive fountain of youth. Well, here in the 21st century, we still have some of Ponce de Leon’s obsession with youth as is manifested by all the diets, potions, skincare products, makeovers, and plastic surgery options available.
Cheer up! The fountain of youth just may be a little closer, less expensive and an easier find than you think. It comes in the form of two types of green grass…wheatgrass and barley grass.
Benefits of Wheatgrass & Barley Grass
In 2004, I was introduced to wheatgrass juice. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease in late 2003. I was sick, exhausted and was looking for something to help me feel better. From the advice of a friend, I started taking wheatgrass juice daily. I bought it by the flat from the Farmer’s Market, juiced it and drank 3 tablespoons each day.
The results were pretty amazing. My energy levels increased substantially, my immune system strengthened, and my skin looked 100x healthier and younger. After reading The Wheatgrass Book, by Ann Wigmore, I became a disciple.
If you suffer from exhaustion, an autoimmune disorder, stress, obesity, or other ailments, wheatgrass and barley grass just may be your answer to feeling better (the right kinds of fats will also help). Here are some benefits of these amazing grasses: what they are, how to juice them, and suggested dosages. Healthwise, youth-wise and everything else-wise, they can change your life!
What is Wheatgrass and Barley Grass?
It’s simple—wheatgrass is a young grass of the wheat plant and barley grass is from the barley plant. You can grow wheatgrass or barley grass with three simple things:
- Organic wheat berries or barley seeds
4 Differences Between Wheatgrass & Barley Grass
#1: Taste of wheatgrass is sweet with a strong taste. Wheatgrass is sweet. Barley grass tends to be bitter
#2 Barley grass tastes more bitter, yet milder than wheatgrass.
#3: Barley grass is easy to digest. Some people (in the beginning) have issues digesting wheatgrass. But, it doesn’t last long.
#4: Both contain essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
10 Benefits of Wheatgrass & Barley Grass
Wheat and barley grasses are bursting with goodness and both are loaded with life-giving properties. Here are 10 reasons to consume them daily:
1. Contains Chlorophyll (11 reasons it’s important)
Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in plants and is considered the blood of the plant. Interestingly, its molecular structure is similar to our blood (just like essential oils). It takes the energy from the sun and converts it into a form we can use. The chlorophyll found in wheat and barley grass are important in 11 different ways:
- Increases red blood cells
- Helps with circulation
- Has body cleansing properties. The chlorophyll in these grasses is considered “cleansing greens” as opposed to “building greens.”
- Cleanses the lymphatic system and restores balance to the body
- Oxygenates the cells (and cancer cells cannot live in an oxygenated environment)
- Helps with heart function
- Improves function of the intestines, uterus, lungs and vascular systems
- Strengthens our cells
- Detoxifies our liver (which will improve your skin and helps to balance hormones)
- Protects us against carcinogens and acts as an antioxidant
- Helps the body heal and repair itself
2. Helps Heal & Revitalize the Skin
Wheat and barley grasses are fabulous for the skin. Put the juice on a cotton ball and put directly onto the skin. It will:
- Eliminate itching
- Soothe sunburned skin
- Tighten loose and sagging skin
- Acts as a disinfectant
- Use as an astringent to brighten the skin
3. It’s Gluten-free
Wheat and barley grass are gluten-free. Neither contains the gluten protein that is related to celiac disease and digestive issues.
4. Does Not Aggravate Wheat Allergies
If you have wheat allergies, you will not be negatively affected by wheatgrass because it’s usually made from organic wheat berries and it’s sprouted which eliminates the phytic acid and other things that aggravate allergies and digestion.
5. Rejuvenates the Body and Acts as an Anti-Aging Factor
Wheatgrass and barley grass are extremely important for our cells and blood. They:
- cleanse the blood
- rejuvenate and revitalize aging cells
- slow down the aging process.
- remove toxic metals from the cells
- restore energy and vitality to the cells.
6. Contains Essential Vitamins
Wheatgrass and barley grass contains many essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. All of which are absorbed from the soil. Some vitamins include Vitamin A, B, C, K, and vitamin E. The vitamins found in these grasses are considered natural foods rather than what you get with a synthetic vitamins pill. Because of this, the body can use them immediately. With a synthetic vitamin, the body must break down its own tissues before it can utilize it.
Two ounces of wheatgrass and barley grass juice contain the vitamin and mineral equivalent of more than 2 pounds of vegetables.
7. Contains Important Enzymes
Wheatgrass and other cereal grasses contain hundreds of different enzymes; one being the SOD enzyme—an antioxidant and anti-aging enzyme. It stands for superoxide dismutase and is both an enzyme and nutrient. It slows down cellular aging and is an anti-inflammatory compound. It can change a dangerous free radical called superoxide anion radical and convert it into hydrogen peroxide (which can also cause problems but is far less dangerous).
Enzymes help with digestion, weight loss and every other function in our bodies. We could not live without the help of enzymes.
8. Contains 17 Amino Acids Including 8 Essential Amino Acids
Amino acids are extremely important because:
- rejuvenate our cells
- aid in digestion
- protect against disease
- increase healing and liver function
- increase mental clarity.
There are 17 amino acids and 8 are essential meaning our body does not make them so we must get them from food sources. Wheatgrass and barley grass contains all 8 of these essential amino acids.
If you are deficient in just one amino acid, it can cause allergies, low energy, and premature aging. Here are the 8 essential amino acids and how they help our bodies:
- Lysine: has anti-aging properties and builds our immune systems
- Leucine: keeps us energized and alert
- Isoleucine: needed for growth and supports the other 7 amino acids
- Phenylalanine: supports the thyroid gland and keeps us calm
- Tryptophan: is important for healthy skin and hair and for building the blood
- Threonine: aids in digestion and absorption of food and metabolism
- Valine: calms the nerves, stimulates brain function
- Methionine: cleanses the liver and kidney cells
9. Helps with Weight Loss
It is estimated that by 2020, 75% of people will be obese in America. Obesity increases heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure and cancer. We need to take control of this epidemic. Wheatgrass and barley grass can help with weight loss.
The enzymes found in both of these grasses can speed up circulation and metabolic rate and help with digestion. All three of these are important for weight loss along with a sensible diet and exercise.
10. Increases Energy Levels
The American diet is not conducive to vitality and energy. Just the opposite. It is laden heavily with sugar, additives, toxins, pesticides and other things that deplete our energy and health. No wonder obesity is on the rise and energy has taken a drastic dip!
Wheat and barley grasses will increase your energy levels—almost immediately. And you will feel this sustained energy throughout the day. It’s the opposite of a caffeinated drink—which gives you a burst of energy and then a letdown. These grasses will keep you energized all day long.
Many people taking wheat and barley grass report that they do not need as much sleep—after a few hours, they are ready to go.
Where Can I Buy Wheatgrass and Barley Grass? 3 Options
There are several options for taking wheatgrass. Here are three:
1. Purchase a shot of wheatgrass at a juice bar
Most juice bars offer shots of wheatgrass and some offer both wheat and barley grasses. If you are taking it every day, it can get a little pricey because it’s about $2 or more a shot.
Be aware that many of these bars purchase a flat and regrow the grass several times from the same flat. Each growth diminishes the potency of important vitamins and minerals in the grass. In other words—find a place that does not regrow the wheatgrass from the same flat. You can usually tell if they are re-growing the same flat over and over again: the wheatgrass juice is a light green rather than a deep dark (almost black) green.
2. Purchase your own flat of wheatgrass
As I’ve said before, other than traffic, living in California has a lot of advantages. They have the most amazing Farmer’s Markets! Each Saturday we went to the Torrance Farmer’s Market at Wilson Park. It’s a mind-boggling market and offers the largest array of fruits and vegetables I’ve ever seen. I was able to purchase a flat of freshly grown wheatgrass each week.
If you purchase your own flat, there are some things to consider.
First: you will need to cut the grass. Using sharp kitchen scissors, cut at the base of the grass and cut as close to the soil as possible because that is where the largest concentration of vitamins and minerals are.
Second: the grass will need to be juiced. You can’t use a regular juicer to juice wheatgrass—it will clog your juicer and cause a big mess. There are juicers that are specific for juicing wheatgrass. If you are going to do this long-term, I would suggest purchasing a juicer.
Third: issues that may arise with a flat of wheatgrass. I like a clean house and I don’t like bugs flying in the air inside my house. I noticed flying insects when I started buying the flats and leaving them on my kitchen drain all week long (something like when you get peaches; put them on the counter and a day later you have fruit flies).
Wheatgrass purists insist that you only juice what you are going to drink that day because the fresh grass is the most concentrated with vitamins, minerals, etc. However, that approach didn’t work for me. I wanted to get rid of the flying bugs and I didn’t have enough room in the refrigerator for the flat. I remedied it by buying a flat, taking it home; and juicing the entire flat that same day.
I measured out 3 tablespoons of juice and poured it into ice cube trays and froze them. Each day I popped out one of the frozen cubes of wheatgrass; defrosted it and drank it. It saved me time and eliminated flying bugs. Yes, I may be missing a few enzymes, but it’s worth it to me. Try it and see if it works for you.
3. Powdered or Pills Wheatgrass and Barley Grass
We moved to Utah in the summer of 2015 and I have not been able to find flats of fresh wheatgrass to purchase. I did find a store that sold a small 4-inch pot of wheatgrass that will MAYBE yield one shot—but that little piece of grass was pricey. And, I’m not interested in growing my own wheatgrass.
The alternative is dried grass.
There are two ways you can consume dried wheat and barley grass: powdered form or pill form. For wheatgrass, I like the Pines brand and you can order it from Amazon. If you decide on the pill form you will need to take at least 13 pills per day to equal 2 tablespoons. If you get the powdered form—you will need to add 2 tablespoons to water, juice or your protein drink.
I like Green Magma if you want to take barley grass. Again, it comes in pill and powdered form and can be ordered from Amazon. If you are already drinking a protein drink, get the powder and just add it to your drink.
Yes, you will be missing some of the enzymes—but not enough to worry about. If you have lots of time each day, room in your fridge and the flats are available in your neighborhood—clip and juice daily.
Share Your Stories…
Wheatgrass and barley grass are amazing sources of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, enzymes and more. Add them to your diet and come back and tell us about your experiences. If you are already taking one or both of these grasses—what have you noticed in terms of YOUR health, vitality, and energy? How do you take them? Liquid? Powder? Pills? Any favorite brand?
Looking forward to your stories!
You can access the 2-minute video here.