The Health benefits of wheatgrass juice
Wheatgrass gets its superfood reputation from its substantial list of health benefits. It contains 70% Chlorophyll which is first product of sun energy and provides a number of unique benefits when consumed in live form.
Chlorophyll contains antioxidants which slow the body’s oxidization and thus aging process. It also neutralizes body toxins and has antibacterial effects within the body.
Wheatgrass contains most of the necessary essential vitamins including: Vitamin A, B-complex, C, E & K. It also contains high amounts of the essential minerals: Iron (44% RDA), Manganese (7000% RDA), Zinc (413% RDA) as well as 17 amino acids. (Self Nutrition Data 2016)
Growing your own wheatgrass ensures you always have the freshest supply available for juicing. You can grow wheatgrass from seeds, or you can buy a pre grown tray from many supermarkets and health stores. When it has grown to about 8 inches tall, it is ready to use. Cut the wheatgrass with a sharp knife or scissors ½ inch to 1 inch from the ground. Leave the cut stalks in a sunny windowsill and they will regrow.
Most health stores keep stock if you prefer to buy your wheatgrass. However; make sure it is fresh, as wilted grass will make your juice taste like something straight out of the swamp.
How to juice wheatgrass
There are three main ways to juice wheatgrass: manually, or with a blender or juicer.
This method, although very labor intensive, retains much of the valuable nutrients of the wheatgrass. You require a mortar and pestle – the granite or stone variety have the best grind ability.
- Wash and chop ¼ cup of wheatgrass and place into a mortar.
- Use the pestle to grind the wheatgrass using slow circular motions.
- When the wheatgrass starts to clump together and the juice starts releasing,
- Continue grinding until you have a smooth paste.
- Add 2 tablespoons of cold water, and use a teaspoon to mix and loosen the mixture
- Place the paste into a muslin cloth and stain into a glass.
This method is thought to be the least effective for retaining chlorophyll, as the blades crush the grass damaging cells. The blades also produce heat, which destroys vital antioxidants.
- Wash and chop 1/2 cup of wheatgrass and place into a blender with 2 cups of water.
- Blend on high speed for 2 minutes.
- Place a piece of muslin into a sieve over a glass bowl and strain the juice, use a plastic spatula to press out all the liquid.
- Pour the mixture into a glass.
To juice wheatgrass you need a masticating juicer, which come in the manual or automatic variety. If using an automatic juicer, follow your juicer instructions carefully. The manual juicer looks like a meat grinder and clamps on top of your counter.
- Place a cup beneath the spout of the juicer
- Gradually feed the wheatgrass into the juicer while turning the crank
- Use your hand to keep guiding the wheatgrass through the machine.
Now that you know how to juice wheatgrass, here are some great recipes for you to try out for yourself.
Green Power Juice Recipe
- 2 Green apples
- 1 Cucumber
- 30 ml Wheatgrass
- 1 cup Spinach
Using a juicer, juice the apples, cucumber, spinach and wheatgrass. Serve chilled or over crushed ice.
- ½ Pineapple
- 30 ml Wheatgrass
- ¼ cup Mint leaves
Cut the peel off the pineapple and cut into chunks. Using a juicer, juice together pineapple, wheatgrass and mint leaves. Serve cold or over crushed ice.
Ginger Grassy Goodness
- 2 Apples
- 1 Carrot
- 30ml Wheatgrass
- 5ml Ginger
Use a juicer to juice apples, carrot, ginger and wheatgrass. Serve chilled or over ice. Top Tip: Adding fresh lemon to your juice will help slow oxidization, and keep the juice green and fresh for longer. Wheatgrass truly is a powerful ingredient, and the benefits of juicing it are vast. If you would like to find out more about the nutritional benefit of wheatgrass click here.