What are the dangers and side effects of wheatgrass powder or juice?

Dangers and side effects of wheatgrass

Yes, wheatgrass may have side effects. Some people may experience uncomfortable symptoms. Especially after consuming large amounts. Although wheatgrass is generally good for you, some people better avoid excess consumption.

What is in wheatgrass?

Wheatgrass is the young grass of the wheat plant. In most cases, it is harvested on day 7, after sprouting.

It’s really easy to grown wheatgrass at home.

You only need wheat seeds, soil, and water. You’ll harvest the wheatgrass after a week.

You can consume wheatgrass in two ways. In powder or as a juice.

It’s easy to make wheatgrass powder at home.

Firstly we harvest the young wheatgrass leaves. Secondly, we dehydrate them. Finally, we blend them to become powder.

On the other hand, wheatgrass juice is made by removing the fiber content of wheatgrass leaves, using a strainer. Moreover, you can use more specialized equipment, such as masticating Juicers.

The green juice is packed with nutrients, without the fiber.

You can easily harvest both wheatgrass powder and juice at home.

Why is wheatgrass good for you?

According to the USDA, wheatgrass is a natural source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Nutritional value

100 gr of wheatgrass powder contains high amounts of:

  • vitamin K, 1075 mcg,
  • iron, 12.5 mg,
  • calcium, 300 mg.

Especially women should consume foods rich in iron and foods rich in calcium.

According to a 2015 study, published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Bioallied Sciences, wheatgrass is high in minerals. It contains a significant amount of iron, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, calcium, and zinc.

Furthermore, wheatgrass has remarkable therapeutic potentials due to its nutritional content.

For instance, it has a great amount of chlorophyll, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, bioflavonoids, and also 17 amino acids. Moreover, the eight amino acids are essential. Also, only a tablespoon of wheatgrass has 1 gr of protein.

If you haven’t time to grow wheatgrass at home, chlorophyll herbal supplements are a good alternative. Besides, wheatgrass, chlorella, and barley grass are excellent choices.

Health benefits

Consumption of wheatgrass has linked to beneficial effects on:

  • cancer,
  • ulcerative colitis,
  • rheumatoid arthritis, and
  • bronchial disorders.

Dangers of consuming wheatgrass

Although wheatgrass is considered safe, there are some side effects and dangers that you should know.

Symptoms

There are some cases that people experienced discomfort, after consuming wheatgrass.

In most cases, people reported symptoms such as:

  • nausea,
  • headaches, or
  • diarrhea.

Most symptoms go away after decreasing the wheatgrass dose.

High in Vitamin K and medication

Also, wheatgrass is high in vitamin K. 100 gr has 1075 mcg of vitamin K.

Practically, a tablespoon of wheatgrass powder contains 86 mcg of vitamin K. That’s almost the 100% DV (Daily Value).

Certainly, vitamin K has many great health benefits on:

  • bone mineral density,
  • osteoporosis,
  • cancer,
  • insulin sensitivity,
  • heart diseases.

You can learn more, why vitamin K is good for you here.

According to the American National Institutes of Health, we need about 90-120 mcg of vitamin K per day.

So, only a tablespoon of wheatgrass powder is enough to meet the daily vitamin K requirements.

Moreover, there are many foods rich in vitamin K. This may be a problem.

Vitamin K and medication

Although there aren’t any particular side effects of excessive vitamin K consumption, vitamin K may interact with medication. If you’re taking Warfarin, other anticoagulants, antibiotics, or any other medication you should inform your physician, for any diet changes.

A plant-based diet may be very rich in vitamin K. Most noteworthy, a tablespoon of wheatgrass has enough vitamin K for most people.

So, consult your physician if you consider consuming wheatgrass.

It’s gluten-free

If you’re sensitive to gluten, better consult your physician.

Although, wheatgrass doesn’t contain any gluten. The gluten is found in the seeds, not in leaves.

Wheatgrass is the young leave of the plant.

Side effects of wheatgrass powder

Certainly, wheatgrass is good for you.

On the other hand, you should know the side effects of wheatgrass powder.

100 gr of wheatgrass powder has about 50 grams of dietary fiber. That’s about 180% DV.

Half of the wheatgrass powder is fiber.

Moreover, a tablespoon of wheatgrass powder has 4 grams of fiber. That’s 14% DV.

When fiber becomes too much

Although dietary fiber has countless health benefits, a huge amount of fiber in just one meal may be too much.

A few side effects, such as excessive flatulence, bloating, abdominal cramps, or diarrhea can happen (1).

We need about 30 grams of fiber daily.

Most people fail to consume this amount. Moreover, 95% of Americans don’t consume the recommended amounts of fiber.

So, if we suddenly consume more fiber, we may experience these uncomfortable side effects.

Side effects of wheatgrass powder in smoothies

Smoothies are great. Tasty and nutritious.

But, almost any ingredient is rich in fiber. For instance, kale, spinachbroccolibananasapplescarrots, avocados, and every fruit and vegetable are all high in fiber.

Adding just a tablespoon of wheatgrass powder will boost the fiber content of the smoothie.

In order to avoid any side effects regarding to high fiber intake, just start with a low dose of wheatgrass powder. Steadily increase the dose.

Side effects of wheatgrass juice

Commercial wheatgrass juices are mostly safe. Also, they contain no fiber.

On the other hand, when you grow wheatgrass at home, you have to be extra careful.

The room must have good air circulation and low humidity. Otherwise, it’s easy to find mold in wheatgrass trays.

Sources:

  1. Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Health Implications of Dietary Fiber