Barley was a staple food during medieval times for centuries and today is still included in the diet of many European, African, and Middle Eastern nations that have been eating barley for thousands of years. Barley provides a range of important vitamins and minerals: fiber, selenium, B vitamins, copper, chromium, phosphorus, magnesium, niacin, and more. Barley is lower in fat and calories, but higher in dietary fiber and certain trace minerals.
Barley's Explained Health Benefits:
Anti-Inflammatory/Antioxidants - Barley is rich in antioxidants. Specifically, the antioxidant flavonoid, known as Saponarin in barley leaves, and the antioxidant phytonutrient, known as 7-Hydroxymatairesinol, offer strong effects in clearing oxidization and anti-inflammatory properties which counter the damaging effects of free radicals in our bodies that cause ageing, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Antioxidant-rich barley grass can counter the effect of these and can keep these illnesses in check.
Improves Heart Health/Blood Pressure - Barley is packed with nutrients including vitamin B3 niacin, vitamin B1 thiamine, selenium, copper, and magnesium which are useful in lowering cholesterol, high blood pressure and other risk factors associated with heart disease. These minerals help to control the production and metabolism of cholesterol, prevent dangerous blood clotting, aid in arterial health, slow down and even clear the dangerous progression of atherosclerosis (plaque build-up within arteries which lead to heart attacks and strokes), and are crucial for nerve signaling functions that help control cardiovascular processes like heart rhythms.
Prevents and Treats Cancer/Heals Wounds and Infections - The fiber in Barley helps protect the colon by expelling toxins that aren't removed during regular digestion. Barley has ferulix acid which keeps cancer cells and tumors from growing. In addition, Barley, being high in antioxidants, fight cancers such as breast, colon, prostate, and all hormone-based types of cancer. These antioxidants, called Enterolactones, have mechanistic effects that include binding to harmful carcinogens and removing them from the body vis a vis boosting immunity and nutrient absorption.
Lowers Cholesterol - Chemicals in barley, called tocols, have been found to suppress LDL cholesterol and contribute to better overall cardiovascular health. In addition, Barley’s fiber helps to form a type of acid known as Propionic Acid which helps inhibit enzymes that are involved in the production of cholesterol by the liver. The fiber found in barley also provides beta glucan, a substance that is needed to bind bile in the digestive tract to cholesterol and therefore to help pull it through the colon and out of the body in stool.
Weight Loss - Barley's fiber cannot be digested by the bodies which in turn helps in weight loss. Consumption of barley's beta gluten fiber assists in significantly decreased weight as it staves off hunger and keeps you from snacking in between meals.