Cereal grass is the young green plant which will grow to produce the cereal grain. All cereal grasses, including the green leaves of wheat, barley, kamut, rye and oats are nutritionally similar. These young grasses are, in their chemical and nutritional composition, very different from the mature seed grains.
Several growth stages are required for the development of nutritionally complete cereal grasses. Suitable soil, moisture, and temperature conditions are essential for the young wheat plant to pass through these developmental stages. The nutrients in the plant reach their peak values as they approach the brief, but critical, jointing stage.
The nutrient profile of cereal grass is similar to those of the most nutritious dark green leafy vegetables. The importance of green foods in the diet is now being validated scientifically. Because dehydrated cereal grass compares favorably with other greens with respect to both nutrients and cost, it is an excellent and convenient source of green food nutrients.
There are many reasons why cereal grass and other dark green plants can be considered "blood-building" foods. The vitamins and minerals in cereal grass are essential to the synthesis and function of the components of healthy blood. But perhaps the most interesting connection between green foods and blood is the similarity in the structures of the two colored pigments, heme and chlorophyll. The biological relationship between these two molecules, though studied for over 60 years, is still not completely clear. It does appear, however, that small amounts of the digestive products of chlorophyll may stimulate the synthesis of either heme or globin or both in animals and humans.
Walk into any health food store or drug store and you might feel over-whelmed by the number of nutrient supplements displayed there. All of the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids are available individually and in creative combinations with other supplements. In those ubiquitous displays we can find combinations to build muscles, reduce stress, grow fuller hair and raise energy levels. The most popular supplements are the multiple vitamin/ mineral combinations which supply at least the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of all the known vitamins, plus a few of the minerals.
Surrounded by multitudes of "natural" supplements and remedies, it is easy to overlook the obvious. In nature, there is no such thing as 2000 mg. of calcium or vitamin C isolated into a single nugget. Furthermore, concen-trated amounts of all of the identified nutrients are never found in individual foods.
Foods contain hundreds of compounds which interact with each other in the foods themselves and in our digestive tracts and blood streams. The combinations of nutrients and other factors found in foods bear little resemblance to those found in the supplement pills in the health food stores, and are many times more complex. Low-dose supplements may fill some nutrient gaps, and mega-dose supplements may have therapeutic value, but neither can come close to replacing our need for food nutrition.
For over fifty years, the beneficial effects of adding cereal grasses to the rations of test animals could not be duplicated by adding any or all of the known isolated chemical components of those foods. The results of many studies which demonstrate the value of green vegetables in the prevention of human diseases cannot be explained in terms of the individual nutrients they are known to contain.
The cereal grass promotional literature of the 1950s claimed that cereal grasses contain every nutrient known to be required by humans except vitamin D, which is made in the skin. Contemporary laboratory analyses show that a wide variety of nutrients are contained in dehydrated cereal grasses. Some of these nutrients are quite concentrated, others are present only in small amounts. These nutrients are combined by nature to provide a uniquely potent food.
The following table summarizes the levels of known nutrients contained in the cereal grasses. The nutrient concentrations depend on the growing conditions and the growth stage at which the cereal grasses are harvested, rather than on the type (barley, rye, or wheat) of cereal grass analyzed.
|CRUDE FIBER||600 mg|
|Vitamin A||1750 I/U|
|Vitamin K||280 mcg.|
|Vitamin C||11 Mg.|
|Vitamin E||1.1 Mcg.|
|Vitamin B-12||1 Mcg.|
|Folic Acid||38 mcg.|
|Asparatic Acid||78 mg.|
|Glutamic Acid||33 mg.|
Dehydrated cereal grass tablets are not multi-vitamin pills. They are a concentrated combination of the nutrients found in all the higher quality dark green vegetables. As we have seen, the nutrients found in these foods work together to benefit the body as a whole. It may also have become apparent that the cereal grasses contain nutrients which support interrelated functions of our vital systems and physiological processes.
It is interesting, and rather amazing, to see how the variety of nutrients in the cereal grasses support the functions of other nutrients which are found there. A closer look at this phenomenon makes a good case for relying on foods rather than vitamin pills as sources of vitamins and minerals.
For example, vitamin C aids in the absorption of calcium and iron. iron is required to convert beta-carotene to vitamin A. Calcium and pyridoxine help absorb vitamin B 12, which is essential for the activation of folic acid. All of these nutrients are found together in the cereal grasses, along with others which support complimentary functions.
Green food nutrients support healthy blood and circulation. Iron, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin B 12, pyridoxine, and protein are all vital for the formation and maintenance of adequate levels of hemoglobin and red blood cells. Chlorophyll may also be beneficial in these processes. In addition, chlorophyll, vitamin K, and calcium are all involved in blood clot formation and breakdown.
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