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Are Barley Grass and Wheatgrass Gluten-Free?

If you follow a gluten-free diet, you've likely found yourself double-checking labels and researching ingredients. Research suggests about 6% of the US population is gluten-intolerant [1]. If you’re one of them, you’ll want to stick with us through this article, as we’ll uncover whether Barley Grass and Wheatgrass are gluten-free. Spoiler: They can be, but only under certain conditions. Let’s dive in.

Understanding Gluten

Before diving into specifics about barley and wheatgrass, it's essential to understand what gluten is. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and their derivatives. It's responsible for giving dough its elasticity and helping it rise. For people suffering with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or wheat allergies, consuming gluten can lead to a range of adverse health effects: 

  • Digestive Issues (Bloating, Diarrhea, etc.) 
  • Skin problems 
  • Nutrient deficiencies 
  • Neurological problems
  • Joint and muscle pain 
  • Mental health struggles
  • Reproductive problems
  • Weight loss and weight gain 

 This protection can lower the risk of several chronic diseases, cancer, inflammation and other illnesses, making polyphenols an essential component of a balanced diet.

Benefits of Barley Grass and Wheatgrass

Before we dive into whether Barley grass and Wheatgrass are gluten-free let’s take a look at their health benefits, and why they are considered superfoods. 

Barley grass and wheatgrass are packed with nutrients and offer several health benefits:

  • Rich in Vitamins and Minerals: Both grasses are abundant in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like iron, calcium, and magnesium.
  • Antioxidant Properties: They contain antioxidants that help combat oxidative stress, supporting overall health.
  • Detoxification: These grasses are known for their detoxifying properties, aiding the body's natural elimination processes.
  • Digestive Health: High in enzymes and fiber, they support healthy digestion and gut health.

But of course, if they contain gluten, these health benefits don’t matter if you’re gluten-sensitive. 

The good news is, you CAN find naturally gluten-free barley grass and Wheatgrass. Let’s take a look at how that’s possible. 

Is Barley Grass Gluten-Free? 

Barley, in its mature form, contains gluten. However, the young leaves of the barley plant, known as barley grass, are a different story.

When is Barley Grass Gluten-Free?

Barley grass can be gluten-free, but there's an important caveat. The grass must be harvested before the plant begins to sprout and produce seeds. Once barley starts to germinate and produce seeds, gluten proteins develop within the plant.

To be specific, barley grass that is harvested at the young, green stage (before jointing) does not contain gluten. At this point, the plant's energy is directed toward growing leaves, not producing the gluten protein. Therefore, if you're looking for a gluten-free version, ensure the product specifies: 

  1. That it’s gluten-free
  2. Is produced to FDA and GMP standards.

This is how a product can be gluten-free while still containing barley grass. 

Is Wheatgrass Gluten-Free? 

Wheatgrass, like barley grass, comes from the young shoots of the wheat plant. Mature wheat contains gluten, but wheatgrass harvested early in its growth cycle can be free from gluten.

When is Wheatgrass Gluten-Free?

Wheatgrass is considered gluten-free when it is harvested before the wheat plant develops seeds. 

Similar to barley grass, this means the young shoots must be picked before the plant transitions to its reproductive stage. When harvested early, wheatgrass is focused on leaf production and does not produce the gluten proteins found in mature wheat.

Importance of Proper Harvesting and Processing

The key to ensuring that barley grass and wheatgrass are gluten-free lies in meticulous harvesting and processing practices. This means:

  • Early Harvesting: Ensuring the grasses are picked before the seed production phase.
  • Testing: Checking the final product for gluten contamination.
  • Processing Environment: Using facilities that prevent cross-contamination with gluten-containing grains.

Regulatory Standards

When it comes to purchasing products containing barley grass or wheatgrass, it's wise to look for ones that comply with FDA standards for gluten-free labeling. In the United States, a product labeled as gluten-free must contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten, which is a safe threshold for people suffering with celiac disease.

Choosing Gluten-Free Products Wisely

When shopping for barley grass or wheatgrass products, it's crucial to check for credible gluten-free certifications. Here are some tips:

  • Look for trustworthy products: They will be regulated by FDA standards and will be 100% transparent in their ingredients and dosing. 
  • Read Labels: Thoroughly read product labels and ingredient lists to ensure there are no hidden sources of gluten.

Gluten-free labeling: If you’re only purchasing trustworthy brands and they include “gluten-free” labeling, you will be on the safe side.

Verve V80: Enjoy The Health Benefits Without Gluten

If you're health-conscious and looking to incorporate barley grass or wheatgrass into your diet, consider a nutrient-dense, all-in-one greens drink like Verve V80. 

Verve is full of vitamins, minerals, adaptogens, antioxidants, and superfoods that your body LOVES… plus, unlike other greens drinks, we’re fully transparent on ingredients and their dosages so you don’t have to rely on blind trust. 

‘Verve V80 Transparent Greens’ stands out for several reasons:

‘Verve V80 Transparent Greens’ stands out for several reasons:

  • Transparency: Unlike many competitors, Verve V80 openly lists all its ingredients and dosages, ensuring you know exactly what you're consuming.
  • Nutrient Density: With 80 ingredients offering over 200 science-backed health benefits, Verve V80 is the most nutrient-dense option on the market. 
  • Cost-Effective: Verve V80 is 20% lower priced than its closest competitors, making it a budget-friendly choice as well.
  • Great Taste: Many greens drinks have an unpleasant taste, but Verve V80 is infused with real fruit flavors, making it a delightful part of your daily routine.
  • Trust: Verve V80 is regularly audited to ISO, FDA, and GMP standards as well as being certified by the Organic Farmers & Growers (OF&G) association.
  • Informed Sports Accredited: Verve is also informed sports accredited, which is another certification important for athletes, as it ensures there is no unintentional doping (which happens in as many as 28% of sports supplements [2]
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Conclusion

Yes, barley grass and wheatgrass can indeed be gluten-free, provided they are harvested properly before the plants begin producing seeds.

Understanding the conditions under which these grasses remain gluten-free allows you to make informed decisions about including them in your diet. 

At Verve, we’re all about informed consumer choice. That’s why we’re 100% transparent about our ingredients in a market where most others aren’t (including the big names like Huel or AG1). 

For a reliable source of nutrient-packed greens, consider Verve V80 – a drink that combines transparency, nutrient density, and great taste to support your health journey.

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