Wheatgrass During Pregnancy – Benefits and Side Effects
Ensuring a well-balanced diet during pregnancy is crucial for the health of both the mother and the developing baby. Many expectant mothers seek nutritious food and healthy juices to meet their dietary needs. Wheatgrass, however, remains a topic of uncertainty, with people questioning if wheatgrass is good for pregnancy. It is essential to explore the potential benefits and risks associated with wheatgrass consumption. While it can provide valuable nutrients, caution is advised, and consulting with a healthcare professional is recommended before including it in the pregnancy diet. Being informed about the specifics ensures a safer and healthier journey through pregnancy. Read on to learn all about wheatgrass during pregnancy.
What Is Wheatgrass?
Wheatgrass is the leaf part of the wheat plant, the first few leaves. It is harvested before the wheat has a chance to mature and become brown. It is quite rich in nutrients and most of them are available in a variety of medical stores, usually in the form of nutritional supplements.
Nutritional Value of Wheatgrass
A mere 100g of wheatgrass powder has a constitution of nutritional ingredients as follows:
|Vitamin C||2.5 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.266 mg|
Is Eating Wheatgrass Safe During Pregnancy?
Given the variety of nutritional benefits, wheatgrass provides, consuming wheatgrass while pregnant can help reap a lot of value from it. Although it is pretty safe for a pregnant woman, it is necessary to remember that overdoing it could lead to a ton of complications. Since it is usually eaten raw and is procured directly from the soil, there is a potential risk of many bacteria, fungi and other microbes being present on the wheatgrass. However, wheatgrass in powder or tablet form may not pose these issues.
Can You Consume Wheatgrass Juice During Pregnancy?
Containing the possibility of a number of blood purification entities, wheatgrass juice during pregnancy could find itself to be quite a great health drink as well. But, in case you haven’t had wheatgrass ever before, most dieticians and doctors do not recommend starting it right in the middle of a pregnancy. Drinking raw juice can be risky and have bacteria, so you must avoid drinking raw wheatgrass juice.
Benefits of Wheatgrass During Pregnancy
The presence of a variety of nutritional elements in wheatgrass makes it an important food item that can provide a number of benefits (1).
1. Healthy and Clearer Skin
Though pregnancy might be connected with a wonderful glow that a mother has, it is usually a result of a good and balanced diet. Wheatgrass helps women get clearer and healthier skin due to its vitamin content.
2. Improves Blood Circulation
Wheatgrass contains a good amount of folic acid and iron, which helps in increasing RBCs and thus helps in improving blood circulation.
3. Streamlines Digestive System
Issues related to digestion are nearly a daily headache for most pregnant women. Constipation, stomach fullness, diarrhoea are just a few of them. But wheatgrass helps relieve these symptoms quite effectively. Cellulose present in the grass helps clean the colon tract, while the fibre constituents stimulate bowel movement, relieving constipation. Furthermore, wheatgrass is alkaline in nature, which makes it the best remedy to treat stomach acidity.
4. Great Body Detoxifier
Wheatgrass is rich in antioxidants. These, when consumed, act upon various free radicals present in the body which can cause unwanted damage to the cells, and flush these toxins out of the system.
5. Elevates Haemoglobin Levels
Fluctuation in haemoglobin levels is a strong possibility in pregnancy, leading to a reduction in iron content and the onset of anaemia. Wheatgrass kickstarts haemoglobin production again and brings back the capacity to hold the iron in the blood (2).
6. Numerous Minerals and Vitamins
The growth of the foetus is heavily dependent on the entire spectrum of vitamins and minerals that assist in the development of various organs and bodily functions. Wheatgrass is a rich source of potassium, calcium and Vitamin C and, thus, can provide you with essential nutrients during pregnancy.
7. Immunity Booster
The numerous ingredients, combined with amino acids and antimicrobial properties, all work together to provide the body’s immune system with the support it requires. This helps in combating various infections effectively.
Side Effects of Wheatgrass When Pregnant
Every coin has two sides and the benefits of wheatgrass, too, do not come without the potential risk of suffering from its side effects. For a pregnant woman, these are necessary to be kept in mind.
1. Triggering of Allergic Reaction
The conditions in which wheatgrass grows, make it a home for various bacteria and fungi to be present on it. Consuming such wheatgrass in its raw form may cause pounding headaches, swelling, and even nausea in some cases.
2. Risks of Infection
Wheatgrass juice and powder that is available in the markets, is usually prepared directly from wheatgrass procured from the farmers. These tend to contain all the microbes and germs present in the soil, which get mixed with the juice. Consuming these could cause numerous infection to plague you and your baby, resulting in a complicated pregnancy (3).
Tips to Keep in Mind
Taking a few precautions can bring about a world of change while consuming wheatgrass.
- Avoid consumption of wheatgrass in its raw form.
- Restrict consumption in small quantities.
- Talk to your doctor before opting for any wheatgrass-based supplements.
- Introduce wheatgrass gradually into your diet to observe how your body responds. Pay attention to any adverse reactions and discontinue use if you experience discomfort.
How to Grow Wheatgrass at Home?
Growing wheatgrass is quite a simple process. It begins by germinating high-quality wheat seeds in water for about 48 hours and then planting them in a tray of soil and manure, flattening them properly. Once they have acquired roots, spray a few drops of water regularly until the wheatgrass starts to emerge and, in a couple of weeks, it will be ready to be harvested and used.
1. Does Consuming Wheatgrass Help to Improve Anemia During Pregnancy?
Consuming wheatgrass may help improve anemia during pregnancy due to its iron content. However, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare provider to ensure it aligns with your specific health needs and doesn’t interfere with other aspects of your pregnancy diet.
2. Is Eating Wheatgrass Safe During Breastfeeding?
Wheatgrass is generally considered safe during breastfeeding, but it’s advisable to check with your healthcare provider. Ensure that the wheatgrass is of high quality and free from contaminants. Monitor your baby for any adverse reactions, and if you have concerns, seek professional guidance.
Going for wheatgrass juice or wheatgrass powder during pregnancy might seem a healthy choice but that may not always be so. In any case, many nutrients can also be acquired from different food items, too. Keeping a healthy and balanced diet with tiny amounts of wheatgrass is the right way to get the best of both worlds. We hope this article on wheatgrass and pregnancy helps you during this beautiful journey!
Disclaimer: The information given in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. There’s no study that proves that intake of wheatgrass during pregnancy can benefit a woman, so we urge readers to seek the advice of a physician with regards to foods and juices they wish to consume during pregnancy.
1. Kumar. N, Murali. M, Nair. A. M, Nair. A. S; Green Blood Therapy of Wheatgrass – Nature’s Finest Medicine’- A Literature Review; IOSR Journal of Pharmacy and Biological Sciences; https://www.iosrjournals.org/iosr-jpbs/papers/Vol11-issue2/Version-4/I1102045764.pdf
2. Anaemia; World Health Organization; https://www.who.int/health-topics/anaemia#tab=tab_1
3. Wheatgrass Benefits: Is It Good For Your Health? (Overview, Uses, and Side Effects); Green Exercise; https://www.greenexercise.org/wheatgrass-benefits/#what-are-the-side-effects-of-wheatgrass
4. Is Wheatgrass Worth the Hype? 7 Benefits; Cleveland Clinic; https://health.clevelandclinic.org/is-wheatgrass-good-for-you/
5. Is Wheatgrass Gluten-Free?; Beyond Celiac; https://www.beyondceliac.org/gluten-free-diet/is-it-gluten-free/wheatgrass/
6. Bar-Sela. G, Cohen. M, Ben-Arye. E, Epelbaum. R; The Medical Use of Wheatgrass: Review of the Gap Between Basic and Clinical Applications (Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry); National Library of Medicine; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26156538/
7. Yi. B, Kasai. H, Lee. H, Kang. Y, et al.; Inhibition by wheat sprout (Triticum aestivum) juice of bisphenol A-induced oxidative stress in young women (Mutation Research/Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis); Science Direct; https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1383571811002063; September 2011