Wheatgrass Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 07/03/22 •  10 min read

What are wheatgrass benefits and side effects every ethical consumer must know? Here are wheatgrass pros and cons and how buying them will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers. 

Food is something we consume every day and if you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on wheatgrass benefits and side effects.

You are going to learn all about wheatgrass benefits and side effects. This will include wheatgrass benefits for your health and potential risks, wheatgrass water footprint and wheatgrass carbon footprint, wheatgrass sustainability, if wheatgrass are vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if wheatgrass are good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be able to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.

This post is all about wheatgrass benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Must-Know Wheatgrass Benefits And Side Effects

Health

Wheatgrass health benefits may include:

Wheatgrass benefits also include…

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Environment

Water footprint: likely low, it takes 322 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of vegetables / 39 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of vegetables

Carbon footprint: likely low, 1.6 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of vegetables, a car driving equivalent of 3.75 miles or 6 kilometers

Destruction: low, wheatgrass production is relatively sustainable, there is known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc.

Wheatgrass is…

Animals

Kills: none, wheatgrass production does not require any animals to be killed

Harms: none, wheatgrass production does not require any animals to be used

Indirectly kills or harms: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from wheatgrass production as long as toxic chemicals have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat

Wheatgrass is…

Laborers

Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

Wheatgrass…

Is wheatgrass nutritious? 🥗

Yes, wheatgrass contains chlorophyll, all of the known minerals and vitamins A, B, C, E and K and magnesium.

wheatgrass is alkaline. wheatgrass benefits include fitting into an alkaline diet.

acidic foods and alkaline diet benefits that improve ph levels

Is wheatgrass alkaline or acidic?

Wheatgrass is alkaline.

What is the pH level of wheatgrass?

Wheatgrass has a 9.5 pH level, once digested. Most wheat foods like wheat bran or wheat flour are acidic except for wheatgrass which is alkaline.

When you eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

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wheatgrass is gluten free. wheatgrass benefits include fitting into a gluten free diet.

glutinous foods have side effects but a gluten free diet can help

Is wheatgrass gluten free?

Yes, wheatgrass is gluten free. Wheatgrass does not contain gluten. Despite being wheat, wheatgrass is not developed enough to produce gluten.

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

wheatgrass is not a common food allergen.

side effects of common food allergens like milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Is wheatgrass a common food allergen?

No, wheatgrass is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to wheatgrass but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

wheatgrass likely has a low water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Does wheatgrass have a high or low water footprint?

Wheatgrass likely has a relatively low water footprint compared to other foods.

What is the water footprint of wheatgrass?

It takes 322 liters of water used to produce 1 kilogram of vegetables / 39 gallons of water used to produce 1 pound of vegetables.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource? Once it’s gone, it’s gone!

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of something referred to as a “water footprint”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

wheatgrass has a low carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Does wheatgrass have a high or low carbon footprint?

Wheatgrass has a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods.

What is the carbon footprint of wheatgrass? It takes around 0.12 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of wheatgrass, a car driving equivalent of 0.25 miles or 0.5 kilometers.

When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

wheatgrass is sustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, is wheatgrass eco friendly? Is wheatgrass sustainable?

Wheatgrass production is relatively sustainable since there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used. Be sure to buy non GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative practices.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

wheatgrass is vegan. wheatgrass benefits include not killing, harming or using animals.

benefits of vegan food to eat on a vegan diet which helps save animals

Is wheatgrass vegan?

Yes, wheatgrass is vegan. Wheatgrass is the young grass of wheat, and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. 

Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non-Vegan Foods List

wheatgrass may or may not have labor issues and human rights concerns.

benefits of buying fair trade, labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Is wheatgrass a product with labor concerns?

At this time there have been no major concerns with wheatgrass production but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening!

It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may come with specific brands.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience to harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 

This post was all about wheatgrass benefits and side effects.

Sources:

organic wheat grass – FoodData Central

Adriane Marie

Grocery Guru, Material Maven, Conscious Consumer Connoisseur. I organize ethical info for us to comprehensively see how purchases impact people, animals and the planet. I hope you find HEALabel helpful! Use it for personal and global improvement and empowerment.

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