Do You Know Nutrition: Grasses give triple whammy for health

May 24, 2010 at 12:24 a.m.
Updated May 25, 2010 at 12:25 a.m.

By Phylis Canion

Q: I am a cancer survivor, and I take green food supplements every day that contains barley grass, alfalfa and wheat grass. Can you please share the benefits of each of these grasses?

A: Green grasses have the extraordinary ability to transform inanimate elements from soil, water and sunlight into living cells with energy. Grasses contain all of the known minerals and trace minerals, vitamins and hundreds of enzymes. The greatest benefit is the small molecular proteins and chlorophyllins in grasses that are absorbed directly through our cell membranes.

Alfalfa is a legume, while barley and wheat are cereal grasses. Alfalfa pulls up earth minerals from roots as deep as 150 feet and contains high levels of chlorophyll. Alfalfa contains vitamins A, D, E, K and B, as well as silicon, phosphorous, iron, potassium, magnesium and many other trace elements. Alfalfa also has eight known enzymes that promote chemical reactions that enable food to be assimilated properly within the body.

Barley grass has 11 times more calcium than cow's milk, five times more iron than spinach and seven times more vitamin C and bioflavoids than orange juice (without the sugar). Barley grass is an ideal anti-inflammatory for healing gastrointestinal ulcers, hemorrhoids and pancreatic functions.

Wheat grass is a vegetable; therefore, it does not contain gluten since the leaf is harvested before the seed develops. Fifteen pounds of fresh wheat grass has the nutritional value of 350 pounds of vegetables with all of the enzyme activity. As with all the green grasses, its ability to provide protection from carcinogens comes from chlorophyll's capacity to strengthen cells, detoxify the liver and blood, and biochemically neutralize pollutants. The blend of these three grasses contributes greatly to the alkaline reserves and in helping to keep acid/alkaline balance in the body neutral which is very important if you are a cancer survivor.

Q: I recently connected with a friend, and he told me he was a pesco vegetarian. I always thought a vegetarian was someone who just did not eat meat, so now I wonder what types of vegetarians are there?

A: Here is a sampling: Vegan: Excludes all animal derived foods. Ovo vegetarian: Eats eggs, but no other animal products. Semi vegetarian: Eats poultry, fish, eggs and dairy, but no red meats or pork. Lacto ovo vegetarian: Eats eggs and diary foods, but no animal food that has "eyes" and finally your Pesco vegetarian: Eats fish, eggs and dairy foods, but no poultry, red meats or pork. If I have missed one, I apologize and ask that you please contact me and share with me your style.

Call today to sign up for the next nutrition class, June 14, 361-580-1400. The class will be held at the Crossing, 404 N. Bridge St., Victoria, TX.

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant, e-mail her at This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.



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