Is wheatgrass gluten free? At first look, you might say no because it has the word “wheat” in it so must not be gluten free because it is a type of wheat and would contain gluten. But is this true?
What is Wheatgrass?
Here is a definition of wheatgrass from the Mayo Clinic below:
“Wheatgrass is a nutrient-rich type of young grass in the wheat family. It’s sold as a dietary supplement in tablet, capsule, powder and liquid forms.
Wheatgrass is often used for juicing or added to smoothies. Wheatgrass provides a concentrated amount of nutrients, including iron, calcium, magnesium, amino acids, chlorophyll, and vitamins A, C and E.”
So if wheatgrass is a type of wheat, does it mean it contains gluten?
Is Wheatgrass gluten free? Yes and No
The actual grass of the the wheatgrass does not contain gluten. However, the seed does. To avoid gluten contamination comes down to harvesting methods. Notice what Healthline says about this below:
“This plant is cultivated during fall and reaches its nutritional peak by early spring. At this point, it has grown about 8–10 inches (20–25 cm) high.
It’s harvested during a 10-day window when immature wheat seeds — which contain gluten — are still near or below ground level, where the harvesting machines can’t reach them.
It’s then processed into various products, which are naturally gluten-free.”
The actual grass in wheat grass does not contain gluten. However, the seed DOES contain gluten so caution is needed. The reason is that you need to know how was it harvested and make sure the seeds were not touched in the process. Also, are the machines used in harvesting, used on other products that contain gluten? For severely gluten intolerant people or Celiacs, more investigation would be needed to ensure there was a zero gluten process. However, if in doubt it might be better to avoid wheatgrass altogether.