Angeline Rhett, owner of Angeline’s Bakery in downtown Sisters, knows a thing or two about healthful eating. Her delicious gluten-free and vegan baked goods that vanish from the display cases faster than you can say Jack LaLanne are created with the finest natural ingredients with a concerned eye toward improving ones lifestyle through good food.
A new item to the menu, though certainly not new in the universe of health foods, is Liquid Sunshine Wheatgrass, which can be bought as frozen take-home cubes or blended into green drinks and fruit smoothies. Often labeled Nature’s Finest Medicine, the Nectar Of Rejuvenation or The Blood Of All Life, wheatgrass is enjoying a rising popularity in the diets of people trying to gain an extra edge on the ravages of time and aging.
“You drink it, you feel it,” she said. “I don’t do well with the big claims of other supplements or vitamins but this is the real thing. It’s truly amazing, it restores your enzymes and feeds your body in a way the standard American diet can’t provide. The more you add it, the more benefits you see.”
The medicinal properties of wheatgrass and its energizing boost to the cellular system, anti-aging and overall wellness can’t be ignored. Wheatgrass is basically a baby wheat plant which has been cultivated and marketed for its nutritional health benefits.
Served juiced or powdered, this amazing superfood is packed with chlorophyll, vitamins and amino acids in high concentrations for maximum absorption and effect. The trick is to harvest the young wheatgrass at the exact point in its lifecycle at which nutrients are at their peak potency. Advocates of the miracle greens endorse it as a means to better digestion, increased energy, a preventative tonic for cancer, diabetes and a body detoxifier. Wheatgrass juice has also been proven to build red blood cells quickly after ingestion. It contains up to 70 percent chlorophyll, and the chlorophyll molecule is nearly identical to hemin, the central pigment in our blood.
“You can see the glow in people’s faces who are on it,” said Rhett. “You’re nourishing your body with things that are alive instead of dead. My job here at the bakery is to make people excited about whole foods, vegan eating and juicing. I want it to be fun and exciting and creative. To let people take their health in their own hands is a powerful transformation. The more people you get turned on, the more they’ll pass it on.”
A figure often heard when discussing the plant is that one ounce of wheatgrass juice is equivalent to more than two pounds of fresh green vegetables. That exaggerated claim is not true. An ounce of wheatgrass is roughly the same nutritional value as an ounce of any high quality green vegetable. The history of this original superfood dates back to the 1930’s when the first wave of health fanatics and health food gurus entered the American scene, touting the extraordinary healing resources of the juice. Scientists had studied the improved effects on chickens and published their amazing reports in major magazines… and the fad was off and running.
Wheatgrass juice with no sugar or sweetener added is a bitter tasting experience so brace yourself if you go at it raw. While no single food or juice is a wonder-drug able to cure every malady known to man and beast, no one can deny the sparkling testimonials from athletes, doctors and late night informercials. Well, those last accolades may be a bit suspicious and the miracle-food label placed on wheatgrass could be a bit premature, but it does have its proven allure and lifelong fans.
Whatever the final results may be, one thing is obvious – adding more vegetables to your diet in any form is never a bad thing, and certainly is much more healthy than a deep fried Twinkie at the state fair.
“So many people are not living up to their health potential and including wheatgrass is a smart and easy way to inject whole foods into your body,” added Rhett.
The magical elixir of life or just another healthy choice in nature’s cupboard? Try it and decide for yourself.
Angeline’s Bakery is located at 121 W. Main Avenue in Sisters.