Wheatgrass has so many remarkable health benefits! It’s now available in liquid and powder form too, but perhaps the best way to use it is to grow it during the winter months!
Wheatgrass Health Benefits
Wheatgrass is an excellent source of many different vitamins and minerals. It is especially high in vitamins A, C, and E, as well as iron, magnesium, calcium and amino acids. Of the 17 amino acids in wheatgrass, 8 of them are essential, meaning your body doesn’t create these amino acids and the only way to get them is from foods.
Wheatgrass is also a powerful antioxidant, and in one test-tube study, wheatgrass extract decreased the spread of mouth cancer cells by 41%. Another study found that wheatgrass juice decreased the risk of impaired bone marrow function, a common complication of chemotherapy, in 60 people with breast cancer.
Some research has also shown that wheatgrass and its components may help reduce inflammation. One small study in 23 people looked at the effects of wheatgrass juice on ulcerative colitis, a disease characterized by inflammation in the large intestine. Drinking just under 1/2 cup (100 ml) of wheatgrass juice for one month reduced disease severity and rectal bleeding in patients with ulcerative colitis.
How To Grow Wheatgrass
Wheatgrass is surprisingly simple to grow. Seriously, anyone can do it! One of the major benefits of wheatgrass is how easy it is to grow indoors in the wintertime. It doesn’t matter where you live! We can all grow fresh organic wheatgrass all year round inside your home!
Wheatgrass grows very well indoors and flourishes in a 70-degree climate. It will still grow even if it gets as cold as 50 degrees, but it will grow very slowly. It usually takes the grass about 7-10 days to reach the perfect height for harvesting. Wheatgrass needs indirect sunlight, which also makes it a perfect winter plant. In other words, if you put it near a window you will have ideal growing light no matter what time of the year it happens to be. If you don’t have space by a window you can use full-spectrum lighting, although that isn’t even required.
If you want to grow your own wheatgrass, you will obviously want to start with organic wheat sprouting seeds wheat berries). Wheat berries are the whole unprocessed kernel that looks like a thick, short grain. They are the most natural form of wheat and their appearance is similar to brown rice and barley. All wheat products are made from wheat berries. They are often ground into flour to be used in bread and other baking.
To start, you will need:
- 1 Jar or bowl for soaking
- 1 cup Wheat Sprouting Seeds/wheat berries
- 10 x 10-inch Clean growing tray, with holes for draining:
- Plastic food tray thoroughly washed
- Growing tray
- Soil enriched with fertilizer, compost, or azomite, if necessary.
- Plastic lid with air holes or extra tray to use as a tray cover
- Follow instructions for Sprouting Wheat Berries at Cultures for Health. Sprout just until tails begin to show. Avoid over-sprouting or sprouts may not root in the soil for growing wheatgrass.
- Add a ½- to 1-inch layer of soil to the growing tray.
- Water gently to moisten the soil. Avoid overwatering to the point puddles form.
- Sprinkle sprouted seeds evenly across the soil, breaking up clumps as needed.
- Sprinkle loose soil over seeds.
- Place the tray in an area with indirect light, at 60-80ºF.
- Cover with a plastic lid that has air holes punched in to make a greenhouse effect. Make sure lid is tall enough to allow grass to grow 1-2 inches.
- Water daily, avoid overwatering. Using a spray bottle is a good watering method until seeds root and grass begins to grow.
- After the wheatgrass is 1-2 inches, remove the cover. This will happen on around day 4.
- Continue to water daily, gently to avoid damaging young grass.
- Harvest your grass at any point, but the best is when it has reached 4-6 inches tall.
It’s now time to make some healthy delicious juice or toss some of this nutritionally powerful grass into a salad! Enjoy some freshness and a healthy nutritional boost this winter, and give wheatgrass a try!