Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Kuch ghaas nahin
"One ounce of wheatgrass is equivalent to more than 2.5 lbs of leafy-green vegetables," screamed the signboard at Juice Zone, a Canadian'juice bar' franchise at the local mall.
As a compulsive tryer-of-new-things, I could not resist. So I forked out 25 bucks for the 'super juice that is a concentration of essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and cholorophyll'.
Well, it's 'fresh' - that's for sure. They uproot the grass growing in a box right in front of you. Then they wash it and plonk it into a mixer. Voila - wheatgrass juice ready for consumption.
How does it taste? Slightly sweeter than you'd expect but vile nevertheless. Luckily, you only get a small 'shot' of it in a cup which looks like it's stolen from a kiddie kitchen set.
Curious to know more about the 'health benefits', I did a net search. There are many who swear by its efficacy but some have expressed doubts - and I lean towards that school of thought.
Unfortunately there’s little scientific evidence that juiced wheatgrass provides these benefits. And while it may be a good way of getting a limited amount of a whole range of nutrients, it’s certainly not a direct substitute for a kilo of veggies. Plus, if it’s extracted juice, there’s no fibre in it.
On the other hand it’s probably harmless, and makes an interesting alternative to a coffee or Coke — as long as you can bear the taste!
Here's an even mroe bizarre piece of information. The idea that wheatgrass can benefit serious disease sufferers was conceived by one Ann Wigmore.
Claims are that the juice "cleanses" the body, neutralizes toxins, slows the aging process, and prevents cancer.
Wigmore's theory on the healing power of grasses was predicated upon the Biblical story of Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar who spent seven years, insane, living like a wild animal eating the grass of the fields. Because he recovered, Wigmore theorized that the grasses had cured his insanity. The common observation that dogs and cats nibble on grass, presumably when they feel ill, also strengthened Wigmore's belief in the healing power of grasses.
The fact that grass-eating animals are not spared from cancer, despite their large intake of fresh chlorophyll, seems to have been lost on Wigmore. In fact, chlorophyll cannot "detoxify the body" since it is not absorbed.
In 1988, the Massachusetts Attorney General sued Wigmore for claiming that her "energy enzyme soup" could cure AIDS. In fact, when challenged legally, Wigmore backed away from healing claims stating that she merely had an "educational program" to teach people how to "cleanse" their bodies and make vegetable juices.
Moral of the story: You won't get a high of any sort on this grass! Just eat your green leafy veggies at home and dig into the junk food at the mall once in a while and you'll be OK.
After all human beings weren't designed to eat chaara. With the exception of the honourable Laloo Prasad Yadav...