By Naini Setalvad September 2012 Naini Setalvad elaborates on the little known benefits of consuming wheatgrass regularly Grow your own wheatgrass1. Soak adequate quantity of unpolished wheat-grain overnight in water in any container (after cleaning and washing it thoroughly).2. Keep a few pots (preferably 7 to 9 pots – one to be sown each day of the week) ready with ordinary soil. Do not add any chemicals or fertilisers. Cow-dung or goat-dung may be added as manure if needed. 3. Spread the soaked wheat on the surface of the soil so that the grains are touching one another. 4. Sprinkle a thin layer of soil on the wheat grains. 5. Cover the pot with a newspaper to provide darkness which helps the sprouting and also to prevent the birds from eating the wheat. 6. Keep the pot in a balcony or a windowsill or a covered verandah. 7. Next day, uncover the pot and spray on some water and again cover it with the newspaper. 8. Repeat step 7 everyday until you see green leaves sprouting through the soil. Stop covering the pot as soon as the green leaves appear. 9. Everyday water the pot lightly but adequately depending upon the season and also depending upon the pots used – whether they have holes or not. Beautiful green blades of grass keep growing in height everyday. 10. As soon as the grass is about eight inches tall ( which usually happens around the seventh to the ninth day from the date of sowing) harvest the grass by cutting with a clean pair of scissors about 1/2’above the surface of the soil. 11. The harvested wheat grass is now ready to be chewed or juiced or stored. 12. A second round of wheat grass will again grow in about 6 to 7 days with daily watering as before. 13. After the second harvest from the same pot, remove all the soil in the pot onto a newspaper. Break up all the roots and mix them with the soil. Add cowdung to this to rejuvenate the soil. 14. The soil is now ready for reuse for a fresh sowing of wheat. Wheatgrass is the buzzword among health-conscious people. Many think that it is only for detoxification or weight loss. This is a misconception, as it has many other benefits. To the untrained eye, the blades of wheatgrass may look similar to that of any common grass. Wheatgrass is grown from the wheat berry, which is the whole kernel of the wheat grain. Its superior quality and variety of nutrients sets it apart Children often grow wheatgrass as a basic science observation of germination and sprouting. Little do they know of its amazing nutritional content. Wheatgrass came into my life 11 years ago, when I was studying the effects of natural foods on the body. Once I knew about its life-saving properties, I absolutely fell in love with it. Since then, I have been consuming it nearly every day. Ann Wigmore pioneered research on this wonder grass and is a firm believer in its powerful benefits. What provoked her interest is her observation that cats and dogs tend to eat natural foods, especially grass, when they are unwell – with miraculous results. Detoxification According to Wigmore, food that remains in the intestines starts to rot, and this rotting food produces and releases toxins in the body. Wheatgrass is crucial for detoxification. The secret element in wheatgrass is its high chlorophyll content. The consumption of adequate chlorophyll makes our body capable of healing wounds faster. It is also beneficial for breaking down calcium stones in the body. Chlorophyll not only detoxifies, but also aids in flushing out heavy metals from our bloodstream. This is necessary, as traces of heavy metals are found in all non-organic foods as well as water. Packed with vitamins Wheatgrass is a storehouse of vitamins. It is rich in Vitamin A as well as Vitamin C. Vitamin A is an indispensable nutrient for good vision. It is also excellent for the skin. Vitamin C is necessary for what everyone calls ‘detox’ and ‘cleansing.’ It combats free radical damage to the body. Antioxidants are our body’s little soldiers, which protect it against the harmful side-effects of junk food, smoking, pollution, and stress. That is the crucial detoxifying function performed by wheatgrass. Wheatgrass also contains most of the B complex vitamins, especially Vitamin B 17, which has been credited with selectively destroying certain cancer cells, without affecting normal cells. Wheatgrass is also known to help wounds heal faster, and build immunity. Powerhouse of minerals Wheatgrass is also a rich source of multiple minerals. It contains potassium, which is crucial in reducing blood pressure. It is a well-known home remedy for those with cardiovascular problems. It is also high in iron, therefore useful for those with a hemoglobin deficiency. It contains calcium, which is excellent for the development of the bones. In short, you need not worry about most of your minerals, if you have wheatgrass regularly. Naini Setalvad is a nutritionist,specialising in lifestyle and immunitydisorders. Her foundation, HealthFor You, throws light on healthyfood habits. Other benefits Too much medication can have unwarranted side-effects, and here wheatgrass comes to your rescue. It is known to remove drug deposits from the body. It is also a good preventive measure for those at risk of high blood pressure. Regular consumers of alcohol must have wheatgrass regularly, since it also has properties to purify and strengthen the liver. This liver-strengthening property also plays a crucial role in regulating blood sugar levels. Its high fibre content makes it excellent for bowel regulation. Therefore, wheatgrass is helpful for those suffering from anything ranging from constipation, to cardiac problems, to diabetes. Even cancer patients are advised to have regular doses of wheat grass in order to counterbalance the toxic medicines they are compelled to have. Remember that wheatgrass is not only for older or unhealthy people. It can easily be consumed by people of all ages, as it works best as a preventive measure, keeping a host of health problems at bay. It prevents tooth decay, and facilitates the quick healing of wounds. Mothers need not worry too much about their children, if they have been consuming wheatgrass regularly. The right way to consume One can consume this magical herb in various ways. The most popular way is drinking the juice. Drink pure wheatgrass juice – with a little bit of roasted cumin and rock salt for taste. If it does not appeal to you, you could add it to your regular vegetable juice – the taste will blend in. As wheatgrass acts as a powerful cleanser inside the human body, you may feel nauseous soon after ingesting it. This is a reaction to the release of toxins within your system. It is best to start with small quantities, one ounce or so, then gradually increase the intake to four ounces at a time. The same is true when using wheatgrass juice in the colon. Once it is made into juice, wheatgrass is not stable and tends to go rancid quickly. Therefore, it is best to drink it within 15 minutes of extracting the juice. However, cut grass can be stored for a week or so in the refrigerator, in a sealed plastic bag or container. Wheatgrass powder is also available in the market.Frozen wheatgrass juice will keep for a long time, though it is not as effective as freshly made juice, which has all of its nutrients intact.
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