Infants cannot be fed everything and anything! Know whether you can use wheatgrass for infants or not via this informative and to-the-point article.
What is Wheatgrass?
Wheatgrass is the fresh, green leaves of the common wheat plant scientifically known as Triticum aestivum. It is found growing in the temperate regions of Europe and America. Initially, it was grown as food for animals, but it has been promoted as a superfood ever since its health benefits have been discovered. It can be grown outdoors or in your homes. Besides, it is commercially available in the form of powder, juice, or supplement. But whatever benefits a food has to offer, you need to be cautious when using it for your kids and infants. Similarly, can you use wheatgrass for infants? Get the answer by reading the article till the end!
As the leaves are tough to digest, it is preferable to crush the leaves to extract the juice. You can consume wheatgrass as a juice, add it as a salad dressing, or to beverages like smoothies. Adding honey or milk can help mask its overpowering taste. Natural and holistic medicine use wheatgrass.
Wheatgrass is low in calories and rich in vitamins A, B6, C, E, K, proteins, enzymes, and minerals such as iron, magnesium, calcium, iodine, zinc, and selenium. It also contains many essential amino acids, antioxidants, and the plant pigment chlorophyll. All of which makes it a powerhouse of nutrients and a health booster. It has no fat and no cholesterol.
Health Benefits of Wheatgrass
1. Protects from Chronic Diseases
Antioxidants in wheatgrass protect your body cells from damage due to free radicals. It thus reduces your risk of developing chronic health problems like cardiovascular diseases, cancer, arthritis, and neurodegenerative diseases. Chlorophyll in wheatgrass has high anti-inflammatory properties which protect your body from chronic diseases and autoimmune disorders.
2. Helps in Cancer
It also helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduces levels of blood sugar. Wheatgrass juice promotes apoptosis in cancer cells and alleviates the side effects of chemotherapy in cancer patients.
3. Aids Weight Loss
Wheatgrass has thylakoids that produce a feeling of satiety and can cause you to eat less and lose weight. Chlorophyll acts like hemoglobin and increases oxygen levels in your body.
4. Natural Cleanser
It is high in dietary fiber, which contributes to gut health. It functions as an enema when mixed with water and cleanses the digestive tract.
5. Helps with Health Problems
A study shows that it can alleviate the symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties of wheatgrass help fight the common cold, cough, fever, dental and throat infections, and certain skin conditions.
Wheatgrass for Infants and Babies
You should only consider it for babies over two years of age and not for infants below that age. Some children may have an allergic reaction to wheatgrass. Wheatgrass is not easy to digest as it contains cellulose which only adults can digest. It may cause diarrhea and stomach pain in infants. It has an overpowering taste and besides, there is a risk of bacterial contamination in wheatgrass.
You have to be careful to choose an organic wheatgrass supplement and read the ingredients label carefully before giving it to your baby. If your baby has a known gluten allergy, it is prudent to consult your doctor before including it in your baby’s diet. Begin with only ¼ teaspoon of organic wheatgrass juice mixed in water with honey or milk.
- Wheatgrass is generally a safe food even for those with gluten sensitivity. Some people may have feelings of nausea, headache, or diarrhea after consuming wheatgrass.
- If you have any such symptoms stop consuming it. Sometimes severe allergic reactions like hives can also occur.
- Since we consume wheatgrass raw, there is a chance of contamination by bacteria from the soil. Sometimes even homegrown wheatgrass can show signs of mold growth. Discard wheatgrass which is spoiled or has a bitter taste.
- Pregnant or lactating women, children, and those with lowered immunity should avoid it.