What are the Benefits of Wheatgrass & Barley Grass?
5 minute read
Wheatgrass and Barley Grass are two of the most nutritionally potent greens, here is everything your need to know about their nutrition, health benefits and uses.
What is Wheatgrass?
Wheatgrass is the name given to the freshly sprouting leaves of the common wheat plant Triticum Aestivum.
It is thought that wheatgrass has been used as a functional food for thousands of years, with some evidence even suggesting that even the Ancient Egyptians were fans.
Known for its amazing detoxifying and cleansing properties, wheatgrass is a favourite ingredient in green juices and smoothies.
What is Barley Grass?
Barley grass comes from the barley plant Hordeum Vulgare and is harvested from young plants before the grain has grown.
Also known as barley leaf and barley greens, barley grass is rich in protein, fibre and iron – helping to aid digestion and boost energy.
Like wheatgrass, it is thought that barley grass has been used by humans for thousands of years, with most of its nutritional properties found in younger plants.
Fresh wheatgrass and barley grass are easily added to juices and smoothies but are difficult to find fresh in the UK, so are usually extracted and provided in a juice, powder or supplement form.
Are Wheatgrass and Barley Grass gluten free?
There is understandable confusion around wheatgrass and barley grass when it comes to their gluten-free status, largely due to the fact that they contain the words ‘wheat’ and ‘barley’ - two of the main ingredients those who follow a gluten-free lifestyle learn to avoid!
You may be surprised but will be pleased to know that wheatgrass, barley grass and their juices are all 100% completely gluten free. They are derived from the grasses of each plant which are separate to the grain - and so both are naturally free from gluten 👏
The wheatgrass and barley grass used in our products is also lab tested to ensure it is free from any traces of gluten.
Co-Founder Charlotte's gluten-free journey 🌱
Wheatgrass and barley grass are both favourite functional foods of Rheal Co-founder Charlotte, who was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease in 2013 and has since followed a strict gluten-free lifestyle.
Pre-diagnosis Charlotte’s digestive symptoms came out of nowhere and left her constantly tired, bloated and vulnerable to illness. After years of investigations into potential explanations for her symptoms – including iron-deficiency anaemia, viral infection and thyroid issues - Charlotte was finally diagnosed with Coeliac Disease aged 16.
Post-diagnosis Charlotte began to realise that processed gluten-free food wasn’t the answer to achieving optimal nourishment, and that just because something is labelled ‘gluten-free’ doesn’t mean it’s good for you.
So, she started to explore the power of superfoods, to prevent nutritional deficiencies and help to heal damage caused by gluten’s inflammatory effect on those with Coeliac Disease.
That’s when superfoods came to the rescue. Charlotte realised that by including nutrient-dense superfoods in her diet she could help to optimise her nutritional intake without the need for constant supplementation or medication. By including superfoods in her everyday Charlotte began to feel fit, well and energised again – just as she had done before Coeliac Disease manifested.
Charlotte continues to use superfoods daily to support her immune function and digestive system, including wheatgrass and barley grass – which are both welcome additions to her gluten-free lifestyle.
What are the health benefits of Wheatgrass & Barley Grass?
We all know that it’s important to eat our greens - they’re incredibly nutrient-dense and so even a small amount provides a healthful dose of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre.
Not only do greens support our physical wellbeing but they’re also important for our mental wellbeing, with just one serving of greens per day supporting normal brain function.
Here’s our pick of the top 5 health benefits of wheatgrass & barley grass.
1. Wheatgrass and Barley Grass are rich in chlorophyll 🌿
Barley Grass and Wheatgrass are both high in chlorophyll, the compound which gives them their vibrant green colour. Chlorophyll in plants is often compared to haemoglobin in humans as it helps to transport oxygen. For this reason high intakes of chlorophyll have been shown to stimulate the production of globin, helping to build blood cells and improve wound-healing.
Many of the benefits of wheatgrass and barley grass are attributable to chlorophyll, which has numerous health benefits due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Just as it does in plants, chlorophyll helps to circulate oxygen around the body, helping to improve the appearance of skin and, interestingly, can even make us smell great!
2. Wheatgrass and Barley Grass are great for gut & digestive health 🦠
Fibre is one of those nutrients which most of us don’t get enough of. In the UK the average daily fibre intake is 17.2g/day for women and 20.1/g day for men – both falling vastly short of the recommended 30g/day. This is thought to be exacerbated by the rise of low-carb diets which cut out many high-fibre foods.
Wheatgrass and barley grass are both good sources of fibre, with barley grass being one of the best sources, providing around 3g dietary fibre per 10g (one tablespoon).
Fibre is one of the best nutrients for the digestive system as it feeds good bacteria in the gut, functioning as a sort of prebiotic. Getting a daily dose of wheatgrass or barley grass is a great way to top up your fibre intake and help meet your requirements for optimal gut health.
Learn more about gut health:
3. Wheatgrass and Barley Grass support a natural detox 😇
Both barley grass and wheatgrass are known for their detoxifying properties, which explains why they have been a favourite ingredient for juice cleanses since their grass roots – synonymous with a revitalising green juice or shake.
Their potent antioxidant activity works to support the body’s natural detoxification mechanisms by flushing out toxins and reducing their harmful effect on the body.
Barley grass is also a particularly good source of something called superoxide dismutase (SOD), which is an enzyme which helps to break down harmful oxygen molecules in cells, accelerating antioxidant activity further.
👉 Our Detox Bundle provides three great detox blends: Berry Beauty, Clean Greens and Green Plant Protein - to help empower your body's natural detox mechanisms from within
4. Wheatgrass and Barley Grass enhance brain health 🧠
Most greens, including leafy green veg and herbs, are as good for our mind as they are for our body. Just one serving of greens per day has been shown to increase brain performance and reduce age-related cognitive decline.
Barley grass extract is a rich source of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA), a chemical messenger which works in the brain to regulate emotions and reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety. Wheatgrass has also been shown to have a neuroprotective effect on the brain, which can improve cognitive performance and memory.
Their extracts provide a concentrated and bioavailable source of these brain-boosting nutrients to empower brain health.
👉 Magic Matcha is known as the focus blend as it contains Japanese ceremonial grade Matcha green tea and Lion's Mane mushroom to instil mental clarity and help you stay focused
5. Wheatgrass and Barley Grass are naturally energising ⚡
One of the reasons why green plants like wheatgrass and barley grass are so good for us is that they are incredibly nutrient-dense and provide a whole spectrum of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants as well as fibre and chlorophyll.
They provide lots of the health-optimising nutrients we need daily in a very small package, even more so if consumed in powder or supplement form – which is what makes them superfoods!
Providing the body with all of these nutrients at once helps to boost metabolism and increase energy levels. It’s all about giving your body the fuel it needs to function best. By doing so you can reduce fatigue and stay naturally energised.
👉 Try our Mushroom Coffee Bundle for a natural energy boost, with Organic Arabica coffee enhanced with functional mushrooms and adaptogens to help you power through your busy day
Get your daily dose of Wheatgrass and Barley Grass with Clean Greens & Green Plant Protein 🌱
Barley grass and wheatgrass are often combined with other ingredients to make a ‘greens powder.’ Many greens powders contain a blend of up to 40 different ingredients. This sounds great, but by having so many different ingredients means that you get a lower amount of each and a lower dose of the health-boosting nutrients you’re looking for.
Our Clean Greens blend combines 5 different greens (spirulina, chlorella, moringa, and of course wheatgrass & barley grass) with Baobab, Camu Camu Berry and Pineapple. It contains 8 superfoods with nothing else added and is 100% organic, gluten-free and vegan-friendly. This is our go to product for supporting gut health and the immune system.
We also add wheatgrass to our Green Plant Protein blend, to create a revitalising plant-based protein which supports muscle recovery as well as overall wellness. Green Plant Protein provides 20g plant-protein per serving, with all 9 essential amino acids.
Adding a scoop of each to your everyday is an easy way to top up your essential greens and reap the benefits of wheatgrass & barley grass. Here's five great ways to add each to your daily routine.
Five Ways to Enjoy Wheatgrass & Barley Grass 🌿
1. Smoothies, shakes & juices – Add a scoop of Clean Greens to fruit and veggie smoothies, and a serving of Green Plant Protein to shakes and freshly squeezed juices.
2. Super green pesto – Blend your homemade pesto ingredients together and finish off with a generous tablespoon of Clean Greens – dollop on salads, pasta and buddha bowls, or use as a dip for fresh veggie crudités.
3. Add to homemade hummus - Clean Greens has an earthy, neutral flavour which blends perfectly with chickpeas to create a delicious healthy green hummus.
4. Use to make a creamy green smoothie bowl - Add a scoop of Clean Greens and Green Plant Protein to frozen banana, spinach, mango and a dash of coconut milk - then blend for a delicious breakfast.
5. Simply mix with water – You don’t have to combine greens powders with other food or drinks to get their amazing benefits, you can simply add a scoop to cold water, shake and enjoy – the simplest and easiest way to get your daily greens - no recipe needed!🍹
Whichever way you choose to incorporate wheatgrass and barely grass into your daily routine, getting your greens will help you to stay energised and focused, as well as supporting overall health and wellbeing from within.
- Ancient Origins of Wheatgrass - https://horticulturecenter.illinoisstate.edu/gardens/documents/grain.pdf
- Leafy Greens Linked with Enhanced Brain Function - https://www.nia.nih.gov/news/leafy-greens-linked-slower-age-related-cognitive-decline
- Health Benefits of Chlorophyll - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5904770/
- Antioxidant Properties of Chlorophyll - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28115753/
- Chlorophyll Function in Oxygen Circulation - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4966572/
- Dietary Fibre Intake in the UK - https://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritionscience/nutrients-food-and-ingredients/dietary-fibre.html
- Prebiotic Fibre and the Growth of Beneficial Bacteria in the Gut - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22555633/
- Medical Uses of Wheatgrass - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26156538/
- Superoxide Dismutase Found in Barley Grass - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5904770/
- One Serving of Greens Enhances Brain Performance - https://www.nia.nih.gov/news/leafy-greens-linked
- Neuroprotective Effects of Wheatgrass - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19441012/