Young cereal grasses — like wheat and barley grass — are recognized by their bright emerald green colors. At the early grass stage of their growth, wheat and barley are closer to vegetables than grains in their make up. It isn’t until the wheat and barley plants mature that gluten is formed which is why the young grass is so much better for you than anything made with cooked wheat or barley products.
Many people include barley or wheat grass in their diet because of the wide variety of benefits, such as prevention of cancer, lower blood pressure and cholesterol and an expedited immune system response.
The use of barley grass for medicinal purposes dates back to 7,000 BC, when records first show that the grass was grown as a crop. It was then used to treat a variety of sicknesses, including blood and liver problems; it is said that ancient gladiators chewed on the grass to boost energy and stamina before fights. The understanding of barley grass benefits has evolved and can now be found in several forms.
High concentrations of chlorophyll—the green pigment found in some plants that gives the green food group its name—acts much like human blood’s oxygen carrier, hemoglobin. Chlorophyll inhibits the growth of disease bacteria when introduced into the diet, and this effect may create a wide array of barley grass benefits. Barley grass does away with atoms with an odd number of electrons created through normal body functions that can cause damage to healthy cells.
The nutrient profiles of these grasses changes quickly as they grow. As the plant grows, the chlorophyll, protein and vitamin content of cereal grasses declines sharply and the level of cellulose (indigestible fiber) increases. Over a period of several months, the green leafy cereal grasses become amber waves of grain bearing the kernels we harvest to make into unhealthy inflammation causing flour we are all accustomed to.
Barley vs. Wheat Grass
Some claim that barley grass is easier on the digestive system than wheat grass. Barley grass is also said to contain an exceptionally high amount of “organic sodium” and is known to alleviate arthritis symptoms more effectively than wheat grass juice.
However, there is no evidence that barley grass is any better or worse than wheatgrass in terms of its likelihood of producing adverse effects, its nutritional properties, or its health effects.
There is very little nutritional difference between wheat grass and barley grass, although it is important to note that barley grass acts as a free radical scavenger that also reduces inflammation and pain, and wheat grass is richer in inflammation reducing antioxidants. It is also thought to be able to help the body attack cancer cells.
You can get these two cereal grasses in powder or tablet form. The dried grasses are a bit easier to handle than fresh, which must be juiced. However, fresh grass juice contains healthful enzymes not found in dried grass powder and is likely to be higher in just about every phytochemical found in the grass. This is why numerous healthy food and specialty store around the world now offer grass shots on their menus.
With that said, not everybody can go out and spend $2.50 (on average) for a 1 or 2 ounce shot of wheat grass whenever they want which is why so many people are resorting to the practice of growing the grass fresh for themselves.
The Wheat & Barley Grass is always greener… Where you grow it!
Growing wheat and barley grass is the easiest and most affordable way to keep plenty of the super green food on hand.
Growing wheat and barley grasses at home is pretty simple and can be mastered easily by anybody who cares enough to try it. The technique starts like many other sprouts and once the seeds begin to show signs of growth it’s time to hit the soil!
First, place seeds in a large bowl. Cover completely with cool water (60 to 70 degrees F). Stir the seeds around in the water to mix. Let soak for about 8 to 12 hours or overnight.
Next, drain the seeds. Use a mesh colander or any other fine strainer you may have to keep the seeds from draining through the holes of the strainer. Rinse the seeds with cool water and drain.
After that, put the seeds in direct sunlight or where the temperature is about 70 degrees F for anywhere from 8 to 12 hours.
Then, rinse and drain the seeds again. Set out for another 8 to 12 hours. Repeat this step at least one to three more times until the seeds have sprouted tiny roots approximately 1/8 to 1/4 inch long.
While your seeds are germinating, fill your seed trays half way with organic potting soil. Spread some azomite or another trace mineral (or worm castings or whatever vegan nutrients you want) over the soil and add another layer of organic soil. Use a tray that has drainage holes in the bottom. Water the soil thoroughly so it is soaking wet; if needed mix the water down into the soil with your hands or a spade.
Once the trays are prepped, spread your germinated seeds over the top of the soil. Spread as evenly as possible. Do not push the seeds down into the soil. Cover the tray with another seed tray (make sure the cover has drainage holes to allow for air circulation) or newspaper or even some bounty paper towel.
Put your grass sprouts in an area with low lighting and a temperature of around 70 degrees F. The cooler the better but longer growing times may be needed, if it’s too hot or humid, mold will grow easily around the base of the grass stems and within the root system.
Water the grass enough to keep the soil moist but not saturated, usually once or twice a day. Using a mister type spray bottle is a great way to evenly water the grass without wetting it down to much while still incorporating plenty of fresh air. Continue misting once a day once the seed roots have buried themselves in the soil.
Remove the tray top when the grass gets to about 1 to 2 inches tall, usually after 3 or 4
After about ten days or once the grass reaches about 7 to 8 inches, harvest as needed to juice or harvest it all and keep it in a green veggie bag in the fridge. Cut the grass right above the above the soil. The first harvest is always the most nutrient and flavor rich grass. Most people compost the soil and roots after harvesting but you can let it keep growing if you like. Two or three harvest are usually as good as it gets, any more after that and you’re just growing empty grass. days. Be sure to keep the tray in a well-lighted place and keep the soil moist.
Wheat & Barley grass Juice!!!
Once you’ve harvested your grass it’s time to get juicing! The best way to extract the vital juice from your young grass is with a wheat grass juicer like The Healthy Juicer. The Healthy Juicer is the most popular wheat grass juicer because it is compact and is one of the most inexpensive of the wheat grass juicers. This is the perfect juicer to have in addition to a regular juicer that doesn’t do leafy vegetables very well. The Healthy Juicer is portable, requires no electricity and is easily cleaned and stored without taking to much space in the cupboard. This juicer is known for being really efficient, easy to travel with and easy to clean and put together. Probably the best choice for most based on quality, price and ease of use.
Whatever reason you’ve decided to use wheat or barley grass, the benefits are numerous and your body will thank you sooner than later.
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