How is wheat grass made?

Wheatgrass is a popular health food made from the young shoots of the wheat plant. It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that provide a wide range of potential health benefits. But have you ever wondered how this bright green superfood is actually produced? Let’s take a look at the step-by-step process of how wheatgrass is grown and turned into the nutritional powerhouse that it is.

Growing Wheatgrass

Wheatgrass production starts with growing the wheat berries (seeds) into sprouts or shoots. Here are the basic steps:

  1. Soak the wheat berries – The berries are soaked in water overnight to initiate the sprouting process. This softens the seed coat and allows the sprout to emerge.
  2. Drain and rinse – The soaked berries are drained and rinsed 2-3 times per day. This prevents mold growth and provides moisture.
  3. Spread in trays – The berries are spread thinly onto trays or mats lined with soil. This allows room for the sprouts to grow.
  4. Provide indirect sunlight – The trays are placed near a window or under growing lamps. Direct sunlight can overheat the grasses.
  5. Water daily – The sprouting trays are watered daily to provide moisture. Proper drainage is important to prevent mold.
  6. Allow growth – It takes approximately 7-10 days for the shoots to reach an ideal height of 7-8 inches.
  7. Harvest – The above-ground shoots are cut right above the soil using scissors or knives.

The key growing conditions for wheatgrass are proper hydration, indirect sunlight, ventilation, and adequate space for the shoots to emerge. With the right environment, the wheat berries will produce tender green shoots full of nutrients and chlorophyll.

Post-Harvest Processing

After harvest, the fresh wheatgrass shoots go through several processing steps to extend shelf life and prepare them for consumption:


The harvested shoots are washed thoroughly to remove any residual soil or debris.


The grasses may be briefly blanched or steamed to deactivate enzymes that can cause deterioration.


Many producers use hydraulic cold press juicers to extract the liquid content from the grasses. This fresh, unpasteurized juice contains the full range of nutrients.


To make wheatgrass powder, the shoots are dehydrated at low temperatures (90-100°F) to retain nutrients. Dehydration removes the moisture while preserving the enzymes and allows for easy storage.


Freezing is another common preservation method. The shoots are flash frozen, usually IQF (individually quick frozen), to lock in nutrients.

Packaging & Storage

The final products, including fresh juice, frozen shoots or powder, are packaged in food-grade containers. Proper storage conditions are required to maintain quality. Refrigeration or freezing prevents spoilage.

Forms of Wheatgrass

Thanks to modern processing methods, wheatgrass can be enjoyed in several forms:

Fresh Juice

Freshly extracted wheatgrass juice is considered the most nutritious form. It captures all the living enzymes and nutrients from the grass.

Frozen Wheatgrass

Flash freezing preserves the texture and nutrients in wheatgrass. It allows for easy use in smoothies.

Wheatgrass Powder

Dried wheatgrass powder is convenient for mixing into drinks, foods, and smoothies. It has a long shelf life.

Wheatgrass Pills & Tablets

Dried wheatgrass powder is encapsulated into pills or compressed into tablets for supplemental use.

Wheatgrass Shots

1-2 ounce “shots” of fresh wheatgrass juice are commonly sold in health food cafes and juice bars.

Nutritional Value

So what makes wheatgrass so nutritious? Here is an overview of its nutritional content:

Nutrient Per 1 oz (28g) Serving
Calories 8
Protein 0.7 g
Fat 0.2 g
Carbs 1.3 g
Fiber 0.5 g
Vitamin C 2.5 mg (4% DV)
Vitamin A 240 IU (5% DV)
Iron 0.2 mg (1% DV)
Calcium 9 mg (1% DV)

Wheatgrass also contains vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, selenium, and manganese.

In addition, wheatgrass provides bioactive compounds like chlorophyll, flavonoids, and amino acids that provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Potential Health Benefits

The unique nutritional profile of wheatgrass is responsible for its many purported health benefits. Here are some of the top ways wheatgrass may improve health:

Rich in Antioxidants

Wheatgrass contains flavonoids, ascorbic acid, and other antioxidants that help neutralize harmful free radicals and may reduce oxidative damage.

May Aid Immunity

The nutrients in wheatgrass support many functions of the immune system. Test tube studies show it may boost immunity by increasing white blood cell activity.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Compounds in wheatgrass exhibit anti-inflammatory properties which may help reduce inflammation-related chronic diseases.

May Improve Blood Sugar

Animal and test tube studies indicate wheatgrass may help improve blood sugar levels and protect against diabetes complications.

May Support Detoxification

Chlorophyll and antioxidants in wheatgrass may help detoxify the liver, blood, and gastrointestinal tract by binding to toxins.

May Reduce Cholesterol

A study in rats with high cholesterol found that wheatgrass juice lowered total and LDL (bad) cholesterol compared to the control group.

May Have Anticancer Potential

Test tube and animal studies show wheatgrass extracts inhibit cancer cell growth and induce apoptosis in certain cancer cells.

That said, human studies are needed to truly confirm the anticancer properties of wheatgrass.

How to Use Wheatgrass

Thanks to its versatility, wheatgrass can be consumed in many ways. Here are some simple ideas:

Wheatgrass Juice Shots

1-2 oz shots of fresh wheatgrass juice are a quick way to get your daily serving. Start with small amounts as it may initially cause nausea.

Add to Smoothies

Mix a handful of fresh or frozen wheatgrass into your favorite smoothies for extra nutrients.

Sprinkle Wheatgrass Powder

Add wheatgrass powder into juices, shakes, dips, dressings, soups and more for a nutritional boost.

Tablets or Capsules

For supplementing on the go, take wheatgrass tablets or capsules with water 1-3 times per day.

Infuse into Water

Soak wheatgrass powder in hot water for 10 minutes to make a revitalizing infusion.

Possible Side Effects

When consumed in normal food amounts, wheatgrass is likely safe for most people. However, some side effects may occur:

  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Allergic reactions (rare)

Due to its effects on blood sugar, people with diabetes should use caution and monitor blood sugar closely when taking wheatgrass supplements.

Additionally, wheatgrass may cause symptoms in people with celiac disease or a wheat allergy.

It is also not recommended for children, pregnant or breastfeeding women due to lack of safety research.


Growing and processing wheatgrass is a meticulous process that helps retain its nutrient content and quality. The result is a superfood full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that may provide a variety of health benefits.

While more research on humans is needed, adding wheatgrass to your routine is a safe and easy way to get more nutrients into your diet. Give it a try by juicing fresh wheatgrass at home or adding wheatgrass powder to your favorite foods and drinks.

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