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Wheatgrass: Super Food or Not?

There’s no doubt adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet will improve your health. But what if you were to eliminate all meats, dairy and cooked foods? Ann Wigmore, a holistic health practitioner and Massachusetts resident, founded the wheatgrass diet in the 1940s. The diet consists of uncooked sprouts, raw vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and of course – wheatgrass.

Wigmore was a huge advocate of natural healing and spent most of her life claiming wheatgrass could cure people from a variety of medical conditions. In the 1980s, years before her death, the Massachusetts Attorney General sued Wigmore twice for her false medical claims. Contrary to wheatgrass enthusiasts, there’s actually no evidence that supports this plant as a super food. Wigmore, wasn’t the first to make bold statements about wheatgrass.

During the 1930s, after conducting a series of experiments, agricultural chemist, Charles F. Schnabel, claimed eleven pounds of wheatgrass is equivalent to 23 pounds of vegetables. His experiments made wheatgrass an overnight celebrity and the plant was available in nearly every supermarket. Commercial growers and hobbyist have been growing the plant ever since.

Wheatgrass, or Triticum aestivumis, is consumed raw as a juice, powder, or tablet and can be found at special health stores or juice bars. People can also buy wheatgrass seeds and grow the plant outside in their gardens or inside their home or high tunnel. Often times, growers extract juice from the plant by using a juicing machine. Because wheatgrass is grown in soil and water and is consumed raw, contamination with molds and bacteria is a concern.

Although wheatgrass is a natural source of vitamins and minerals, there’s currently not enough evidence to support any claims that wheatgrass is a super food. Have you tried this controversial plant? Feel free to leave a comment; we’d love to hear about your experiences!

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