Wheatgrass is a gluten-free wheat product often sold as juice, shots, powders, and capsules. You can also grow and juice your own wheatgrass.
However, it may become contaminated with gluten due to poor harvesting practices or cross-contamination. To reduce this risk, only choose wheatgrass products that are certified gluten-free.
If taking wheatgrass in supplement or juice form, always consult a health professional first.
There is little to no evidence that the proteins associated with wheat allergies persist in wheatgrass; thus, theoretically, pure wheatgrass should be safe. That said, individuals with wheat allergies are advised to err on the side of caution, due to potential contamination of the wheatgrass by wheat seed.
Testing representative samples of wheatgrass-containing product (or of the wheatgrass used in the product) for gluten can be a good indication of whether any wheat-seed contamination is present. This is especially valuable if the wheatgrass has been made into a powder, and cannot be visually inspected for wheat seeds.
Wheatgrass and barley grass are grown and harvested in similar ways, often as simply as spreading seeds throughout a bit of damp soil in a shallow bed. After a week or so of daily watering, the seeds grow into a plant that looks like garden grass; after which the grass can be harvested with scissors and turned into juice. Wheatgrass is known to be a source of numerous vitamins and nutrients, such as potassium, dietary fiber, vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6. It also contains iron, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium. Barley grass is super-high in omega 6 fatty acids, as well as phosphorus, magnesium, carbohydrates, and fiber.
Ultimately, yes, wheatgrass and barley grass are gluten-free. However, if you avoid gluten for health reasons, it’s best to find out exactly where the wheatgrass and barley grass in your protein powder or smoothie has been sourced. If it’s certified gluten-free pure wheatgrass or barley grass, you’re probably fine.
Wheatgrass is gluten-free when harvested from a growing wheat plant without any seeds.
Wheatgrass is the fresh sprouted leaves of the wheat plant. When people hear wheat, they automatically think gluten. However, the actual grass itself does not contain gluten, which is only found in the seed kernels of the wheat plant, not in its grasses. If the grass is cut at an appropriate time before it’s allowed to grow seeds, it should be gluten-free. Unfortunately, there is a risk of cross-contamination when it comes to wheatgrass and there’s always the unknown of when exactly it was cultivated.
Additionally, if you are allergic to wheat, you should also avoid wheatgrass entirely. If you have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, we recommend being cautious, asking questions and looking for certified gluten-free products when it comes to wheatgrass.
Made from the freshly sprouted leaves of Triticum aestivum, wheatgrass is known for its nutrient-dense and powerful antioxidant properties.
Many of these purported benefits come from the fact that it’s made up of 70 percent chlorophyll. The idea is that consuming wheatgrass may come with chlorophyll’s benefits, including detoxification, immune support, and anti-inflammation.
Sometimes, barley grass is gluten-free. However, it is still considered an extremely high risk ingredient for people with celiac disease. Many experts advise that people on the gluten-free diet avoid barley grass completely.
Barley grass can be gluten-free but onlyif the plants are picked before sprouting and producing seeds. Since some barley grass can have early sprouts, there is still a risk of it having gluten. The tests used to check for gluten may sometimes either overestimate or underestimate the amount of barley in a food product depending on the test that is used.
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