According to different researches and studies carried out by the Center for Disease Controls (CDC), 27% of most people get slightly more than three servings of vegetable daily. Most people are aware of the nutritional benefits of eating fresh vegetable and fruits so as to achieve optimal detoxification and health. However, many people are still not conscious of the numerous benefits of drinking organic wheatgrass juice. For many years, organic wheatgrass juice has been over hyped as a powerful super food. Amongst the ancient Mesopotamians and Egyptians, it was a staple in their diets. In the 1950s, Dr. Ann Wigmore, a nutritionist and a whole-foods advocate, began the organic wheatgrass juicing therapy so as to help treat people with chronic ailments.
What is Organic Wheatgrass?
Wheatgrass is the youngest grass of the typical wheat grass plants, the Triticum aestivum. Since the juice is commonly extracted from sprouts of wheatgrass, it is gluten free. This edible gluten free grass is prepared as juice, or a powder concentrate in the forms of capsules, tablets, and pills. Like most plants, organic wheatgrass contains amino acids, minerals, vitamins, chlorophyll, and enzymes. Claims and assertions about the health benefits of this organic wheatgrass juice range from providing supplemental nutrition to its distinctive healing and curative functions.
Nutritional Analysis of Organic Wheatgrass
Wheatgrass is an excellent source and the richest natural source of many vitamins, minerals, and liver enzymes. According to Mujoriyas, R., & Bodlas, R. B. (2011) article, Studies on the wheat grass and the Nutritional values, organic wheatgrass contains 98 of the whole 102 essential elements found in the soil. Inclusive of iron, selenium, magnesium, potassium, calcium, copper, zinc, enzymes, and nineteen amino acids. All of which are in equivalent ratios, optimal for the human body. Besides that, it contains vitamins A, C, E, K, and the Complex B.
Organic wheatgrass is heavily loaded with 70% chlorophyll, a phytochemical. It has a molecular structure that is nearly identical with the hemoglobin molecules of the human blood. Organic wheatgrass also has beta-carotene that is found in green, red and yellow pigmented vegetables and fruits. Beta-carotene always acts as a scavenger and protector against harmful molecules that naturally flows through the human body. Organic wheatgrass also helps in eliminating the toxins inhaled from air pollution, cigarettes smokes and other pollutants.
Besides that, organic wheatgrass is a complete source of organic protein, providing all the essential amino acids. Almost 20% of the total calories come from the protein. The protein in wheatgrass is usually in the forms of poly peptides, which are shorter and simpler chains of amino acids the body requires and use more efficiently in the human blood tissues and streams. In addition to saturating the body with high therapeutic dosages of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and enzymes, organic wheatgrass is a great and powerful detoxifier, especially in the liver and the blood.
Benefits of the Organic Wheatgrass Juice
Due to its nutritional component, wheatgrass serves your body with various nutrients your body needs for proper functioning. Numerous studies and its distinctive nutrients and antioxidants shows of its health benefits as listed below:
Singh et.al in 2012 on the therapeutic potential of Organic wheatgrass states that organic wheatgrass helps your body to build the red blood cells. The red blood cells in return help to transport oxygen to each cell in the body especially in patients with thalassemia blood disorders. The chlorophyll in the organic wheatgrass has a similar molecular structure of the hemoglobin which is contained in the red blood cells. The organic wheatgrass feeds and purifies the body by oxidizing the white blood cells, thus boosting the immune system of the body.
The chlorophyll content of organic wheatgrass washes drug deposits and toxic heavy metals such as lead and mercury in the body, thus purifying the organs and the blood stream. Due to the high chlorophyll component, wheatgrass is high in oxygen. The body tissues and the brain functions at optimal levels in a highly oxygenated environment.
According to Dr. Bernard Jensen, wheatgrass arrests the growth and development of unfriendly bacteria.
The high contents of magnesium in wheatgrass help to restore fertility and balance the sex hormones. P4D1 found in organic wheatgrass has an impact on the DNA sperm cells, thus influencing the fertility.
Meyerowitz, S. (2006), Wheatgrass Nature’s Finest Medicine article recommends the use of wheatgrass for its antiseptic benefits. The article proves that it helps to clear odors, heal wounds, and neutralizes strep infections, curation of sinusitis, treatment, and cure of ear infection. Also, the article highlights its properties in the hastening of grafted skins, reductions of varicose veins, elimination of impetigo, reduction of typhoid fevers and advanced treatment of pyorrhea.
A small amount of organic wheatgrass prevents tooth decay and eliminates toothaches by pulling out poisons from the gums.
For a sore throat, gargle with organic wheatgrass juice.
Drinking organic wheatgrass juice helps reduce skin diseases such as psoriasis and eczema.
Dr.Birscher, a research scientist, says that wheatgrass increases functioning of the heart by decreasing the high blood pressures thus enhancing the blood capillaries.
It lowers free radical damaging. According to Living Life, the Natural Way- Wheatgrass and Health article done by Rana et.al in 2011, organic wheatgrass has antioxidants that help lower free/radical oxidation damages responsible for the disease. Studies show that wheatgrass inhibits lip peroxidation in the liver thus protecting mitochondria in the cells. This is in conjunction to reduced inflammation thus lowering the risks of development of diseases such as liver and heart disease and cancer. Some of the antioxidants in organic wheatgrass are flavonoids, sulfonic acids, alkaloids, saponins, tannins, anthraquinones and phenolic compounds. Besides, it helps in the treatment of Alzheimer’s due to its high oxidants levels.
Protects against cancer and raises immunity. Based on research done in Israel by the Integrated Oncology and Palliative Care Units, organic wheatgrass demonstrates anti-cancer potentials via its mechanism in inductions of apoptosis. Its overall immune functions include fighting off the oxidative stress and immunological activities which contribute to mutations of cells.
Padalias et.al in 2010 on the multitude potential of wheatgrass juice (Green Blood) shows that organic wheatgrass is a medicinal plant for blood vessels and heart by treating hyperlipidemia. It does this by lowering high triglycerides and cholesterol levels. A study examined the effects of organic wheatgrass on rabbits fed on high-fat diets which promoted hyperlipidemia. The high-fat diet led to hyperlipidemia with reduced levels of glutathione and vitamin C. However, with the supplementations of organic wheatgrass, there were reduced total cholesterol levels and improved glutathione and Vitamin C levels.
How Much Should Organic Wheatgrass Juice Be Consumed?
According to Dr. Ann Wigmore, one to two Ounces daily should be taken preferably before a meal.
Possible Side Effects of the Consumption of Organic Wheatgrass
It is crucial to understand that too much intake of wheatgrass causes headaches, mild nausea especially when a person starts the wheatgrass therapy on a regular basis. However, this is attributed to detoxifying effects of the organic wheatgrass therapy. Some people possess allergic reaction toward the wheatgrass. Since the wheatgrass is a raw food, there might be possible bacterial infections and diarrhea upon consumption.
Meyerowitzs, S. (2006). Wheatgrass Nature’s Finest Medicines: The Guide to the Use of Grasses to Rejuvenate Your Health. Sproutmans Publications.
Mujoriyas, R., & Bodlas, R. B. (2011). Studies on the wheat grass and the Nutritional values. Food Sciences and Quality’s Management, 3, 1-9.
Padalias, S., Drabu, S., Rahejas, I., Guptas, A., & Dhamijas, M. (2010). Multitudes potentials of the wheatgrass juices (Green Blood) The Chronicle of beginning scientists, 1(2), 23-28.
Rana, S., Kambojs, J. K., & Gandhis, V. (2011). Living life in the most natural way–Wheatgrass and the Health. Functional foods in the health and diseases, 2(10), 434-557.
Singh, N., Vermas, P., & Pandey, B. R. (2012). The therapeutic potential of organic Wheat Grass in the preventions and treatments of chronic disease. The International Journals of Pharmaceutical Science and Drug Researches, 4(1), 10-14.
Author: Dr. Ellian (Nutritionist)
Use of Spirulina is an exceptional means of supporting healthier fertility, pregnancy, and lactation. This is as a result of its higher nutritional and dietetic components. Spirulina is a cyanobacterium, usually termed as blue greenish algae. Dillon, J. C. et al., in 1995, admits to proteins present in Spirulina is regarded as of the utmost quality compared to all plants and animal proteins. This is also inclusive of those of the legume family such as soy and peas. Besides that, it is an excellent source of minerals and vitamins. Its high nutritive value proves to be excellent in sustaining fertility and pregnancies for all women. Thus expectant mothers should not shy away from using Spirulina in maintaining and improving their health status.
Health Benefits of Spirulina in Pregnant Women
According to Khan, Z., et al. (2005) article on Nutritional and the Therapeutic Potentials of Spirulina, Spirulina is an unlimited source of protein, as it has all the essential amino acids. The total content of protein is 50 to 70% of the total dry weight. Interestingly, it contains the highest content of protein when harvested at early daylight. Besides that, it provides a broad range of minerals and vitamins that are quickly absorbed by the human body. Thus it is the easiest means of boosting your daily intake of nutrients.
It contains the following:
Vitamins: Thiamin, A, D, E, K, Niacin, Riboflavin, B12, B6, Pantothenic Acid, and Folate.
Minerals: Calcium, Potassium, Zinc, Magnesium, Iron, Selenium, Phosphorus, and Copper and relatively low content of Sodium because it grows in fresh waters.
Many minerals and vitamins in Spirulina act as antioxidants. Thus protecting the body from free radical damages. Oxidative damages, as a result of the free radicals, are revealed in contributing to lowered immunity and overall health of a person.
Research conducted in Mexico proposes that Spirulina is useful in the treatment of preeclampsia in pregnant women. Moreso, Spirulina prevents the occurrence of it all, perhaps, due to its high content of nutrients. An article, Spriluna for Prevention and Control of Preeclampsia (Mark F. McCartys et al., 2009), explains that preeclampsia is linked with elevated oxidative stresses in the vascular system and placenta of the woman often attributed to poor nutrition. NADPH oxidase is suggested as the leading source of oxidant stress often linked with preeclampsia. Spirulina contains the Phycocyanobilin (PCB) which inhibits the NADPH. Thus this helps protect expectant mothers and fetus from preeclampsia.
Are There Any Negative Effects Of Spirulina On Pregnant And Lactating Women?
Research by Kulshreshthas, A. et al., (2008) on the health care management of Spirulina suggests that it is not safe for consumption by persons with an underlying medical complication such as Sclerosis, Lupus, Phenylketonuria metabolic condition rheumatoid arthritis. This is because Spirulina is known to increase the effects of these diseases. So it is important to check with your physician before consuming Spirulina.
Is It Safe To Consume Spirulina During Breastfeeding?
Your baby gets all necessary nutrients from your breast milk. Thus it is essential that you ensure to have a nutrient rich and healthy diet. Therefore, in this context, a super food such as Spirulina will absolutely help any nursing mother. But is it really safe? Well, Spirulina is only safe provided that you purchase the high quality that is organic and toxic free. The safety of the product depends on the source and the way it is harvested. So you need to ask yourself if you really trust the brand in providing a non-toxic product or if you are convinced 100 percent of the source.
Although Spirulina is highly a primary health booster, we urge lactating mothers to take preliminary precautions during consumption. This is because you can never be so sure of the source of Spirulina. Many products in the market brand themselves as chemical free and organic. However, none of us has the time to carry out a lab test to whether the claims are valid or not. Unlike other vegetables, we barely wash Spirulina before consumption. While under some situations, we can be okay to use Spirulina mainly under recommendation. So why take risks when you are breastfeeding? There is absolutely an increased risk of passing toxins to your child. Unlike you, the baby’s body hardly has developed strong mechanisms of defense. So fighting off toxins is hard since their immunity is still developing.
How Can Spirulina Help You During Breastfeeding?
Most new mothers are anemic due to excessive blood loss during childbirth. Spirulina is a significant source of bioavailable iron without necessarily constipating the mother. Besides that, Spirulina aids to speed up the loss of body fat. The algae help in the detoxification of the body and boosting the mothers’ overall body immunity and health.
Recommended Daily Intake
There is no certified recommendation and rules for consumption of Spirulina. This is, perhaps, due to the limited scope of research and studies. Nevertheless, general consensus suggests that 3000mg daily intake is quite safe. It is however very significant to consult your physician if you desire to use Spirulina supplements. Let he or she make an appropriate recommendation regarding your nutritional needs.
Chamorros, G., Salazars, S., Favilas-Castillos, L., Steeles, C., & Salazars, M. (1997). The Reproductive and peris-and postnatal evaluations of Spirulina maximas in the mice. Journals of the Applied Phycology, 8(2), 107 – 112.
Dillon, J. C., Phucs, A. P., & Dubacq, J, P. (1995). The Nutritional Values of Spirulina. The Worlds Reviews of Nutritions and Dietetics, 78, 32 – 45.
Kapoor, R., & Mehta, U. (1993). Effects of supplementations of blue, green algae (Spirulina) on the outcomes of pregnancies in mice. Plant Foods for Human Nutritions, Formerly Qualitas Plantarum, 43(1), 29 – 35.
Khan, Z., Bhadourias, P., & Bisens, P. S. (2005). The Nutritional and Therapeutic Potentials of the Spirulina. The Current Pharmaceuticals Biotechnology, 6(6), 372 – 378.
Kulshreshthas, A., Jarouliyas, U., Bhadauriyas, P., Prasads, G.B., & Bisens, P. S. (2008). Spirulina in the health cares managements. The Current Pharmaceuticals Biotechnology, 8(5), 401 – 406.
McCartys, M. F., Barosso-Arandas, J., Contreras, F. (2009). Spirulina for Prevention and Control of Preeclampsia. Oasis of Hope Hospital, Tijuana, Mexico.