Wheatgrass is the freshly sprouted first leaves of the common wheat plant, used as a food, drink, or dietary supplement. Wheatgrass is served freeze dried or fresh, and so it differs from wheat malt, which is convectively dried. Wheatgrass is allowed to grow longer and taller than wheat malt.
Like most plants, wheatgrass contains chlorophyll, amino acids, minerals, vitamins and enzymes. Claims about the health benefits of wheatgrass range from providing supplemental nutrition to having unique curative properties, but these claims have not been scientifically proven.
Wheatgrass juice is often available at juice bars, and some people grow and juice their own in their homes. It is available fresh as produce, in tablets, frozen juice, and powder. Wheatgrass is also sold commercially as a spray, cream, gel, massage lotion, and liquid herbal supplement. Because it is extracted from wheatgrass sprouts, i.e. before the wheat seed or “berry” used in flour begins to form, wheatgrass juice is gluten-free, but some dietitians recommend that those with celiac disease avoid it due to a high risk of cross contamination.
Wheatgrass is a source of potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E (alpha tocopherol), vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium. Wheatgrass is also a source of protein (less than one gram per 28 grams).
Wheatgrass can be a strong antioxidant agent due to its free radical scavenging activity and could be used in stress and nourishing human health.