This summer I was lucky to enough to follow my bliss to Puerto Rico and take the Living Foods Lifestyle course at The Ann Wigmore Institute (AWI). I learned so much on my trip and will hopefully be sharing more of my experience with you all in my coming posts!
Before I left for the retreat I consumed a lot of greens but I had no clue how much more I could consume! Every day for the 2 weeks I was in Puerto Rico I would have freshly made wheat grass juice. I had so much green there (wheatgrass, energy soup, green juices, salads) that the smell of wheatgrass early in the morning would sometimes make me instantly not hungry. I really thought I would not want wheat grass when I returned home but to my surprise I really missed it! Over the past month I have been trying to have wheatgrass in the morning a few times a week. It’s not the same as having it everyday at the AWI but I definitely see and feel the benefit! I’m actually thinking about my next fix tomorrow morning as I write this 🙂
According to Ann Wigmore herself wheatgrass contains:
- a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals (including the 13 essential ones)
- has dozens of trace elements
- contains enzymes
These elements all make wheat grass a nutritionally complete food!
Enzymes in wheat grass
When ‘extra’ enzymes from wheat grass (and raw foods) are added to the diet they help to boost our own enzyme reserve. As we age our natural enzymes decrease making the digestion of fats and proteins more difficult as well as the metabolism of excess calories more difficult too.
Some of the important enzymes in wheatgrass that help offset these issues are:
- cytochrome oxidase; an antioxidant required for proper cell respiration
- lipase; a fat digesting enzyme (secreted in the small intestine)
- protease; a protein digesting enzyme (found in the stomach)
- amylase; a starch digesting enzyme (found in the mouth and small intestine)
- transhydrogenase; an enzyme that keeps the muscle tissue of the heart toned
- superoxide dismutase (SOD); is naturally found in all cells in our body
In particular SOD slows cellular ageing; lessens the effects of radiation; is an anti-inflammatory compound; may prevent cellular damage after a heart attack or exposure to irritants; and neutralizes the toxic effects of superoxides (potent free radical). As we age SOD decreases and superoxides increase thus causing damage to our DNA and overall cell structure. As wheatgrass is a natural source of SOD it can protect us from these damaging effects!
Some more health benefits of wheatgrass:
- able to stimulate the natural repair of sperm cells and DNA; ie increased fertility
- ability to combat free radicals (cause of disease, and ageing)
- source of carotene; an antioxidant
- contains over 70% chlorophyll which makes it an excellent blood purifier and blood builder; chlorophyll also reduces the binding of carcinogens to DNA in the liver
- alkalinizes the body; an acidic body promotes disease (i.e. cancer)
- contains all essential amino acids (building blocks of protein)
- breaks down calcium oxalate (kidney stones)
- has more iron than spinach
- contains laetrile (vitamin B17) which is anti-fungal and antinicotinic
Some practical tips on consuming wheatgrass
When to have it and how:
It is best to have wheatgrass in the morning on an empty stomach. Be sure to mix well with the saliva in your mouth before swallowing. Wait 20 minutes after consuming wheatgrass to consume food or other liquids to ensure the most assimilation of the nutrients.
I recently bought an Omega juicer and I love it. It is definitely a step up from the lawn mower of a juicer I had before (no kidding). I can juice wheat grass silently in the morning and even make amazing green juices whenever I want. I am not able to grow my own wheat grass but luckily I live near an organic grocer who sells Sprout People’s organic wheat grass . Their wheat grass tastes amazingly sweet just like the organic wheat grass I had in Puerto Rico. I do however notice that certain juice bars serve wheat grass that tastes a bit sour which is not very appealing so try to find a place that has organic wheat grass with a sweet flavor.
I really love having this extra boost in my life and the benefits are plentiful and amazing; all from a tiny grass. Try it and let me know if it energizes you, you may find that you don`t need coffee after regularly consuming a green espresso in the morning!
Living Foods Lifestyle Textbook