Column: Green is Still Oh, So Good

By Julia Chiappetta

The farmers markets are still thriving with greens and fall vegetables, but we know that the abundance will soon wane and we will soon miss the varieties of berries, grapes, and of course tomatoes, that we have been used to all summer.   

I am comforted to know that my all-time favorite green is available all year. Wheatgrass is one of the most potent forms of nutrition on the planet and a wonderful item to add to your daily diet.

So what’s in this grass, you may ask?

Amino acids are the principal building blocks of proteins and enzymes. During and after the final assembly of a protein, the amino acid content dictates the spatial and biochemical properties of the protein.  These are in this group: Alanine, Arginine, Aspartic Acid, Glutamic Acid, Glycine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalalanine, Prolineis, Prolineis, Tryptophan and Valine.

Antioxidants are a collection of amino acids, enzymes, essential fatty acids and minerals. During normal metabolism, our body produces waste products with active atoms attached called “free radicals”. Unchecked, they can cause havoc and produce degenerative changes. Antioxidants are “anti-aging” and reduce cell mutations, artery damage, skin wrinkles, and other effects of free radicals. In this group are: Chlorophyll, Bioflavonoids, Linoleic Acid, Lysine, Peroxidase, Vitamin A, B1, C and E. 

Enzymes facilitate energy transformations that are central to all living organisms. They are proteins that fundamentally act like catalysts by binding to an initial substance and converting it into another. With the important role of enzymes in major body functions, it is necessary that we have adequate intake on a daily basis. Unfortunately, medical doctors have found that we don’t get all the enzymes we need from our cooked, over-salted and over-processed foods. Enzymes include: Bioflavonoids, Dnase, Catalase, Cytochrome Oxidase, Hexokinase, Lipase, Malic Dehydrogenase, P4D1, Peroxidase, Protease Amylase and Superoxide Dismutase (SOD).

Essential Fatty Acids are taken up by cells, where they serve as precursors in the synthesis of other compounds, most notably certain vitamins. They act as fuel for energy production and as substrates for ketone body synthesis. These include Linolenic Acid and Linoleic Acid.

Minerals are simple substances that play a major role in many metabolic functions. Many of the minerals such as: Boron, Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Molybdenum, Potassium, Phosphorus, Selenium, Sodium, Sulphur and Zinc, are components of enzymes, which are catalysts for chemical reactions in the body.

Vitamins are organic molecules that function in a wide variety of capacities within the body. The most prominent function is as cofactors for enzymatic reactions. The distinguishing feature of vitamins is that they generally cannot be synthesized by mammalian cells and therefore must be supplied in the diet. Found in wheatgrass are: Choline (Lecithin), Vitamin A, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin B 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 12, Vitamins C, E and K.   

The approaching fall months are a perfect time to try this sweet grass. Green juices are so doable in the fall and winter, either purchased at your favorite juice bar, or made at home, for it is always possible to find organic kale, spinach, baby lettuces, green apples, cucumber, parsley, mint and lemon throughout the year.  Our bodies need fuel and Vitamin D, especially during the winter months when our exposure to sunlight is limited, and we spend many more hours indoors.  We live on water, air and food and food drives every single system in our body. Think about that and then think about what you are putting into your body each day.  There is no better support for our bodies than wheatgrass juice, but it must be grown properly and protected from pesticides and toxins, which is why I personally buy from Dynamic Greens, an organic farm near Toronto.  In my humble option, after years of research and experimentation, there is no better source for wheatgrass than Dynamic Greens.  Ordering is easy. The company can ship a cooler full of flash frozen ½ ounce ice cubes, of the freshest, best tasting organic wheatgrass right to your door. Two small cubes equals one ounce and one ounce equals the nutrients you would consume if you ate 2.5 pounds of green leafy vegetables!  Yowzer, that is like eating all the greens it would take to cover a kitchen table.  Just pop two cubes in a cup, let them melt and take as a shot or add them to any green drink.  This wheatgrass is so sweet because it does not contain mold, like most indoor grown crops.  Please, please remember, to take on an empty stomach so the enzymes can churn into action.  I start my day with it and hope you will give it a try.  If you have an illness, consider taking 2 cubes 2-3 three times per day, as I did when I had active cancer.  Eighteen years later, this is still my first choice for nutrition.    Check out their website, family story and commitment to excellence. 

As always, please drink something green, and do try wheatgrass. Your body will say thank you by giving you extra energy!  These last days of summer are so special, with the flowers still abloom, the blessing of early morning walks, hikes with the doggies, dining al fresco, rowing in the harbors and vibrant sunsets. My challenge this week is to do something radical for someone else, that will change their outlook, change their day, change their week or perhaps change their life. Won’t you join me?  Let’s be bold in our encouragement to others together.   

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition. This post does not represent medical advice nor should it be considered to be medical advice or a replacement for medical advice.  The information provided is from my research and not to be taken as scientific evidence.