Nature's ancient grasses -- New nutritional wonders

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Section: Frontiers of Science

During the 1960s and 70s, wheat grass and wheat grass juice were unheard of except among small groups of health nuts. Times have changed. Cereal grasses are in! And wheat grass juice is not just some trendy, funky offbeat juice bar drink.

Cereal grass supplements and juices are potent, health-promoting additions to our diets that are substantiated by an avalanche of good science.

Over 7,000 years ago, Egyptians along the Nile River cultivated and munched on cereal grass as a healthy, energizing part of their diet. Now experiencing a major resurgence in consumption, cereal grasses form a unique group of dietary supplements.
Cereal Grasses - Not Just for Cows

Although the thought of grass conjures up notions of farm food and lawn mowing, cereal grasses such as wheat, barley, oat, rye and kamut are non-toxic and likely the healthiest foods on earth. Grown worldwide, they are simply the young grass stage of grain plants, taken just after sprouting, but before the berries (whole grains we typically cook or bake with) form.
Good Grass!

Here's what wheat, barley, rye, oat and kamut grasses have to offer:

* Chlorophyll, nature's most health-promoting nutrient.
* A highly concentrated source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, omega-3 and omega-6 EFAs (essential fatty acids), enzymes, amino acids and phytonutrients.
* Support the growth of probiotics (friendly bacteria) in the digestive tract.
* A plentiful source of protein.
* Stimulate immune system activity.
* Promote healthy digestive function.
* Speed wound healing.
* Powerful antioxidants that protect against the effects of radiation.

Unique Properties of Wheat, Barley and Kamut Grasses

Wheatgrass

* Contains 20 amino acids.
* Provides several hundred different enzymes not found in other foods.
* Contains as many as 90 out of the possible 102 minerals.
* A complete food rich in essential vitamins, minerals, complete protein, fiber, enzymes, fatty acids, phytonutrients and more.
* Rich in SOD (superoxide dismutase), a potent flee radical scavenging antioxidant.

Barley Grass

* The juice of the young blades contains many nutrients.
* Rich in aggressive free radical scavenging, anti-aging, cardio- and cancer-protective antioxidants -- vitamin E, SOD and 2-O glycosylisovitexin (2-O-GIV).
* Loaded with active digestive and metabolic enzymes.
* Contains nearly 70 minerals plus an ultra-dense source of vitamins.
* Blocks the absorption of cholesterol.
* Restores acid/alkaline balance in the intestinal tract.
* Contains two special proteins, P4-D1 and D1-G1; these anti-inflammatories are considered to be more powerful and safer than traditional steroid treatments used to relieve the painful symptoms of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.

Kamut Grass

* A non-hybrid, heirloom wheat grass (first consumed by the Egyptians.)
* Highest ph of all green foods -- regulates ph balance.
* Rich in metabolic enzymes.
* Contains high levels of trace minerals.
* A good source of magnesium, zinc, vitamins B1, B2, B3 and E.

Supplementation with cereal grasses

Cereal grasses can be found individually or as combination supplements. They are available as tablets, capsules or powders to mix into juices and other beverages. They are also obtainable as synergistic nutrients in multivitamin formulas and energy shake mixes. And let's not forget the wheat grass juice!
A Green Future

Cereal grasses, some of earth's most ancient foods, have emerged as the world's newest nutritional wonders. They heal, nourish and soothe. Unleash the exceptional health benefits and power of cereal grasses into your health regimen today. The future of your health is green!
The Health Magic of Chlorophyll

Chlorophyll, nature's magic green stuff, is abundant in cereal grasses. Here are a few of the things it does best:

* A powerful detoxifying agent for the liver.
* A strong internal deodorizer for the entire digestive tract.
* Cuts excess cholesterol, triglycerides and other blood lipids (fats).
* Nearly identical chemical structure to hemoglobin, the body's critical oxygen and iron-carrying blood protein; stimulates hemoglobin production, which oxygenates and energizes the entire body.

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By Gary Bushkin

Gary Bushkin, MS, CNC, and Estitta Bushkin, MS, CNC, are co-authors of FAQ's - All About Green Food Supplements (Avery, 1999).

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