Wheatgrass is a nutrient-dense food that helps relieve the symptoms of many health conditions. However, many women may be apprehensive about consuming wheatgrass during pregnancy fearing allergic reactions if taken in greater quantities and the risk of infections when taken raw.
That said, taking small quantities of wheatgrass during pregnancy does not cause any side effects to the growing fetus. However, before its consumption, it is important to seek medical advice. Read on to know more about the benefits and side effects of wheatgrass on pregnant women and the precautions you must take when consuming it.
What Is Wheatgrass?
The nutrient-rich wheatgrass belongs to the wheat family. Many pharmacies sell wheat grass, as dietary supplements including capsules, tablets, and liquid forms. Wheatgrass is rich in nutrients magnesium, iron, calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and essential amino acids.
Wheatgrass kills harmful bacteria in your digestive system and flushes toxic waste from your body. Wheatgrass can provide relief for conditions like constipation, diabetes, cancer, joint pain, ulcerative colitis, and anemia (1) (2).
Is It Safe To Eat Wheatgrass During Pregnancy?
Though a little wheatgrass causes no harm to your growing fetus, you should refrain from eating an excess of it during pregnancy (3). Wheatgrass may induce severe headaches, nausea, and swelling of the throat.
Wheat grass grows in the soil, and it is consumed raw. So, your chances of catching an infection only increase, with the contaminated mold or bacteria present in the grass. Moreover, if you suffer from grass allergy, gluten intolerance, or celiac disease, avoid eating wheatgrass. In a normal condition, it is best to seek your doctor’s advice before including wheatgrass in your pregnancy diet (2).
Health Benefits Of Wheatgrass During Pregnancy
Wheatgrass is a nutrient–dense food that supplies vital nutrients to your body during pregnancy. Here are some positive aspects of eating wheatgrass during pregnancy (3):
1. Rich Source Of Minerals And Vitamins:
- Wheatgrass contains vital nutrients like potassium, Vitamin C, iron, calcium, riboflavin, and magnesium.
- All these beneficial micronutrients aid in healthy fetal growth.
2. Increases Hemoglobin:
- Wheatgrass enhances the rate of hemoglobin production in your body.
- During pregnancy, you may often suffer from hemoglobin fluctuation that can cause anemia. To overcome such condition, you can drink one glass of fresh wheatgrass juice daily.
3. Detoxifies The Body:
- The antioxidants present in wheatgrass protect your body from free radical activity and unwanted cell damage.
4. Treats Digestive Problems:
- During pregnancy, you may often experience digestive issues like diarrhea, constipation, or bloating. Wheatgrass juice can alleviate these issues.
- The cellulose content of wheatgrass helps digest food and keep the colon clean.
- Wheatgrass is a rich source of dietary fiber, and it regulates your bowel movement.
- An excess production of gastric acids in your stomach can trigger acidity, which can irritate your stomach lining. The alkaline nature of wheatgrass nullifies the acidic effects and provides relief from stomach acidity.
5. Heals Wounds Quickly:
- Consuming wheatgrass regularly promotes quicker healing of cuts and wounds.
- If you suffer from sores or ulcerative colitis, wheatgrass promotes your healing process.
6. Anti-Microbial Properties:
- Researchers conclude that wheatgrass juice possesses strong antimicrobial properties and destroys harmful germs present in your stomach.
7. Stimulates Blood Circulation:
- Wheatgrass possesses the ability to increase the amount of oxygen in your blood and stimulate circulation.
- In addition to taking wheatgrass juice or supplements, you can also use the extract on your face using a damp cotton, as it dilates blood vessels and clears your skin.
8. Fights Radiation:
- The presence of chlorophyll in wheatgrass can help your body combat the harmful effects of radiation.
- Cancer patients, undergoing radiation or chemotherapy should consume wheatgrass juice regularly during their therapy regime.
- The chlorophyll helps avoid tooth decay, keeps your hair healthy, minimizes the risk of hypertension, and maintains a healthy blood sugar level.
9. Clears The Skin:
- During pregnancy your skin becomes dull, and you lose your skin’s glow.
- The rejuvenating effects of wheatgrass can help in cleansing your skin and removes the unwanted dead skin cells (3).
Side-Effects Of Wheatgrass During Pregnancy
Researchers conclude that the overconsumption of wheatgrass can trigger harmful side effects during pregnancy. Therefore, you should consume small amounts of wheatgrass juice or powder. Seek expert guidance from your gynecologist or dietitian.
Here are some of the reasons you should refrain from eating too much wheatgrass:
1. Avoid Risk Of Infection:
- Farmers usually harvest the young wheat plant in soil, and then the grass gets converted into powder or juice.
- Pregnant women should refrain from consuming the wheatgrass juice, as it has a greater risk of containing bacterial and mold contamination.
- Consuming wheatgrass juice or powder during pregnancy can increase your unborn baby’s risk of contracting fatal infections, which can trigger birth complexities.
2. Can Cause Nutritional Imbalance:
- As wheatgrass juice possesses a purgative effect, it can trigger severe diarrhea or vomiting during pregnancy. Persistent vomiting leads to a loss of vital nutrients from your body and leads to nutritional imbalance (4).
- Low vitamin and mineral content in your body can also hamper your unborn baby’s growth rate.
3. Avoid Risk Of Miscarriage:
- Wheatgrass juice possesses detoxifying effects and flushes toxins from your body.
- But, the detoxifying effects can also lead to sudden miscarriage or cause complications for your unborn fetus.
4. Allergic Reactions:
- As wheatgrass grows in moist conditions, it may contain harmful bacteria and mold. And, when you consume contaminated wheatgrass, you may suffer from severe nausea and swelling.
- As soon as you encounter any of the signs of allergic reactions like hives, swollen throat or headaches, contact the doctor immediately (5).
- You should also avoid wheatgrass if you suffer from gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
A Word Of Caution
- You should never consume raw wheatgrass while pregnant as it can contain harmful germs that can lead to complications (6).
- The detoxifying property of wheatgrass can sometimes create pregnancy complexities and even lead to sudden miscarriage.
- Always consult your gynecologist before taking supplements or wheatgrass juice during pregnancy.
Did you consume wheatgrass juice during your pregnancy? Did you suffer from any harmful allergic reactions? Did the juice boost your immune system? Share your complete thoughts about wheatgrass during pregnancy here. Comment in the box below!
Consuming small amounts of wheatgrass during pregnancy is considered safe as it is a rich source of folic acid and other nutrients. It also helps relieve symptoms of constipation, pain in the joints, or anemia. But refrain from consuming too much wheatgrass as it could lead to side effects such as nutritional imbalance and increased risk of miscarriage. It is advised that you consume a well-balanced diet during pregnancy, take proper care of your health, and consult the gynecologist regarding any concerns that bother you.
- HEALTH BENEFITS OF WHEATGRASS.
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- Neethu S. Kumar et al.; (2016); Green Blood Therapy of Wheat Grass – Nature’s Finest Medicine’- A Literature Review.
- Wheatgrass Benefits: Is It Good For Your Health? (Overview Uses and Side Effects).
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- All about the Benefits Usage and Side Effects of Wheatgrass.