Do you know what barley is? It is actually a member of the grass family, and yes, it is edible. Although not as popular as oats, barley is touted as the “King of Cereals.” Barley is popular because of its water and seeds and can be added to stews, salads, soups and curries. However, this is not the only way that barley is beneficial; it is also good for the health. In fact, its health benefits are many and wide-ranging. Keep reading this article to learn more!
Barley: What Is It?
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Scientifically, barley is known as Hordeum vulgare. A member of the grass family and a major cereal grain, it is widely grown in various temperate climates all over the world. Furthermore, it is one of the earliest cultivated grains, specifically in Eurasia, having been cultivated as early as 10,000 years ago.
Barley has been utilized as an animal food, as a component of some healthy foods and as a fermentable substance for beer and other distilled beverages. Additionally, as stated earlier, it is also useful as an addition to stews, soups and salads. Barley is commonly made into malt in an ancient and traditional method of preparation.
Various types of whole grains, including barley, have rapidly been gaining popularity over the past few years. This is due to some of the health benefits they might offer. Whole grains are very important sources of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber, which are not commonly found in enriched or refined grains.
Forms of Barley
Each of the different types of barley has different uses. Continue reading to understand which form of barley is the best for you.
- Barley Water: this actually comes from soaking barley seeds in water or boiling them for a few minutes. This will have a great impact on the health, particularly good for those who have kidney and bladder conditions.
- Barley flour: this is a mild flour that comes from grinding whole barley. It can be beneficial as a substitute for flour. This is much richer in fiber and nutrients in comparison to pearl barley, since its outer bran layer stays intact even after it is ground.
- Barley green powder: this comes from barley grass and has a number of medicinal benefits. It is easily soluble in water, making it the best type to consume in juice form.
- Pearl barley: this is actually the most widely available form of barley in the market. Furthermore, it is also the most commonly used ingredient in breakfast and snacks all over the world.
- Hulled barley: this particular form of barley comes from removing the hull. This type of barley actually takes a lot of time to cook.
- Barley grass: this form of barley is actually the young shoot of the plant. It is rich in antioxidants, protein, vitamins and minerals. It also has a large amount of chlorophyll, which is beneficial for the detoxification of the body.
Nutritional Value of Barley
% Daily Value
|Total fat||2.3 grams||3%|
|Saturated fat||0.5 grams||2%|
|Polyunsaturated fat||1.1 grams||–|
|Monounsaturated fat||0.3 grams||–|
|Total Carbohydrate||73 grams||24%|
|Dietary fiber||17 grams||68%|
Health Benefits of Barley
Here are some of the most staggering health benefits of barley:
- Helps prevent asthma: barley is beneficial for preventing various wheat-flour allergies.
- Helps protect cardiovascular health: the niacin content of barley helps reduce the overall lipoprotein and cholesterol levels in the body. It is also beneficial in minimizing the risk of various cardiovascular illnesses.
- Helps prevent cancer: this is probably one of the most special health benefits of barley. The phytonutrients in the plants, known as lignans, are beneficial in preventing the onset of breast cancer, as well as some other hormonal cancers.
- Helps manage diabetes: barley is beneficial in the control and prevention of diabetes, most specifically Type 2 diabetes.
- Helps control cholesterol levels: the insoluble fiber in barley is beneficial in keeping blood cholesterol at a low level.
- Helps boost immunity: since barley is very nutritious, it is beneficial in strengthening the immune system, as well as reducing the chances of flu and cold.
- Help keep the intestines healthy: the fiber content of the barley is beneficial in keeping the body free from any toxins.
Barley isn’t just the typical grass you see on farms. It is also beneficial to the overall health.