Wheat Grass

I have heard that barley and wheat grass are safe to eat on the gluten-free diet. I find this hard to believe. Is it true?

The Gluten Intolerance Group, a national celiac disease support organization, has researched the gluten-free status of barley and wheat grass. Here is what they have concluded: US Department of Agriculture research chemists who specialize in wheat gluten and cereal proteins say gluten is only found in the seed kernel, the endosperm, and not in the stem and leaves. The American Association of Cereal Chemists agrees, according to  a statement by the group.

If the grass is cut from a growing plant and does not include the seed kernel, it should be safe for those who follow the gluten- free diet.

But Cynthia Kupper, RD, executive director of GIG, also points out that if you are eating these grasses as sources of added nutrition, you would do better to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, which she says are overall healthier and less expensive.

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  • Carol van der Schaar

    Maybe it is just me but, I react very strongly to Wheatgrass. Apart from the usual symptoms if have ingested gluten, I almost pass out with wheatgrass and become very weak and nauseated.

    • Pierre Gregory

      Hi Carol, Basically it depends on how long the grass has been growing. This is an interesting video that from my Dr. who is a Celiac specialist that might give some insight too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKbuA1-FatE And then of course you might ask how long has wheatgrass that I see as in a Jamba Juice or juicing store grow? This video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkqjOUZNzgE was interesting to watch to answer that. Perhaps your strong reaction is because your source is letting the grass grow more than 10 days?

    • Renee Culver

      Hi, Carol! I know your comment is very old, but I’m hoping that you’ll see this reply as I have a question for you. When you have an accidental gluten ingestion, other than your wheatgrass reaction, do you also almost pass out then as well? Just wanting to find out as, depending on the amount of gluten ingested, I also pass out or nearly pass out when I’ve had an accidental gluten ingestion and I’ve never met anyone else who has this symptom. Other people with Celiac disease have told me that this is a strange reaction to gluten, to pass out, but is common with me. Would like to know if any others have this same reaction.

  • Heka

    B.S. I react to wheatgrass and barley the same way I react to all glutens except rice. #notbuyingit