Barley grass is one of the green grasses. The true beauty of barley is found in the leaves; the young green shoots of power that form before the grain. The young leaves have a tremendous ability to absorb nutrients from the soil. When barley leaves are 12-14 inches high, they contain all the vitamins, minerals, and proteins necessary for the human diet, plus chlorophyll. These necessities are easily assimilated throughout the digestive tract, giving our bodies instant access to vital nutrients.
Large amounts of vitamins and minerals are found in green barley (Barley Greens) leaves. These include potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, beta carotene, B1, B2, B6, C, folic acid, and pantothenic acid. Barley grass is said to have 30 times more vitamin B1 and 11 times the amount of calcium than there is in cow’s milk, 6.5 times as much carotene and nearly 5 times the iron content of spinach, close to seven times the vitamin C in oranges, four times the vitamin B1 in whole wheat flour, and 80 micrograms of vitamin B12 per 100 grams of dried barley plant juice.
Barley grass is very high in organic sodium, which dissolves calcium deposited on the joints and also replenishes organic sodium in the lining of the stomach. This aids digestion by improving the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. People with arthritis have used celery juice for years because of the organic sodium it contains (28mg per 100grms), but compare this to the amount of organic sodium in barley grass (775mg per 100 grams)!
Barley grass, at the time it is harvested to make juice, is about 45 percent protein. It has almost twice as much protein as an equivalent amount of wheat germ and about five times the minerals which accompany animal protein, in addition the protein in barley grass doesn’t come burdened with fat.
Enzymes (barley grass is believed to contain up to 1,000 of them) are the necessary regulators of the body, without them our cells could not function and we would perish. Barley grass has one of the highest natural levels of enzyme SOD (superoxide dismutase), which is a powerful antioxidant that protects the cells against toxic free radicals, thought to be a primary culprit in aging.
Barley grass also contains one of the most amazing nutrients: chlorophyll, a natural detoxifier that rids the intestines of stored toxins. You don’t have to drink green grass juices to get chlorophyll; it is present in all dark green, leafy vegetables. But the question is “how many servings of spinach, kale, collards, mustard greens, or turnip and beet tops, do you eat everyday?” And for those who do eat them regularly, there is, after all, a limit to the amount of spinach, kale and the likes someone can eat.
If you are having a difficult time suffering from asthma, arthritis, impotence, skin problems, anemia, obesity, constipation, diabetes, hypertension, kidney problems or heart disease, perhaps it’s time for you to learn about the health benefits of barley. Recent research says that consuming whole grain barley regulates blood sugar to a great extent. The health benefits of barley are mostly attributable to the eight essential amino acids which it contains, meaning that it represents a complete protein in our diet.
There are so many rampant ailments in recent years, which proves even more that our regular diets lack important nutrients. One of the most important nutrients that we often tend to neglect is fiber. Barley is an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which assures you good overall health over the long term.
Before we move on to the health benefits of barley, you will be pleased to know that you can consume barley in many kinds of preparations like salads, soups, stew, and even with chicken, mutton or in the tandoori style. Therefore, it will not add value just to your health but also to your palate.
Health Benefits of Barley
Keeps Colon and Intestine Healthy: Barley, being an excellent source of fiber, keeps your body toxin-free. Barley grass, which is rich in dietary fiber, acts as a fuel source to the friendly bacteria of our large intestine. These bacteria help in fermenting the fiber content of the barley, thereby forming butyric acid, which is the primary fuel for intestinal cells. Barley is greatly effective in maintaining a healthy colon. By keeping the intestine in proper health, barley helps you to decrease the movement time of feces and keeps your stomach clean. It greatly reduces the chances of colon cancer and hemorrhoids as well.
Prevents Gallstones: Barley effectively helps women avoid developing gallstones. Since barley is rich in insoluble fiber, it actually helps you to reduce bile acid secretion, thereby increasing insulin sensitivity and lowering the levels of triglycerides. Reportedly, in an article of the American Journal of Gastroenterology, women have a 17% lower risk of having gallstones as compared to others not consuming a fibrous diet.
Prevents Osteoporosis: The phosphorus and copper content in barley grass guarantees overall good health of bones. The phosphorous content in barley effectively cures bone and tooth ailments. If you have osteoporosis, barley can be your natural remedy. Barley grass juice is known to have 11x greater calcium content than milk. Calcium, as we know, is one of the key components in protecting bone health. The manganese content in barley works in association with B-complex vitamins, thereby keeping the overall health intact. We need manganese for normal bone production, as well as in cases of iron deficiency anemia.
Supports Immune System: The vitamin C content in barley is almost twice than that of oranges. This vitamin particularly strengthens your immune system and reduces the chances of cold and flu. Iron improves the blood volume and prevents anemia and fatigue. It aids in proper kidney functioning and the development of body cells. Furthermore, barley contains copper, which forms hemoglobin and red blood cells.
Preserves Skin Elasticity: Barley is a good source of Selenium, which helps you to preserve skin elasticity, thereby protecting it against free radical damage and loosening. Moreover, it also improves our heart, pancreas, and immune system functioning. A deficiency of selenium can lead to cancers of the skin, colon, prostate, liver, stomach, and breast.
Controls Blood Cholesterol Levels: Barley’s insoluble fiber yields propionic acid that helps keep the blood cholesterol levels low. Barley, being an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fibers, is also specifically recommended by doctors for its naturally low-fat content and zero cholesterol properties.
Manages Diabetes: Barley works effectively on Type 2 diabetes. However, we can prevent this type of diabetes by losing weight, getting involved in vigorous physical activity and including abundant whole grains in our diet. Therefore, high fiber foods like barley should be included in the daily diet of diabetic patients. Barley grain has all the essential vitamins and minerals, particularly beta-glucan soluble fiber, that slows down glucose absorption. The December 2006 edition of Nutrition Research has proved that insulin-resistant men who consumed barley beta-glucan soluble fiber had significantly reduced glucose and insulin levels as compared to others test subjects.
Prevents Heart Disease & Cancer: Barley contains certain types of phytonutrients known as plant lignans, which are transformed by friendly flora in our intestines into mammalian lignans. One of these new lignans is called enterolactone, which helps us to prevent breast and other hormonal cancers as well as coronary or heart disease.
Protects Against Atherosclerosis: Atherosclerosis is a condition when the artery walls thicken due to the coagulation or deposition of fatty materials like cholesterol. Barley contains niacin (a B vitamin complex) that reduces the overall cholesterol and lipoprotein levels and minimizes cardiovascular risk factors. Postmenopausal women having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or cardiovascular diseases are specifically recommended to have barley at least 6 times a week.
Prevents Asthma: 14.5 kDa is a barley endosperm protein and a major allergen in baker’s asthma disease. This is an airborne occupational ailment, mostly prevalent in confectioneries and bakeries. Barley proves to be very effective preventative measure for such kinds of major wheat-flour allergens.
When you think of buying barley, you first need to decide what form of barley you should buy. Barley is found in various forms, and each of them has varied nutritional value. Whole grain barley has the ultimate nutritional value, found in its grain, leaves and even the extract of the grass.
29 Benefits Of Barley You Probably Never Knew
1. Great for Breakfast
Barley is nutrient rich and makes a satisfactory meal. It is packed with fiber and essential minerals such as: selenium, copper, tryptophan, and manganese. It gives you energy and keeps you feeling satisfied for a good part of the day. The manganese in barley helps you to feel happy and energetic; it also calms your nervous system.
Harvard researchers studied the effects of consuming a grain breakfast on a daily basis. This study found, over a period of 19 years, that men who enjoyed a daily morning bowl of whole grain cereal had a 29% lower risk of heart failure. Not bad for a simple grain!
2. Helps You Lose Weight
Barley helps to reduce weight, partially because of several kinds of essential amino acids, and partially because of its fiber content. Barley modulates your blood sugar levels, thus avoiding the sugar peaks and drops usually associated with the fat storage process.
Barley, compared to other grains, is low in calories and at the same time it makes a satisfactory meal, helping you feel full longer, so you don’t need to eat as frequently.
3. Helps to Stabilize Blood Pressure
A five week long study compared different grain combinations; it showed that adults who increased their intake of barley experienced a reduction in blood pressure.
4. Reduces Risk of Cancer and Heart Disease
Barley is rich in plant lignans which protect against breast and other hormone-dependent cancers as well as heart disease. By reducing free radicals and visceral fat, and stabilizing the blood pressure, barley minimizes our chances for cancer and heart disease.
5. Reduces Symptoms of Arthritis
Barley has Copper, which may also be helpful in reducing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Copper disarms free radicals, thus helping cell regeneration. Copper is essential in cross-linking collagen and elastin, making bones and joints flexible.
6. Helps Develop and Repair Body Tissue
Barley is also rich in phosphorus which aids in cell regeneration. Phosphorus helps in forming bone. It is an essential building block of the genetic code and plays an important role in healthy cell membranes and our nervous system.
7. Great Source of Niacin
Barley is a great source of niacin (vitamin B) that provides numerous benefits to our cardiovascular system. Niacin can help reduce bad cholesterol, lipoprotein (a), and free radicals. It also lowers the risk of blood clots.
8. Reduces Visceral Fat
A Japanese study followed 44 men with high cholesterol and found that adding barley to their diet significantly reduced serum cholesterol and visceral fat, known contributors to cardiovascular risk.
9. Lowers Bad Cholesterol
The propionic acid produced from barley’s insoluble fiber may also be partly responsible for its cholesterol-lowering properties. It lowers the activity of HMG-CoA reductase enzyme and helps lower blood cholesterol levels.
10. Inhibits Formation of Gallstones
Barley helps reduce levels of triglycerides. Some may avoid gallstones with an increased intake of Barley. Also, barley is rich in insoluble fiber. There is a hypothesis that insoluble fibre reduces the secretion of bile acid which contributes to gallstone formation.
11. Indispensable for Woman
UK researchers looked at how fiber intake affects pre-menopausal women. They found that a diet rich in fiber from whole grains, such as barley, offered up to a 50% reduction in breast cancer.
Yet another study looked at postmenopausal women and showed a reduction in risk of 34% for breast cancer in women who consumed whole grains, such as barley.
12. Barley Grass Juice is Great for Digestion
Barley grass juice helps digestive juices work harder. It increases your metabolism and makes you feel lighter. It is especially beneficial for people who feel bloated.
13. Improves Immunity
Barley is rich in plant lignans, which are good for friendly flora in your intestines. In turn, barley supports your immunity.
Additionally, barley is high in vitamin C, which also supports your immune system. Barley makes you feel full, satisfied, and relaxed.
14. Helps to Prevent Osteoporosis
Barley and barley grass contains manganese, phosphorus, and copper, which are good for healthy bones. Barley juice is very high in calcium, making your bones stronger.
15. Promotes Optimal Health
Fiber in barley minimizes the amount of time food stays in your colon. In addition, it is a good source of selenium, which has been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer. Selenium is an essential component for thyroid health. It is also an antioxidant defense and an immune builder. Selenium has also been shown to repair damaged cells in the body.
16. Helps to Cure Anemia
The iron contained in barley increases the blood volume, which prevents anemia and fatigue.
17. Slows Arteriosclerosis
Barley slows atherosclerosis, which is the plaque build-up that narrows blood vessels. It is a good source of vitamin B (niacin). Niacin may help prevent free radicals, while reducing bad cholesterol and blood clots.
18. Supports the Kidney
Barley facilitates proper kidney function.
19. Healthy Bones
Barley and barley grass contains phosphorus and copper which are good for the overall health of bones. Barley juice is much higher in calcium than milk.
20. Healthy Teeth
Barley is rich in phosphorus, calcium, and Vitamin C. These are great contributors to healthy bones and teeth. Barley juice especially, is high in calcium. It also contains manganese, phosphorus, and copper which are good for your bones and teeth.
Beauty Benefits of Barley:
21. Contributes to Healthy Skin
Barley is packed with vitamin C, antioxidants, and minerals. All these are excellent for your skin. It has been proven to reduce inflammation in the body. You know the expression: healthy body, healthy skin.
22. Has Healing Properties
Barley is rich in zinc, which promotes healing.
23. Improves Skin Elasticity
Barley is rich in selenium. Selenium preserves skin elasticity. Selenium also improves many functions in your body, which are often reflected by your skin.
24. Creates Pleasant Skin Tone
Barley tightens skin and eliminates toxins, making your skin silky and pleasantly toned.
25. Has Anti Aging Properties
The antioxidants in barley help make you look younger. Barley helps to eliminate toxins from the body, giving you the appearance of younger and healthier skin.
26. Healthy Hair
Nutritional deficiencies are often reflected in your hair. Barley contains vital minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants needed for the production of healthy hair.
27. Promotes Hair Growth
Barley is rich in nutrients and minerals such as thiamin, niacin, and Procyanidin B-3. These promote and stimulate hair growth.
28. Combats Hair Loss
Barley contains iron and copper. It enhances production of red blood cells, and reduces hair loss.
29. Restores Hair Color
The Copper in barley helps create pigment for hair color.