While wheatgrass has gained more recognition in recent years, its not simply the latest health trend. The truth is people have been using wheatgrass for health reasons all the way back to ancient Egyptian times. Westerners have been consuming wheatgrass since the 1930’s mainly in the form of powders and juice. While wheatgrass is loaded with nutritional value, there are some possible side effects, too. Here’s what you should be aware of.
5 Side Effects of Wheatgrass
- Nausea and Dizziness
- Allergic reactions
Nausea and Dizziness
Two of the most well-known wheatgrass side effects are nausea and dizziness. These are more common among people who have never tried wheatgrass before, but occasionally others with a bit more experience will get nauseous and dizzy as well. For newcomers to wheatgrass, flavor and mental expectations can sometimes be the cause, but many people attribute most nausea and dizziness to detoxification side effects, which is actually a good thing. Since wheatgrass is loaded with chlorophyll, a known detoxifier of the body, this is a good possibility.
Another side effect of wheatgrass that people experience occasionally is headaches. These are also attributed to the detoxification properties of wheatgrass, and while they aren’t extremely common they can be uncomfortable. A good way to fend off headaches is to start off slowly with wheatgrass by consuming it in smaller amounts. If you’re juicing it, try to drink one shot of wheatgrass instead of two or more, and if you’re taking it in powdered form start out by taking ½ of the suggested amount.
Less frequently, some people will experience diarrhea when consuming wheatgrass. It’s believed that the number one reason this happens is that people consume a large amount of wheatgrass within a short period of time. To keep this from happening it’s best to always start out by consuming smaller amounts of wheatgrass and then slowly increasing your amount of intake over an extended period of time.
There is a lot of debate about whether wheatgrass is a problem for people who are gluten sensitive. Many contend that wheatgrass is not an issue for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity because it isn’t grown long enough to produce the seeds that contain gluten in them. The US Department of Agriculture and The American Association of Cereal Chemists agree that gluten is not found in the leaves and stems but only in the seed kernel. The best advice to follow for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity is to be cautious and make sure that their wheatgrass has not been grown so long that it produces seeds.
Besides celiac disease sufferers and those with gluten sensitivity, people with allergies to wheat itself need to be careful. The majority of people who have allergic reactions to wheatgrass may fall into this category. Some of the symptoms of a wheat allergy can include stuffy nose, wheeziness, watery eyes, difficulty breathing, and shock. If you are allergic to wheat, it’s probably best to avoid consuming wheatgrass altogether.
Most people report feeling energized after consuming wheatgrass, but occasionally some people will experience fatigue after doing so. This is believed to be due to detoxification or in some cases may be part of an allergic reaction. The best remedy for this, as with other possible side effects, is to start out by consuming smaller amounts of wheatgrass in the beginning.