About three years ago, my family received the most devastating news none of us could have ever imagined. My mother had been diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer at the age of forty-three. Then it was more bad news. It had metastasized to her lungs, lymph nodes and lastly… her brain. But no matter what terrible news and statistics her doctor had to give, we still held on to hope.
During this journey with my mother, I reached out to a couple of teachers at my high school and I learned that one of them had triple negative breast cancer. Although, she had beaten it, she had a recurrence of ovarian cancer. Regardless, she was in remission for at least 12 years when I had contacted her. She helped me understand what to expect and how to help my mother deal with the many side effects of chemotherapy, radiation and her other medications.
One key item was crucial in how I helped my mother stay as strong as she could—and that was wheatgrass.
So what is wheatgrass?
According to Mayo Clinic, wheatgrass is “a nutrient-rich type of young grass in the wheat family”. Wheatgrass is rich in nutrients such as vitamin A, C and E, iron, calcium, magnesium, and amino acids. It also has many other benefits such as removing toxins from the body, increasing production of hemoglobin, improving blood sugar, and among many other benefits.
So then, how does one add it into their diet?
For my mother who had a small appetite that only grew smaller with treatment, it was important that she maximized her nutrient in-take. So, my father and I juiced many different fruits and vegetables. After we made at least one bottle’s worth of juice, I would add one teaspoon of powdered wheatgrass and mixed. Sometimes we would also buy freshly juiced wheatgrass at a smoothie store.
Did it help?
No one can say for sure. There were many other factors that got in the way. However, I do believe it helped her stay with us as long as she could.
On that note, in case you are thinking about finding treatments through food alone –I would not recommend it. Diet should supplement treatment. Chemotherapy may be harsh but it may also prolong one’s life. Let diet keep the healthy cells strong and let the treatment treat the cancer.
Interested in learning more about nutrient rich foods? View our previous blog posts on food:
Sources on wheatgrass: