…due largely to its chlorophyll content (chlorophyll is the pigment that gives plants their green color. It absorbs sunlight necessary for photosynthesis, hence the term "liquid sunshine").
But according to the DeKalb Medical Center:
Only cud-chewing animals with multiple stomachs can properly digest grass to absorb its nutrients. Even though we can decide to liquefy wheatgrass into a juice we still can not benefit from it.
Humans can’t digest grass: you need multiple stomachs like a cow. Can’t be that then. Perhaps it’s the:
… enzymes wheatgrass juice delivers. Enzymes are complex protein compounds produced by living cells that speed up biochemical reactions required for proper and normal functioning of every organ system and have also been found to aid digestion!
Enzymes have been found to aid digestion? Well, of course they have – but not the enzymes in stuff you eat! From the National Council Against Health Fraud:
Enzymes are complex protein molecules produced by living organisms exclusively for their own use in promoting chemical reactions. Orally ingested enzymes are digested in the stomach and have no enzymatic activity in the eater.
The plant produces enzymes to help it (the plant) digest the nutrients it needs. The human body produces enzymes to help it (the human body) digest the nutrients it needs. But they are not the same enzymes – they’re different molecules! Plant enzymes in stuff you eat do not aid your digestion.
Perhaps it’s all the other stuff it contains, for example
…all amino acids … essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, vitamins A, C and Bs… iron and vitamin K.
But according to Jamba Juice’s own nutrition facts table, a 2oz shot only has 15% of the daily requirement of vitamin C and 20% of iron, with no mention of vitamin K, etc (0% vitamin A - not even a rounding error). Can’t be that then. You could eat a banana, drink some orange juice and get more benefit. They taste better too. (Oh yeah, it can’t be the taste either.)
Getting even deeper into the woo:
It is said a shot of wheatgrass juice can help cleanse the blood and other tissues
I’m sure it has been said. It’s still complete crap. Also:
wheatgrass proponent Piter U. Caizer, known as the "wheat grass messiah," argues that there is literally an energy, a life force eastern healers call "chi," present in fresh-squeezed wheatgrass
Of course! It’s the “chi”. It contains something no scientific instrument has even been able to detect. Wow! How do they know? I’m convinced.
Anyway, I found one thing that Jamba Juice and the National Council Against Health Fraud do agree on. First (all emphasis mine) the National Council Against Health Fraud
…it is conceivable that enzymes present in rectally-administered wheatgrass juice could have chemical activity
And Jamba Juice:
For the more dedicated enthusiast, wheat grass can be taken as an enema!
So it’s official. For all the good this stuff does, you might as well stick it up your ass.
Edit: August 12, 2008
See my follow up post: Wheatgrass - Still Can't Digest It.