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How healthy are barley grass and wheatgrass?

Status: 10.01.2020 3:36 p.m. | archive
Powdered barley grass juices are said to be rich in nutrients.

The stalks of barley grass and wheat grass are rich in vitamins, trace elements, minerals, fiber and, above all, chlorophyll. For some time now, the grasses have been available in supermarkets for a few euros per pot. They can be used, for example, to squeeze grass juice, which is touted as a healthy superfood. But so far there are hardly any scientific studies that prove the effect of grasses on human health. Only the Japanese researcher Dr. Yoshihide Hagiwara concluded that barley stalks offer a uniquely balanced nutritional composition.

But there is no reliable information about how many of which nutrients are in fresh stalks. Yet an entire industry today uses Hagiwara's publications to promote preparations made from powdered barley grass and wheatgrass. For a grass drink, one to two heaping teaspoons of powder should be stirred in water.

Less nutrients than in fruits and vegetables

According to the supplier, powder made from barley grass and wheatgrass should contain five times as much iron as spinach and seven times as much vitamin C as oranges. But powdered grass doesn't have more vitamins or minerals than fresh fruits and vegetables. In fact, a teaspoon of grass powder contains 7.5 milligrams of vitamin C, and a small orange 53 milligrams. Even with spinach, the calculation doesn't work out: the powder contains 0.870 milligrams of iron, a serving of spinach contains two milligrams.

Dietary fiber keeps digestion going

Grasses are high in fiber, which is good for digestion. However, if you eat too much barley grass or wheatgrass, this can lead to stomach pain.

Chlorophyll has no function in the body

The high chlorophyll content of the grasses is advertised again and again, but the green plant pigment does not play a major role in human nutrition. It has no necessary function for our body.

Powdered grass can contain toxins

The origin of the pulverized grass is often not clearly traceable. For example, in many cases it remains unclear what is defined as organic farming in the producing countries. It cannot be ruled out that the grasses were treated with pesticides or that the soil was contaminated with heavy metals.

Use stalks as culinary herbs

The fresh grasses deserve a place in the kitchen. Wheatgrass is a little sweeter than barley grass and is a good alternative to parsley or chives.

Barley grass curd

Barley grass is very healthy. Stirred with linseed under fresh quark, it becomes a delicious dip. It goes well with both bread and potatoes. more

Barley grass smoothie

Apple, pear, cucumber and spinach form the basis for this delicious smoothie. Barley grass provides an extra helping of healthy nutrients. more

Experts on the subject

Prof. Sascha Rohn, food chemist
Institute of Food Chemistry
Department of Chemistry
University of Hamburg
Martin-Luther-King-Platz 6
20146 Hamburg

Lucas Born, Lamd host
Lütt Gröön
Allermöher dike 125
21037 Hamburg

Thomas Sampl, cook
Hobenköok restaurant
Stockmeyerstrasse 43
20457 Hamburg

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