Wheatgrass may be a superfood, but it is not a new one: its history goes back at least 5,000 years, and in modern times to the early 20th century, when an American agricultural engineer devoted his career to producing nutritious wheatgrass powder.
It is a popular addition to smoothies and shakes, and the grass can be purchased fresh or grown at home, adding the fresh leaves to other fruit and vegetable ingredients, or drinking it pure. It is also available as frozen juice, tablets or even for topical applications.
Wheatgrass powder is convenient because it can be added to other mixes, and still contains a mass of valuable nutrients. Combined with other amino-acid food combinations, it can provide a complete protein, which is essential in a vegan or vegetarian diet. The advantage of wheatgrass powder is that is extracted from the sprouts of the plant before any seeds form, and is therefore gluten-free.
Wheatgrass contains protein, carbohydrate and fibre, no fats, and a good supply of the antioxidant vitamins A and E, the vitamins C and K which ensure good skin and blood, and several of the B complex. Minerals include phosphorus, potassium, manganese, copper, zinc, iron and selenium.
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