Last Updated on January 11, 2022
Today, we’re going to be answering the question: does wheatgrass have gluten? By the name, you’ll likely be sure that this product is not gluten-free…but that’s not always the case. Let’s take a deeper look into the world of wheatgrass and where you’ll often find it.
What Is Wheatgrass?
Wheatgrass is the young grass of Triticum aestivum, otherwise known as the wheat plant. It’s the very first leaves of the plant, and they will be freshly sprouted. The plant is a great source of many important vitamins and minerals you need in your diet.
What Is Wheatgrass Used For?
Wheatgrass is often sold as a supplement, which you can find in the forms of a tablet, capsule, or powder. Wheatgrass is most often found in juice and smoothies, but you can find it in some food products too. The wheatgrass plant is also a great source of vitamins and minerals, such as iron, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, and E, alongside amino acids.
Is Wheatgrass Gluten-Free?
The answer to this is most definitely a surprising one! Although wheatgrass is a wheat product and part of the wheat family – wheatgrass is considered gluten-free. Wheat seeds are the part of the plant that contains gluten. Wheatgrass is harvested before these seeds have time to sprout.
However, this does not always mean that the end product is gluten-free. Although the harvesting methods usually mean the product is gluten-free, due to how it’s been stored or packaged, it may have been a victim of cross-contact.
Cross contact is when a product that does not contain gluten comes into contact with a gluten-containing product during manufacturing, storage, or transportation methods. This will mean that the product may now contain gluten. This is why it’s always best to opt for items carrying a gluten-free label, as they have been tested for gluten and contain less than 20ppm of gluten (which is the safe legal amount).
Is Wheatgrass the Same as Wheat?
Although wheatgrass and wheat are part of the same plant – they are not the same. Wheatgrass is the very young sprout of the wheat plant, where the wheat seeds have not had time to grow; hence why wheatgrass is gluten-free. Whereas wheat has fully grown and contains the protein gluten – and is not gluten-free. And should not be consumed when following a gluten-free diet.
Other cereal grains to avoid on a gluten-free diet are rye, barley, and oats (unless gluten-free oats).
Read more about Are Quaker Old Fashioned Oats Gluten Free? (GF Oatmeal)
Can Celiacs Eat Wheatgrass?
It’s always best to approach wheatgrass with caution, especially if the product carries no gluten-free label. However, there are plenty of gluten-free wheatgrass options available that can be eaten by celiacs safely. Beyond Celiac suggest that if you have a separate wheat allergy (outside of being celiac or having a gluten intolerance), wheatgrass should not be consumed.
Risks Of Wheatgrass
Earlier, we looked at the risk of cross contact when consuming wheatgrass. This is when a non-gluten product has come into contact with a gluten product. And there is another risk to look out for too.
Harvesting. Wheatgrass needs harvesting in a specific time period to ensure that no wheat seeds have begun to sprout. It’s possible for the wheatgrass to be cut too late, therefore meaning the wheatgrass is no longer gluten-free.
This is why buying certified gluten-free products is the safest option. When a product is certified, this means that it’s been through rigorous testing to ensure it does not contain gluten and must meet strict guidelines by the FDA to validate its gluten-free status.
Gluten Free Wheatgrass
If you’re looking to include wheatgrass in your diet, there are a few gluten-free options available to ensure what you’re consuming is as safe as possible. Let’s take a look at some of the best gluten-free wheatgrass options available.
Anthony’s Organic Wheatgrass Powder
Anthony’s is a brand that I return to often because it has a great range of gluten-free products. Alongside being gluten-free, their wheatgrass is non-GMO, vegan, and organic – meaning it’s suitable for a range of dietary lifestyles.
It’s $13.49 for an 8oz bag, and it’s perfect for blending into smoothies or sprinkling onto foods such as salads. Anthony’s comes extremely highly recommended and is known for supplying high-quality products.
Horbaach Wheatgrass Powder
Much like Anthony’s, Horbaach is not only gluten-free but also vegan and non-GMO. The product is raw and as pure as it can be. This particular wheatgrass powder is available in online stores such as Amazon.
Navitas Organics Wheatgrass Juice Powder
The Navitas Wheatgrass Juice Powder is no doubt the most expensive, at $22.99 for 1oz. However, it’s not just gluten-free – it’s also organic, non-GMO, vegan, kosher, keto, and paleo friendly. It’s described as a plant superfood and you don’t need much at all (this bag contains 56 servings)! It helps to aid detoxification and energy boosts. It’s one of the most nutrient-rich foods in the world.
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I hope this article has helped to answer: does wheatgrass have gluten? And I know the answer certainly surprised me. It’s one of the foods that you automatically assume contains gluten (like buckwheat), but the answer is a pleasant surprise! It’s easy to enjoy wheatgrass on a gluten-free diet, and it’s actually a great food to add to your diet to give your body the nutrients you need.
If you’re unsure of adding wheatgrass to your diet, consult with your healthcare professional and they will advise you with what works best for you, as everyone is different.
Do you enjoy wheatgrass? Are there any gluten-free wheatgrass options that didn’t make the list, that you think are worthy of a mention? Please feel free to let me know any suggestions or answers in the comments below. I love reading through them – sharing is caring!