Wheat is one of our oldest cereal crops, cultivated in Mesopotamia more than 10,000 years ago and still a major staple for millions of Europeans. It is highly nutritious and the whole grains are rich in Vitamins A, B-complex, D and E. Wheatgerm oil is an even better source of Vitamin E than the grain and contains a number of essential fatty acids. Commercial over-processing means that many of these important nutrients are lost from the bread we eat and are often artificially added at the production stage - using wholemeal and organic flours is always advisable.
Although primarily regarded as a nutrient, wheat has its health uses as well. Wheat bran is an irritant on the gut and can be helpful for constipation although excessive use can lead to long-term damage and increase the risk of diverticulitis. Wheatgerm, because of its Vitamin E component, is a good anti-oxidant, so it can counter the effect of aging on the body's cells. It can also be helpful for menstrual problems and increase fertility.
Externally, wheat bran can be used like oatmeal as a facial scrub. Bread poultices have long been a favorite folk supportive for drawing splinters and boils and also reducing swellings and inflammation.
Wheatgrass can be made by sprouting wheat grains on blotting paper in the kitchen and is a good source of chlorophyll and many enzymes. Cut the grass after three or four days, when it is around 5 cm high, and add to salads as a good source of trace elements.
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misty jo - July 4, 2007, 10:44
my family is vegaterian, but i'm affraid we don't get enough iron and protien, will the wheatgrass help?
ZooScape Moderator - July 16, 2007, 18:15
Yes. Wheatgrass is an excellent blood builder and often recommended for conditions of anemia. Pure ulsulphured blackstrap molasses (preferably organic) is also an excellent source of minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and copper (necessary for proper iron absorption).
For protein, there are a variety of soy, whey, casein, or vegtable-based powdered mixes available that will provide excellent protein content in many palatable flavours.
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