Should I add wheatgrass to my smoothies for better health?

Answer From Brent A. Bauer, M.D.

Wheatgrass is a nutrient-rich type of young grass in the wheat family. It's sold as a dietary supplement in tablet, capsule, powder and liquid forms.

Wheatgrass is often used for juicing or added to smoothies. Wheatgrass provides a concentrated amount of nutrients, including iron, calcium, magnesium, amino acids, chlorophyll, and vitamins A, C and E.

Wheatgrass fans say that its rich nutrient content boosts immunity, kills harmful bacteria in the digestive system, and rids the body of wastes. However, there are no significant research studies to support these claims.

Some proponents tout wheatgrass as a treatment for cancer and chemotherapy side effects, anemia, diabetes, infections, ulcerative colitis, and joint pain, among other health concerns. However, there are few research studies about wheatgrass, so it's difficult to assess such health claims.

Wheatgrass is generally considered safe. It may cause nausea, anorexia and constipation. However, if you are allergic to wheat or grass, or have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, check with your doctor before using wheatgrass.

Wheatgrass is usually grown in soil or water and consumed raw, which means it could be contaminated with bacteria or mold. If you're pregnant or breast-feeding, don't use wheatgrass.

Wheatgrass isn't a miracle cure and shouldn't replace regular medical care or a healthy diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. But used sensibly and in moderation, wheatgrass may add interest to your diet.

July 06, 2016 See more Expert Answers

See also

  1. Add flax to your baking
  2. Are you getting enough calcium?
  3. Calcium: Building better bones
  4. Calcium
  5. Calcium supplements for men
  6. Timing calcium supplements
  7. Can vitamins help prevent a heart attack?
  8. Dietary supplements: Skip megadoses
  9. Vitamin C and mood
  10. Eye vitamins: Can they prevent or treat glaucoma?
  11. Fiber supplements
  12. Flaxseed best when ground
  13. Flaxseed for breakfast?
  14. Ground flaxseed
  15. Heartburn medicines and B-12 deficiency
  16. Herbal supplements
  17. Integrative medicine: Different techniques, one goal
  18. Kratom and pregnancy: Not a safe mix
  19. Magnesium supplements
  20. Multivitamins for kids
  21. Nutrition: Does it come in a pill?
  22. Nutrition know-how: Why whole food counts
  23. Percent Daily Value
  24. Prebiotics, probiotics and your health
  25. Prenatal vitamins
  26. Nutritional supplements
  27. Are dietary supplements right for you?
  28. Bromelain
  29. Calories and nutrients to fuel sports performance
  30. Curcumin
  31. Dietary supplements: What to know before you buy
  32. Is your dietary supplement safe?
  33. Melatonin
  34. Smart practices for healthy living
  35. Tips for staying supplement savvy
  36. What are omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil?
  37. What are probiotics?
  38. What are multivitamin/mineral dietary supplements?
  39. What is Boswellia?
  40. What is ginger?
  41. What is whey protein?
  42. Vitamin C megadoses
  43. Vitamin C: An essential nutrient
  44. Vitamin D and MS: Any connection?
  45. Vitamin D: Can it prevent Alzheimer's & dementia?
  46. Vitamin D deficiency
  47. Vitamin D: Essential with calcium
  48. Vitamin D for babies
  49. Vitamin D toxicity
  50. Vitamins for MS: Do supplements make a difference?
  51. Vitamins 101
  52. What does a 'seal of approval' mean?