Drink your grass: Wheatgrass benefits

Organic wheatgrass is a staple at most juice bars, and with good reason! It stimulates your thyroid, boosts your metabolism, and alkalizes your system — not bad for a plant that’s only about a week old.

Wheatgrass is a star when it comes to nutrition, too. It’s full of vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, plus iron and minerals like zinc, copper, potassium, manganese and selenium. But that’s just the start — it also packs a pretty amazing metabolic punch.

Let’s start with your blood. Wheatgrass is a great whole-body cleanser because it binds with heavy metals and other toxins, allowing your body to safely excrete them.

Wheatgrass also alkalizes your system, purifies your blood, delivers the enzymes you need to help digest your food, and its high chlorophyll content acts as an internal deodorant.

Wheatgrass is very rich in antioxidants, which help protect your liver  and stimulate your immune system, and wheatgrass shows some promise as a supplement for leukemia patients . One study shows that it can even help treat ulcerative colitis.

Use wheatgrass as an occasional boost; Sometimes consuming too much wheatgrass can lead to a cleanse reaction — briefly feeling worse instead of better as your body eliminates accumulated toxins. Because of that, you’re better off treating wheatgrass as more of a medicinal herb than a simple food.

Choosing and using wheatgrass

If you’re doing the Fast Metabolism Diet, you can have 2-4 oz. of wheatgrass per day on any phase.

You can buy wheatgrass shots at most health food stores or juice shops, or ask for wheatgrass as a smoothie ingredient. Or if you have your own juicer, DIY your own wheatgrass in a sprouting tray (it’ll be less bitter if you keep it out of direct sunlight).

Like most greens, wheatgrass is at its best when it’s fresh — usually about a week after germination, while the leaves are still tender and flexible. (If the grass starts growing a vertical stalk to support a seed head, you’re too late.) If fresh wheatgrass is not available, you can buy freeze-dried wheatgrass in capsules or powder form.

There’s no way around it — wheatgrass shots have a strong, sometimes grassy taste. But that taste will blend right into a smoothie, and even if you take the wheatgrass straight it’s an unparalleled healing treat for your body. To your health!