This week the youngest of the Flynn brothers, Darragh, shares with us his extensive knowledge on the benefits of wheatgrass for the human body. Acting as both a powerful recovery-enabler and an amazing energy source, the wonders of wheatgrass seem extensive, but we’ll leave it to Darragh to give you the details – take it away Dar!

Hi guys! Darragh here! If, like me, you are always on the hunt for that extra boost to help keep your health and fitness in peak condition, then you might be interested to hear more about wheatgrass and all of the amazing benefits it can have on the body.

I do a lot of running and have found that taking wheatgrass really helps me to keep fit and active. I have been taking it most days for the past 13 years now, and I particularly find it great for helping me to recover after runs. It also really helps with my energy levels.

I began growing wheatgrass for our Greystones’ shop back in 2009 and, nowadays, we have a dedicated sprout farm, where we grow the mighty green stuff to supply shops across Dublin. I truly believe wheatgrass to be one of the most nutritionally powerful things you can take and I have met countless people over the years who agree, including people whose conditions have dramatically improved by taking wheatgrass daily.

This includes a lady from County Wicklow, whose painful, inflamed knee completely cleared up after taking wheatgrass daily for six weeks. She was left completely pain free – something she attributes to the power of the potent green stuff!

What is wheatgrass?

Wheatgrass is the young plant of high-protein wheat, usually the red winter wheat variety. It is typically around 10 days old when harvested and it is grown indoors in trays, to make it grow faster and more evenly. As it is harvested so young, wheatgrass does not contain any gluten and is safe for coeliacs to take. .

Why wheatgrass is wonderful!

I like to think of wheatgrass as an all-round natural multivitamin. Approximately one shot is the nutritional equivalent to 1kg of green vegetables juiced! It contains all eight essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein), 92 of the 108 minerals our bodies need, and vitamins A, B, C, E and K. Wheatgrass is also the highest known source of chlorophyll of any known plant in the world. All this goodness means it can be great for helping with detoxification, building red blood cells, and massively boosting the immune system.

How to take wheatgrass?

Unlike cows, us humans can’t digest grasses by eating them, as they are too fibrous for our stomachs to process. So the ideal way for us to take wheatgrass is to juice it in a masticating juicer. A what, we hear you say? A masticating juicer is a slow spinning juicer that crushes the wheatgrass, similar to the action of your teeth when chewing.

This is different to the more common centrifugal juicer that rotates very fast and ends up chopping the grass instead of juicing it. Unfortunately, using that type of juicer won’t give you any of the green liquid goodness you want. You can pay anything from €40, for a hand crank masticating juicer, up to €600, for the top-end, twin-gear electric masticating juicers. Mid-range electric models typically cost around €199.

How much do I take and can I overdo it?

The potency of wheatgrass is very strong, so we only need to drink a very small quantity of it. The recommended daily intake for maintaining optimum health is approximately 30 mls (1 fl.oz). If recovering from a major health challenge, it can be good to take up to 60ml up to twice a day, alongside a nutritionally balanced diet and other green juices.

However, you can certainly overdo it with wheatgrass, and I have done this myself in the past! Taking too much, too soon, can end up turning your stomach. I recommend starting small and slowly building your intake up over time; a tablespoon at first, then gradually building up to the 30ml shot.

Is wheatgrass powder as good as the fresh juice?

According to Brian Clement, the health pioneer from Hippocrates Institute in Florida, fresh wheatgrass is up to ten times more powerful than wheatgrass powder. Fresh wheatgrass contains all its enzymes, phytonutrients and life-force, compared to the powder, which has been dried and crystallised. These properties give the fresh product substantially more benefits for your health. While wheatgrass powder can be effective, I only tend to use it when I am travelling, or when I can’t get fresh wheatgrass. Frozen is okay also, but fresh is king!

Can I grow my own wheatgrass?

Absolutely! Take a look at our YouTube video below or follow my top tips for growing your own:

  • Transfer the quantity of organic wheat grain you want to grow, into a bowl (eg. 250g equals two standard seed trays)

  • Add 3 times as much water

  • Allow the seeds to soak for 12-18 hours

  • Drain off the water and rinse the seeds thoroughly with water

  • Repeat these steps again 8-12 hours later

  • On the third day, ¾ fill a seed tray with compost. Ensure that the tray has holes in the bottom

  • Spread the seeds evenly on top of the compost, until there is a fine layer of seeds

  • Water lightly with a hose or watering can

  • Place another tray (it can be empty or full) on top of the planted seeds and place the seeds in a 16-22C environment

  • Two days later, take the top tray off and place your tray with the planted seeds in a location where it will get indirect light and will be at a temperature of 20-24C

  • Generously water the newly growing plants

  • Continue to water once a day and increase the water dosage as the grass grows

  • Your wheatgrass will be ready to use 8-9 days after the initial soaking

  • Cut the grass with a scissors or a knife before each blade of grass develops a second shoot and place in a sealed bag or container in the fridge

  • It should stay fresh for 1 week (maybe even more) in your fridge.

If you would rather buy wheatgrass ready to juice, then make sure to get yourself a pack in any Happy Pear outlets, or other great health or foodie stores around greater Dublin. It is available in two sizes; 150g packs (4 x 30ml shots) and 300g packs (7-8 shots).

Best of luck juicing or growing your own wheatgrass now! Let us know how you get on and make sure to tag us in your social media posts!