“Can I blend whole wheatgrass in a green smoothie? What are the health benefits of doing this?” — Sharon
To answer your first question, no, you should not blend whole blades of wheat grass in a green smoothie using a blender. The reason is that grasses have much tougher cell walls which make nutrients harder to extract. Most blenders will not be able to extract these nutrients and you’ll only get bits of wheat grass floating around in your green smoothies.
High-speed blenders like the Vitamix might be able to thoroughly blend wheatgrass, but you’ll mostly end up with indigestible fiber in your smoothies that may irritate some people.
If you want to add wheatgrass to your green smoothies, my recommendation is to juice it first using a dedicated wheatgrass juicer. Then add the liquid to your smoothies.
As for the health benefits of adding wheatgrass to a green smoothie, that’s a lot more controversial.
Despite what proponents of wheatgrass claim, wheatgrass isn’t much more nutritious than any other leafy green you put in your smoothie. In fact, one cup of broccoli or one cup of fresh kale will provide more overall nutrition than an ounce of wheatgrass juice.
Broccoli and spinach have more beta-carotene, vitamin C and calcium than one ounce of wheatgrass juice. Where the juice has more nutrients, it is only a negligible amount. Wheatgrass is often said to contain vitamin B12, but it is not a reliable source of the vitamin. Whatever vitamin B12 listed on a label for a wheatgrass juice product should NOT be counted toward your daily vitamin B12 requirements.
There is simply nothing special or magical about wheatgrass that makes it necessary to use it in order to support overall health. The health benefits claims made by marketers are often way over exaggerated, and scientific literature does not satisfactorily substantiate these claims.
Simply put, wheatgrass may provide some health benefits, but not necessarily any more than kale, spinach, dandelion greens, broccoli or any other green vegetable that is more readily available, requires less processing (juicing) and costs much less money.
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Tracy Russell is the creator of the Green Smoothie Health & Weight Loss Program and founder of Incredible Smoothies. She is passionate about helping people improve their health with green smoothies and a whole foods lifestyle.