The Amazing Benefits of Wheatgrass Juice
Most people have heard of wheatgrass as it’s been around quite awhile in the US as a popular "shot" of good health. However, living here in South America, it’s been fun to watch this super drink grow in popularity at rapid speed in which you can now find wheatgrass juice in most of the healthy restaurants around Buenos Aires. Seeing this has had me revisit the nutritional benefits of consuming this drink on a regular basis, reminding me of the importance of daily detoxification and cleansing, which can contribute to health and healing miracles of any kind.
Wheatgrass is the young plant that sprouts from wheat berries/seeds, no more then 7-10 days old. The grass is then clipped and made into juice, powder or supplements, rich in chlorophyll, amino acids, vitamins, enzymes and other minerals.  The benefits of wheatgrass were first discovered several decades ago by Ann Wigmore, the Founder of the Natural Health Institute and advocate of a raw, vegan "living" diet to overcome and prevent disease, two things that she believes are contributed to by lack of nutrients in cooked foods and toxicity. 
Although in general, the limited number of peer reviewed studies on the benefits of juicing for healing and detoxification may deter some, recent studies clearly show that wheatgrass and/or the overall consumption of fruits and vegetables have important health benefits for those with cancer undergoing chemotherapy , colitis , and even in the overall prevention of cancer causing agents . And for those of us who have tried juicing and regularly consume wheatgrass or other types of juices, know that the personal results speak for themselves.
So what are said to be some of the benefits of wheatgrass juice in particular?
The most important compound found in wheatgrass is chlorophyll, which is the basis of all plant life and directly contains the energy of the sun. It has been found that chlorophyll or plant blood has an almost identical molecular structure as human blood and studies have shown that chlorophyll is effective in treating anemia . Due to its chlorophyll content and the "live" nature in which its consumed, minutes after juicing to ensure that all of the nutritional benefits and enzymes remain active, wheatgrass can contribute to your health in many ways.
1. More energy- Wheatgrass can fulfill nutritional deficiencies found in the standard American diet of heavy animal and processed foods. It can also have a detoxifying effect that removes waste from cells, blood tissue and organs. (Wigmore, p. 1)
2. Disease prevention and healing- Wheatgrass supports a healthy immune system, which in turn allows the body to heal itself more effectively. Even though drugs can be an important agent in assisting the healing process, the body is ultimately responsible for the healing process, not the drug. Wheatgrass therefore boosts the body’s natural ability to overcome and prevent disease and illness. (Wigmore, p. 4)
3. Protection from toxic carcinogens- Wheatgrass protects the body by "strengthening the cells, detoxifying the liver and bloodstream and neutralizing pollutants" (Wigmore, p. 18). This is extremely important in an environment, in which high levels of contaminants in our air, food and water are contributing to health problems over the long term.
4. Improved blood circulation- Wheatgrass contains liquid oxygen and therefore helps with blood flow and cell nourishment. Better circulation also helps with digestion and improved defenses against bacteria. (Wigmore, p. 20)
5. Elimination of body odor- Wheatgrass has been shown to neutralize body odors such as bad breath and odors related to perspiration, menstruation and strong urine and stool smells. (Wigmore, p. 23) Many over the counter odor products contain chlorophyll for this reason.
6. Improved fertility- A compound found in wheatgrass called P4D1 has been shown to impact sperm cells and DNA, increasing reproductivity. (Wigmore, p. 32)
7. Longevity - Healthy blood contributes to a healthy body and thus longer life. Wheatgrass’s ability to strengthen the blood and rejuvenate cells can therefore be said to potentially increase life span. (Wigmore, p. 35)
Besides the potential benefits listed above, the overall nutritional content of wheatgrass alone is enough to convince anyone of its value. Wheatgrass contains Vitamin C (equal to fruit), Vitamin A (as much as kale, carrots and many other greens), Vitamin B, Vitamin E and alkalizing minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium (in small enough amounts to be beneficial), iron and many other trace minerals. It also has a high enzyme content and contains 17 amino acids, including the 8 essential ones, making it a great source of plant based protein. (Wigmore, p. 42-48)
Keep in mind that in order to reap the true benefits of wheatgrass juice, it should be organic cultivated, raw (high temperature processing will destroy the nutrients) and 100% pure with no additives. Happy juicing
 Pravel, D. (2012, January 31). Scientists prove the healing effects of wheat grass juice and wheat grass extract. Retrieved from http://www.naturalnews.com/034820_wheat_grass_juice_healing_minerals.html Wigmore, A. (1985). The Wheatgrass Book. New York, NY: Avery Trade
 Pubmed.gov. “Wheat grass juice may improve hematological toxicity related to chemotherapy in breast cancer patients: a pilot study,” G. Bar-Sela, et al. Nutrition and Cancer, 2007; 58(1): 43-8.
 Pubmed.gov. “Wheat grass juice in the treatment of active distal ulcerative colitis: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial,” E. Ben-Arve, et al. Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, April 2002: 37(4): 444-9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11989836
 Pubmed.gov. "Detoxifying cancer causing agents to prevent cancer," M. Hanausek, et al. Integrative Cancer Therapy, June 2003;2(2):139-44.
 Patek, A. 1936. Chlorophyll and regeneration of the blood. Archives of Internal Medicine 57:73-84.
Kara wrote for HealthCentral as a patient expert for Food & Nutrition.