Can You Have Wheatgrass When Pregnant? Safety and Benefits

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Written by Amy Kaczor RDN

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Wheatgrass is a popular green ingredient in health shots and green juice blends. However, is wheatgrass safe to consume during pregnancy? 

Unfortunately, there is a lack of evidence-based research on the safety of wheatgrass juice, powders, and shots during pregnancy. Therefore, it is best to avoid consuming any wheatgrass or wheatgrass products during pregnancy. 

Wheatgrass has many different forms, from blended in juice to consumed as a powdered supplement. But, first, let’s dive into more details of the safety of wheatgrass during pregnancy! 

Is Wheatgrass Safe During Pregnancy?

Wheatgrass has a distinct and earthy taste that many like to add to their juices as a “health drink.” Proponents of fresh wheatgrass juice and shots claim they have a wide variety of health benefits and even call it a superfood. 

However, the more concentrated amounts of wheatgrass in shots and juices have not been verified as safe for breastfeeding or pregnant women. Therefore, it is best to avoid wheatgrass in general during your pregnancy. 

If you have already consumed wheatgrass during your pregnancy, do not worry as it is very unlikely to cause any harm. Yet, simply avoid wheatgrass moving forward due to the lack of research on the effects of consuming it during pregnancy.

wheatgrass juice on a table and fresh wheatgrass on the background

Additionally, juice containing wheatgrass is typically served fresh, such as from a juice bar, health food store (especially in the refrigerated aisles), or farmer’s market.

These varieties of juices are likely raw and unpasteurized, meaning they have not been heated during processing to kill any potential bacteria that may be present. 

It is recommended to avoid drinking unpasteurized juice during pregnancy (source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration [FDA]).

Unpasteurized juice bottles are required to have a warning on them stating they are unpasteurized and may contain harmful bacteria. When shopping for your juice during pregnancy, look for “pasteurized” on the product label.

Overall, avoid wheatgrass and all unpasteurized juices during your pregnancy.

Is Wheatgrass Powder OK During Pregnancy?

Many want to try wheatgrass powder since it is claimed to be a “superfood” and a rich source of vital nutrients. While it may be nutritious, it is not necessarily safe for pregnant women. 

As mentioned above, wheatgrass, in general, should be avoided during pregnancy due to a lack of evidence supporting its safety. 

Furthermore, the FDA considers wheatgrass powder a dietary supplement and, therefore, does not need to approve it for safety or effectiveness before it hits the shelves of your health food store. On the other hand, the FDA does monitor the adverse effects of supplements that occur after it is available to consumers.

The FDA also is responsible for overseeing packaging/labeling requirements, especially the health claims the products can make. 

Due to the unregulated nature of dietary supplements in the United States, it is essential to discuss any supplement you would like to take during pregnancy with your physician.

Is Wheatgrass Good for Pregnant Women? The Benefits

Wheatgrass is a grassy plant rich in calcium, potassium, and more (source: U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA]).

Calcium is essential for building strong bones and teeth for both you and your unborn baby, while potassium aids in heart and muscle contraction, nerve transmission, and much more (source: American Pregnancy Association, National Institutes of Health). 

Additionally, wheatgrass does contain antioxidants, such as bioflavonoids (Source: International Journal of Chemical Studies). Antioxidants help to fight harmful free radicals that are naturally produced by the body.

wheatgrass powder in a wooden bowl

More specifically, wheatgrass contains proteins that have been associated with the prevention of many diseases as well as reducing what is called oxidative stress, meaning the imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body (source: Journal of Food Science). 

While there is a significant lack of research into the health benefits of wheatgrass, a study has demonstrated the use of wheatgrass for preventing cancer and even reducing the symptoms and side effects of those undergoing chemotherapy for cancer (source: Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry).

However, these studies were on a very small scale, and further research is needed to confirm this relationship of correlation, if substantial.

Furthermore, there are many other health claims about wheatgrass, including its use for treating and preventing diabetes, high blood pressure, infections, and more. Again, more quality research must be completed to determine if wheatgrass alone mitigates these conditions.

Can Wheatgrass Help You Get Pregnant? 

As mentioned above, it is widely believed that wheatgrass, especially in juice form, has healing and protective effects in many conditions, even cancer. However, some wonder if wheatgrass plays a role in fertility.

Unfortunately, no evidence-based studies have examined fertility and wheatgrass consumption. 

When deciding to include wheatgrass in your healthy diet during pregnancy, it is best to steer clear due to a lack of research. Hopefully, you found this article helpful in unpacking wheatgrass consumption and pregnancy research!