Vegetarianism is basically a way of being honest with yourself – admitting that eating meat means sponsoring the killing of animals (including large mammals) and increases the risk of many diseases. But even “within” vegetarianism there is sometimes room for a small feat of honesty! This happens when you have to recognize as a myth the statements of the vegetarians themselves about the incredible benefits of one or another green “superfood” to themselves – despite personal food preferences.
The situation with witgrass, beloved by many vegetarians and vegans, is exactly this: as the authors of a recent publication in the respectable British newspaper The Guardian state, medical professionals have absolutely no evidence of any particular benefit of this vegan pet compared to other fresh plant products. Despite the great popularity of whitgrass these days, its benefits are clearly exaggerated for marketing purposes – this is the conclusion made by the authors of the article. Let’s see how they argue!
The benefits of witgrass were first mentioned by the American holist physician Ann Wigmore in 1940. She observed the behavior of dogs and cats, which, when sick, can often eat fresh grass and then burp it (the health benefits of this procedure for pets have been proven). Wigmore created her signature “grass-based” diet (which is still popular today), which involves avoiding meat, fried foods and dairy products, and eating “live” foods: nuts, sprouts, seeds and fresh herbs (including wheatgrass) . Such a diet has proved to be very useful: it can remove toxins from the body, help control sugar levels in diabetes, prevent infections and colds, as well as skin diseases, and in addition, it helps with gout – and even, in some cases, cancer.
Not everything went smoothly in Anna Wigmore’s career – she was sued twice: the first time (1982) trying to challenge that the “herbal diet” reduces sugar levels, and the second (1988) – that it helps in the treatment of cancer. However, according to the results of litigation, both claims were rejected – an indirect recognition of the benefits of whitgrass!
However, it is worth paying attention to the fact that only two strictly scientific studies have been conducted on the usefulness of wheatgrass. The first of these (the results of which were published in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology) was carried out in 2002, and proved that vigtras is useful for relieving the symptoms of ulcerative colitis – not the most common disease, agree! The second and last study dates back to 2006 – it only proved that in the treatment of plantar fasciitis (!) Witgrass is no more effective than placebo (that is, no more than 10% of cases of relief or recovery).
Thus, it cannot be said that wheatgrass rightfully occupies a place among the most popular superfoods and superfruits, the health benefits of which are confirmed by medical research! In fact, witgrass is a placebo.
In some cases, the use of wheatgrass (like most other products) can even cause an allergic reaction and side effects – such as a runny nose and headache. Also, due to the fact that you are consuming the raw sap from the herb – the purity and chemistry of the soil in which it was grown is extremely important – which is why some people even choose to grow it at home. In addition, doctors believe that fresh witgrass can theoretically contain fungi and harmful bacteria.
At the same time, nutritionists note that as a food product (and not a “miraculous” tonic), vigtras has the right to take a place in the diet of a modern person. After all, this “green friend of the vegan” is rich in amino acids, vitamins (including vitamin C), minerals (including iron), and antioxidants – being, as such, a good addition to a complete diet!