Do You Know One Of The Whole Grains, Barley Has Amazing Health Benefits? Barley Is Full Of Antioxidants And Is Gaining Popularity Due To its Various Barley Health Benefits.
Barley Health Benefits: I love having oats early in the morning with honey and almonds. When the mango season is in, I also add mango to my healthy bowl of oats. Well until last month, I was unaware of another whole grain called Barley. When my nephew told me about barley health benefits and it’s consumption to maintain a healthy weight, I was amazed. After that, I started researching a lot about Barley.
So, What Is Barley? How Does Barley Health Benefits Improve Health
Barley or Hordeum vulgare is a cereal plant that belongs to the grass family Poaceae. Barley is edible grain which grows in a variety of environments and is one of the first cultivated grains in history and is still the fourth largest grain crop globally. This grain has been popular since the medieval ages. People primarily grow barley as animal fodder and a source of malt for alcoholic beverages, especially beer. However, you can easily use barley in bread, soups, stews and health products.
Barley and other whole grain foods are gaining high popularity over the few years as whole grains contains important sources of fiber, vitamins, and minerals which refined or enriched grains. Refining removes bran, germ, most of the fiber and nutrients.
Barley comes in two varieties: six-row barley and two-row barley.
Six-row barley is more suited for animal feed for higher protein content.
Two-row barley is commonly used for malt production for its higher sugar content.
Do You Know Barley Malt Is Key Ingredient To Make Beer?
You can also use barley in a stew, soup, and salad. Well, I loved the chewy texture and nutty flavor of barley. So, you can also enjoy barley like quinoa or rice.
Related: Amazing Benefits of Drinking Beer
Types of Barley
Dehulled barley: unprocessed and takes longer to cook.
Hulless Barley: healthiest kind of barley as it is the whole grain form of barley.
Pearl Barley: As the outer husk is removed pearl barley is less nutritious than hulless and dehulled barley. However, many people prefer to use this type of barley as it still is nutritious. In addition to that, it is softer and takes less time to cook.
Now let’s dig down directly to the information you crave for. Without any delay, let me tell you amazing benefits about barley.
Barley Health Benefits
Barley is a rich source of dietary fiber, which improves intestinal health. The dietary fiber present in barley is very good for the bacteria residing in the large intestine. These bacteria ferment the fiber and form butyric acid. Butyric acid is the primary fuel for intestinal cells.
As the intestinal cells become healthy, the digestion system of the body improves.
Do You Know Approximately 6 Grams Of Fiber Can Be Found In Each One-Cup Serving Of Barley?
Because of the insoluble fiber present in the barley, consumption of barley also helps to fight constipation. Along with that, barley also helps to prevent colon cancer.
Control Blood Sugar Level
Barley helps to slow the rate of sugar released into the bloodstream. There are 8 essential amino acids found in barley. These amino acids which act as protein blocks control insulin release better in comparison to any other whole grains. According to the recent study done in Lund University, Sweden barley can effectively improve health by reducing the risk for diabetes. As per the study, dietary fiber present in the barley increases insulin sensitivity and stimulates the good bacteria.
Anne Nilsson, Associate Professor at the Food for Health Science Centre, said that consuming barley provides an individual with remarkable health benefits. She further stated:
After eating the bread made out of barley kernel, we saw an increase in gut hormones that regulate metabolism and appetite, and an increase in a hormone that helps reduce chronic low-grade inflammation, among the participants. In time this could help prevent the occurrence of both cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
This clearly points out that barley reduces the risk of diabetes. Similarly, the consumption of barley increases the flow of good hormones.
Lowers High Cholesterol
Propionic acid prepared by insoluble fiber found in barley helps to lessen the production of cholesterol. Because of this very reason, barley consumption is good to lower high cholesterol. Besides that, this health benefit of barley makes it one of the best whole grains for heart health. Barley not only provides with propionic acid but also with beta glucan.
Beta glucansecures bile in the digestive tract lowers cholesterol. This helps to get rid of cholesterol through the colon in the form of stool.
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Maintains Healthy Weight
As barley is full of insoluble dietary fiber, it helps us to feel fuller. It reduces appetite helping people to crave less for junk and sugary foods. A healthy bowl of barley helps to lower the overall calorie intake. Our body requires a longer time to digest fiber. Due to this, the consumption of barley decreases the level of hunger, absorbs starches at a lower rate and maintains the healthy weight.
Barley Helps to Stabilize Blood Pressure
Barley contains potassium, calcium, and magnesium which helps to decrease blood pressure naturally. Increasing whole grain foods in a healthful diet helps in reducing blood pressure. In a study did with different grain combinations for five weeks, adults having barley and barely based foods experienced a reduction in blood pressure.
Barley Helps in Digestion
The fiber content in barley helps to prevent constipation and promotes healthy digestion. Barley grass juice also helps digestive juices to work harder. Barley is especially beneficial to people who feel bloated as it increases your metabolism and helps you to feel lighter. The high fiber content of barley helps to move foods through your gut, also promotes a good balance of gut bacteria. This plays an important role in digestion.
Barley Reduces Your Risk to Heart Disease
Barley reduces your high blood pressure and high LDL cholesterol too. These two are known risk factors for heart disease and reducing them helps to protect your heart. Barley is rich in plant lignans, and they protect you against heart diseases. Vitamin B6 and folate is present in barley, which prevents a compound known as homocysteine to build up in your body. An excessive amount of homocysteine damages blood vessels leading to heart problems. Thus Barley reduces your risk to heart disease.
Barley Helps to Prevent Cancer
Barley is rich in diet and helps to lower the risk of many diseases including cancer, especially colon cancer. The insoluble fiber helps to reduce time food takes to clear gut which seems protective against colon cancers. Compounds such as antioxidants, phytic acid, phenolic acids, and saponins are found in barley which protects you with cancer and slows the development of cancer. Barley contains selenium which has a role in liver enzyme function. This helps to detoxify some cancer-causing compounds in the body. Barley helps fight cancer cells and prevent tumors from forming. More research and evidence are to needed to support this claim.
Barley Reduces Inflammation
Barley contains a nutrient ‘choline.’ Choline is an important nutrient which helps you with sleep, learning, memory and muscle movement. Choline helps to maintain the cellular membrane structure, aiding transmission of nerve impulses, assisting the absorption of fat and reducing chronic inflammation.
Barley Also Has Beauty Benefits
Rich in zinc, barley promotes healing of your skin. Packed with vitamin C, antioxidants and minerals barely is helpful for your skin reducing the inflammation and leads to healthy body and skin. Barely is rich in selenium which preserves skin elasticity. Barley helps you look younger with the antioxidants present in barley.
Strengthens Immune System
Copper and iron supplement found in barley strengthens the immune system. A bowl of barley a day helps in proper functioning of body cells and kidney. The iron found in barley helps to make our body stronger, prevents fatigue and gives energy. Barley is rich in iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and zinc. These nutrients not only boost the immune system but also maintain bone structure.
Is Barley Water Beneficial For Health? Know More of barley health benefits
There are people who also prefer barley water along with direct consumption of barley. Barley water is considered to be beneficial for gut bacteria, lowers cholesterol and lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition to that, it also contributes to weight loss.
Barley has so many benefits, but you might be wondering if there are side effects of barley.
Side Effects And Risks of Barley
Gluten is present in barley, so it is not suitable for those with celiac disease. Celiac disease is a chronic digestive disorder resulting from an immune reaction to gliadin, which is a gluten protein found in barley. You should not consume barley in high amounts as it can cause constipation or loose stools due to its dense fiber content. The calorie count of barley water is equivalent to a full meal. So, you need to limit the amount of barley intake in one sitting. If you are having processed or packed barley water, read the ingredients before you drink. Some barley water has a high concentration of artificial sugars. Other than these, there are not much-known barley side effects.
Barley is cheap and easy to add to your diet. Barely is a great alternative to your diet and has lots of benefits. Now you know about barley, its benefits, and side effects I will be glad if you have any more questions or queries.
Is Barley Gluten Free?
No, barley is not gluten-free. It contains around 5 to 8 percent gluten. People with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity should avoid barley.
Bottom line, barley is one of the healthy whole grains. It is a rich source of fiber. On top of that, it is full of iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and zinc. However, if you are gluten sensitive, you should avoid barley.