Barley is one of the common cereal grains. It is used in beverages, bread, and several other cuisines around the world. It is among the first cultivated crops and also the most widely consumed one across the globe. In the recent decades, barley has gained a sudden popularity because of its new found barley health benefits as a whole grain. Whole grains are necessary for providing the body with dietary fibre, minerals, and vitamins which may not be present in “enriched” grains. You can get the health benefits of this healthy grain not just by including it in your diet, but also by preparing a healthy drink called barley water.
After the grains are refined, a lot of the nutritional components get removed along with the fibre content. Having whole grains would be much beneficial for the health as compared to the processed counterparts. It can also reduce the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and obesity. You can use barley as grain, water or grass.
In this post, we are going to discuss some of the major benefits and nutritional value of barley in detail.
Barley nutrition facts
Barley is available in the market in two forms namely, pearled and hulled. Hulled barley does not undergo extreme processing and only has the outer shell removed to keep the germ and bran intact. Pearl barley has the bran and the hull removed.
Hulled barley of half a cup will contain:
- Calories (326)
- Protein (11.5 gm)
- Fat (2 gm)
- Cholesterol (0 gm)
- Carbohydrate (68 gm)
- Dietary fibre (16 gm)
The micro-nutrients and minerals the same serving would provide to a human body are:
- Vitamin B6
Beta-glucans are also sourced in barley. Many research studies have focused on finding out the role beta-glucans have in affecting the health of a human being. The results show that it helps in lowering the blood cholesterol levels and insulin resistance which can further help with immunity boost and lowered risk of obesity.
Health benefits of barley water & grain
Plant-based foods are considered to be very healthy and are frequently associated with reducing risks that arise due to an unhealthy lifestyle. Many studies have successfully been able to show that consuming plant foods such as barley can help in reducing the chances of acquiring heart disease, diabetes, and obesity which contribute significantly to the overall mortality of a human being.
Some of these foods promote healthy hair and complexion along with reduced weight and increased energy. We are going to mention some of the health benefits that barley grass & water, in particular, provides us.
Manage Blood Pressure
If you want to lower the blood pressure, a low sodium intake is mandatory. But, apart from sodium you also have to increase the amount of potassium consumption daily. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that only 2 percent of adults in America are actually fulfilling that requirement.
Studies have found that magnesium, calcium, and potassium were able to decrease the blood pressure naturally. In 2006, the American Dietetic Association published that consuming whole grains of insoluble or soluble fibre will be able to control weight as well as the blood pressure effectively. This is one of the best health benefits of barley water.
Barley contains sufficient amount of magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, zinc, and iron that is extremely useful in maintaining and building the bone strength and structure. It is important to have a careful balance between calcium and phosphate for the bones to develop properly. Sometimes, too much phosphorous intake with less calcium can lead to bone loss.
The bone formation will also require a good amount of mineral manganese along with zinc and iron which is important for the maturation and production of collagen.
Improve Heart Health
Barley water is considered to be healthy for the heart because of the folate, vitamin B6, potassium, and fibre content along with low cholesterol. Barley water is also rich in fibre, which is good for lowering the blood cholesterol level, in turn helping in reducing the risk of having a heart disease in the future.
A double-bind study conducted in the year 2007 found that barley grain was helpful in reducing cardiovascular risk by lowering the visceral fat and serum cholesterol levels. Another study found that consuming about 4,069 milligrams of potassium daily will help in lowering the chances of death resulting from ischemic heart disease as compared to those who consume potassium in lesser amounts.
Folate and vitamin B6 do not allow homocysteine, a compound, to build up in the body as it has the potential to damage the blood vessels resulting in heart problems. This is one of the best health benefits of barley water.
Most foods do not have selenium, unlike barley. It has a major role to play in liver enzyme function for detoxifying the cancer-causing compounds present in the body. Selenium also prevents inflammation which can reduce tumor growth rates and further increase the immune response to infection by allowing the creation of killer T cells.
Having fibre from plant-based foods will not only support the heart’s health but also reduce the risk of acquiring colorectal cancer. Beta glucan fibre has been associated with a better immune system having equipped to fighting cancer cells and tumor formation.
Barley contains Choline which is extremely helpful when it comes to memory, learning, muscle memory, and sleep. Choline is also useful for maintaining the cellular membranes’ structure along with aiding the nerve impulse transmission. It can assist in absorbing fat which in turn can reduce symptoms of chronic inflammation.
As barley grain has a good amount of fibre in it, it can prevent the occurrence of constipation which in turn will promote a healthy digestive system. This is one of the effective health benefits of barley water and grain.
Barley water & grain for weight loss
Having an adequate amount of fibre is known to be great for people who are looking for ways to lose weight. Fibre also helps in reducing the appetite and increasing the satiated feeling. This will keep the feeling of being full for a longer time and, in turn, avoid the excess calorie intake. Barley water is equally beneficial like grain.
Barley water, grass and grain has so many nutritional benefits that they are hard to ignore. Hence, make the most of what barley has to offer and say goodbye to your problems today.