The immune system protects your body against infection and disease – sometimes known as the ‘immune response’ it’s actually a collection of reactions and one of the most complex systems in the human body. The immune system counteracts and remove pathogens (including bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites and toxins) from your body, neutralises harmful substances in the environment and combats those cells that have changed due to illness such as cancer. There are a number of lifestyle changes that you can make to actively strengthen your immune system. These include getting sufficient sleep to allow your immune organs (tonsils, sinus and lymph glands) to regenerate, learning to relax (stress lowers immune antibodies), taking plenty of exercise (to encourage lymphatic function) and giving up smoking, which reduces your risk of infection. In addition, you can try adding specific superfoods renowned for their immune boosting properties to your daily diet. One such superfood is wheatgrass, explored in more detail below.
What is wheatgrass?
Wheatgrass powder and wheatgrass juice are made from tender, young wheatgrass shoots that belong to a special category of superfoods known as super greens. Super greens include the leafy green vegetables kale, chard, rocket, spinach and broccoli, as well as algae such as spirulina and chlorella. Wheatgrass is literally bursting with goodness – it is extremely low in calories and packed with protein (in fact wheatgrass contains more protein than meat, fish or dairy products), fibre, vitamins (wheatgrass contains more vitamin C than oranges and twice the vitamin A as carrots), minerals (including iron, calcium, and potassium), trace elements (such as zinc, magnesium and selenium), amino acids, enzymes, antioxidants, chlorophyll and beta-carotene. As well as boosting immunity, the dense cocktail of nutrients in wheatgrass are believed to:
- Increase physical strength and stamina
- Improve digestion
- Aid weight loss
- Balance blood pH and raise haemoglobin count
- Help combat a number of chronic diseases including anaemia, sickle cell anaemia, leukaemia, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, ulcers and arthritis
- Promote healthy, radiant skin
- Delay the signs of aging
- Cleanse and detox the body
Why is wheatgrass so good for the immune system?
Consuming regular amounts of organic wheatgrass powder or wheatgrass juice is an extremely effective way of strengthening your immune system and improving your body’s ability to prevent, fight and recover from disease. That’s because wheatgrass is a living, anti-bacterial food that helps to alkalise and detox your lymph glands and blood cells, thus allowing your body to remove toxins more quickly and efficiently. Wheatgrass also helps your body to manufacture red blood cells, which subsequently carry oxygen to every cell in your body. This increased oxygenation helps to protect against the effects of smog, carbon monoxide and other known environmental pollutants. The extremely high chlorophyll content in wheatgrass products helps to protect your body against carcinogens too – recent studies on animals revealed that wheatgrass consumption positively reduces the absorption of a number of extremely hazardous carcinogens, whilst simultaneously strengthening cells, detoxifying the liver and neutralising polluting elements within the blood. Lastly, wheatgrass contains an antioxidant known as Superoxide Dismutase (SOD), which is revered for its amazing ability to lessen the effects of radiation and slow down cellular aging.
Incorporating wheatgrass into your daily diet
Enjoying a shot of wheatgrass juice or stirring in just one serving of wheatgrass powder to your favourite smoothies, shakes and juices is equivalent to your 5+ daily servings of vegetables in just one sitting! And, as wheatgrass is entirely gluten free, this supreme super green for your immune system is also perfectly suitable for those with a gluten allergy. You can even try growing your own wheatgrass at home, which produces high quality wheatgrass shoots that are ideal for juicing.
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