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What You Need to Know: Does Wheatgrass Have Gluten?

Does wheatgrass have gluten? This is probably the question that pops out in anyone's mind when they encountered wheatgrass. There is so controversy surrounding wheatgrass which results to skepticisms when buying a health product that contains wheatgrass.

You might wonder why there is so much fuss to wheatgrass-containing products when there is a label on every package that states it is gluten-free. There are also wheatgrass shots with gluten-free claims.

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Well, we can't blame the cynics for doubting wheatgrass because the word "wheat" just sends everyone to paranoia. Whenever we think about gluten food, the first thing that will come to mind is wheat hence, the word "wheat" attached to any food is considered as a red flag. So, to scrap all the detractors of wheatgrass, we’ll answer the question "Does wheatgrass have gluten?" using science.

How is Wheatgrass Related to Wheat Plant?

does wheatgrass have gluten

Wheat field 

Wheatgrass is a popular health food which is blended to extract the green juice. So, how is wheatgrass associated with the wheat plant (Triticum aestivum)? Wheatgrass is the early form of the wheat plant). Most people buy or collect wheat seeds and plant it on a tub. When the grass grows is about 6 inches long, it is then harvested and prepared to a wheatgrass immediately.

The hype of wheatgrass is because it contains high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. This is also the reason why some health food products incorporate wheatgrass. Does wheatgrass have gluten?

Who are the High-risk People?

Can you consume wheatgrass? Does wheatgrass have gluten? Is it safe? Who are the people skeptical about eating wheatgrass? Well, health foods often have gluten-free label plastered on it to inform the individuals that are intolerant of gluten. Who are they? They are the people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance. There are also people that are strictly advised not to take any food containing gluten because of their similar health issues. These cases make the clarification of wheatgrass as gluten-free necessary.

Common Food Allergies: Is Wheat Grass Safe for Celiacs?

Does Wheatgrass Have Gluten?

Does wheatgrass have gluten? The answer to this question is NO. Wheatgrass does not contain gluten. Why? Because gluten is a protein contained in the grains or seeds, and one of the most renowned gluten sources is the grains of wheat. The seed of wheat that you use in planting wheatgrass also contains gluten so, it is important to harvest the wheatgrass after it reaches 7-10 days.

Gluten develops in the wheatgrass when it is two weeks old. So, it is best to harvest the wheatgrass before it produces protein. The process is a safety precaution to eliminate any possibility of the inclusion of wheat seeds in your wheatgrass shot.

What are the Proofs That Wheatgrass is Gluten-free?

Lots of people and food manufacturers are assuring us that wheatgrass is gluten-free. However, we should seek the most critical opinion about this matter – the expert’s opinion.

  • The United States Department of Agriculture chemists and Food and Agricultural Organization both claim that gluten is not found in the stem and leaves of the plant. They further explain that gluten is only found in the seed kernel and endosperm.
  • Gluten Intolerance Group also mentions the study of USDA and ACC. The group states that gluten is only housed in a seed grain and assures the public that when the grass of a plant containing gluten (in this case – wheat plant) is cut excluding the seed kernel, it should be safe for consumption for those who are on a strict gluten-free diet.

Can You Trust Gluten-free Green Juice That Contains Wheatgrass?

Before you sip your green juice, you might be asking the query, does wheatgrass have gluten? Well, if you are making your wheatgrass recipe, there are no problem at all. You have all the control about the harvesting time of the wheatgrass so, you are sure that you do not include the seeds and harvest the grass before reaching ten days old.

However, not all of us has time to spare to make our wheatgrass shot. Most of the time, busy-health-conscious-individuals just visit a juice bar to order a fresh wheatgrass shot. Some of these shops even advertised their juices as gluten-free.

How to know if it's gluten-free? Simple, asked the manager or anyone in charge if the grass they're using is harvested at very young age (7 days old) and if the wheatgrass shot is seed-free. I'm sure they won't mind answering your question honestly if you'll explain your health condition to them.

What About the Health Products with Wheatgrass?

There are lots of food supplements and commercial green juice in the market that are plastered with the labels: "Contains wheatgrass" and "Gluten-free." It is already explained above that wheatgrass is gluten-free if it is harvested before gluten develops.

Just to be sure, you can also check the websites of these products and read some reviews about them. Learn the tests that they used on their products and if the result is positive. In this kind of situation, you are heavily encouraged to use your best judgment. You are highly motivated to consult your physician and ask their opinion if you doubt some health products.

The Bottom Line: Does Wheatgrass Have Gluten?

If you are currently on a strict gluten-free diet or suffering from celiac disease, it is best to reassure yourself if wheatgrass is gluten-free. Does wheatgrass have gluten? As mentioned above, wheatgrass is only gluten-free if it has not yet gone to seed and if the test plant is tested and yield a result of less than 20ppm gluten.

Deciding if you'll consume a product with wheatgrass is an individual choice. You are encouraged to base your decision based on your comfort level about the product and the facts you gathered about it.

So, are you planning to try wheatgrass even if you are on a gluten-free diet or is it still a no-no for you? Share us your thoughts!

Natalie Jones
 

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