Providing evidence for wheatgrass juice benefits
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Learn more about NutritionNutrition is at the heart of a healthy life. The foods we eat are the foundation of our health. Good nutrition can enhance our wellbeing, hence the state of your health is largely dependent on what you and your children eat. As parents we worry about our children eating enough greens and getting enough vitamins and minerals.
Wheatgrass juice is a wonderfully balanced source of nutrients. It is well regarded by nutritionists because it contains a small amount of a broad spectrum of nutrients- we call it a rainbow food. It is fantastic for minerals (91 out of a possible 102) (especially high in calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and trace minerals such as zink and selenium). Its broad spectrum of vitamins is very impressive (all but vit D which you get via the sun) and we have listed them below with their health benefits. Wheatgrass juice also includes 21 amino acids (out of a possible 24) both essential and non-essential ones. There are also over 80 enzymes that have been identified in wheatgrass juice, we have mentioned some of them below. Wheatgrass is also one of the riches sources of Chorophyll on this planet!
Amino acidsAmino acids are the principal building blocks of proteins and enzymes.
Alanine is a neutral, genetically coded amino acid. It is an important source of energy for muscle tissue, the brain and central nervous system. It also strengthens the immune system by producing antibodies.
Arginine is a neutral, genetically coded amino acid. It boosts the immune system, promotes muscle growth , supports cardiovascular function, and it strengths the heart.
Aspartic acid is a genetically coded amino acid. It aids in the excretion of harmful ammonia from the body, which if it acts on the circulatory system can be highly toxic and harmful to central nervous system. It also increases resistance to fatigue and increases endurance.
Glutamic acid is an acidic genetically coded amino acid. It is considered to be natures brain food by improving mental capacity, it helps give a lift from fatigue. It is used successfully in the treatment of alcoholism and schizophrenia and suppresses cravings for sugar.
Glycine is a neutral genetically coded amino acid. It is essential in the converting oxygen to the energy that is required during the cell making process. It is important in the manufacture of hormones responsible for a strong immune system.
Isoleucine is a neutral, genetically coded amino acid that is essential in human nutrition. It helps the development of other essential biochemical agents in the body, which are used for energy production.
Leucine is a neutral, genetically coded amino acid that is essential for human nutrition. It plays a key role in helping muscle cells make protein and is one of the most important amino acids for body builders and endurance athletes.
Lysine is a basic genetically coded amino acid that is essential for human nutrition. It is needed for growth to help maintain the nitrogen balance in the body and it has important anti–aging properties.
Methionine is a neutral genetically coded amino acid that is essential in human nutrition. It lowers cholesterol levels by increasing the livers production of lecithin and reduces liver fat and protects the kidneys. It is also a major deliver of sulphur, which prevents disorders of the hair, skin and nails and it is a natural chelating agent for heavy metals.
Phenylalalanine is a neutral, genetically coded amino acid that is essential in human nutrition. It is used in elevating the mood. As it is closely involved with the nervous system, it also helps with memory and learning. It acts as an appetite suppressant.
Proline is a neutral genetically coded amino acid that is important for the functioning of joints and tendons. Proline improves skin texture and aids collagen formation and helps counteract the loss of collagen during ageing.
Threorine is a neutral, genetically coded amino acid that is essential in human nutrition. It is involved in liver functioning as well as assisting the immune system by helping in the production of anti-bodies.
Tryptophan is a neutral, genetically coded amino acid that is essential for human nutrition. It is a natural relaxant that helps alleviate insomnia by inducing normal sleep. It also reduces anxiety and depression and helps reduce the risk of artery and heart spasms.
Valine is a neutral, genetically coded amino acid that is essential in human nutrition. It has a stimulating effect and is needed for muscle metabolism, repair and growth of tissue and maintaining the nitrogen balance in the body. It promotes mental vigor, muscle co-ordination and calms the emotions.
VitaminsVitamins are organic molecules that are essential in very small amounts in your body and that of your children. It is needed for normal growth and activity. Vitamins cannot be synthesized by your cells and must therefore be supplied in the diet. All of these vitamins are present in wheatgrass juice.
Choline (Lecithin) is a phospholipid needed in all living cells. It is very important in controlling your cholesterol and fat build-up in your body. It prevents fat from accumulating in the liver, and facilitates the movement of fats in the cells. Choline is an essential vitamin as it is used by the body to produce the essential nerve transmitter, acetylcholine.
Vitamin A Beta-Carotene, which is found in plants, is converted by the body to vitamin A. It is an antioxidant compound and can prevent cancer-causing substances from damaging DNA. Wheatgrass contains the darkly coloured pro-vitamin A pigments that is more efficiently converted to retinal than any other carotenoids. Vitamin A plays a key role in reproduction, bone growth, vision, cell division and cell development. It helps maintain the surface linings of the eyes and respiratory, urinary and intestinal tracts.
The B Group Vitamins occur together and are therefore referred to as a complex. B Vitamins play an important role in converting carbohydrates, helping metabolize fats and protein, and in normal functioning of nerves and the nervous system. The importance of B Vitamins cannot be over stressed. All eight are present in Wheatgrass in abundance.
Vitamin B1 or Thiamine (as it is also known as) is one of the most important members of the B group of Vitamins. Thiamine B1 promotes growth and facilitates your body’s ability to convert carbohydrate into glucose (sugar), which provides energy and stimulates your brain action. It plays an important role in the normal functioning of the entire nervous system and it helps your digestion. It also helps to maintain normal red blood cell count, improves circulation and promotes healthy skin. It also reduces fatigue, increases stamina and prevents premature aging and senility by increasing mental alertness. Like other vitamins of the B complex group it is more potent when combined with other B vitamins rather than used separately.
Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin is the second member of the B complex group. It is essential for growth and general health. It is involved in a number of chemical reactions in the body and is therefore essential for normal tissue maintenance. Riboflavin aids your digestion and helps in the functioning of the nervous system. It prevents constipation, promotes a healthy skin, nails and hair, and strengthens the mucous lining of the mouth, lips and tongue. Riboflavin also plays an important role in the health of eyes and alleviates eyestrain. This vitamin is particularly helpful in counteracting the tendency towards glaucoma. B2 is essential for the body’s ability use oxygen and the metabolism of amino acids, fatty acids and carbohydrates. It has important function in red blood cell formation.
Vitamin B3 - Niacin is essential for cell respiration and has an important role to play in the release of energy and the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Niacin is important for proper blood circulation and healthy functioning of the nervous system. It maintains the normal functions of the gastro - intestinal tract and is essential for the proper metabolism of proteins and carbohydrates. It also helps to ensure your skin is healthy. Niacin dilates the blood vessels and increases the flow of blood to the peripheral capillary system. This Vitamin is also essential for the synthesis of sex hormones, mainly oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone as well as cortisone, thyroxin and insulin.
Vitamin B5 - Pantothenic Acid is part of the enzyme system which plays a vital role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, and in the synthesis of amino acids and fatty acids. It is also essential for the formation of porphyrin, the pigment portion of the hemoglobin molecule of the red blood cells. This vitamin is involved in all vital functions in your body. It stimulates the adrenal glands and increases production of cortisone and other adrenal hormones. It protects against most physical and mental stresses and toxins. Pantothenic Acid increases your vitality, wards off infections, and speeds recovery from ill health. It helps in maintaining the normal growth and development of the central nervous system. This vitamin prevents premature aging. It also provides protection against any damage caused by excessive radiation.
Vitamin B6- Pyridoxine aids in food assimilation and protein and fat metabolism, especially in the metabolism of essential fatty acids. It activates enzymes and enzyme systems. It is evolved in the production of antibodies, which protect against bacterial diseases. Pyridoxine helps in the healthy functioning of the nervous system and brain. It is essential for the normal reproductive process and healthy pregnancies. This vitamin prevents nervous and skin disorders, provides protection against a high cholesterol level, certain types of heart disease, and diabetes. It prevents tooth decay. Vitamin B6 regulates the balance between sodium and potassium in the body, which is vitally important for the normal body function. IT is also required for the absorption of Vitamin B12 and for the production of magnesium. Vitamin B6 is now considered as a wonder treatment for a wide range of common ailments, such as, diabetes, hemorrhoids, convulsions in infants and woman, stress and insomnia and morning sickness.
Vitamin B8 - Biotin functions as a coenzyme for carbon dioxide transfer and is essential to fat and carbohydrate metabolism. Biotin is necessary for both metabolism and growth in the body. It is linked to curing baldness, alleviating muscle pain and depression. Biotin is also vital for a healthy immune system. It is evolved with the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. It prevents premature graying of hair as well as hair loss. This vitamin helps to maintain the skin and nervous system in sound condition. It controls proper distribution of colour pigment.
Vitamin B9 - Folate and Folic Acid are water-soluble B group of Vitamins. Folate is necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells. This is especially important during periods of rapid cell division and growth such as in young children and during pregnancy. Folate is needed to make DNA and RNA and it helps prevent changes to DNA that leads to cancer. Folic acid in combination with vitamin B12 is essential for the formation and division of all body cells, including nerve cells, and for manufacturing a number of nerve transmitters. Folic acid helps in the building of antibodies, which prevent and heal your infections. It is essential for the health of the skin and hair, and helps to prevent premature graying of the hair. Folic acid is the most significant and important nutrient for pregnant woman and her developing child.
Vitamin B12 - Cyanocobalamin. The amount of vitamin B12, which is not immediately needed by the body, is stored in the liver, which is capable of storing relatively large amounts of the nutrient. Like vitamin B6, vitamin B12 is essential for the production and regeneration of red blood cells. This vitamin is also secreted in breast milk for the use of babies. It is also needed for the proper functioning of the central nervous system. It improves concentration, memory and balance and relieves irritability. Vitamin B12 is necessary for the proper utilization of fats, carbohydrates and proteins for bodybuilding. It promotes growth and increases appetite in children. This vitamin is also involved in most vital metabolic and enzymatic processes, including the metabolism of Folic acid. If the immune cells made in bone marrow are to mature in active disease fighters, a sufficient quantity of vitamin B12 and Folic acid is necessary.
Vitamin C . This antioxidant helps with wound healing and strengthens resistance to infection. Vitamin C is required for life. Numerous studies have shown that an adequate intake of vitamin C is effective in lowering the risk of developing cancers of the breast, cervix, colon, esophagus, larynx, lung, mouth, prostate and stomach. Vitamin C prevents cancer by deactivating free radicals before they can damage DNA and initiate tumour growth.
Vitamin E exists in eight different forms. Each form has its own biological activity, the measure of potency or functional use in the body. Alphatocopherol is the most active form of vitamin E and is found in high levels in wheatgrass. Antioxidants such as vitamin E act to protect your cells against the effects of free radicals, which are potentially damaging by- products of the body’s metabolism. Vitamin E also protects Vitamin A and essential fatty acids from oxidation in the body’s cells and prevents the breakdown of body tissues.
Vitamin K is utilized in your and your child’s body to control blood clotting. It plays a major role in the production of Thrombin- an important factor in blood clotting. It is also involved in bone marrow formation and repair. There is evidence to suggest that Vitamin K may decrease the incidences of osteoporosis and bone loss.
EnzymesEnzymes facilitate energy transformations that are central to all living organisms. They are proteins that fundamentally act like catalysts by binding to an initial substance and converting it into another.
With the important role of enzymes in major body functions, it is necessary that we have adequate intake on a daily basis. Unfortunately, medical doctors have found that we don't get all the enzymes we need from our cooked, over-salted and over-processed foods. This, particularly combined with age, can result in poor overall health.
Bioflavonoids are a group of naturally occurring plant compounds, they act as antioxidants. Bioflavanoids work together with other antioxidants to offer a system of protection to the body. Numerous scientific studies have shown their unique role in protecting Vitamin C in the body. They have been shown to be anti-mutagenic, anti- aging and anti- carcinogenic.
Dnase. A versatile enzyme that actively effects ones DNA by purification processes that acts on the RNA.
Catalase. This enzyme is among the most efficient known. It protects each individual cell from the toxic effect of hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is caused in the body by bacteria.
Cytochrome Oxidase. Major effector in the body’s production of energy.
Hexokinase is an important enzyme that catalyses ATP (energy) dependent sugars into the hexose-6 –phosphate. The enzymes can catalyze this reaction as fructose, glucose and sorbitol.
Lipase is a highly effective in the digestion of fats. It enhances the digestion of proteins, starch and fat in the gastrointestinal tract. Without Lipase fat stagnates and accumulates in the organs, arteries and capillaries.
Malic Dehydrogenase Important enzyme in maintaining the body’s ability to defeat bacteria and other parasitic hosts in the body.
P4D1 is the first known substance to actually stimulate repair of the DNA molecule. It is possible that diseased cells can be repaired with P4D1 so that when they reproduce they will actually produce healthy cells. P4D1 has also been shown in laboratory tests to eat the protein sheath off a cancer cell so that the white blood cells can attack and destroy them.
Peroxidase A detoxifying enzyme that eliminates hydrogen peroxide and is one of the body’s natural anti-oxidant enzymes.
Protease Amylase It is important in supplementing the natural digestion of starches, proteins, fats and cellulose.
Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) A high potency antioxidant enzyme, which detoxifies the superoxide anion and is thought to present the first line of defence against free radical damage in red blood cells and is highly effective in limiting radiation damage.
Minerals and trace mineralsMinerals are simple substances that play a major role in many metabolic functions. Many of the minerals found in wheat grassare components of enzymes, which are catalysts for chemical reactions in the body.
Boron is a trace mineral that is important in brain function, especially in enhancing memory, cognitive function, and hand-eye coordination. Evidence continues to show that boron may reduce either the symptoms or incidence of arthritis.
Calcium is important for your muscle contraction, blood clotting and enzyme activity. Calcium works with phosphorus to help prevent osteoporosis. It speeds wound healing because it helps your blood coagulate.
Chromium helps to prevent and lower high blood pressure. It can also deter diabetes because it works with insulin in the metabolism of blood sugar. This trace mineral helps transport protein where it is needed in your body.
Cobalt is an essential mineral, it helps building red blood cells and enzymes are stimulated by Cobalt. Cobalt and Vitamin B 12 work together to increase your body’s ability to produce Vitamin B12.
Copper increases your energy levels by helping in effective iron absorption. Copper is essential for your body’s ability to use vitamin C. It is also vital for transforming your body’s iron into hemoglobin.
Iodine is an important component of thyroid hormones - essential for reproduction. Proper levels of iodine will help your metabolism by burning off extra fat and giving you more energy. It also promotes healthy teeth, skin, nails and hair.
Iron. To metabolize iron in your body you need copper, cobalt, manganese and vitamin C. In turn, iron is required to metabolize the family of B group Vitamins. Iron promotes resistance to infection, prevents fatigue and is important for growth. Iron is essential for making the red pigment in muscles (myoglobin). It is also a component of the oxygen- carrying protein hemoglobin.
Magnesium is an essential for the transmission of nerve impulses and muscle contraction. It is required by your body to convert into energy the blood sugar stored as glycogen in your liver. I t also helps in bone- building and aids your body’s ability in dealing with physical and emotional stress.
Manganese reduces nervous irritability; aid muscle reflexes, improves memory and helps combat tiredness. It is needed for normal bone building and is important in the production of thyrosin, the principle hormone of the thyroid gland.
Molybdenum helps your metabolism of both fats and carbohydrates. It is a vital part of the enzyme responsible for the use of Iron. It is also very effective in detoxifying potentially harmful chemicals. It reduces tooth decay and protects against cancers of the esophagus and stomach.
Potassium regulates the balance of your body’s acids and plays a role in nerve and muscle function. Together with sodium, potassium works to regulate your blood pressure and water balance. It keeps your heart muscles beating in a normal steady rhythm.
Phosphorus along with the B group of vitamins is required by the body to extract energy from food, particularly fats and starches; Phosphorous also helps with kidney functioning and heart regularity. It also lessens arthritis pain.
Selenium is an essential trace mineral in the human body. This nutrient is an important part of antioxidant enzymes that protects cells against the effects of free radicals that are produced during normal oxygen metabolism.
Sodium keeps your heart beating in a strong, steady rhythm. It also balances the functioning of all muscles and nerves Sodium is the major regulator of your body’s water balance and keeps the other vital minerals in proper concentration.
Sulphur helps ensure the oxygen supply necessary for optimum brain functions and it helps fight off bacterial infections. Sulphur is required to build protein and collagen.
Zinc is an essential mineral that is found in every cell. It stimulates the activity of 100’s of enzymes. Zinc supports your and your child’s immune system and is required for wound healing and for DNA synthesis.
AntioxidantsAntioxidants are substances or nutrients in your foods which can prevent or slow the oxidative damage to your body. When our body cells use oxygen, they naturally produce free radicals (by-products) which can cause damage. Antioxidants act as "free radical scavengers" and hence prevent and repair damage done by these free radicals. Health problems such as heart disease, macular degeneration, diabetes, cancer etc are all contributed by oxidative damage. Indeed, a recent study conducted by researchers from London found that 5 servings of fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of stroke by 25 percent. Antioxidants may also enhance immune defence and therefore lower the risk of cancer and infection. They are also “anti-aging” and reduce cell mutations, artery damage, skin wrinkles, and other effects of free radicals.
Chlorophyll is the molecule that traps that most elusive of all powers- life and light. It is called a photoreceptor. It is found in the chloroplasts of green plants and is what makes green plants green. Chlorophyll is capable of channeling the energy of sun light into chemical energy through a process of photosynthesis. This is the basis for sustaining the life of all plants and therefore all life on earth.
The basic structure of a chlorophyll molecule is a porphyrin ring, which is very similar in structure to the heme group found in hemoglobin, except that in heme the central atom is iron, whereas in chlorophyll it is magnesium. This is why some people refer to fresh wheatgrass juice as green blood and liquid sun light.
Other important antioxidants found in Fresh Wheatgrass juice:
Bioflavonoids, Linoleic Acid, Lysine, P4D1, Peroxidase, Selenium, Superoxide Dismutase (SOD), Vitamin A Beta- Carotene, Vitamin B1 Thiamine, Vitamin C, Vitamin E